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Super string theory

Post 1

Olaf the, er, Hesitant

I'm sure Stephen Hawking et al will be glad to know that a poet beat them to the punch on that one.


Super string theory

Post 2

wingpig

AT least it's being honest. All these clever people come up with all these strange ideas only to say "well, it's not really real, it's just a way of representing things mathematically" when challenged. "The WSOGMM does not exist either, it's just the sum total of the ways of looking at it there would be if it did" or something like that. I only watched that Equinox thing on "Unravelling the universe" because Peter Jones was narrating it. The one thing I can't stand is people going on about quark flavours and spins, where a quark has to rotate 720° instead of 360° to be back where it started - if it spins round once then it'll only be halfway round. Are you a theoretical physicist? Explain exactly why time is not absolute. Does Feynmans thing about "antimatter is normal matter going backwards" actually mean anything or is it a nice-sounding thing that would explain why they explode and disappear when they meet?


Super string theory

Post 3

Olaf the, er, Hesitant

No I'm not a physicist, just a fat Ickenham-dweller who thinks he's a royal descendant of the Vikings. But hey, it's just a theory!


Super string theory

Post 4

wingpig

You're supposed to be hesitant. That last post was a bit swift and to-the-point. Tell me where I can find a theoretical physicist. The only one I know is a computational physicist with a special interest in radar systems and isn't much good when it comes to explaining tenets of modern subatomic theory.


Super string theory

Post 5

Olaf the, er, Hesitant

What do I look like, A Field Guide To Theoretical Physicists?


Super string theory

Post 6

beeline

I was a physicist (very briefly at University), but have studied much more widely in the philosophy of science.

To be brief, no-one actually knows what's going on anywhere, and they never will - we can't - we're limited by our perception. Scientists only have some neat (and very very complicated) theories and models to describe what they see poking through into our 3-D linear-time-based world. To include all known phenomena in any one set of consistent theories based on the same maths or number of dimensions occasionally means stretching things beyond what we see into the realm of the hypothetical in order to solve the problems more efficiently. This makes the maths work, which in turn makes the prediction of the models accurate as far as what we see.

If it's more useful maths-wise to assume time goes backwards for antimatter, then let's say it does. We can't hope to reconcile that with our everyday lives, where time always goes forwards, but it makes predicting subatomic behaviour work just fine.

Another example is electronic resonant circuit theory. You can work out the dynamics of the system using very complicated differential equations if you want, which are a bugger to solve, or you can move the maths of the whole problem into the Argand Plane (which makes use of the square root of -1 to solve the maths very elegantly and quickly). That's not to say that the capacitors and inductors in the resonant circuit actually exist as vecors in some imaginary impossible-to-intuit dimension, just that if you do accept that, the maths works out very elegantly, and the results are exactly as predicted.

It's a bit like the Adams quote about travelling using the Improbability drive: "... without all that tedious mucking about in hyperspace... ". Weird multimensional universes allow us to get some answers (and predict the behaviour of our world) without all that tedious mucking about in even harder maths.

Soryy, that wasn't very brief, was it?! smiley - winkeye


Super string theory

Post 7

Olaf the, er, Hesitant

It's what I was going to say...if I'd only been clever enough smiley - smiley


Super string theory

Post 8

wingpig

No, it was fine. I'll try and find someone who can summarise relativity theory next. Cheers for being fairly concise and not explaining exactly why the maths was elegant. It's true that the reason for it being so big and amazing is the same reason why it can't be simply explained, but if someone says in simple language "blah blah blah tachyons experience no time in the way that we do blah blah" they ought to be able to explain why to anyone that can understand the basic statement unless they want to be accused of being irrefutable and thus guitly of working outwith the domain of scientific practice.
Cheers also for not speaking down. The computational physicist that I know makes the mistake of thinking that biologists don't know elementary aerodynamics during pub conversations about the many modifications that could be made to a simple frisbee.


Super string theory

Post 9

beeline

LOL!

The problem with science is that it *is* incredibly complicated and outside our everyday realm of thinking. Those that are any good at it, or who understand it, are usually those least able to explain it to people who aren't as knowledgeable, but are interested. This has always given rise to the 'high priesthood' image of scientists, and is an unfortunate consequence. But you're right - some 'scientists' do misuse this feature to try and make themselves irrefutable.

Ironically, I'm only able to talk reasonable clearly about science because I was too lazy to learn any of it in any detail at University. I think it's much more useful to understand the 'outside' of the subject and be able to communicate it to others. More fun too. Perhaps I'll start a revolution of anti-knowledge, or rather pro-a-little-bit-of-knowledge-but-not-too-much...

So many of the physicists I knew became more and more specialised in their research subject, focusing down to a tiny detail of quantum mechanics, or something like that. They went from knowing a little about everything (interesting) to knowing everything about nothing (boring)! You just can't sit in a pub and talk for hours about nothing! This didn't seem to stop some of them trying, though!

It's all a question of getting the big picture, I think. Oh, and spending a lot of time in pubs talking about it all. smiley - smiley


Super string theory

Post 10

Podster

Never mind all this theory rubbish...

A friend of mine's moving next weekend... we've got the super (unbreakable) boxes, but do you know where we csn get the super string ?


Super string theory

Post 11

Olaf the, er, Hesitant

Do you have access to an atomic accelerator?

If not, try Sainsbury's Homebase.


Super string theory

Post 12

Panting Ray

anti-knowledge? does that mean you learn it backwards or have I dropped the string here?
P


Super string theory

Post 13

wingpig

Knowledge travelling backwards through time?
Turn normal string into super string by painting it blue, red and yellow.


Super string theory

Post 14

loukufu

our lives are wierd, we're all individual, having lived our seperate lives, yet we're all essentially the same thing...everything; sooooooo
it would make sense that strings or not, we are part of a self aware being and are concious of our cosmic whole, because we are it.


Super string theory

Post 15

The Duke of Dunstable

What IS the super string theory? Is it anything to do with bikinis?


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Super string theory

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