Cool article about a physicist whose theories are about to be tested at CERN.
Thanks Bruce…great article!
Just read that. I see in the comments section someone posted their concern about the LHC making potential mini-BH’s. lol It should be pointed out that if string theory is correct, we’ll never have any way to know it is. We will just have to assume it is as if we can discover anything that can let us detect it directly, the theory will no longer be able to be describing the building blocks of the universe. It’s an interesting problem with string theory and science in general. At some point you WILL have to rely entirely on the mathematical illustrations of what you consider to be the smallest elements of the universe.
I kinda wish the other string theorists would get more props for the CERN experiments though. Nima is cool, but the two guys who stand out to me the most are Ed Whitten and Leo Suskind. Whitten really is the guy who put all the peices of string theory together in a radical way and united the 5 competing versions of the theory into the one we talk about today.
We will just have to assume it is as if we can discover anything that can let us detect it directly, the theory will no longer be able to be describing the building blocks of the universe.
Well, you wouldn’t necessarily need to see the energy strings to prove string theory with relative accuracy though. If substantial ammounts of string theory predictions and requirements were detected it could potentially be enough.
Detecting super symmetry or gravitons disappearing for instance would be quite powerful examples.
But I remain skeptical of string theory until there is anything but numbers suggesting it, we will see if there will ever be more than that.
Unbeliever, that’s what they said about the Bohr model of the atom too. Reality doesn’t always turn out that way. I’ll be impressed if we can see string theory make reliable predictions. We won’t ever observe the strings directly. The problem with super symmetry and gravitons are they aren’t exclusive predictions of string theory. Finding those doesn’t necessarily validate string theory to stand on its own.
Nima has vid about morality in physics (The Morality of Fundamental Physics), I don’t agree with many of his points, but it is interesting: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OzATDiLFH8Q
How about a Nima / Sam debate?
Also fascinating by Nima is his work on the Amplituheron—most of which is completely over my head, but I capitalize the name in case in turns out that we’re supposed to worship it! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WGNZEZcO3bo