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Waffling metaphors and waving strings

  1. Nov 22, 2012 #1
    I just watched this video on sixty symbols and it reminded me of that Brian Greene elegant universe series where the idea is that extra dimensions are wrapped up in a 10 degree spiral regression of twists and turns into smaller realms. The example in the above videos being something that is perceptually a line at one distance, but is actually a cylinder at closer inspection, etc.

    Is this a good metaphor? Dont we have classical concepts that account for these perceptual anomalies such as scale variance and invariance in space and time? Do we really need the concept of extra dimensions to tell me that a 2-D billboard I see from a few miles down the road actually has a thickness to it that I see when I drive past it? It sounds almost absurd that that is the best they got, so to speak, to explain this to the lay public.

    I'm sure the null response is going to be that the mathematics is sound. However, when you're arguing a point from 16 orders of magnitude smaller than can actually be verified, and you're using 7 extra "phantom" dimensions to do that, it seems very suspect.

    I mean, I can create a phantom universe and make the math come out exactly the way I want, trust me, how is this string, or "M" theory any different? Convince me, please, I want to be a believer!
  2. jcsd
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