String Theory

Category archives for String Theory

It’s summed up nicely by the discussion at Cosmic Variance, and spelled out explicitly in comment #125 by Marty Tysanner: Sean coaxingly requested, Come on, string theorists! Make some effort to explain to everyone why this set of lofty speculations is as promising as you know it to be. It won’t hurt too much, really.…

On the Superiority of String Theory

As we look at science in general, and physics in particular, a clear pattern emerges: the scientific endeavours most worthy of praise and acclaim are the most abstract and mathematical sciences. Physics is of greater worth than biology, theoretical physics is more worthy than experimental physics, and high-energy particle theory is the most fundamental and…

Inscrutable Science Update

It’s a good day for people posting about science I don’t understand… Peter Woit points to the Non-Commutative Geometry blog, at which Alain Connes, the godfather of non-commutative geometry, is posting. It’s not the most polished blog, but if you can understand what they’re talking about, it’s probably interesting. Scott Aaronson is excited about new…

Two Minutes of String Theory

Discover magazine has announced a contest: Your goal is to create a video that quickly and clearly explains perhaps the most baffling idea in the history of the world: string theory. And the best part is that you have just two minutes. You’ll be happy to know that Peter Woit has already bowed out (suggested…

Extra Dimensions Get Smaller

One of my favorite experiments in physics has released a new set of results in Physical Review Letters, putting experimental limits on the size of any extra dimensions of the sort predicted by string theory: We conducted three torsion-balance experiments to test the gravitational inverse-square law at separations between 9.53 mm and 55 µm, probing…

Theorist for Sale or Rent

Scott Aaronson is offering his services to the highest bidder in the String Wars. His prices may be a little steep– a well organized review article will set you back $2 million, though a sloppy and poorly sourced one is probably cheaper– but really, isn’t it worth it to have the second funniest physics blogger…

Broken Things

I would post some sort of wrap-up about the Lisa Randall chat yesterday, but Discover is broken. They don’t have a link to a transcript on the site– in fact, they haven’t updated the front page to reflect the fact that the chat was yesterday, and is now over. There was a link that would…

Extra Dimensions in Web Chat

Discover magazine is hosting a live web chat with Lisa Randall this afternoon at 2 pm. Randall is famous for developing some ideas relating to the physics of extra dimensions, and has recently published a popular book (Warped Passages) on the subject. This is supposed to be a one-hour live chat, with questions taken from…

I’m pretty thoroughly disgusted with the string theory arguments at the moment, so I told myself I wasn’t going to say more about the subject. And then, they post a detailed explanation of what strings have to do with RHIC over at Backreaction…. Given my preference for layman-level science blogging over dense technical science blogging,…

Lee Smolin, The Trouble With Physics

Lee Smolin’s The Trouble With Physics is probably the hot physics book of the year. Granted, that’s not saying very much, relative to whatever Oprah’s reading this week, but it’s led to no end of discussion among physics types. And also, frequently, the spectacle of people with Ph.D.’s squabbling like children, so reviewing it is…