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String Theory (M-Theory)

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by HMHB, Jul 6, 2005.

  1. HMHB

    HMHB
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    Does anyone have a clue what physicists are on about these days ? Just when I get a little comfortable with particles and quarks I see that some of them are now on about strings and parallel universes and M-Theory . All this seems to be so that they can explain everything in the universe with a set of equations, right back to the singularity (or not as the case may be!). Every time their theories break down a little they introduce some kind of X-factor to explain why their equations don't work. Why should everything in the universe be explainable by a neat little formula ? What about chaos etc ?
    It must be great to get loads of money to come out with theories like this that can't really be proved right or wrong, I think I'm in the wrong job here ;)
    P.S please excuse my ramblings, I'm got my theory head on today !
     
  2. roversd1

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    When I was a kid, I thought how funny it was if the planets were particles in a coffee table which inturn was part of an even bigger coffeetable etc etc.

    When I found out Einstein had a similar theory, I decided it was best not to think any more and simply play with my Lego/self/ barbie dolls....
     
  3. Philly112

    Philly112
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    John

    I remember doing my Chemistry degree, and part of that was Physical Chemistry. Might have been Urdu in Two Easy Steps as far as I could fathom.
    I once said to one of the Professors - 'you know these electrons, quarks etc? It's all a load of ****** isn't it?'

    Two hours later after listening to his explanation, I was convinced that is was.

    Phil
     
  4. FruitBat

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    As I understand it, these theories are essentially just mathematical models.
    The theory fits with observed fact. Newtonian mechanics works fine until the speeds get close to the speed of light and then relativity provides a better model etc.
     
  5. Beobloke

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    Isn't M-Theory what led Mission to develop the M-Cubes? :D
     
  6. squirrely

    squirrely
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    First read this in school about 20 years ago aged about 14, good for a basic understanding of SAP.:smashin:
     
  7. Mr Cat

    Mr Cat
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    yeah, and that was done by M-people... :D
     
  8. eviljohn2

    eviljohn2
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    Mathematical descriptions is a better way of explaining most of these things.

    Newtonian Mechanics is an approximation at very low velocities.
    Special relativity describes non-accelerating objects and is a bit odd.
    General relativity describes accelerating objects and is a nightmare to understand.

    Superstring theory, M-theory and so on are all part of the search for GUTs -- Grand Unification Theories which tie everything together. You mustn't overlook the many other profound mathematical relationships; the Boltzmann equation S = K ln(w) relates the macroscopic world to the quantum world and is amazing.

    Not that I'd know about these things. :)
     
  9. HMHB

    HMHB
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    I just don't trust the Cosmologists, they are always looking for fudge-factors to keep their theories working. Now it's all parallel Universes that have totally different laws of physics that explain gaps in their theories !
    Right here is my theory that nobody can prove (or not) !!
    I don't think the Universe is as big as they say it is. I think that all the distant stars and planets they keep finding are actually the same planets repeated over and over again. The light they emitted from billions of years ago just keeps circling around and we are seeing the same thing through different ages. Now give me lots of money please :)
     
  10. eviljohn2

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    That's quite a bold statement John! Have you considered that they're looking to make their theories workable rather than just wasting their time? Don't forget that these Cosmologists are amongst the most intelligent people on the planet.

    I would also thoroughly recommend reading In Search of Schrödinger's Cat as linked to above. It covers the elementary material in an interesting but accurate way although it does get fairly heavy going even for a physicist in places but that has more to do with the actual subject matter. :)
     
  11. HMHB

    HMHB
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    But we've only got their word for that, as nobody else knows what the hell they are talking about :D
    Frankly, I don't believe that we can condense the whole of the universe into a neat little formula.
     
  12. eviljohn2

    eviljohn2
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    I have a vague idea and have met quite a few of them. :D

    It certainly wouldn't be a neat little formula if we could but we wouldn't have advanced at all without the quest for knowledge. There are many who are still searching for a magnetic monopole to fulfil Maxwells Equations for example. Also don't forget that it was studying these thoughts which led Einstein to his results along with the likes of Schrödinger, Boltmann and so on. Without their past input there would be no nuclear power, no nanotechnology, semiconductor lasers (like those in your CD players) just for starters. The search for GUTs has already led science down many exciting and interesting paths which have had a marked effect on our everyday lives. :)
     
  13. HMHB

    HMHB
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    I just can't wait for my DVD player from the 11th Dimension ;)
     
  14. eviljohn2

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    That reminds of Zool - Ninja from the Nth dimension :laugh:
     
  15. HMHB

    HMHB
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    So who can disprove my theory about the Universe then ?
    PS please excuse me I've got my argumentative head on tonight...... are you staring at my pint...... did you spill my bird ;)
     
  16. pringtef

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    I think the universe is a social construct of EU politicians, in an attempt to divert our growing dislike of the French.
     

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