At the heart of matter... is glue, or rather gluons binding the quarks that make up protons and neutrons which make up all physical matter. The glue of the gluons is called the strong nuclear force, one of the four fundamental forces of the universe and the strongest of them all. The weakest is the force of gravitation, which is a great glue that connects and binds all the physical objects of the universe, orchestrating the grand symphony of the galaxies. Glue is everywhere, without glue we are nowhere. Glue is that substance which keeps things from falling apart, and as such becomes the ultimate metaphor for God, that supreme force which ever upholds the integrity of existence.

This blog is a little homage to the God of glue, who is simply a metaphor for the endless creativity of our wonderful, adhesive and cohesive universe, which is simply a manifestation of the infinite wisdom of the Godhead, which is simply the head of God's being — this being being none other than this infinitely wonderful universe, which nonetheless could simply be a dream in the mind of God! A slightly sticky situation there! Got glue?


The Hottest Thing in Theoretical Physics

 

 

The Unraveling of String Theory

Michael D. Lemonick—

August 2006—

(Time Magazine)

 

 

Everyone knows that string theory is the hottest thing in theoretical physics. But string theory hasn't been embraced by everyone.

 

 

Physicists Peter Woit in Not Even Wrong and Lee Smolin in The Trouble with Physics both argue that string theory is largely a fad propped up by practitioners who tend to be arrogantly dismissive of anyone who dare suggest that the emperor has no clothes.

 

 

 

The two most important ideas of 20th century physics, relativity and quantum theory, were known to be fundamentally incompatible.

 

 

 

 

Quantum theory describes the universe as intrinsically discontinuous: energy, for example, can come in bits just so small, but no smaller. Relativity treats time and space and gravity as a smooth, unbroken continuum.    

 

 

 

 

The solution: to think of the basic units of matter and energy not as particles but as minuscule, vibrating loops and snippets of stuff resembling string, which turn out to exist not just in our familiar four dimensions of space and time but in 10 or more dimensions.

 

 

 

 

This bizarre-seeming scheme appeared on first blush to explain why particles have the characteristics they do. It also included a quantum version of gravity and thus of relativity.

 

 

 

 

But: superstrings have proved a lot more complex than anyone expected. The mathematics is excruciatingly tough, and when problems arise, the solutions often introduce yet another layer of complexity.

 

 

 

 

The new, improved theory posits a nearly infinite number of different possible universes, with no way of showing that ours is more likely than any of the others.     

 

 

 

 

 

The string theory’s idea of infinite universes is currently in vogue among some astronomers as well.

 

 

 

 

 

String theorists seem ready to abandon the essential definition of science. Is string theory too important to be hampered by old-fashioned notions of experimental proof?

 

 

 

In science, slow accretion of data and evidence eventually eliminates reasonable doubt, but not so with strings.

 

 

 

Nobody has any good idea of how to test string theory. Woit says, 'proposing speculative ideas is fine, but if they can't be tested, they're not science'.       

 

 

 

 

1 comment:

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