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String Theory In 2 minutes!

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  • String Theory In 2 minutes!

    http://discovermagazine.com/twominut...ctid=687029421
    |TG|Switch

    Better known as:
    That noob who crashed the chopper.
    That noob who ran over the mine.
    That noob who TK'd me with a sniper rifle.
    That noob who hit that APC at 300m with light AT! Our APC...

  • #2
    Re: String Theory In 2 minutes!

    Liked it a lot. Now I can continue threaten to reknit people with my mind and it will actually mean something.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: String Theory In 2 minutes!

      God its wonderful to be conscious.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: String Theory In 2 minutes!

        Very well done.

        What an amazing educational idea this contest that produced the video is people!

        Imagine if everything you learn, could be learnt from the best and most interesting explanation that is around!

        While the best explanation would certainly not be the best for everyone, it would certainly be better then the efforts of some burnt-out teacher reaching for his pension, or a teacher that doesn't understand the more difficult science at all.

        It's survival of the fittest for didactic aids!
        Any teacher could show a student a collection of web-videos with an excellent explanation of the next lesson, and spend his time in class more constructively by filling in the small things the video did not make clear, or by giving extra information, or taking more time for exercises and students that require more attention.

        I hereby found the Worldwide You-tube School for community Education (WYSE).

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: String Theory In 2 minutes!

          I find it somewhat funny that the vast majority of lay people believe that tiny particles (like electrons, protons, and neutrons) exist, even though physicists haven't believed in particles for a hundred years.

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          • #6
            Re: String Theory In 2 minutes!

            Originally posted by sordavie View Post
            I find it somewhat funny that the vast majority of lay people believe that tiny particles (like electrons, protons, and neutrons) exist, even though physicists haven't believed in particles for a hundred years.
            I am heartened that they at least know or presume that much. To clarify, particles aren't wrong, there's just more to it :). Some of the other entries were great too.
            ~~ Veritas simplex oratio est ~~
            No matter how far a wizard goes, he will always come back for his hat. --T. Pratchett

            <---- You know you're getting old when you rely on your forum meta-data to remind you how old you are.

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            • #7
              Re: String Theory In 2 minutes!

              I don't like the discussion of X being only a theory until observationally verified or disconfirmed at the end of the winning entry, although the video was done very well.

              That's the kind of speech that you might hear a logical positivist make: scientific statements are meaningless or "just theory" unless they can or are observationally verified. This was a philosophical program that dominated the early and mid 20th century, which became thoroughly ingrained in how scientists understood their own discipline. The basic framework of logical positivism has fallen out of style amongst philosophers and philosophers of science because it is self-contradictory. However, unfortunately, scientists have not yet caught up with the philosophy. So, they end up saying some false things about science and the scientific method because they are still ingrained in the logical positivist framework, which we know can't be right.

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              • #8
                Re: String Theory In 2 minutes!

                The idea that something must be observed, measured and "proven" using the physical senses in order to be accepted as a valid explanation of what exists is a woeful under-utilization of the potential awareness we have as human beings.
                Before the Dark Ages, a very different world existed in the minds of early Western science and philosophy, having been influenced heavily by the Eastern worldview within pre-schism Christianity. The Renaissance signaled the decline of the Catholic Church's irreversible degeneration to a political power, reducing the church to a vehicle for mercenary and corrupt oligarchies throughout Western Europe. The ascendancy of "rationalism" over belief cut off an entire realm of fruitful thought essential to mankind's mental and spiritual life, replacing it with a Deus ex machina in which man was just a cog in an irrational and merciless vehicle that had no pilot. The earth was not the center of the universe, therefore the center had to be elsewhere.

                Later extensions of this worldview from the likes of Descartes, Sartre, Neitzsche and Marx made mankind's presence the center of his own universe, and yet no matter what one did, it was all irrelevant. This is the root from which grew a strange and hollow fruit. Alistair Crowley, Dada, Post Modernism and anomie, even Timothy Leary, bring us to the logical extension: Absolute Relativism and its bastard child, Absurdism. Anything can mean something, or and something can mean anything except what it used to mean. Whatever the individual wants, It is not necessary to be in agreement with anything or anyone else--and this leads to isolation.

                In the end, there is nothing to believe but one's own unbelief, or adoption of another's equally self-bred beliefs: a rootless amalgamation of various concepts, mixed with self-serving desires. Underneath a facade of self-actualized "enlightenment", paranoia and despair drive the soul to seek constant distraction from the pain of a fruitless existence. This further buffers us from one another and guarantees we remain in this miserable restless seeking for what cannot be found: Sartre's self-imposed hell.

                It is within this framework that Science purports to lead the way to truth and understanding, no matter how antithetical to the human spirit and it's own quiet voice that insists, "I know there's more to it than this.
                Every single person you know has had a moment where they were aware of something without knowing how--you don't have to be a fruitcake to believe it. To be truthful, I never really believed in the Law of Uniformitarianism anyway. I don't quite see how more and more complex systems and structures can arise from near nothingness in a universe in which the Laws of Thermodynamics govern work and energy. I certainly don't see how we can tell how fast the universe is expanding or where we are in it if we too are moving within it relatavistic confines, but maybe that's a discussion for another day.

                *shrug* I have my system of belief, it's absolute and rooted in a history older than most ideologies can go and still trace every step. I have measurable and undeniable results that what I believe is true; I don't need to prove or defend because I'm not trying to convince anyone. It's there for anyone who want to find it.
                Hope I didn't hijack or get too deep. It was fun!
                Last edited by Axis of Eeevil; 10-31-2007, 05:30 AM.
                sigpic

                Living proof that "Teamplay ensmartens the idiotest of us!"

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                • #9
                  Re: String Theory In 2 minutes!

                  Except that string theory has never produced new understanding. It holds up against the things we think we know, but we're still putting a bunch of chimps in nice lab coats around magnetic rings and slamming particles together hoping something interesting will pop out.

                  String theory is the flying spaghetti monster of the physics world. It's something someone made up, can't be dis-proved, and became popular with nerds.

                  Part of me kinda wants string theory to develop into something useful just because so much moderately-intelligent-people-time has been dumped into it. But until it does, no, you can't have a unified theorm. Not yours.

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                  • #10
                    Re: String Theory In 2 minutes!

                    Strings work better for me than particles. I happen to be a musician.

                    I don't like the idea of the universe being entirely ball-like. Balls are so boring. Unless they belong to you and you're not the one observing them.

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                    • #11
                      Re: String Theory In 2 minutes!

                      Originally posted by mentholated View Post
                      Balls are so boring. Unless they belong to you and you're not the one observing them.
                      Wait.. did I just totally take that out of context? Yes, yes I did. :)

                      This is all just a computer simulation. Duh.
                      USAR

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                      • #12
                        Re: String Theory In 2 minutes!

                        String theory has already had its uses. Its been able to model micro and macro with the same set of rules. Something that general relativity and quantum physics were unable to do with each other.

                        As far as Sori's laugh at people who believe in particles... those people are not wrong. Protons neutrons and electrons are just as real as strings. The keyboard you type on and other pieces of matter exist. Strings manifest as particles. Moving beyond particles is just a deeper understanding. Be happy they acknowledge chemistry and don't claim god is testing us with the periodic table.
                        |TG|Switch

                        Better known as:
                        That noob who crashed the chopper.
                        That noob who ran over the mine.
                        That noob who TK'd me with a sniper rifle.
                        That noob who hit that APC at 300m with light AT! Our APC...

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: String Theory In 2 minutes!

                          "Something that general relativity and quantum physics were unable to do with each other."

                          [Snip atrociously long-winded rant about how humans handle numbers] ... and that's why I think they're doing it wrong.

                          Particles are definately real, if nothing else, as an emergent behavior. The very idea that waves existed on a smaller scale than your sink was because people playing with light said "HEY PATICLES DONT DO THAT!" then looked up to God and said Oh, you!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: String Theory In 2 minutes!

                            Classical String Theory has been taking a beating lately with the recent "discovery" of a neutral neutrino (basically ignores weak nuclear forces and is only interacted with by gravity). Also (on cosmic scales), measurements by newer telescopes (hubble, chandra, VLT, etc.) have been gaining ground regarding Dark Matter. They've been finding that DM doesnt quite behave like it should and something else is acting upon it in relation to a different behavior in gravity.

                            What interesting about these two (measured, but not confirmed) findings is that they give credence to a 5th force. Once that interacts ONLY with gravity.

                            The New Age string theory offshoots that depict a >=10 dimensional universe and the hyperdimentional "brane" (basically a membrane) are being vindicated right now because of some of these findings.

                            Even more interesting is the fact that many are embracing the idea of more than one 'verse (not quite the same as a multidimensional one). The only way to interact with these other 'verses (branes)?? Probably some kind of gravitic "particle." Perhaps sterile neutrinos maybe?? :)

                            Maybe soon we'll see the world's first Gravity Phone ;)

                            p.s.
                            How can you posit "String Theory in 2 minutes" when in fact Time doesnt really exist in a linear sense? If indeed it does at all.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: String Theory In 2 minutes!

                              But strings aren't particles. So, I don't understand why you think there are. To say that "strings manifest as particles" is not to say that particles exist. That's not what string theorists mean. To say that there are particles is wrong.

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