måndag 14 september 2009

Strings and String Wars

Not Even Wrong Peter Voit gives his view of the current status of string theory in a conversation about Philosophy and String Wars with philosopher Craig Callender:  
  • the basic equations of string theory are not known
  • and besides are so incredibly complicated that nobody can understand them even if they were known 
  • no predictions come out from the unknown equations
  • progression has stopped
  • physics departments have stopped hiring string theorists
  • last hope is that LHC will give new input but LHC does not work...

As concerns the role of mathematics in string theory Voit informs us: 
  • the mathematics is so sophisticated that only Witten can understand
  • but the problem is not so much sophisticated mathematics that nobody understands
  • it is that the physical idea of vibrating strings in 10 dimensions does not seem to work out
  • physics departments now are saturated with sophisticated math and look for physics instead and string theory moves to math departments. 
There is lot in this discussion connecting to my previous posts on physics such as Illusions of Theories of Everything and Is Crazy-Physics = Pseudo-Science?

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