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Old 10-08-2003, 02:55 PM   #1
Master_Keralys
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Superstring theory

Superstring theory is probably the most cutting edge idea in physics. It has the possibilty to be a TOE (Theory of Everything) if it works out the way theoretical physicists hope. It's also one of the most controversial theories out there. What are your thoughts?


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Old 10-08-2003, 11:22 PM   #2
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Some details or an article would be nice for those of us who don't know what it is
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Old 10-09-2003, 12:54 AM   #3
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I recommend Brian Greene's the elegant universe for reading. In essence, the idea is that, rather than having point particles as being the smallest units of matter, strings are. That is, quarks and electrons aren't the smallest you go. Everything - from electrons and their inverse, positrons, to gravitons and photons, are made of strings, according to this theory.

It states that nothing can be smaller than a Plank length, which gets rid of a lot of the problems between Einsteinian relativity and quantum physics, which have been arguing for years over how the surface of space really acts. It also poses the idea that tears in the fabric of time-space are not only possible, but very possible. Moreover, it necessitates that there be ten dimensions (including time) - some say eleven.

Basically, the theory says that the properties of all particles simply depend on the shape and vibration patterns of two-dimensional strings. It's an interesting concept; that's the best summary I can come up with in a short time. Lots of others in the Senate Chambers should know what I'm talking about.


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Old 10-09-2003, 05:44 AM   #4
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I would love to hear this theory was true. I guess it's the best alternative we have for now. It seems that quantum physics doesn't have another choice but to stick with this interpretation.

Let's see what it solves:
1. wave/particle duality
2. quantum gravity
3. monad (if word is appropriate here)
4. time travel
5. it's the first step to the theory of everything as it would physically discribe the whole fabric of reality.

I'm sure a lot of improvements are needed here but still it's the most promising. Excellent thread. Sorry I have to go to study...
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Old 10-10-2003, 02:26 AM   #5
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Just recently a friend of mine attempted to explain this whole thing to me. Unfortunately, she didn't do a very good job, and I was left thinking the whole thing was pretty bogus. Your explanation was very helpful. By knowing a little more about it, I find it quite interesting. I think I'll go see what else I can find out.
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Old 10-10-2003, 10:05 AM   #6
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I saw a late night documentary on this a couple of years ago and was captivated (interested, but not neccessarily won over).

However, I have heard different numbers of dimensions. From what you say, and 12, 13 and 20 strings.

Go www.superstringtheory.com

lol I just happened to be on google and so just searched for it.

I will watch intently over the next few decades to see if anything comes of it.


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Old 10-10-2003, 01:58 PM   #7
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11 dimensions is now considered the minimum. However, there's some weird stuff with that. In the last couple of years (since about '95) it's become clear that there is something deeper than string theory,l known as M-theory. Pretty much, there's five different string theories; M-theory unifies them, as well as 11-dimensional supergravity.

But one of the string theories (since everything is now considered to have symmetry [that is, supersymmetry] and duality) has an opposite that is actually bosonic string theory, the predecessor to superstring theory. And bosonic string theory has 26 dimensions. No one is quite sure how that's going to work right now.

The nicest part is that it actually explains the whole particle duality/symmetry concept, something nothing else has ever done. It also predicts gravity, something no other theory has done. Finally, it allows for the unification of all four fundamental forces at high energies (comparable to the Plank energy). Prior to M-theory, all except gravity could seen to be unified; in the context of M-theory, the conflict with gravity is erased. It's pretty cool


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Old 10-10-2003, 03:13 PM   #8
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My head hurts now.


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Old 10-12-2003, 10:56 AM   #9
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hmmm, I thought M-Theory and string theory were interchangeable.


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Old 10-13-2003, 03:58 PM   #10
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Don't worry about sore heads, most people get them around this stuff. The only exceptions are people like Hawking and Witten. M-theory and string theory aren't interchangeable, as M-theory simply incorporates the 5 distinct string theories into a unified whole, and incorporates other theories as well. It's bigger, and even less well understood (which is saying quite a lot). M-theory also includes the concept of strings larger than 1 dimension: that is, membranes (2-d) and even more complex structures. String theory does not.


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Old 10-13-2003, 04:01 PM   #11
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Just saying for those you dont know science, dont read this thread. BTW i think that is a very interesting theroy.


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