Interesting - Polchinski seamed the least enthusiastic...Demystifier, I wrote without seeing intervening posts such as your #17, which makes the my general point but with detailed insightfulness.
I also think there is some substance to your partly humorous post about the disappointed expectation of revolution.
A good window on this dynamic at the level of expectations is the Toronto Strings 2005 Panel Discussion
which was called THE NEXT SUPERSTRING REVOLUTION.
http://www.fields.utoronto.ca/programs/scientific/04-05/string-theory/strings2005/panel.html
Moderator:
Steve Shenker (Stanford)
Panelists:
Raphael Bousso (UC Berkeley)
Shamit Kachru (SLAC & Stanford)
Ashok Sen (Harish-Chandra Research Institute)
Juan Maldacena (IAS, Princeton)
Andrew Strominger (Harvard)
Joseph Polchinski (KITP & UC Santa Barbara)
Eva Silverstein (SLAC & Stanford)
Nathan Seiberg (IAS, Princeton)
What a list of STARS. The rising generation of young leaders as of 2005.
We can watch the video and see what this brilliant and creative group of young people had to say about what could be the revolution.
So we see that the panel discussion of the revolution came exactly according to Demystifier's schedule, in 2005. But the revolution itself did not arrive on time.
I came away from that admiring and respecting Strominger. He seemed to have integrity and no appetite for hype. It was long ago i watched the video. You are probably right in identifying Susskind as one of the voices speaking from the floor, but I can't check right now.Interesting - Polchinski seamed the least enthusiastic...
1:17:18 is this leonard Susskind? saying that MWI is the same as ethernal inflation?
Edit: I also like what Strominger says at 1:27:00 about (not) advocating string theory...
Thanks for your replay...I came away from that admiring and respecting Strominger. He seemed to have integrity and no appetite for hype. It was long ago i watched the video. You are probably right in identifying Susskind as one of the voices speaking from the floor, but I can't check right now.
I know he did speak up but I can't remember what he said.
Maybe someone who has watched it more recently can say.
For anyone who hasn't seen the video: they give something like 8-10 minutes to each of the young panelists (to give their vision of the future of string) and then after about 1 hour they open it up to comment from the audience (which is several hundred string researchers who participated in the Strings 2005 conference.) Witten spoke from the floor. Susskind. Djordje Minic. many others. Shenker moderated.
I haven't watched that video, but I like Strominger's point of view very much. To me string theory is important, because even if it eventually turns out to be wrong for our universe, it has given pointers to what the correct theory of quantum gravity is - Strominger and Vafa's derivation of black hole entropy from microscopic degrees of freedom, and Maldacena's AdS/CFT is the best understood version of holography at the moment - both came from string theory, but perhaps neither needs it in general, and this will perhaps lead us toward an understandimng of general properties of quantum gravity, stringy and not.I came away from that admiring and respecting Strominger.
In that case, let's put up the abstract. Some may be encouraged to look out for new work in that direction, or to investigate for themselves.If you ask me what is the most important direction of research in QG, I would have no doubt. After all, this thread can only be speculative.
mitchell porter;2806844 (...) it really is a unique "theory of everything". (...) [/QUOTE said:(Sorry if the question is a little of topic).
I always hear string theorists claim that String Theory is a "unique theory of everything". How should this "unique" be understood?
1) Is this meant poetically (as in unique in its beauty)?
2) Is it a dream of being able to prove that string theory is a unique extension of current theories (under some assumptions)?
3) Some other meaning?
Does this "uniqueness" claim have any rigorous meaning?
Thank you for the clarification, this is very interesting. So string theory is not a unique theory of everything (whatever than means), there might be other candidates. But there is only one unique string theory! This is of course by itself quit interesting.There are infinitely many possible field theories because you can choose fields, symmetries, interactions, parameters in infinitely many ways. But string theory has no free parameters. The multiplicity of vacua arises within the configuration space of a single theory. So string theory is unique in two ways: first, there's only one fundamental string theory; second, there's no other theory like it. That's what I meant.
In fact, gauge theories and string theory are deeply interwoven and one thing what ADS/CFT provides is a reconstruction of (background independet) string theory from gauge theory, in the large-N limit. So string theory will always come along the ride, no matter how little one likes it, whenever one talks about gauge theory. Thus most likely it will never go away.I don't know....I think ``AdS/CFT makes sense without string theory'' is kind of a misleading statement. It makes sense if you assume the presence of a certain set of internal symmetries.
These two sentences summarize the bulk of marcus' contributions to physics forums.And marcus, it is just futile to go through recent talks of people in order to fabricate a decline. ... They would be better advised to listen to their professors rather than to clueless spin doctors.
String theorists ranging from Lubos Motl and Jacques Distler, to Witten, Polanski, Kaku, have disparaged LQG.And marcus, it is just futile to go through recent talks of people in order to fabricate a decline. String theory is a very wide field with many facets, it has always been that the focus shifts a bit from year to year, right now some more people than usual are interested in gauge amplitudes that can be studied by string and string inspired methods; one should see this a a framework for studying quantum field theories with and without quantum gravity, and no serious resaercher tries to draw a line between string theory and non-string theory, such as you like to do. I seriously think that this is paranoid what you do here, and all effect what it might have is to ruin some young "innocent" people for science. They would be better advised to listen to their professors rather than to clueless spin doctors.
No, that's because you've got asymptotic safety!Maybe it's analogous to asking "If quantum theory predicts a cosmological constant 120 orders of magnitude greater than the observed value, is it on the verge of collapse?."
According to Woit, a lot of professors are discouraging grad students to go into string theory.These two sentences summarize the bulk of marcus' contributions to physics forums.
Thanks Naty!Seems like Marcus, and atyy in post #30, have summed up well...
Something I posted a few years ago:
https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?p=998390#post998390.
Seems like Marcus, and atyy in post #30, have summed up well...
string theory has already been "deemed dead" several times,
It was originally thought it applied to the strong force....that did not work out so well,
disappointment #1...and some physicsts returned to more traditional particle physics;
then someone discovered a spin 2 particle buried within...WOW the graviton!!! and revolution # 1 was underway.....but equations could not be solved and there were five theories that seemed different...with different answers.... disappointment #2,
Next, Ed Witten to the rescue with M theory!!!....and now the perturbative solutions and incomplete mathematical formulatios still apparently baffle scientists, disappointment # 3....still no real testable predictions..is it "too pretty to fail"????
who knows....but I would no rush to bury string theory....
Maybe it's analogous to asking "If quantum theory predicts a cosmological constant 120 orders of magnitude greater than the observed value, is it on the verge of collapse?."
In my institution, we tell them: be prepared to work hard for many years, and there are more students willing to do so than can be supervised.What are professors telling students re: string theory?
How do you feel about loop gravity and are you suggesting no serious researcher draws the line between string theory and LQG?
Do you think LQG is promising and worthy of high-level investment, faculty hiring, research programs, post docs etc on par with strings?
This is the overwhelming sentiment of every grad student/post doc I have ever talked to about this issue.It is a field with much less ambition to begin with, namely to describe gravity, and as far as unification with particle physcis is concerned, it seems still in its early infancy, to say it politely. That’s why most colleagues don’t find it appealing and promising to work on it. If they would find otherwise, they’d work on it, it is as simple as that.