General Question

bottles's avatar

What are your thoughts on M theory?

Asked by bottles (52points) January 26th, 2010

What are your thoughts on m theory…
M theory or an elaboration of string theory is about 11 dimensional theory and how it unifies the whole of string theory and the 10 dimensions…. what are your thoughts?
and by ‘unification’ does this mean that the dimensions could bleed into one another? and would that not be chaotic and corruptive?

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38 Answers

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

There has to be more than just mathematical equations for me to believe. Some form of directly or indirectly observable phenomena to back it up. An interesting hypothesis, but only number-crunching at this stage.

Austinlad's avatar

When I think of them at all I prefer the ones without peanuts..

grumpyfish's avatar

@Austinlad I really prefer the ones with peanuts.

@stranger_in_a_strange_land That’s one of the bigger problems with string theory, there’s very little observationally testable at this point. E.g.,

Cruiser's avatar

M theory simply shows we have come a long way since Einstein and General Relativity, but with these 11 separate yet distictly related theories of the M theory, it only further illustrates the unquantifiable and still random chaotic inexplicable nature of our universe. There is order in chaos and M theory may open the door to finally explaining this incredible mess we call the universe.

mowens's avatar

I like strings.

bottles's avatar

This is bean by the way….. this is my new account…

12_func_multi_tool's avatar

hehe, I’m still working on quatum and relativity theory so sorry, no intelligent input from me today

filmfann's avatar

@bottles You couldn’t come up with a compelling reason to get Andrew to change your screenname?

12_func_multi_tool's avatar

@bottles It’s too long for the short space so expand the space will work leave that thing alone or we’ll have no point of reference!

bottles's avatar

@filmfann who’s andrew? and I didn’t know how to get my account back or what not, so I just gave up and made a new one

12_func_multi_tool's avatar

If I were a cat, I could be grooming right now, ba bye!

bottles's avatar

@12_func_multi_tool…...... are you on freaking drugs? your like nuts!

Trillian's avatar

No the dimensions will not bleed into each other, just because we may have finally got it figured out. (ok, not figured out. Maybe just picked up an inkling) I don’t have the brain to grasp the math, but the ides is that the theories of quantum physics and relativity didn’t mesh at the sub atomic level. Ths string theory unifies them so to speak. I keep leaoing head to practical applications.
We still don’t understand electricity but look how we’ve harnessed that.

filmfann's avatar

@bottles Check out This thread.

bottles's avatar

@filmfann that was enlightening D: but were you making fun of my screenname!? D: ... I like bottles too.. but i miss bean

bottles's avatar

SO yeah how about that m theory!

AstroChuck's avatar

I’m a subscriber. I always been a little fond of membranes.

mattbrowne's avatar

I prefer loops and spin networks.

AstroChuck's avatar

edit: I’ve always been…

CMaz's avatar

M theory. Hmmm.

I always thought it was an over rated letter.

hiphiphopflipflapflop's avatar

On the internet nobody knows how badly you did in freshman physics.

poisonedantidote's avatar

mathematically sound, but untestable.

bottles's avatar

@hiphiphopflipflapflop me? badly in physics? freshman? what’s freshman?? we dont have that kind of thing in australia, and i didn’t do phsysics at school, but im doing science in university, woot!

hiphiphopflipflapflop's avatar

@bottles Let me illustrate where I’m coming from with this remark…

Does anyone believe in the Theories of Quantam [sic] physics
Why are the atoms in an atom moving around the nucleus

You’ll find lots of remarks that are wrong, or as Wolfgang Pauli put it: “not even wrong!”.

bottles's avatar

@hiphiphopflipflapflop you say that m theory is wrong? i never said it was right, I was just asking about it, it’s an interesting subject in theoretical physics, why not throw it out there and see what people say?

hiphiphopflipflapflop's avatar

@bottles Where did I even mention M theory in my preceding statement?

bottles's avatar

@hiphiphopflipflapflop you didnt :P i just thought you were setting an example, and my question was about m theory so I assumed… what do you mean?

hiphiphopflipflapflop's avatar

@bottles what I am trying to get at here is that many people who are clearly out of their depth when it comes to physics even at an intermediate level feel free to fire off authoritative-sounding comments (often short, often early on… and therefore soaking up much of the GA lurve) on these sorts of questions.

bottles's avatar

@hiphiphopflipflapflop :S my question was serious….... are you crazy? you sound a little crazy…. you’ve lost me…. ?

bottles's avatar

@hiphiphopflipflapflop I get you’re trying to say that no one is going to answer my question seriously because they are all looking to get GA’s… and that i’m not going to get a real answer for it…. I can see that but I’m waiting for the one’s who will answer my question…. seriously… was that what you were trying to say? I already knew that… I know enough about it, I’m just waiting for a real answer… i’m sure i’ll get one sometime

Jeruba's avatar

I believe he’s saying that you don’t have to show your credentials when you post here and that people who don’t know what they’re talking about can post in a way that sounds knowledgeable, attracting lots of GA points from other people who don’t know what they’re talking about, without adding anything sound or meaningful to the discussion.

This is not a statement of my opinion on the subject. It’s just my interpretation of @hiphiphopflipflapflop‘s remarks.

filmfann's avatar

@bottles I would never make fun of either of your names.

hiphiphopflipflapflop's avatar

Pssst. “M theory” doesn’t really exist yet, it’s what Ed Witten called a hypothetical theory that in six extreme cases breaks down into either Type I sting theory, Type IIB string theory, Type IIA string theory, Heterotic E string theory, Heterotic O string theory, or 11-dimensional supergravity. It hasn’t been fully formulated yet.

hiphiphopflipflapflop's avatar

The ‘M’ stands for Matrix, Magic, Membrane… or anything else pertinent you can think of that starts with ‘M’ that suits your taste (this according to Witten himself). Although wags will say it’s actually an upside-down ‘W’ standing for Witten.

The biggest (theoretical) problem with M theory – should it indeed come to completion – is exactly how the extra dimensions outside of the four we are familiar with (as our perceived spacetime) “compactify” out of the way of our normal observations. (This goes for all the string theories that are limiting cases of it as well as supergravity, too.) This where those Calabi-Yau manifolds you may have heard about come in. A rough estimate is that there might be 10^50 different ways this might happen, each represents a possible universe with its own (unique?) physics. How do we pick out ours? What is the status of the others? Every other major physical theory has pointed us toward a single answer in the end, rather than a multitude. This is the crux of the “Landscape” controversy.

The other big problem is how to come up with experimental evidence to support the theory. Even the largest conceivable particle accelerator will lack the power to probe the regime where it is thought the Standard Model clearly breaks down.

hiphiphopflipflapflop's avatar

Now, you could have gotten that just from reading/watching Brian Greene or any recent (and decent) layman’s science magazine article on M theory. What do I think?

I think we’re in a situation much like we were in before Einstein came along with special relativity in 1905. Lots of people with much greater mathematical skill than Einstein (at that time in his life) had tried complicated ways of reconciling Newtonian mechanics with Maxwell’s theory of electromagnetism. Einstein’s breakthrough was in making it simple by relying on the right assumptions (one of which, that the speed of light is the same for all non-accelerating observers, being rather counterintuitive and bold).

Likewise, I think the current situation is ripe for someone (most likely an outsider and a complete unknown but with the right mathematical tools at their command) to come in and banish much of the Rube Goldberg complexity with fresh concepts.

filmfann's avatar

@bottles I wouldn’t even make fun of names like @hiphiphopflipflapflop

filmfann's avatar

though I might laugh and point.

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