Jane asked in Science & MathematicsPhysics · 1 decade ago

what makes string theory wrong, its extra dimensions?

I want to know why this theory is being bashed repeatedly by critics from Smolin's camp. In his book, Smolin claims that the math used to explain string theory is cluttered with extra dimensions that cannot be verified by modern technology - he even adds that the math might not be invented yet.

String theory says this camp, has no basic testable principle to rely on, just varied views that fall under 5 different schools of study

2 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
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    Unfortunately, for anything dealing with more than 3 dimensions, all we can do is rely on the math. This is because we live in a 3-D physical reality. We are unable to perceive more dimensions than this and so we have no physical way to show or comprehend what these dimensions look like, or the laws and properties these dimensions carry with them. Mathematics, however is not limited and so we must rely on the mathematics to help describe greater dimensions.

    It is also sad that we dismiss anything untestable in 3-D physical reality as "not science". What we cannot test, cannot be considered science. This seems reasonable, but is slightly ignorant on our part. Maybe we have not yet discovered the mathematics or methods needed to describe it yet.

    Our problem lies in that our laws of physics are based around a 3-D reality. We cannot use the properties of our reality to explain the properties of a 4-D or greater dimensional reality. Mathematics tells us that we cannot describe the properties of a superset with the properties of a subset. So if our reality is nestled within greater dimensions, then we are considered a subset of some unkown superset. And thus we are unable to describe the properties of the "greater reality" with the properties from our reality.

    People that criticize the existence of more dimensions or not open minded. Just because you cannot percieve something does not mean it doesn't exist.

    If we are to discover the new tools that allow us to test string theory, then we must start with the assumption that these tools exist, and that our current laws or properties are not complete.

    But then again, this guy has a Ph.D. So my knowledge on the topic is nowhere near the same level. I just don't like how we limit ourselves by ruling out the possibility.

  • 1 decade ago

    It's not 'wrong' it's just untestable. Maybe just for now, maybe forever.

    If it's untestable, it's not science. Maybe a heavily math-based metaphysics, but not science.

    String theory does get a disproportionately high amount of attention for something that's more of a philosophy of the universe than science.

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