June 28, 2006

Not Even Wrong?

Science In Crisis: Not Even Wrong

This is an interesting take on a "scientifically incorrect" jeremiad: that string theory/s are not really the it thing. (Well, have they produced testable predictions yet? Or rather, successfully tested predictions? Actually, the millimeter dimension theories did, but we didn't find the sub-mm deviations from Newton's 1/r^2.) Check out the post, and the book it's about (Peter Woit's new book, Not Even Wrong: The Failure of String Theory and the Continuing Challenge to Unify the Laws of Physics...) when it becomes generally available in a few months. While you're here, check out my synopsis of how I showed that space must have three large dimensions without needing string theory etc. - just self-consistency for extrapolated electromagnetism.

- NB

5 Comments:

Blogger island said...

Unfortunately, the debate has caused LQG theorists to "generally" bash the anthropic principle, rather than the stringers "multiversal abuse" of it.

I've said a lot about the neglected facets of the AP, and the distinction that should be made on Peter's blog.

This has zero effect on them.

24/7/06 15:01  
Blogger Southern Beale said...

I don't understand a damn thing in your post but I like it.

:-)

15/6/07 16:53  
Blogger Southern Beale said...

Hey -- thanks for visiting me, Neil. I'd love to hear your thoughts on the science of altruism and, philosophically speaking, if there ever really is true altruism since the giver always receives something for their efforts, be it a warm fuzzy feeling or the betterment of the community.

(Sorry if that's a little garbled, I haven't had my full quotient of coffee yet.)

23/6/07 07:54  
Blogger nige said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

1/7/07 18:12  
Blogger nige said...

Drop the question mark, please! String is not even wrong, full stop. It has to compactify 6 dimensions as a Calabi-Yau manifold with 100 or so parameters, all unknown because it's too small to ever see it. So there are 10^500 or more combinations of parameters you need.

The Standard Model has 19 parameters, mainly Higgs field couplings for masses.

String theory has at least 125 parameters, giving a landscape of 10^500 possibilities.

The number of atoms in the observable universe is about 10^80. So string theory has 10^420 times more versions than there are atoms in the universe.

The age of the universe is 13.7 thousand million years or 4.32*10^17 seconds old.

So if a super-computer had been evaluating string theory since the instant of the big bang, it would need to have been working through about 10^483 models per second in order to check the consequences of the whole string theory landscape.

Furthermore, string theory is dependent on the unobserved speculations it is built on.

For supersymmetry, in the book Not Even Wrong (UK edition), Dr Woit explains on page 177 that - using the measured weak and electromagnetic forces - supersymmetry predicts the strong force incorrectly high by 10-15%, when the experimental data is accurate to a standard deviation of about 3%.

How can anyone take string seriously?

1/7/07 18:13  

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