String Theory Not Even Wrong

Here is a review of Peter Woit's new book critiquing string theory. The basic argument is that string theory has very little connestion with the real world and is extremely difficult to test. Physicists have started to take this critique seriously. This article describes some of the possible tests. 

String theory is fascinating and is well worth exploring. The problem that I have is balance. It clearly will take a long time to translate string theory into solid testable predictions, if ever. Woit complains that too many theorists are now pursing string theory. If all particle physics theorists pursue strings then who will be interpreting the data from the LHC? What if there is an alternative theory than can make predictions at lower energies.

A variety of influential scientists agree with Woit's view. From the review

Yet he has formidable allies such as David Gross (the Nobel Llaureate theoretical physicist), Roger Penrose (the world-class mathematician) and Lee Smolin (the leading cosmologist), plus an accumulating constituency of other big-name supporters.

I hope that excesses can be reined in without completely wiping out the effort.

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9 Responses to “String Theory Not Even Wrong”

  1. Hi Mike,

    the Discovery article you quote, written by Michio Kaku, is quite good. Thanks! But I think its main virtue is in showing the importance of incisive experiments, and several examples are very well described. The main question, whether string theory can make testable predictions, remains unanswered. As amazing as some of the ideas seem, they are only ideas, and quoting Einstein will not make them correspond to reality.

  2. Dear Sir,
    I have now solved the pioneer anomaly and also other 5 cosmological blunders of the last 85 years, see the summary page 8, new Newton law page 1, http://www.gravitomagnetism.com
    Regards
    Joseph Nduriri ++33(0)6-31-13-61-55

  3. Pentcho Valev Says:

    THE ASSUMPTION THAT DESTROYED PHYSICS

    In “Beyond String Theory” in his book “The Trouble With Physics: The Rise of String Thory, the Fall of a Science, And What Comes Next” Lee Smolin asks:

    “. . . I believe there is something basic we are all missing, some wrong assumption we are all making. If this is so, then we need to isolate the wrong assumption and replace it with a new idea. What could this wrong assumption be?”

    The answer:

    http://www.fourmilab.ch/etexts/einstein/specrel/www/ :
    “…light is always propagated in empty space with a definite velocity c which is independent of the state of motion of the emitting body.”

    See also:

    http://www.ekkehard-friebe.de/wallace.htm
    “Shatter this postulate [of constancy of the speed of light], and modern physics becomes an elaborate farce!”
    Einstein: “If the speed of light is the least bit affected by the speed of the light source, then my whole theory of relativity and theory of gravity is false.”
    Einstein: “I consider it quite possible that physics cannot be based on the field concept,i.e., on continuous structures. In that case, nothing remains of my entire castle in the air, gravitation theory included, [and of] the rest of modern physics.”

    See also the discussion in

    http://blogs.nature.com/news/blog/2006/02/testing_times_for_einsteins_th.html

    Pentcho Valev
    pvalev@yahoo.com

  4. Pentcho Valev Says:

    THE ULTIMATE TROUBLE WITH PHYSICS

    Concerning the importance of his second postulate Einstein was quite clear:

    “If the speed of light is the least bit affected by the speed of the light source, then my whole theory of relativity and theory of gravity is false.”

    It seems there can be no further ambiguity: shatter this postulate and Einstein’s world becomes Newton’s world again. Not if Newton’s world has been converted into Einstein’s ZOMBIE world – the vitality of this malformation is independent of Einstein’s second postulate:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Variable_speed_of_light
    http://www.worldscibooks.com/physics/4114.html
    http://www.courses.fas.harvard.edu/~phys16/Textbook/ch10.pdf p.35 (“Relativity without c”)

    Pentcho Valev
    pvalev@yahoo.com

  5. By using the light dynamics, the radiation pressure for any reflective surface can be derived. By using the same approach the light rocket engine thrust equation can be derived.
    See light dynamics.PDF http://www.gravitomagnetism.com

  6. I have now defined the gravitational radiation of masse particles. see new Newton law page 5. http://www.gravitomagnetism.com

  7. Thanks for your comments. In a two-body problem system, the angular momentum is not constant as stated by the Newton law. The rate of change of momentum (torque) is alternating but due to gravitational waves radiation energy loss, the torque is not symetrical with respect to the perihelion and aphelion line of axis. This explains the mercury perihelion advance. For more details see topic gravitational waves radiation.PDF in http://www.gravitomagnetism.com

  8. Pentcho Valev Says:

    HYPOCRISY OR WHY THEORETICAL SCIENCE DIED

    http://www.nyas.org/publications/UpdateUnbound.asp?UpdateID=41
    “A Crisis in Fundamental Physics…Then, about 30 years ago, something changed. The last time there was a definitive advance in our knowledge of fundamental physics was the construction ofthe theory we call the standard model of particle physics in 1973. The last time a fundamental theory was proposed that has since gotten any support from experiment was a theory about the very early universe called inflation, which was proposed in 1981.”

    http://www.logosjournal.com/issue_4.3/smolin.htm
    “Quantum theory was not the only theory that bothered Einstein. Few people have appreciated how dissatisfied he was with his own theories of relativity. Special relativity grew out of Einstein’s insight that the laws of electromagnetism cannot depend on relative motion and that the speed of light therefore must be always the same, no matter how the source or the observer moves. Among the consequences of that theory are that energy and mass are equivalent (the now-legendary relationship E = mc2) and that time and distance are relative, not absolute. Special relativity was the result of 10 years of intellectual struggle, yet Einstein had convinced himself it was wrong within two years of publishing it.”

    Has the author of the two texts (Lee Smolin) ever seen the close relation between them? Surely he has.

    Pentcho Valev
    pvalev@yahoo.com

  9. By using relativity, gravity waves have quantitatively been determined during the solar eclipse. The gravity waves are induce at a supersonic speed (1000m/s), they induce gravitomotive force g.m.f. in gases and liquids, thereby creating masse currents which is converted into sound waves; they also induce electromotive force e.m.f. in electric conductors, plasma, ionosphere and metals thereby creating electric currents.
    Since the quasi stationary orthodox gravity shield theories do not offer a global and coherent explanation concerning gravity perturbations, can there be a physical science work of more importance than obtaining an understanding of these perturbations and seeking interaction with the remote forces of gravity?
    The facts are there, the facts remain the keystone in which the stability of a theory must be tested.
    See http://www.gravitomagnetism.com
    Joseph Nduriri, Paris, FRANCE

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