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Author Topic:   What are M-Theory and String theory etc. and are they valid scientific theories?
Member (Idle past 1301 days)
Posts: 1909
From: MO
Joined: 06-06-2007

Message 46 of 48 (404149)
06-06-2007 8:32 PM
Reply to: Message 39 by cavediver
06-06-2007 9:13 AM

The LHC will be nice, but it's only scratching the energies we need...

Do you mean the proposed International Linear Collider and/or the Very Large Hadron Collider?

Or do you have the skinny on the Double Super Secret Hadron Collider?:p

And do you think we (us civilians and the boys with the bucks) are suffering from NASAlag?*:

Asked to explain how their work, supported by public funds, contributes to the public good, particle physicists often cite Wilson, or offer some variation on his non-answer answer: the search for knowledge cannot be justified on other grounds; its value, like the particles under study, is irreducible.

In 1969, the Congressional Joint Committee on Atomic Energy held a hearing at which the physicist Robert Wilson was called to testify. Wilson, who had served as the chief of experimental nuclear physics for the Manhattan Project, was at that point the head of CERN’s main rival, Fermilab, and in charge of $250 million that Congress had recently allocated for the lab to build a new collider. Senator John Pastore, of Rhode Island, wanted to know the rationale behind a government expenditure of that size. Did the collider have anything to do with promoting “the security of the country”?

WILSON: No sir, I don’t believe so.
PASTORE: Nothing at all?
WILSON: Nothing at all.
PASTORE: It has no value in that respect?
WILSON: It only has to do with the respect with which we regard one another, the dignity of men, our love of culture. . . . It has to do with are we good painters, good sculptors, great poets? I mean all the things we really venerate in our country and are patriotic about. . . . It has nothing to do directly with defending our country except to make it worth defending.

*Akin to jetlag. Re: $$$ "Space travel used to be so much fun (and so important ... those darn Ruskies!) but now it has all the charm of a bus ride."

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Member (Idle past 64 days)
Posts: 20714
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004

Message 47 of 48 (404151)
06-06-2007 8:37 PM
Reply to: Message 44 by cavediver
06-06-2007 7:34 PM

Re: My 2-bits
It is the explanation of why we have the standard model.

I've always wondered what we'd call the "standard model" when we moved on to the next level theory. Are you saying that it is not really a theory but a compendium of theories that can come and go? This would be closer to overall ToE with all the theories (punkeek, common ancestor, etc) under the umbrella terminology. That also renders it pretty unfalsifiable because you just change the parts to get a rebuilt engine.


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This message is a reply to:
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Member (Idle past 2302 days)
Posts: 4129
From: UK
Joined: 06-16-2005

Message 48 of 48 (404225)
06-07-2007 12:40 PM
Reply to: Message 47 by RAZD
06-06-2007 8:37 PM

Re: My 2-bits
I've always wondered what we'd call the "standard model" when we moved on to the next level theory. Are you saying that it is not really a theory but a compendium of theories that can come and go?

Just about... it has come to mean different things to different physicists: a particle physicist thinks the SM is SU(3) x SU(2) x SU(1). Anyone with any relativity background will add in gravity. Then there is the cosmological SM, now with added lambda and CDM ;) SO yes, I guess it does evolve. And as it's not actually a theory, per se, you shouldn't be too worried about it not being falsifiable :)

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