Arcadian Functor

occasional meanderings in physics' brave new world

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Marni D. Sheppeard

Tuesday, April 07, 2009


I have been busy (a) attending conferences and (b) thinking about nails in coffins.


Blogger nige said...

Thanks for that link:

"Theory Failure #1: In order to make string theory work on paper our four dimensional real world had to be increased to eleven dimensions. Since these extra dimensions can never be verified, they must be believed with religious-like faith -- not science.

Theory Failure #2: Since there are an incalculable number of variations of the extra seven dimensions in string theory there are an infinite number of probable outcomes.

Theory Failure #3: The only prediction ever made by string theory -- the strength of the cosmological constant -- was off by a factor of 55, which is the difference in magnitude of a baseball and our sun.

Theory Failure #4: While many proponents have called string theory "elegant," this is the furthest thing from the truth. No theory has ever proven as cumbrous and unyielding as string theory. With all of its countless permutations it has established itself to be endless not elegant.

Theory Failure #5: The final nail in the coffin of string theory is that it can never be tested."

Point #2 is wrong and should say a landscape of 10^500 different universes result from the different compactifications of the 6-d manifold, not an incalculable number.

Failure #3 contains a typing error and should read 10^55 not 55. If string theory predicted the cosmological constant off by just a factor of 55, it would be hailed a success. (Interestingly I predicted the acceleration of the universe and hence CC accurately in 1996 and published it, but nobody wants to know because it's not fashionable to build theory on facts!)

It's becoming clear that string theory won't die, and attacking it just leads to greater censorship of alternative ideas.

This is precisely because stringers defend themselves by suppressing alternatives, either by taking the funding and research students who would otherwise go into alternatives, or by directly deleting papers from arXiv as occurred to me, or by pretending to be "peers" of people working on alternative ideas so they can work as "peer-reviewers" and censor alternative ideas from journal publication simply for not being related to string theory. Then they are free to proclaim without the slightest embarrassment that no alternatives exist.

So there is no easy solution to this problem, and pointing out the problem accomplishes nothing. It's like those people who pointed out that Hitler was up to no good in the 30s before war was declared. Such people were simply ignored.

April 07, 2009 10:01 PM  
Blogger Kea said...

Actually, the nails I have in mind are of quite a different character.

April 07, 2009 10:12 PM  
Blogger L. Riofrio said...

Fascinating link! I may use it here too. With strings and other silly ideas, nails in the coffin are not enough. I would suggest a stake in the heart, but even that would not kill the beast. It is a shapeless blob, lacking even a central nervous system to attack.

April 08, 2009 12:47 AM  
Blogger Daniel de França MTd2 said...

Hi Marni, is there anything cool in here:

"Feynman's path integral and mutually unbiased bases"
Authors: J Tolar, G Chadzitaskos

April 08, 2009 4:49 AM  
Blogger Kea said...

Hi Daniel. Had a quick look at it - looks very nice. They seem to have rediscovered the Combescure operators etc. It's about time we had some emergent Lagrangians in the literature.

April 08, 2009 4:59 AM  
Blogger Daniel de França MTd2 said...

What are Combescure operators?

April 08, 2009 5:58 AM  
Blogger Daniel de França MTd2 said...

Oh Please Marni, don't ignore me! I am truely curious. I looked for it, but I couldn't find anything. Now, I am really interested in this MUB stuff.

April 09, 2009 12:25 AM  
Blogger Kea said...

Sorry, Daniel, but I'm quite busy at present. I'm afraid that's just one of my own terms, and is sometimes discussed on this blog.

April 09, 2009 12:26 AM  
Blogger CarlBrannen said...

Daniel, go here.

April 10, 2009 3:45 AM  

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