Tag Archives | String Theory

Dreams of the Universe: Is Particle Physics Unscientific?

From string theory to the multiverse, the theories of modern physics look increasingly exotic and untestable. But while they may be good for selling books, are they bad science? Do we need a return to empirical experiment, or should imagination be allowed its playground?

The Panel
Cambridge string theorist David Tong, experimental physicist Tara Shears, and author of The End of Science John Horgan seek the place where facts and fantasy collide.

This lecture was submitted via the Disinfo contact page.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

New Compelling Evidence Suggesting The Universe Is A Hologram

hologramIn existential news, Tupac isn’t the only one who may merely be a flat holographic projection. Via Nature:

A team of physicists has provided some of the clearest evidence yet that our Universe could be just one big projection.

In 1997, theoretical physicist Juan Maldacena proposed an audacious model of the Universe in which gravity arises from infinitesimally thin, vibrating strings. The mathematically intricate world of strings, which exist in nine dimensions of space plus one of time, would be merely a hologram: the real action would play out in a simpler, flatter, single dimensional cosmos where there is no gravity.

Maldacena’s idea thrilled physicists because it solved apparent inconsistencies between quantum physics and Einstein’s theory of gravity.

In two papers posted on the arXiv repository, Yoshifumi Hyakutake of Ibaraki University in Japan and his colleagues now provide, if not an actual proof, at least compelling evidence that Maldacena’s conjecture is true.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

A Brief Guide to 3rd, 4th, and 5th Dimensional Time-Space Perception

kingofwitchesservitorAs a student of psychology in my youth, one of the things that fascinated me most was how in other “hard science” disciplines you could come up with incredibly freaky theories about shit like dark matter and quantum physics, then actually talk about them publicly without being laughed at. I suppose this is because of math, but if you break any of the aforementioned theories down too far, you’re basically dealing with the idea that humans can barely perceive the vast majority of what’s going on in the universe. Yet, say the same thing in regards to consciousness and it’s simply not tolerated. Goes against everything we believe in.

What I find most hilarious about say, people getting super excited about things like string theory, is it doesn’t stand up to even the most basic of exploratory questioning. Really, so there are 11 dimensions? Just 11. What’s it like in those?… Read the rest

Continue Reading

Physicist Discovers Computer Code Embedded Within the Equations of String Theory

In an interview with Neil deGrasse Tyson, physicist James Gates describes a digitally-encoded error checking algorithm embedded within the fundamental equations of String Theory:

Gates’s ideas are laid out in more depth in a 2010 article for Physics World. He believes that these theoretical findings, if validated, may be evidence that we live in a simulation. However, if there are algorithms encoded in the fabric of reality, is it not also possible that they might have emerged as a result of some natural selective process–a kind of cosmic DNA, if you will?

Read the rest

Continue Reading

Is Bigfoot in the Process of Becoming Real?

Picture: Patterson-Gimlin photo (C)

Bigfoot research reminds me of string theory. Like string theory, Bigfoot research is all based on inferences drawn from a pretty small data set, and as we observe these inferences, the creature seems to takes on a life of its own.

In many ways, string theory resembles a very esoteric form of philosophy rather than objective empirical science, but it may help make sense of the world. There is an aspect of it that is very creative. In a particular line of thinking, studying string theory is like creating reality. According to the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum physics, without a mind to observe it, “reality” remains in the realm of possibility as quantum superposition, collapsing into the real by the act of measuring.

Like the wise sage Mitch Hedberg once said “I think Bigfoot is blurry. That’s the problem“, but Bigfoot seems to become more real all the time as our minds have a chance to get our heads around him.… Read the rest

Continue Reading

String Theory and Black Holes Show Possible Path to Practical Superconductors

The unit cell of high-temperature cuprate superconductor BSCCO-2212

The unit cell of high-temperature cuprate superconductor BSCCO-2212

Alasdair Wilkins writes on io9.com:

A leading candidate for room temperature superconductors is the copper compound cuprate, but no one knew how cuprates facilitated superconductivity … until some brave souls looked inside a black hole and broke out the string theory to explain how they work.

Superconductors that can transmit massive amounts of electricity with zero resistance at room temperature are pretty much the holy grail of applied physics (with good reason), but we’re still a long way away from actually building one.

Indeed, even figuring out the theoretical underpinnings of a room temperature superconductor has proven tremendously difficult, although a team of MIT physicists may have found an unlikely — and brilliant — way to learn more about how they would work. But first, a little backstory.

Currently, there are two types of superconductors. One group is the low temperature superconductors, which can only work at temperatures near absolute zero and thus require gigantically impractical amounts of coolants.

Read the rest
Continue Reading