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emarkay
February 5th, 2007, 04:57 PM
Aw, sheesh, Buckaroo Banzai did this in the 80's, like, fer sure!

http://spaceflightnow.com/news/n0702/04dimensions/

Here's proof. :)
(Image courtesy of the www.banzai-institute.com/)

BarfBag
February 5th, 2007, 05:15 PM

patrick295767
February 5th, 2007, 07:44 PM
Aw, sheesh, Buckaroo Banzai did this in the 80's, like, fer sure!

http://spaceflightnow.com/news/n0702/04dimensions/

Here's proof. :)
(Image courtesy of the www.banzai-institute.com/)

Cool ! Thanks for the post.

BigDave708
February 5th, 2007, 08:06 PM
Here's a rough attempt to explain this. It's nowhere near complete, and I'm going to miss out quite a bit of stuff around the edges, but it should allow you to picture it.

The universe that we live in is composed of four main dimensions - the three dimensions of space and one extra dimension of time. This model is called Minkowski spacetime (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minkowski_spacetime).

With extra research in theoretical physics, scientists have theorised that there may have been extra dimensions created during the big bang. A theory called string theory has proposed through mathematical means that there may be an extra six dimensions in the universe. The latest methods that the news article discusses is essentially a way for us to "see" these extra dimensions.

That's only a very brief summation -- there's lots of reading to be done on spacetime and string theory. I hope you understood some of it! :)

sanderella
February 5th, 2007, 09:46 PM
To add to the previous post, astrophycisists reckon that when the universe began there were at least ten dimensions.

The universe begins as an infinitesimally small ten-dimensional entity that expands. When it reaches a certain size, it splits into two parts, a six-dimensional part and a four-dimensional part. The six-dimensional part stops growing. The four dimensional part (the current universe) continues to expand.

This extract is from http://www.reasons.org/resources/faf/95q4faf/95q4dmsn.shtml

Engnome
February 5th, 2007, 10:20 PM
This site has a nice flash that shows how extra dimensions can be stacked on upon another.

www.tenthdimension.com (click "Imagining the ten dimensions")

NoWhereMan
February 5th, 2007, 10:30 PM
this doesn't sound really revolutionary to me; I remember of a java applet to see a hypercube (a solid of 4+ dimensions) with N possible dimensions (not limited to ten) :/

Game Over
May 18th, 2009, 11:22 PM
Here's a rough attempt to explain this. It's nowhere near complete, and I'm going to miss out quite a bit of stuff around the edges, but it should allow you to picture it.

The universe that we live in is composed of four main dimensions - the three dimensions of space and one extra dimension of time. This model is called Minkowski spacetime (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minkowski_spacetime).

With extra research in theoretical physics, scientists have theorised that there may have been extra dimensions created during the big bang. A theory called string theory has proposed through mathematical means that there may be an extra six dimensions in the universe. The latest methods that the news article discusses is essentially a way for us to "see" these extra dimensions.

That's only a very brief summation -- there's lots of reading to be done on spacetime and string theory. I hope you understood some of it! :)

...or 6 dimensions we can presently calculate/"see"/theoretically fathom.

To add to the previous post, astrophycisists reckon that when the universe began there were at least ten dimensions.

The universe begins as an infinitesimally small ten-dimensional entity that expands. When it reaches a certain size, it splits into two parts, a six-dimensional part and a four-dimensional part. The six-dimensional part stops growing. The four dimensional part (the current universe) continues to expand.

This extract is from http://www.reasons.org/resources/faf/95q4faf/95q4dmsn.shtml

...or 10 dimensions they were able to calculate/"see"/theoretically fathom.

I'm just now getting into physics, but that's MHO on this.

swoll1980
May 19th, 2009, 12:24 AM
I HATE how they always try to do the rendition of the many-dimensional shape. WE CAN ONLY SEE IN 3 DIMENSIONS!!! The so called Rendition is 3 DIMENSIONAL for crying out loud!!!

kleeman
May 19th, 2009, 12:27 AM
Physics has degenerated into untestable speculation. When quantum mechanics made huge strides in the 1920s and later in the 50s and 60s there was a ton of experiments that either confirmed or falsified theoretical ideas. Today string theory has 10^25 candidate theories which can only be tested in the first inaccessible microseconds of the Big Bang or within a black hole which is subject to cosmic censorship.

Instead of these flights of fancy they should make some testable predictions with theories or else stop engaging in what is essentially sophisticated mathematics/metaphysics.

10 dimensions indeed! I call bs

/rant

swoll1980
May 19th, 2009, 12:30 AM
Physics has degenerated into untestable speculation. When quantum mechanics made huge strides in the 1920s and later in the 50s and 60s there was a ton of experiments that either confirmed or falsified theoretical ideas. Today string theory has 10^25 candidate theories which can only be tested in the first inaccessible microseconds of the Big Bang or within a black hole which is subject to cosmic censorship.

Instead of these flights of fancy they should make some testable predictions with theories or else stop engaging in what is essentially sophisticated mathematics/metaphysics.

10 dimensions indeed! I call bs

/rant

This isn't physics, or science, but rather philosophy. If they want to be philosophers more power to them. They don't tell me how to live my life.

kleeman
May 19th, 2009, 12:34 AM
This isn't physics, or science, but rather philosophy. If they want to be philosophers more power to them. They don't tell me how to live my life.
I agree it isn't physics. Unfortunately however that is the claim of guru Brian Greene and his followers.

swoll1980
May 19th, 2009, 12:36 AM
I agree it isn't physics. Unfortunately however that is the claim of guru Brian Greene and his followers.

He/they are obviously diluted.

Paqman
May 19th, 2009, 12:58 AM
My gut feeling is that we're headed for a major upset in physics. Current theories seem to be introducing far too many invisible, unmeasurable magical entities (Cf. ether) to try and make the numbers work.

That's why i'm kind of hoping the LHC doesn't find the Higgs. The Standard Model is borked.

jfloydb
May 19th, 2009, 01:10 AM
take a look at this:

Delever
May 19th, 2009, 04:22 AM
If you want to know basic quantum physics without magical stuff, watch this google talks video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M8xwSfuY8xA

It will explain:

What are the basic particles, standard model
What is Higgs Boson particle in this picture
How weird particle constant mass is
How string theory has trouble fitting in
Why string theory has to make the leap of faith to make itself work

Theories are good and encouraged, but as long as they are theories supported by scientists, please don't actually invest time believing in them. Because in science, it is always ok to prove theory wrong.

MikeTheC
May 19th, 2009, 06:30 AM
I agree with the essence of the latter posts in this thread. I, for one, am not a proponent of the theory of so-called "dark matter" for exactly the same reason that every other sane person now rejects there being "ether" everywhere, and so on and so on.

To mix and mangle a couple metaphors, God does not play dice, but he shaves with Occam's Razor.

What I mean is that basically all this over-convoluted speculation is simply the result of a bunch of scientists backed up against a wall of a room that they painted themselves into the corner of, trying desperately to find a way to escape.

Delever
May 19th, 2009, 06:56 AM
I, for one, am not a proponent of the theory of so-called "dark matter"...

Well, but at least there is evidence for dark matter, as opposed to string theory, which tries to adapt to standard model by theorizing that there is infinite number of models (in different universes).

It's like forecasting weather by predicting that it will be warm or cold, and it will be either sunny, will rain, will snow or will rain donuts. Then adding exception to exclude donuts.

Or, if you like, having no idea of periodic table, and creating theory that there could be any element with any configuration. It simply does not help.

At least that's what my intuition tells me.

What I mean is that basically all this over-convoluted speculation is simply the result of a bunch of scientists backed up against a wall of a room that they painted themselves into the corner of, trying desperately to find a way to escape.

Agreed.

handy
May 19th, 2009, 08:34 AM
I always enjoy, Captain Quantum:

etnlIcarus
May 19th, 2009, 02:59 PM
Physics has degenerated into untestable speculation. When quantum mechanics made huge strides in the 1920s and later in the 50s and 60s there was a ton of experiments that either confirmed or falsified theoretical ideas.You're taking a branch of theoretical physics still in heavy development. Of course it's not as well-tested and confirmed as quantum theory. If we were to adopt your mentality, we wouldn't have gotten as far as we did with quantum theory, let alone identify it's limitations and begin moving off in a yet-stranger direction.

Today string theory has 10^25 candidate theories which can only be tested in the first inaccessible microseconds of the Big Bang or within a black hole which is subject to cosmic censorship.RTFA (variation on RTFM).

Instead of these flights of fancy they should make some testable predictions with theoriesRead moar. At least once a month I find an article on research where string theory has at a minimum matched the predictions made by quantum theory. The problem isn't a lack of testability (or good falsification criteria); it's that what can be tested, can't be exclusively attributed to any current string theory (which is to be expected for a unified theory that incorporates general relativity, quantum mechanics, etc).

If you're seriously characterising proponents of string theory as sitting on their arses, waxing philosophical all day, I can't imagine where you're getting your information from.

or else stop engaging in what is essentially sophisticated mathematics/metaphysics.You're finally on the money. String theory does test the boundaries of scientific acceptability, mostly because our understanding of the universe has caught-up to our ability to investigate it, and in many cases, exceeded it. The physics landscape used to be one where phenomenon were stacking up, waiting for someone to explain them. These days, the ideas are stacking up, waiting for a phenomenon or related theories to verify the predictions made or fulfil the falsification criteria.

If you want to know basic quantum physics without magical stuff, watch this google talks video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M8xwSfuY8xAStandard model =/= quantum physics (or more correctly, quantum mechanics). The standard model is a quantum field theory but that's as close as it gets.

It will explain:

What are the basic particles, standard model
What is Higgs Boson particle in this picture
How weird particle constant mass is
How string theory has trouble fitting in
Why string theory has to make the leap of faith to make itself workFirst two is does alright, third claim doesn't make sense, last two it doesn't explain particularly elegantly.

Theories are good and encouraged, but as long as they are theories supported by scientists, please don't actually invest time believing in them. Because in science, it is always ok to prove theory wrong.This is another statement I'm having difficulty deciphering.

Well, but at least there is evidence for dark matter, as opposed to string theory, which tries to adapt to standard model by theorizing that there is infinite number of models (in different universes).Not to start a 'my science is better than your science' fight (I'm not a strong proponent of string theory, anyway) but despite the standard model's success, it's incompleteness with regard to the 4th force increasingly marginalizes it and string theory isn't the first theory to butt-heads with the standard model. Also on the flip-side, string-theory's predictions regarding the standard model, despite their apparent mathematical weakness, hint at a possible solution to the issue of the elementary particles appearing arbitrary or ad-hoc. This really isn't as one-sided as you've presented it to be. To run with your weather analogy: you've taken the weatherman's general insights on tomorrow's global weather and applied them to one location.

Granted, I think just about everyone has their own personal pet peeve with some aspect of physics or related fields: I've always struggled with the concept of time as a dimension unto itself (I see your scepticism of dark matter and raise you time, itself, Mike :P).

Also, as I'm pretty sure Swoll blocked me, can someone please inform him for the third effing time that the word he's looking for is deluded (http://www.thefreedictionary.com/deluded), not diluted (http://www.thefreedictionary.com/diluded).

koshatnik
May 19th, 2009, 03:13 PM
Physics has degenerated into untestable speculation. When quantum mechanics made huge strides in the 1920s and later in the 50s and 60s there was a ton of experiments that either confirmed or falsified theoretical ideas. Today string theory has 10^25 candidate theories which can only be tested in the first inaccessible microseconds of the Big Bang or within a black hole which is subject to cosmic censorship.

Instead of these flights of fancy they should make some testable predictions with theories or else stop engaging in what is essentially sophisticated mathematics/metaphysics.

10 dimensions indeed! I call bs

/rant

There is nothing wrong with string theory per se, its how science evolves, but I do agree that they should stop theorising and start trying to see if these theories actually have substance.

At the moment, there is a whole mass of theoretical physicists drawing very big salaries for basically just squiggling on a blackboard. More experiments please! There seems to be a thing in the science world that if a theory has enough buy in from physicists that this somehow means its a fact. It kind of gets them out of actually doing an experiment.

3rdalbum
May 19th, 2009, 03:14 PM
I don't even believe in half of the quantum theory stuff, much less any of the string theory. The "trying to get out of a corner that they painted themselves into" sounds very apt.

automaton26
May 19th, 2009, 03:24 PM

1) Europe Space Agency has recently successfully launched "Planck" probe:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Planck_probe

2) Europe's "Large Hadron Collider" should be running soon:

Hopefully, it's just a matter of time...

forrestcupp
May 19th, 2009, 03:28 PM
I HATE how they always try to do the rendition of the many-dimensional shape. WE CAN ONLY SEE IN 3 DIMENSIONS!!! The so called Rendition is 3 DIMENSIONAL for crying out loud!!!

That's exactly what I thought when I saw it.

nolliecrooked
May 19th, 2009, 03:45 PM
string theory is kinda flawed. infinite string/stream theory makes more sense to me :P

Delever
May 19th, 2009, 05:18 PM
This is another statement I'm having difficulty deciphering.

Well I just tried to say that I am happy to jump to another theory based on evidence :)

Not to start a 'my science is better than your science'...
Hey, I probably was a little bit mistaken by threating standard model as closer to evidence - it indeed has very wide free parameters - but in string theory you have almost infinity (universe) multiplied by itself several times - thats how much stuff it claims there is... I would be happy if it would be more tied to the world, so I wouldn't need my weather analogy to imagine it...

Paqman
May 19th, 2009, 11:34 PM
At the moment, there is a whole mass of theoretical physicists drawing very big salaries for basically just squiggling on a blackboard. More experiments please! There seems to be a thing in the science world that if a theory has enough buy in from physicists that this somehow means its a fact. It kind of gets them out of actually doing an experiment.

I'm not a physicist, but it's my understanding that they tend to specialise into being either theorists or experimentalists. So it's fine for someone to spend all day squiggling on a blackboard as long as one of their colleagues then takes that work and builds an experiment from it.

jsmidt
May 20th, 2009, 12:25 AM
Physics has degenerated into untestable speculation. When quantum mechanics made huge strides in the 1920s and later in the 50s and 60s there was a ton of experiments that either confirmed or falsified theoretical ideas. Today string theory has 10^25 candidate theories which can only be tested in the first inaccessible microseconds of the Big Bang or within a black hole which is subject to cosmic censorship.

Instead of these flights of fancy they should make some testable predictions with theories or else stop engaging in what is essentially sophisticated mathematics/metaphysics.

10 dimensions indeed! I call bs

/rant

There appears to be a lot of misinformation in this thread.

1. The percentage of money the government spends on string theory is almost zero. In fact, there are individual experiments that cost the government more than funding all existing string theorists combined.

2. The little funding that exists is motivated by experiment, not philosophy. There are a number of things, I don't want to list them all, that cannot be described by the Standard Model/General Relativity but naturally emerge from string theory.

3. String theory does make testable predictions, the question is whether we are smart enough to test them. Classic example: string theory predicts 10 dimensions. If string theory is correct they are actually there. Now the question is are humans clever enough to detect them. Saying string theory is not testable is false. Saying it is too hard to test is debatable.

4. The whole point of articles like the one mentioned is the beginning of the thread is scientists are coming up with possible ways of testing string theory. It hasn't happened yet, and possibly may never happen, but the idea that it isn't possible or nobody is trying is false.

5. The number of solution is not 10^12 but closer to 10^500. :)

6. Even if string theory is false, studying it has brought so many advances in math and physics that it has been worth it. For example, string theory methods are doing a great job explaining quark-gluon plasma experiments. There is interest from people working on superconductivity that ideas from string theory may be useful. All modern day particle physics theories have been influenced from people studying string theory.(If any are proven correct, string theory will have played a part it the development of the true theory.) You can say the same thing about modern aspects of cosmology such as inflation which will be scrutinised by the plank satellite. Mathematicians are developing the kinds of math inspired by string theory. Much of it is very fascinating and is yielding fields medals.

etnlIcarus
May 20th, 2009, 01:15 AM
but in string theory you have almost infinity (universe) multiplied by itself several times - thats how much stuff it claims there is... I would be happy if it would be more tied to the world, so I wouldn't need my weather analogy to imagine it...

It's not as if string theorists just pulled a random number out of their behind. Most of the predictions made by current m-theory are the product of observing the observable universe and acknowledging that a purely reductive approach has given us a lopsided and awkward view of the universe, which just doesn't work. It's not so much that string theory is bad science; it's just really, really big science: many of it's predictions are on a scale we may never be able to explicitly prove. The great thing is despite it's assumptions, string theory has had a very real-world impact and is managing to iron-out the kinks in a lot of other research.

MikeTheC
May 20th, 2009, 02:53 AM

If scientists *really* want to see some extra dimensions, why don't they drink like a half-dozen double espressos followed by some Ripple and then do a couple tabs of acid, finished off with some weed?

Dude, after all that, you really ought to see some s***.

mamamia88
May 20th, 2009, 03:00 AM
so like fringe?

swoll1980
May 20th, 2009, 03:00 AM
oops

swoll1980
May 20th, 2009, 03:01 AM
I agree with the essence of the latter posts in this thread. I, for one, am not a proponent of the theory of so-called "dark matter" for exactly the same reason that every other sane person now rejects there being "ether" everywhere, and so on and so on.

To mix and mangle a couple metaphors, God does not play dice, but he shaves with Occam's Razor.

What I mean is that basically all this over-convoluted speculation is simply the result of a bunch of scientists backed up against a wall of a room that they painted themselves into the corner of, trying desperately to find a way to escape.

String theory seems to be the new "religion". Instead of simply saying "I don't know". They concoct some ridiculous story, with no evidence, to explain things they couldn't possibly understand. Only instead of giving the credit to some mysterious higher power, they credit the "energy strings". In the end it's all the same though, a big budget production, that goes nowhere.

kleeman
May 20th, 2009, 01:57 PM
You're taking a branch of theoretical physics still in heavy development. Of course it's not as well-tested and confirmed as quantum theory. If we were to adopt your mentality, we wouldn't have gotten as far as we did with quantum theory, let alone identify it's limitations and begin moving off in a yet-stranger direction.

RTFA (variation on RTFM).

Read moar. At least once a month I find an article on research where string theory has at a minimum matched the predictions made by quantum theory. The problem isn't a lack of testability (or good falsification criteria); it's that what can be tested, can't be exclusively attributed to any current string theory (which is to be expected for a unified theory that incorporates general relativity, quantum mechanics, etc).

If you're seriously characterising proponents of string theory as sitting on their arses, waxing philosophical all day, I can't imagine where you're getting your information from.

You're finally on the money. String theory does test the boundaries of scientific acceptability, mostly because our understanding of the universe has caught-up to our ability to investigate it, and in many cases, exceeded it. The physics landscape used to be one where phenomenon were stacking up, waiting for someone to explain them. These days, the ideas are stacking up, waiting for a phenomenon or related theories to verify the predictions made or fulfil the falsification criteria.

Standard model =/= quantum physics (or more correctly, quantum mechanics). The standard model is a quantum field theory but that's as close as it gets.

First two is does alright, third claim doesn't make sense, last two it doesn't explain particularly elegantly.

This is another statement I'm having difficulty deciphering.

Not to start a 'my science is better than your science' fight (I'm not a strong proponent of string theory, anyway) but despite the standard model's success, it's incompleteness with regard to the 4th force increasingly marginalizes it and string theory isn't the first theory to butt-heads with the standard model. Also on the flip-side, string-theory's predictions regarding the standard model, despite their apparent mathematical weakness, hint at a possible solution to the issue of the elementary particles appearing arbitrary or ad-hoc. This really isn't as one-sided as you've presented it to be. To run with your weather analogy: you've taken the weatherman's general insights on tomorrow's global weather and applied them to one location.

Granted, I think just about everyone has their own personal pet peeve with some aspect of physics or related fields: I've always struggled with the concept of time as a dimension unto itself (I see your scepticism of dark matter and raise you time, itself, Mike :P).

Also, as I'm pretty sure Swoll blocked me, can someone please inform him for the third effing time that the word he's looking for is deluded (http://www.thefreedictionary.com/deluded), not diluted (http://www.thefreedictionary.com/diluded).

I was being deliberately provocative in order to pour cold water on the gee whiz aspect of 10 dimensions.

Regarding quantum theory in the 1920s you are simply wrong. Theoretical physicists then had the periodic table to explain as well as atomic spectra. They came up with Schroedingers equation and Pauli's exclusion principle which provided the convincing explanation and was verified almost immediately. The problem at present is that the gravity unification energy is so high to make it inaccessible directly. The LHC may help but only indirectly and ambiguously.

BTW I find string theory interesting mathematically however the claims that it is a theory of everything just seem way too premature.

I really dislike the way that speculations of theoretical physicists are treated so seriously. Even cosmic inflation is just one explanation for the universe's homogeneity and yet it is commonly reported that the background microwave radiation verifies it. It doesn't, it is simply consistent with it.

We really need harder tests of the theories and that unfortunately is very difficult. To say we are not clever enough to find such tests seems to me to underestimate the problem. Usually historically such falsifying tests come serendipitously not by design

NCLI
May 20th, 2009, 02:49 PM
Physics has degenerated into untestable speculation. When quantum mechanics made huge strides in the 1920s and later in the 50s and 60s there was a ton of experiments that either confirmed or falsified theoretical ideas. Today string theory has 10^25 candidate theories which can only be tested in the first inaccessible microseconds of the Big Bang or within a black hole which is subject to cosmic censorship.

Instead of these flights of fancy they should make some testable predictions with theories or else stop engaging in what is essentially sophisticated mathematics/metaphysics.

10 dimensions indeed! I call bs

/rant

The problem is that we already understand all the basic easy stuff. That's why it no longer makes sense for scientists to do "testable predictions with theories," I can't really see any we still need to do with regards to physics!

handy
May 20th, 2009, 02:53 PM
Oh! Wow man... :?:

Do you believe in fairy stories?

Because I have been them.

& by the way, if you are one of the one's who have been them, you don't have an ego problem any more.

kleeman
May 20th, 2009, 05:17 PM
The problem is that we already understand all the basic easy stuff. That's why it no longer makes sense for scientists to do "testable predictions with theories," I can't really see any we still need to do with regards to physics!
Well there is a clear problem at present. According to a theorem of Penrose, general relativity necessarily implies a space time singularity at the Big Bang and in black holes. A singularity is fairly obviously a breakdown of a theory. The fact that this breakdown is so fundamental means a new theory of gravity is required. Quantum gravity and string theory attempt this but are not sufficiently constrained experimentally to make progress.

etnlIcarus
May 21st, 2009, 02:43 AM
I was being deliberately provocative in order to pour cold water on the gee whiz aspect of 10 dimensions.There are simpler ways to admit to being a troll.

Regarding quantum theory in the 1920s you are simply wrong. Theoretical physicists then had the periodic table to explain as well as atomic spectra. They came up with Schroedingers equation and Pauli's exclusion principle which provided the convincing explanation and was verified almost immediately. The problem at present is that the gravity unification energy is so high to make it inaccessible directly. The LHC may help but only indirectly and ambiguously.What exactly is this in response to?

BTW I find string theory interesting mathematically however the claims that it is a theory of everything just seem way too premature.Regardless of whether it's right, wrong or somewhere in between, string theory is a 'theory of everything'; that's what you get when dealing with the [assumed] fundamental forms of reality.

I really dislike the way that speculations of theoretical physicists are treated so seriously.I think it's essential. If we aren't taking our investigative queues from these guys, humanity's even further on the back-foot of understanding reality.

Even cosmic inflation is just one explanation for the universe's homogeneityThis is a [I believe deliberately] misleading statement: current cosmological inflation theory is really the only decent and half-way elegant theory that's been proposed. It's far from perfect and will likely look quite different by the time it's considered perfect but this isn't a many-horse race. Ironically, the only real competitors to cosmological inflation are cyclic models, which rely on or at least hint-at brane cosmology, which itself is heavily inspired by string-theory. You're making my own argument for me.

lisati
May 21st, 2009, 02:56 AM
If scientists *really* want to see some extra dimensions, why don't they drink like a half-dozen double espressos followed by some Ripple and then do a couple tabs of acid, finished off with some weed?

Wow! My mind just wandered in a direction it could not understand! Profound!

Thinking back to the days when I took a course in organic chemistry, I came up with a nice explanation of some phenomenon - nice, elegant, answered the question perfectly, it worked! Sadly, it didn't gel too well with the answer that the person who marked the assignment was looking for.....

Mason Whitaker
May 21st, 2009, 04:50 AM
Interesting, although I don't see any practical purposes for researching these extra dimensions.

But still, keep pumping those billions of dollars in Scientific funding governments of the world!

monsterstack
May 21st, 2009, 05:05 AM
Interesting, although I don't see any practical purposes for researching these extra dimensions.

But still, keep pumping those billions of dollars in Scientific funding governments of the world!

You say that, but the study of quantum mechanics led to lasers, transistors, diodes, electron microscopes, magnetic resonance imaging. Even flash memory utilises quantum tunnelling. Nobody could have predicted such things before such study began, and there were many who thought it was all a bunch of nonsense then as there are now.

Seriously. What sort of person advocates against enhancing the wealth of human scientific knowledge?

Mason Whitaker
May 21st, 2009, 05:13 AM
Seriously. What sort of person advocates against enhancing the wealth of human scientific knowledge?The same person who sees better uses for government funds than shooting lasers into space.

Now mind you, I'm not by any means against advancing human knowledge. But the world at the moment has more noble causes to be championed.

etnlIcarus
May 21st, 2009, 05:30 AM
The same person who sees better uses for government funds than shooting lasers into space. Because lasers are only used in defence technology and consumer goods; they have no scientific, industrial or medical application...

Now mind you, I'm not by any means against advancing human knowledge. But the world at the moment has more noble causes to be championed.
Like sustainable energ ...oh wait, that's science again.

Pogeymanz
May 21st, 2009, 05:54 AM
I agree with pretty much everything etnlIcarus said. It sounds to me like he is a little bit more on bored with theoretical physics than most others in this thread.

If you want to be skeptical, go get your Ph.D in Physics (preferably in a theoretical field) THEN come here and tell me that string theory is stupid.

etnlIcarus
May 21st, 2009, 05:55 AM
Actually, I'm the definitive layman. My wordiness just makes it seem like I've got a clue.

monsterstack
May 21st, 2009, 06:05 AM
You don't need a PhD to have an opinion about something. I live two doors down from an astro-physicist who has given me copies of most of his books about quantum theory and physics. I'm pretty sure I could barge into a discussion about it after reading all that, and I don't even have a degree in anything.

etnlIcarus
May 21st, 2009, 06:21 AM
A sardonic tone also helps.

MikeTheC
May 21st, 2009, 06:27 AM
Interesting, although I don't see any practical purposes for researching these extra dimensions.

But still, keep pumping those billions of dollars in Scientific funding governments of the world!

Bob?

handy
May 21st, 2009, 03:38 PM
Interesting, although I don't see any practical purposes for researching these extra dimensions.

An individual who chooses to research what you call extra dimensions, can find enormous education & understanding through such a pursuit.

It shouldn't cost the tax payers of the country much if anything at all & it is no burden to the education system & funding thereof.

But still, keep pumping those billions of dollars in Scientific funding governments of the world!

I agree, they should be spending the money on expanding the education curriculum, but whilst ever the bankers control the world, the last thing they want is for people to expand their minds, so they sure as shiite aren't going to be allowing governments to be funding such a curriculum.

kleeman
May 30th, 2009, 09:42 PM
I agree with pretty much everything etnlIcarus said. It sounds to me like he is a little bit more on bored with theoretical physics than most others in this thread.

If you want to be skeptical, go get your Ph.D in Physics (preferably in a theoretical field) THEN come here and tell me that string theory is stupid.

Well just to set the record straight, I do, in mathematical physics. University of Adelaide Australia. Thesis was on quantum field theory.

Just FYI there are many theoretical physicists who are deeply skeptical of string theory and resent the large amount of funding that has gone into it. This theory has had absolutely no hard experimental success. To say that we should study it just because it is the best hope at a theory of everything is very shaky logic. Empirical success has always been a fundamental prerequisite to successful theoretical advances in physics.

String theory is a bit too unpleasantly close to metaphysics for my tastes.

etnlIcarus
May 31st, 2009, 02:46 AM
I do, in mathematical physicsHonestly wouldn't have picked that. Especially as your arguments seem less scientific and more political in nature.

kleeman
May 31st, 2009, 03:17 AM
Honestly wouldn't have picked that. Especially as your arguments seem less scientific and more political in nature.
Oh and why is that?

Insisting a theory have unambiguous empirical support is eminently scientific I should have thought.

Pogeymanz
May 31st, 2009, 03:39 AM
Well just to set the record straight, I do, in mathematical physics. University of Adelaide Australia. Thesis was on quantum field theory.

Just FYI there are many theoretical physicists who are deeply skeptical of string theory and resent the large amount of funding that has gone into it. This theory has had absolutely no hard experimental success. To say that we should study it just because it is the best hope at a theory of everything is very shaky logic. Empirical success has always been a fundamental prerequisite to successful theoretical advances in physics.

String theory is a bit too unpleasantly close to metaphysics for my tastes.

Touché! Then, you seem to be qualified to tell me that String Theory is stupid. I'm just finishing my undergrad in Physics and Math and I don't feel qualified in the least to talk about string theory, which is why I made the comment that I did.

beast2k
May 31st, 2009, 03:45 AM
Aw, sheesh, Buckaroo Banzai did this in the 80's, like, fer sure!

http://spaceflightnow.com/news/n0702/04dimensions/

Here's proof. :)
(Image courtesy of the www.banzai-institute.com/ (http://www.banzai-institute.com/))
Are you high ?

kleeman
May 31st, 2009, 03:56 AM
Touché! Then, you seem to be qualified to tell me that String Theory is stupid. I'm just finishing my undergrad in Physics and Math and I don't feel qualified in the least to talk about string theory, which is why I made the comment that I did.
If you are interested in these arguments here is an interesting book to read:

http://www.thetroublewithphysics.com/

From the reviews:

"Lee Smolin’s understanding of theoretical physics is unusually broad and deep, and his critical judgments are exceptionally penetrating, so his claim that string theory is responsible for the lack of real progress in fundamental physics for the past quarter century carries considerable weight. Read this fascinating book and form your own judgment."

--Roger Penrose, author of The Road to Reality and The Emperor’s New Mind

Drokles
May 31st, 2009, 03:57 AM
To add to the previous post, astrophycisists reckon that when the universe began there were at least ten dimensions.

The universe begins as an infinitesimally small ten-dimensional entity that expands. When it reaches a certain size, it splits into two parts, a six-dimensional part and a four-dimensional part. The six-dimensional part stops growing. The four dimensional part (the current universe) continues to expand.

They called the four dimensional part light world and the 6 dimensional part dark world.
Sounds a little too much like an introduction to some JRPG.

Seriously, string theory is fun to read, but I can't imagine working with it. I'm just an undergrad anyway, so that may be it, but I'm starting to think that some of our theoretical physicist brothers are just making things up to make it seem like their still working. If superstrings really work, though, I'd like to see where it goes.

burvowski
May 31st, 2009, 04:08 AM
I don't any of us would be using computers right now if it wasn't for government-funded scientific research \\:D/

kleeman
May 31st, 2009, 04:09 AM
nm

etnlIcarus
May 31st, 2009, 04:37 AM
Oh and why is that?

Insisting a theory have unambiguous empirical support is eminently scientific I should have thought.Sure. Strawmen and the equivalent of crying taxes is not, however.

Moreover on the scientific side of your argument, your implication is that string theory's current status does not justify the attention it receives (at least I hope that's all you're suggesting - you've made some far more dramatic accusations). This is at least debatable.

MikeTheC
May 31st, 2009, 04:49 AM
I don't any of us would be using computers right now if it wasn't for government-funded scientific research \\:D/
*throws computer out of house and gets job as ditch-digger*

rookcifer
May 31st, 2009, 05:03 AM

Basically it means physicists have derived an indirect means to test the String Theory hypothesis of 10 or 11 dimensions. The problem in the past with detecting these dimensions is that they exist at roughly the Planck length scale, which is many orders of magnitude smaller than a quark and far beyond detection capability of any piece of equipment (electron microscopes can't even touch it).

Since the universe erupted as a result of quantum vacuum fluctuations that existed at the Planck length, this is why "looking back" to the big bang itself is helpful in detecting these indirect effects of extra dimensions. String theory (or more specifically M-Theory) posits that the Big Bang was a result of collisions between "membranes" of varying topologies that exist in these hyperdimensions.

etnlIcarus
May 31st, 2009, 05:30 AM
String theory (or more specifically M-Theory) posits that the Big Bang was a result of collisions between "membranes" of varying topologies that exist in these hyperdimensions.

I'm pretty sure brane cosmology has arisen independently of m-theory (although it's certainly dependent upon the predictions of m-theory, brane cosmology, itself is not a direct prediction of m-theory).

Delever
May 31st, 2009, 11:33 AM
Every time I glance over the title of this thread, I read "Psychics" instead of "Physicists" :D

kleeman
May 31st, 2009, 04:57 PM
Sure. Strawmen and the equivalent of crying taxes is not, however.

Moreover on the scientific side of your argument, your implication is that string theory's current status does not justify the attention it receives (at least I hope that's all you're suggesting - you've made some far more dramatic accusations). This is at least debatable.
I suggest you read Smolin's careful and deep analysis on this subject (linked to above) before casting such unwarranted aspersions. Smolin spent a significant fraction of his career working as a string theorist and now believes

"that string theory is responsible for the lack of real progress in fundamental physics for the past quarter century"

The problem for theoretical physics is that resources matter. If you want to make a career in that area you need to apply for research grants. It is a fact that in the US a large fraction of such resources have gone to string theorists. This has prevented alternative theories from being properly explored. So to that extent this issue has political ramifications which is the basic point that Smolin and like minded theoretical physicists have been making for the last 5 or so years. Diversity in approaches to what is a very difficult problem is a better strategy than putting many of your eggs in the one string theory basket.

Incidentally I have no truck at all for philistines who would cut off funding for speculative research such as string theory. Obviously these areas need to be funded and explored. It is just that in this case string theory has been over hyped and sucked up limited resources that could have been better shared across many different theoretical approaches.

etnlIcarus
June 1st, 2009, 02:56 AM
The problem for theoretical physics is that resources matter. If you want to make a career in that area you need to apply for research grants. It is a fact that in the US a large fraction of such resources have gone to string theorists. This has prevented alternative theories from being properly explored.The same thing was true of string theory. It was a fringe theory, all but abandoned at one point. As this was a pre-string era, it's arguable that the landscape used to be even more hostile towards new, untested and difficult ideas.

The thing is, I don't actually disagree with you (if all you're saying is the research landscape is lop-sided), it's just that some of your criticisms have been ...inflammatory, to say the least. Comments like, "To say that we should study it just because it is the best hope at a theory of everything is very shaky logic." are just douchebaggy and detract from your actual point.