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A question about String Theory (a daughter's question to her aging dad...lol)

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posted on Mar, 31 2010 @ 12:06 AM
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My daughter is starting to learn a little about string theory in her honors physics class in school. The are touching on the multiple different theories that have been floated since Hawking's Brief history of time. I have a minimal knowledge of ST as in a 35 y/o's recollection of what he learned when he was 22...lol. In short she asked a question that I honestly can't answer but told her I would find it for her as she is writing synopsis of the theory for her class. I tried Google and only found some very "New Age" postings about vibrations and how to alter your inner energy. Question: Since according to ST, subatomic particles are strings that vibrate at different frequencies, would it be theoretically possible to alter the frequency of a string to alter what particle it is? ( This question is from a 15 y/o girl, to a very proud father who is happy to say she has me stumped
) Any takers?

[edit on 31-3-2010 by djvexd]




posted on Mar, 31 2010 @ 12:18 AM
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Well, unless I am totally mistaken, the differing frequencies that the strings vibrate at decide what type of matter it is.

So yes, if by some crazy way, you were able to alter the frequencies of the strings at a sub-quantum (super super super small) level, you could technically alter matter.

Pretty mind blowing when you think about it.



posted on Mar, 31 2010 @ 12:23 AM
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I believe so; if string theory gets confirmed and all that, this is going to be the new alchemy. On the other hand, I don't think anyone's suggested any sort of plausible way to change the vibrations of the Strings; we can't even do that much to subatomic particles most of the time, much less their string-bases!



posted on Mar, 31 2010 @ 12:26 AM
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Maybe this is why the role of the "observer" in quantum physics is so important.

If there is an observer it eliminates the possibility of the frequency to be manipulated.

Just thinking out loud, maybe someone can expand on this idea.



posted on Mar, 31 2010 @ 01:31 AM
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Originally posted by careface
Well, unless I am totally mistaken, the differing frequencies that the strings vibrate at decide what type of matter it is.

So yes, if by some crazy way, you were able to alter the frequencies of the strings at a sub-quantum (super super super small) level, you could technically alter matter.

Pretty mind blowing when you think about it.


This would've been my answer. 'Elegant Universe' is a nice book to read through for the topic.



posted on Mar, 31 2010 @ 01:37 AM
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reply to post by djvexd
 


I'm pretty sure they do it in colliders all the time. When they smack a proton into another at high speed, not only are it's constituents released but some sub-atomic particles are created from others in the very high energy collisions.

I'm sure I will be corrected if I'm wrong....



posted on Mar, 31 2010 @ 03:17 AM
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Originally posted by djvexd
My daughter is starting to learn a little about string theory in her honors physics class in school.


If she was my daughter, here's what I'd be teaching her about string theory:

Pressure Mounts to Tie String Theory to the Real World


Well, perhaps string theorists should be tied to the real world before string theory can be tied to it.

If string theorists had ever had a real job where they had to get actual results by some hard deadline, then they would realize that they are off on a wild goose chase. You wouldn’t get away with this wandering in the wilderness for nearly 40 years in any other kind of job.


Will string theory ever be proven wrong???


Just to point up the contrast with how it's been in the past, in 1915 Einstein proposed the theory of General Relativity which predicted that light passing close to the sun would be bent by a certain angle. This was promptly tested (by Eddington in 1919)

If a substantially different bending angle had been observed in 1919 it would have shot down the whole GR theory.

20th Century physics has plenty of examples of observation advancing hand-in-hand with theory----or you might say killing off some theories and guiding the development of others. For this traditional type of scientific progress to work, theories must make firm predictions and the theorists must be willing to discard those which cannot be tested or which are tested and proven false. For a scientific theory to have meaning it must be falsifiable---must be subject to empirical disproof. That's the rule Western Science is played---you must know this as well or better than the rest of us.

If a theory is so amorphous or multiformed that it can adjust to any and all future empirical results, then ultimately it is not a part of predictive science but belongs to some other field of endeavor----fantasy, art, entertainment, philosophy, religion, metaphysics, intellectual recreation, pure mathematics, scholasticism, whatever.

Lets hope that the string folk come up with some "make or break" predictions soon and that these can be tested in a timely manner!


If you try to tie string theorists down on what predictions their theory makes, like Einstein's eclipse predictions for example, they are hard to pin down on any predictions and give answers like this:


What I was thinking mainly was the ongoing attempts to find theories that predict a believable low energy particle picture. Only some SST theories will wind up being able to do this. The trouble is there might be a google of them, but that's a bridge to be crossed when we really get to it, not a club to be waved at SST in our present state of ignorance.


My research into string theory has found little that can be proven or falsified in the real world, so I think you can make up just about any BS answer for your daughter and as of now nobody can prove you right and nobody can prove you wrong with any experiments in the real world. If you're not happy with just 11 dimensions, why not just add a few more, like say, 15 dimensions? Who can prove you wrong?

Until they at least come up with some concrete falsifiable predictions like Einstein did, I don't think the field even qualifies as science, and I'm not the only one:

String Theory-Problems and Controversy


"For more than a generation, physicists have been chasing a will-o’-the-wisp called string theory. The beginning of this chase marked the end of what had been three-quarters of a century of progress. Dozens of string-theory conferences have been held, hundreds of new Ph.D.s have been minted, and thousands of papers have been written. Yet, for all this activity, not a single new testable prediction has been made, not a single theoretical puzzle has been solved. In fact, there is no theory so far—just a set of hunches and calculations suggesting that a theory might exist. And, even if it does, this theory will come in such a bewildering number of versions that it will be of no practical use: a Theory of Nothing." -- Jim Holt.


I'm really not seeing much reason to elevate string theory much above the new age BS you found in your search. With no more proof for string theory than the new agey stuff you found, why isn't string theory just as much metaphysics as the new age "vibrate your inner strings"?

And I have the highest respect for other scientific endeavors based in the real world, I'm not here to badmouth science, quite the contrary, I'm here to preserve the integrity of real science by exposing string theory for the near "pseudoscience" it is.

And if you don't want to take my word for it, here's a string theory expert telling you like it is:



54:20

What is string theory? Well, we don't actually know the answer.


Then he tries to explain it but if that doesn't set your BS detector off, nothing will. And after trying to explain what we think it MIGHT be for the better part of an hour, he re-emphasizes we still don't know what it is with this slide:

1:38:10


[edit on 31-3-2010 by Arbitrageur]



posted on Mar, 31 2010 @ 01:01 PM
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reply to post by Arbitrageur
 


First off thank you for everyone's reply. And Arbitrageur she is slated to read and watch this reply this evening. Thank you for the links and vids. I gave her my Hawking's BHOT and a couple Kyp Thorne books. She seems really into this and I can only hope she picks up where I left off and wandered into chemical stupidity ( was a member of Mensa from 12-20). It's cool because I am learning right along with her. I really do appreciate all of your guy's/gal's help. Thank you.



posted on Mar, 31 2010 @ 01:25 PM
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Originally posted by djvexd
reply to post by Arbitrageur
 


First off thank you for everyone's reply. And Arbitrageur she is slated to read and watch this reply this evening. Thank you for the links and vids. I gave her my Hawking's BHOT and a couple Kyp Thorne books. She seems really into this and I can only hope she picks up where I left off and wandered into chemical stupidity ( was a member of Mensa from 12-20). It's cool because I am learning right along with her. I really do appreciate all of your guy's/gal's help. Thank you.


Good luck. I watched the entire David Gross video, but the first 50 minutes or so covers a lot of things other than and perhaps leading up to string theory. So if you don't want to watch the whole thing and just focus on the string theory part, I'd queue it up to about the 52 minute mark and watch it from there, it's probably one of the better presentations of string theory which someone who's not an expert in the field might be able to follow.

Have fun!

[edit on 31-3-2010 by Arbitrageur]



posted on Apr, 3 2010 @ 02:16 PM
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Anti-'science' rant follows. Read at own risks.

Science tries to tell us what our reality is, not what our reality could be.

When scientists predict what reality will or will not be they are acting as psychics & not scientists. They get ahead of themselves with arrogance or timid out of ego fears.

Science is based on the PRESUMPTION that things are coherent & discoverably consistent.

Which is an inherent bias.

What they forget is they may be working with is the domain between blackswan events.
It could be that everything is blackswan & we simply categorize some magnitude of blackswan eventary as 'insignifcant until we get blown out of the water, . . . again.

We are absolutely certain, until we aren't.

Without the relevant caveats science is less than it proclaims itself to be.

In some sense they are attempting to create the non-religion religion.

One must give them credit for attempting to create an alternative to religion, but if it attempts to replace religion it simply becomes one.

Real science is always a data collection.
Any curve that fits all the points is equally valid.
We must also be open to the notion that it is all discontinuities which is empirically what we have in the data.

Scientists gathered around a hadron collider expecting to make physics discoveries [upon which their careers may also depend] gets uncomfortably similar looking to ghost hunters gathering around a known specter local.

How much are the expectations leading the perceptions, especially when it becomes highly dependent on unique & fragile instruments & millions of lines of interpreting software code? Uncomfortably like alchemy 'experiments'.

I realize that it is applicable Universality [such as in other labs or perhaps more significantly in our everyday experience] that we tend to [should?] favor & follow.

Actually when a group of people unexpectedly & simultaneously see an apparition or UFO it may actually be more empirically scientific observation, because no anticipatory preparation was entailed.

Smugness is inherently unscientific.

When science throws away confirmed data because it doesn't fit their world explanation it is religion & not science.
Science must include all data.

Do too many scientists [people?] have a need/addiction to certainty?

I must admit my own bias too. My discomfort with terminal certainties, that seem to reduce the scope & magnitude of our imaginations, which have been of tremendous value to us & one speculates may be into the presumed future.
Self agrandized science is such a binary, reductive flattener & discreditor of both our imaginations & personal ACTUAL experience. Thank goodness for all the hard headed imaginative resisters of the naysayers of science & religion.



posted on Apr, 3 2010 @ 03:23 PM
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Originally posted by djvexd
My daughter is starting to learn a little about string theory in her honors physics class in school. The are touching on the multiple different theories that have been floated since Hawking's Brief history of time. I have a minimal knowledge of ST as in a 35 y/o's recollection of what he learned when he was 22...lol. In short she asked a question that I honestly can't answer but told her I would find it for her as she is writing synopsis of the theory for her class. I tried Google and only found some very "New Age" postings about vibrations and how to alter your inner energy. Question: Since according to ST, subatomic particles are strings that vibrate at different frequencies, would it be theoretically possible to alter the frequency of a string to alter what particle it is? ( This question is from a 15 y/o girl, to a very proud father who is happy to say she has me stumped
) Any takers?

[edit on 31-3-2010 by djvexd]


To be honest, I don't think it is even theoretical at the moment.

Also, are we talking electrons, protons, neutrons etc or are you asking about elements? He, H, O etc?

If we're talking about elements then I don't think it's theoretical yet, more fringe I think. (It would be great to be corrected here btw!)

But personally yes, I think it is possible. It's all about the energy within the system. The more energy, the more complex the element.

Allow me to explain a little of where I'm coming from here. Rather than the standard model of an element where we have Electrons orbiting the nuclei, I believe that it's more of an electron field. Rather than the one Electron, it is a probability field, what we describe as the amount of Electrons in the shell, is just a higher frequency of Electrons blinking into existence, the more energy there is the more the Electrons are forced to show themselves.

So again, possibly. IF we could somehow alter the energy within the system, then we could increase the frequency of the Electron field and alter the state of the element.

IMO the key is Cymatics.

If your talking about Protons to Neutrons then I'm not too sure. The difference between these particles is the amount and state of their gluons.

hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu...

Hope this helps, I'll have a root for more 'official' sources that can be cited for the paper but as I said, I'm sure it's more a fringe idea.

EMM



posted on Apr, 3 2010 @ 03:54 PM
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I think ST can, maybe, be true.

Elements are atomic particles, atomic particles are quarks, quarks are unknown but in the end... it must be energy. There aren't different "energies" so something must be what makes the difference, maybe the vibrations. (What else?)

In that case, let's study possible scenarios adding more energy:

1- Appliqueing the proper resonance frequency, with very low variations each time, maybe you could transform one particle in another

2- Appliqueing raw energy, maybe there is a correlation between energy/vibration, or maybe it makes the string goes crazy and get broke.

But it would be SO difficult. Atomic particles needs specifics quarks set-up's to be functional, not every quark combination is stable. The alchemy trick would be easier adding protons/neutrons/electrons.

Good luck, and keep feeding your daughter curiosity



____

Excuse my spelling/grammar



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