# Thread: String Theory (What is it I'm a little confused?)

1. Hi,

I'm still a little confused about what string theory is. How does it tie in with atoms and basically, how does it tie in with other demensions?

If you are going to give me a site, plz dont give me wikipedia because I don't trust that site.javascript:emoticon('')

2.

3.

4. good stuff here:

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/elegant/

The Elegant Universe program is also on youtube.

5. "The series host says we may not be smart enough to ever fully understand the universe...

Oh yeah?

6. Here is my very simple understanding of it:

I think the basic idea behind String Theory is that EVERYTHING is composed of little strings of energy. When I say "little" I mean litte little little little little strings. I cannot stress enough how small we are talking about here.

Anyway, I believe that String Theory dictates there must be at least 6 dimensions ( but could be many more). You asked how those dimensions tie into ours.

Well supposedly these are soooooooo small that we cannot see them. In fact, these dimensions preside on the strings themselves.

Again, this is my very very simply understanding. Enjoy

7. Kosta: I don't go a bundle on little strings of energy myself. When you get up close to one of these things, what's actually there? This is the question that has kinda been swept under the carpet in string theory. At least in the layman's version. They talk about all these vibrating strings and closed string and open strings, but what are they?

8. String Theory is entirely derived from mathematical equations. There is no application or way of proving it at this time. So I totally understand doubts that you may be having Farsight. I share them as well.

The answers we are all looking for will come in time I am sure

9. Originally Posted by Farsight
"The series host says we may not be smart enough to ever fully understand the universe...

Oh yeah?
And Eistein said that man will never know 1/1,000,000 of what there is to know. Every time we gain a little understanding of the universe, it opens up a whole new series of questions.

I call it the Massive Onion effect. :wink:

10. Originally Posted by Farsight
Kosta: I don't go a bundle on little strings of energy myself. When you get up close to one of these things, what's actually there? This is the question that has kinda been swept under the carpet in string theory. At least in the layman's version. They talk about all these vibrating strings and closed string and open strings, but what are they?
As I understand it, the currently accepted version of string theory is now considered equivalent to an 11 dimensional supergravity, and that the strings are a mathematical artifact of compactification of the theory from 11 dimensions to 10 dimensions. This is a major step in the direction that all the developments of Unified Field Thory have been making towards a purely geometric understanding (like General Relativity) of the universe as an energy density in a higher dimensional space-time where the energy consist purely of geometrical distortions of space-time itself. In the 10 dimensional compactification, for example, the different vibrational modes of the strings account for all the known elementary particles.

In other words, ultimately there is nothing but 11 dimensional space-time itself where its geometry (shape) describes everything we see or if you prefer nothing but a 10 dimensional space with its shape and motion describing everything. The space-time version is more accurate because of relativity but perhaps the space version is easier to visualize.

However, energy is fundamental as the irreducible quantification of this motion of "space" and distortion of space-time. All motion is quantifiable as energy but not all energy is motion.

11. I'll translate that: strings are just like the crease in my pants. Minus the cloth.

12. Originally Posted by Farsight
I'll translate that: strings are just like the crease in my pants. Minus the cloth.
Fair enough, except that rather than say "minus the cloth", you should say instead, "where the cloth is 11 dimensional space-time."

13. I now understand string theory. I don't beleive that other dimensions could exist. This is how my teacher put it.
there is up down left right foward and back wards(each counts as one I think?)

now where's the 4th dimension?

14. Originally Posted by Time Master
I now understand string theory. I don't beleive that other dimensions could exist. This is how my teacher put it.
there is up down left right foward and back wards(each counts as one I think?)

now where's the 4th dimension?
Its Space-Time.

15. Space time can't be the fourth deminesion because the fourth demension requires us to see as a 4th demension person would. A person from the 4th demenstion would have to bring us into their world in order to see it from their point of view. We see space-time in 3rd demension and plus, space time can't be a demension because space is distance and time is time which doesn't exist in space so it can't be a dememsion.

16. Originally Posted by Time Master
Space time can't be the fourth deminesion because the fourth demension requires us to see as a 4th demension person would. A person from the 4th demenstion would have to bring us into their world in order to see it from their point of view. We see space-time in 3rd demension and plus, space time can't be a demension because space is distance and time is time which doesn't exist in space so it can't be a dememsion.
Well, I'm no expert in this matter. However, I always assumed that hte general theory was that space-time was the 4th dimension.

I'm not sure everything your saying is correct, especially this:
space time can't be a demension because space is distance and time is time which doesn't exist in space so it can't be a dememsion
Why doesn't time exist in space? Where does it exist?

17. Originally Posted by Kosta
Why doesn't time exist in space? Where does it exist?
At the very least, time is a variable in the mathematical laws of physics which governs how energy moves, interacts and transforms from one form to another. As such it is part of the mathematical structure or geometrical form of the energy of this physical universe.

The additional 7 spatial dimension to the three which we can see are of this same nature (as part of the mathematical structure of the physical universe) if less visible than that of time. The extent of the universe in these additional dimensions is so small that cannot detect them. Leaving out time, you can visualize this in the following way. We live in the surface of an enormous bubble with a "three dimensional surface" in a ten dimensional space. As "flat" creatures in this surface all we can perceive are the 3 extended dimensions within the surface that we live in, and not these other dimensions in which we and our world is too thin to perceive.

Now remember that this bubble is only a means to visualize this dimensionality. There is no meaning to questions like what is inside or outside the bubble. The visualization I have described is called an embedding of the space manifold in a larger space, however such an embedding is in no sense neccessary to the consistency of the mathematics describing our eleven dimensional universe.

18. Originally Posted by Kosta
[Why doesn't time exist in space? Where does it exist?
In motion.

19. I don't believe in string theory... I understand that there is some strong math behind it and lots of scientists who believe it but to me it sounds like they are just trying to come up with something to fill a gap in what they know. I don't think there is a problem in developing string theory but personally I don't believe it.

I think of it like this...
4 dimensions that a lot of people know

1. up/down
2. left/right
3. backwards/forwards
4. time

All of these together are "space-time"

Time is the one that not all people know about but a lot do. think this explains the earlier question of space-time.

But I think there is possibly this 5th dimension which I will try to explain. It may sound rediculous and I don't know exactly how to explain it so... here it goes.

Imagine a squishy ball... Think of it as a galaxy... Now squish the ball... This "compresion" is the fifth dimension... It can also work the other way with expansion. I doubt this is explained the way I mean it to, but it's the closest I can get. (I'm also willing to bet it's wrong!) But it is what I believe.

I think this dimension would mostly apply to gravity though and gravitational waves are actually this dimension. ermm but i really dont think im smarter than einstein..;. but its just my opinion.

20. General relativity does predict 5 dimensions. Space-time and a fifth hyper-dimension.

As for strings, IMO it's just a matter of time till they're understood more fully. Claiming they don't exist because they can't be observed ignores the holes in current theories. QM can't describe gravity in large scale and General Relativity breaks down at the quantum level. Superstring "Theory" fills a level that probably has to exist and while strings are not understood, neither was the atom when it was first proposed in classical times. Let's hope it doesn't take a couple of millenia before someone finally comes up with a clear description of what strings really are.

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