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cali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-14-07 03:38 PM
Original message
Surfer dude stuns physicists with theory of everything

By Roger Highfield, Science Editor
Last Updated: 6:01pm GMT 14/11/2007

An impoverished surfer has drawn up a new theory of the universe, seen by some as the Holy Grail of physics, which as received rave reviews from scientists.

Garrett Lisi, 39, has a doctorate but no university affiliation and spends most of the year surfing in Hawaii, where he has also been a hiking guide and bridge builder (when he slept in a jungle yurt).

In winter, he heads to the mountains near Lake Tahoe, Nevada, where he snowboards. "Being poor sucks," Lisi says. "It's hard to figure out the secrets of the universe when you're trying to figure out where you and your girlfriend are going to sleep next month."

Despite this unusual career path, his proposal is remarkable because, by the arcane standards of particle physics, it does not require highly complex mathematics.

Even better, it does not require more than one dimension of time and three of space, when some rival theories need ten or even more spatial dimensions and other bizarre concepts. And it may even be possible to test his theory, which predicts a host of new particles, perhaps even using the new Large Hadron Collider atom smasher that will go into action near Geneva next year.


Although the work of 39 year old Garrett Lisi still has a way to go to convince the establishment, let alone match the achievements of Albert Einstein, the two do have one thing in common: Einstein also began his great adventure in theoretical physics while outside the mainstream scientific establishment, working as a patent officer, though failed to achieve the Holy Grail, an overarching explanation to unite all the particles and forces of the cosmos.

Now Lisi, currently in Nevada, has come up with a proposal to do this. Lee Smolin at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, describes Lisi's work as "fabulous". "It is one of the most compelling unification models I've seen in many, many years," he says.





http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/main.jhtml?view=DETAIL...
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On the Road Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-14-07 03:44 PM
Response to Original message
1. Well, This is Interesting`
This looks like the heart of it:

Lisi's inspiration lies in the most elegant and intricate shape known to mathematics, called E8 - a complex, eight-dimensional mathematical pattern with 248 points first found in 1887, but only fully understood by mathematicians this year after workings, that, if written out in tiny print, would cover an area the size of Manhattan.

E8 encapsulates the symmetries of a geometric object that is 57-dimensional and is itself is 248-dimensional. Lisi says "I think our universe is this beautiful shape."

What makes E8 so exciting is that Nature also seems to have embedded it at the heart of many bits of physics. One interpretation of why we have such a quirky list of fundamental particles is because they all result from different facets of the strange symmetries of E8.

What I don't get is that while the article says his model only requires three dimensions of space, it is symmetrical based on the 57-dimensionl shape.

Will have to read up more on this. Thank you.

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JerseygirlCT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-14-07 08:43 PM
Response to Reply #1
104. That sounds so totally cool
Just fascinating.

Geez, I wish I had a physics brain! I'm like a kid watching from outside the window, wishing I could come in... the brain just doesn't grasp all of that!
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caraher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-15-07 01:39 PM
Response to Reply #1
144. Physicists often represent things in "spaces" that are abstract
Although the theory is based on a 57-dimensional object in a 248-dimensional "space" only three dimensions are "spatial" dimensions. It's something like deciding to represent the current state of the economy as a point in some abstract space whose dimensions correspond to GDP, rate of inflation, unemployment rate, interest rates, etc. It's very easy to come up with a "space" with a high number of dimensions that way and something roughly analogous is what's happening in this 248-dimensional space.

There are important differences, of course, but that's basically how there's no contradiction in saying this theory escapes the string theorists' need to account for a bunch of unobserved spatial dimensions. It's the difference between physical space and mathematical space.
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TwilightZone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-14-07 03:45 PM
Response to Original message
2. The headline sounds like it's from the Onion.
Very interesting. Thanks for posting it.
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NewJeffCT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-14-07 03:54 PM
Response to Reply #2
6. That is what I originally thought when I saw it
I even scrolled down to the bottom of the OP before reading just to see where the link was from.
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Cha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-14-07 04:16 PM
Response to Reply #6
26. Not me...my son is a surfer and
I watch Jack Johnson Docs..those guys are Out There!
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immoderate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-14-07 03:47 PM
Response to Original message
3. Cool! I want to see a TOE in my lifetime.
--IMM
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Warpy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-14-07 04:13 PM
Response to Reply #3
23. If we do, it'll come out of far left field like this guy's theory has
and not from the halls of academia. Remember, Relativity came from a lowly clerk in a patent office.

It's interesting that he's understood it all geometrically.
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immoderate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-14-07 04:18 PM
Response to Reply #23
29. It always seems to come down to geometry...
That seems to be be the most fundamental element of existence, or part of it. At least, that's apparent at my level of understanding.

--IMM
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spacelady Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-14-07 11:52 PM
Response to Reply #29
121. I think it is related to Gravity. Perhaps Magnetism.
In an interrelated yet separate way.
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immoderate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-15-07 09:51 AM
Response to Reply #121
133. Some people always resort to force.
--IMM
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FatDave Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-15-07 01:56 PM
Response to Reply #133
150. Nicely done!
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spacelady Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-15-07 11:23 PM
Response to Reply #133
167. I am ashamed to say it took about 10 minutes of thinking to
get your Drift. It was a Quarky! My mind is rather Nebulous at Times. I wanted to fall into a Black Hole and die! But I didn't. :P
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immoderate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-16-07 11:29 AM
Response to Reply #167
175. I was hoping you would get my point, move our thinking to the same plane...
or at least into the same sphere. You were off on a tangent, but now you're in a parallel space.

--IMM
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spacelady Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 12:53 AM
Response to Reply #175
187. I went off on a tangent, looking at new angles, but I have come full circle.
Edited on Sat Nov-17-07 12:57 AM by spacelady
Don't want to be obtuse. You have an acute wit. :P
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Duppers Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-14-07 10:41 PM
Response to Reply #23
113. Warpy, you amaze me because you're always so right on!
"Not from the halls of academia," is Right On! Even when it comes, they'll fight it tooth & nail because it doesn't fit their text and paradigm....but you knew that too.

And, yes, it is "all geometrically" related. That's nature in a nutshell...or so the 2 physicists in my house tell me. :)

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jgraz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-15-07 11:58 AM
Response to Reply #23
139. Not as left field as the article makes it out to be
Yeah, the guy's pretty unorthodox, but string theorists have been studying E8 for years as a possible method for describing the universe.
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Warren DeMontague Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-14-07 06:52 PM
Response to Reply #3
82. You want a toe? I can get you a toe, believe me. There are ways, Dude.
You don't wanna know about it, believe me.

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Ravy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-14-07 11:43 PM
Response to Reply #3
119. I think if I lose about 10 more pounds, I will be able to see mine again. nt
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underpants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-14-07 03:47 PM
Response to Original message
4. To summarize
it all has to do with learning about Cuba and having some food
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CT_Progressive Donating Member (889 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-14-07 03:48 PM
Response to Original message
5. Dude: "Uh, so, like, its sort of a series of tubes...."
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Bonobo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-14-07 03:54 PM
Response to Original message
7. Here's a link for a Physics forum discussion of it and the paper itself.
Edited on Wed Nov-14-07 03:55 PM by Bonobo
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MrCoffee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-14-07 03:54 PM
Response to Original message
8. off to the greatest page, yeah bra.
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Cha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-14-07 04:17 PM
Response to Reply #8
28. That's Brah, baby!
B-)
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MrCoffee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-14-07 05:01 PM
Response to Reply #28
59. you're so right. gnarly.
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Cha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-14-07 05:07 PM
Response to Reply #59
61. Epic!
Shaka!
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HCE SuiGeneris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-14-07 03:54 PM
Response to Original message
9. Very cool stuff... the whole theory is found
here: http://arxiv.org/PS_cache/arxiv/pdf/0711/0711.0770v1.pd...

Some interesting drawings of the E8 model.
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immoderate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-14-07 04:24 PM
Response to Reply #9
35. Check out the animation!
It's here:
http://deferentialgeometry.org/anim/e8rotation.mov

Requires Quicktime.

--IMM
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Joe Chi Minh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-14-07 04:35 PM
Response to Reply #35
47. Wow!
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StarryNite Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-14-07 04:48 PM
Response to Reply #35
51. It's a kaleidescope
You know, one of those tube things with all the mirrors and colored thingies that looks real "purdy" when you look into it and turn the part on the end. :silly:
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annabanana Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-14-07 05:00 PM
Response to Reply #35
57. It's certainly beautiful. . . . n/t
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HCE SuiGeneris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-14-07 05:57 PM
Response to Reply #35
72. Thanks IMM. Too cool. n/t
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rAVES Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-15-07 02:51 PM
Response to Reply #35
153. That is brilliant! I could watch it for hours!
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mdmc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-15-07 08:11 AM
Response to Reply #9
132. interesting theory
thank you for the link
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conspirator Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-15-07 02:32 PM
Response to Reply #9
152. Dude, that's too much for me... nt
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mainegreen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-14-07 03:56 PM
Response to Original message
10. I don't understand the paper, but it's pretty to look at.




I like this one as well:
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Blue_Tires Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-14-07 03:58 PM
Response to Reply #10
12. ??? nt
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HCE SuiGeneris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-14-07 04:00 PM
Response to Reply #10
15. I see snowflakes!
:P
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quip Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-14-07 04:05 PM
Response to Reply #10
16. Hmmmm, lots of stars of David.....
I'm just saying.
:popcorn:
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AntiFascist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-14-07 09:29 PM
Response to Reply #16
112. LOL, at least its not a pentagram n/t
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Joe Chi Minh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-15-07 07:22 AM
Response to Reply #16
131. Teilhard de Chardin, the Jesuit paleontologist and theologian,
might have ben tickled by it: stars of David of the cosmic Christ, Son of David?
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BluePatriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-14-07 04:09 PM
Response to Reply #10
18. Wow, they're like mandalas. Too cool. (nt)
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conscious evolution Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-14-07 04:26 PM
Response to Reply #18
42. It is THE mandala
The others are but bits and peices of this one.
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Heidi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-16-07 05:04 AM
Response to Reply #42
171. That was my first thought.
:thumbsup:
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kestrel91316 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-14-07 04:12 PM
Response to Reply #10
22. That top picture looks WAAAAYYYYY too much like the visual disturbance
I had on Monday with my first "classic migraine with aura". Except mine flickered and expanded and eventually disappeared.
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Vilis Veritas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-15-07 03:54 PM
Response to Reply #22
158. Those are not fun...
I get them lots...the Silent Migraine...

Peace.
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Duer 157099 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-16-07 04:24 AM
Response to Reply #22
169. Mine too, except only an arc for me
I've always thought migraines had some mystical quality to them, like the pain was the price for getting a glimpse of "something" not seen. I know, I know, the pain is from dilation of the vessels etc etc, but I started getting migraines with aura way back in my pre-teen days before I understood any of that.

I believe migraines have a link to temporal lobe epilepsy, or are somehow related, and that they both are linked to mystical experiences.
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Ian David Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-14-07 04:17 PM
Response to Reply #10
27. Oh! It All makes sense now! I mean... ALL of it makes sense!


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Maven Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 12:39 AM
Response to Reply #27
186. Hehe...I just imagined Helen Mirren saying that.
Nice. :D
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Lucinda Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 02:29 AM
Response to Reply #27
188. I :heart: Douglas Adams
:)
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Cha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-14-07 04:20 PM
Response to Reply #10
31. It sure as heck is..
Rainbow colors all thrown in with diagrams, charts, and shit.. :)
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Joe Chi Minh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-14-07 04:26 PM
Response to Reply #10
40. Stunningly beautiful. Maybe exploding fireworks will prove to be a good metaphor for
the impact of the theory, if it proves compelling. Myriad symmetries, but not fearful.
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TahitiNut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-14-07 05:35 PM
Response to Reply #10
67. I believe the sense of "beauty" is VERY important. VERY.
Edited on Wed Nov-14-07 05:53 PM by TahitiNut
We are OF the Universe, not mere observers. While I'm a mere undergrad major in math and minor in physics, it has always been my SUSPICION that a GUT would appeal not only to our logic and sense of reason, but also to our innate sense of aesthetics - beauty. I've just never doubted that the fact that the synergy between math and music isn't merely accidental ... that a GUT would be a way of expressing something profoundly beautiful ... a harmonic with our best senses.

This passes that 'test' ... and gains credibility (for me) BECAUSE it appeals to my aesthetic sense.



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renate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-14-07 06:58 PM
Response to Reply #67
85. you aren't alone in feeling that way!
The gold standard for beauty in physics is Albert Einsteins theory of general relativity. What makes it beautiful? First, there is its simplicity. In a single equation, it explains the force of gravity as a curving in the geometry of space-time caused by the presence of mass: mass tells space-time how to curve, space-time tells mass how to move. Then, there is its surprise: who would have imagined that this whole theory would flow from the natural assumption that all frames of reference are equal, that the laws of physics should not change when you hop on a merry-go-round? Finally, there is its aura of inevitability. Nothing about it can be modified without destroying its logical structure. The physicist Steven Weinberg has compared it to Raphaels Holy Family, in which every figure on the canvas is perfectly placed and there is nothing you would have wanted the artist to do differently.

http://www.newyorker.com/archive/2006/10/02/061002crat_...
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JerseygirlCT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-14-07 08:45 PM
Response to Reply #67
105. Oh, I'd absolutely want to believe that's the case. nt
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morningglory Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-14-07 10:48 PM
Response to Reply #67
114. Well, you know, the Dude abides...n/t
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Joe Chi Minh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-15-07 07:15 AM
Response to Reply #67
130. When Einstein was asked what criterion he resorted to as the basis for his
Edited on Thu Nov-15-07 07:18 AM by KCabotDullesMarxIII
hypotheses, he said it was aesthetic.

I've been on about it here and elsewhere for a long time. Where does "beauty" fit into the reductionist scientismificists' presumptuous world-view? Can't be tested under laboratory conditions, can be observed though - but what sort of empirically scientific criterion is beauty, to be systematically observed? (One that works, apparently, and I don't think it's a coincidecne that it is so respected in that field of a priori truth, Mathematics). People have even been known to have different ideas of beauty and different degrees of susceptibility to its spell.

Beauty, it would seem is not quite an exact science. Well, there's a thing. The further we delve, the more the paradoxes, the mysteries abound.

Why should the origins of things be so beautiful? When there is so much ugliness in our world and our lives? One of the greatest mysteries of Christianity.



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freebrew Donating Member (478 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-15-07 01:44 PM
Response to Reply #67
146. Frank Zappa used to say..
that everything in the universe was just one big note.

"the pigs know it, the pony's know it..."Lumpy Gravy
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Bongo Prophet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 03:27 AM
Response to Reply #67
189. Bucky Fuller would also be pleased!
"When I am working on a problem I never think about beauty. I only think about how to solve the problem. But when I have finished, if the solution is not beautiful, I know it is wrong."


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Emit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-15-07 10:13 AM
Response to Reply #10
134. Similar to the Tree of Life
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TrogL Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-14-07 03:58 PM
Response to Original message
11. Link to download
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hootinholler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-14-07 03:59 PM
Response to Original message
13. DUDE! It's a spirograph!


-Hoot
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NashVegas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-14-07 05:33 PM
Response to Reply #13
66. Proving That Art is More Essential Than Science, If You Wanna Understand the Universe
:)
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The Backlash Cometh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-14-07 05:41 PM
Response to Reply #66
68. Not art, per se, but inspiration.
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TahitiNut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-14-07 05:52 PM
Response to Reply #13
69. Behold ...


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HCE SuiGeneris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-14-07 05:56 PM
Response to Reply #69
71. I'm beholden...
saved to my photobucket acct. Thanks TN!
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Canuckistanian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-14-07 06:33 PM
Response to Reply #13
79. Dude, where's my Particle Accelerator?
I like the idea of a surfer/theoretical physicist synergy.
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conscious evolution Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-16-07 06:55 AM
Response to Reply #79
172. Surfers ride waves
This one is no differant.
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Canuckistanian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-16-07 05:54 PM
Response to Reply #172
179. No, they ride particles
And you'll never convince me otherwise.
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supernova Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-14-07 03:59 PM
Response to Original message
14. Coolness! Love this stuff!!
Hey, he didnt' have time for academia. He was too busy thinking of a UToE.

But yeah, I don't get that you can explain/demonstrate it with only the 3 or 4 dimensions we are aware of now, but the model is in 57 dimensions?



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CorpGovActivist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-14-07 04:06 PM
Response to Original message
17. 42 n/t
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MrCoffee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-14-07 04:09 PM
Response to Reply #17
19. sorry, what was the question?
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Cha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-14-07 04:24 PM
Response to Reply #19
34. Yeah, and we should all try
surfing sometime.
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CorpGovActivist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-14-07 11:15 PM
Response to Reply #19
118. Bring a Towel n/t
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MrCoffee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-15-07 01:47 PM
Response to Reply #118
148. you are one hoopy frood, you know that?
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CoffeeCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-15-07 01:36 PM
Response to Reply #19
143. I think my head just exploded...
I'm a little too right-brained for this discussion.

Now where were we? Did someone just say something about a Spirograph?
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xchrom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-14-07 04:10 PM
Response to Original message
20. recommending for surfer dudes. nt
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warren pease Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-14-07 04:12 PM
Response to Original message
21. Best line I've heard in years...
"Being poor sucks," Lisi says. "It's hard to figure out the secrets of the universe when you're trying to figure out where you and your girlfriend are going to sleep next month."


Yeah, I suppose it does. I find, that in my occasional periods of poverty, I have a tough time figuring out anything more complex than how to put food on my family and make the pie higher. I guess our children is learning after all.


wp
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Cha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-14-07 04:15 PM
Response to Original message
24. This is Awesome, whether
it the Theory Of Everything or not. Not being scientific..my eyes glazed a bit but it's still exciting and so interesting to read about. Thank you, cali :)

Garrett is one Cool Dude..I went to his site and his picture(with hair this time)looks amazingly like my son who lives on Kauai. B-) Shaka~

Surfers know things..
http://sifter.org/~aglisi/
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John Q. Citizen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-14-07 04:24 PM
Response to Reply #24
36. I like his website, The story of his first initial is allright but the spinable cube
is really cool
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formercia Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-14-07 04:15 PM
Response to Original message
25. Watching the green flash in a Hawaiian sunset
with a big doobie of Maui Wowee is enough to connect almost anyone with the Universe.
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Cha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-14-07 04:26 PM
Response to Reply #25
41. Or just watching a Kauaian
Green Flash after a day of Boogie Board at Poli Hale. B-)
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tekisui Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-14-07 04:29 PM
Response to Reply #25
45. That is where it happens.
We are as much a part of everything, as everything else. It's all right here.
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Cha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-14-07 04:32 PM
Response to Reply #45
46. You got it, dude!
TOE~ Cool..I just realized those are my son's initials..ha ha.
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spacelady Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-14-07 04:19 PM
Response to Original message
30. All I can picture is Spicoli explaining this to Mr. Hand. n/t
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girl gone mad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-14-07 04:20 PM
Response to Original message
32. It comes across as a big stab..
Edited on Wed Nov-14-07 04:24 PM by girl gone mad
at our former fun uncle/current black sheep String Theory. Imagine wasting two decades of your life in some stodgy university working on that increasingly unapproachable million page theory only to be bested in a piddling pdf by some random 'dude' who spends his days surfing in Hawaii.

I don't know what to make of it. The math is not complex. It references LQG, the current 'cool kid' theory. There are a number of things in the paper, including the title, that set off red flags deep down in my brain, but I am a born skeptic. I know one person who could set me straight in five minutes, but he won't be around for a couple of weeks.

If the story were real and the theory tenable, it would be a good thing for so many reasons.
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HiFructosePronSyrup Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-14-07 04:25 PM
Response to Reply #32
37. Red flags...
like not publishing in a proper journal?
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RebelSansCause Donating Member (304 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-14-07 05:01 PM
Response to Reply #32
58. string theory seems to be going the way of the aether lately right?
falling to occam's razor and all that. i am not far enough along in my physics studies to fully comprehend the theory but i will give it my best shot. some of the latest necessary functions of string theory have gotten increasingly complex and bizarre. oh the irony if this turns out to be true. and the simplicity. simply stunning. like the inverse square laws, gravity and the electromagnetic force did not HAVE to work like that but the fact that they do is so beautiful. related by a simple inverse square and some universal constant.
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girl gone mad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-14-07 06:08 PM
Response to Reply #58
74. I think there are..
Edited on Wed Nov-14-07 06:09 PM by girl gone mad
maybe two or three people far enough along in their studies to fully comprehend string theory. :)

For a skeptical perspective on string theory, a blog that I enjoy immensely is Peter Woit's Not Even Wrong blog: http://www.math.columbia.edu/~woit/wordpress /

Lee Smolin has also written a couple of interesting and easy books about our wayward theory and Loop Quantum Gravity. You can search his name on Amazon or Google, if you're interested.

I had a great professor who encouraged me to listen to my intuition and avoid falling into the TOE/string theory trap as a grad student, though I genuinely admire the dedication of those who can hack its complexity.
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Duppers Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-14-07 11:04 PM
Response to Reply #74
116. thanks, GGM
My son reads Woit's blog and ocassionally makes references to it. I'd like to ask him about all of this but he's too busy for the next few days for me to bother him...you know how that goes. He is indeed 'deep' into string theory's complexities.

I'll also have his dad (PhD physicist) look at this in the next few days. Perhaps, then I'll have an intelligent comment. :)
Me? I'm just the resident dumbass...guess he married me for my looks?!! :silly:
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Oddball Donating Member (205 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-14-07 04:22 PM
Response to Original message
33.  i got yer theory of the universe..
..right here.

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CT_Progressive Donating Member (889 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-14-07 04:26 PM
Response to Reply #33
39. Oh yeah!
/droooool
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postulater Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-14-07 10:49 PM
Response to Reply #33
115. That's not a theory
That looks like a proven fact.
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CoffeeCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-15-07 01:47 PM
Response to Reply #33
147. Talk about yer "string theory"...
String bikini theory, that is.

;)
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Pierre.Suave Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-15-07 02:31 PM
Response to Reply #33
151. I like your theory
I like it a lot.

you got her number? I want to explain my theoery of gravity and attraction between two bodies to her...
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deutsey Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-14-07 04:26 PM
Response to Original message
38. New shit has come to light, man.
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Cha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-14-07 04:28 PM
Response to Reply #38
44. That's hysterical...this is the
kinda stuff that makes me happy to be in the Universe.
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Joe Chi Minh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-14-07 04:39 PM
Response to Reply #38
48. Priceless! Trust the Dude.
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deutsey Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-14-07 04:40 PM
Response to Reply #48
49. The Dude Abides...
:hi:
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Joe Chi Minh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-14-07 04:52 PM
Response to Reply #49
53. Indeed. Perhaps matey should be nicknamed Dude by his scientific
peers.
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hiphopnation Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-14-07 06:35 PM
Response to Reply #38
80. a lot of interested parties....
lotta ins and outs in this thing, man
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deutsey Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-14-07 09:00 PM
Response to Reply #80
110. Yeah, fuck it man, you can't be worried about that shit.
Life goes on, man.
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hiphopnation Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-15-07 01:55 PM
Response to Reply #110
149. do you really have to curse so much?
what the fuck are you talkin' about man?

:rofl:
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deutsey Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-15-07 05:06 PM
Response to Reply #149
163. Have it yer way, Dude.
:hi:
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conspirator Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-15-07 03:19 PM
Response to Reply #38
157. I don't believe you. I am a nihilist nt
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deutsey Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-15-07 05:22 PM
Response to Reply #157
164. Fucking nihilists.
Say what you want about the tenets of national socialism at least thats an ETHOS!
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Heidi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-16-07 12:20 PM
Response to Reply #38
176. I love you, duetsey!
And posts like this are why. :rofl: :spray:
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deutsey Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-16-07 04:10 PM
Response to Reply #176
177. Are you my special lady or my lady friend?
:hi:
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mainegreen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-14-07 04:27 PM
Response to Original message
43. Evidently the title of the theory is a pun as well

Quote:
Originally Posted by strangerep View Post
The paper is titled "An Exceptionally Simple Theory of Everything"...
I suppose ten years of string hype (if it was taken seriously) may have prepared some of us to read G.L.'s title with utter solemnity. My initial reaction, by contrast, was that the title was quite funny and contained two shameless puns as well as the obvious ironical reference to stringy promises of yore.
The group E8, which is the main actor, is technically a SIMPLE group and it is one of the EXCEPTIONAL groups. And "Theory of Everything" makes one immediately think of Brian Greene and a decade of unsupported hyperbole about fashionable but fruitless research.

So I took the title as witty and just a wee bit satirical---the gross puns making clear the burlesque element.


Math puns.
:shrug:
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entanglement Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-14-07 04:40 PM
Response to Original message
50. If you're going 'OMG! This is like Good Will Hunting'- He has a PhD in theoretical physics from UCSD
which is enough to make one a 'physicist'. The newspaper headline is ridiculous - its like saying 'violinist dude stuns physicists with theory of relativity'
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SidDithers Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-14-07 04:50 PM
Response to Original message
52. Sounds like quite the free spirit...
kinda reminiscent of Feynman. I look forward to reading the paper.

Thanks for posting :hi:

Sid
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nealmhughes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-14-07 04:58 PM
Response to Reply #52
56. Poor dude never got to Tuva. How sad.
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lovuian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-14-07 04:52 PM
Response to Original message
54. I think its beautiful
Awesome reminds me of some crop circles
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jgraz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-14-07 04:56 PM
Response to Original message
55. OMG! It's Jeff Gannon!


So THAT'S what he's been up to! :wow:
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Quantess Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-16-07 06:29 PM
Response to Reply #55
185. That's mean.
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Bucky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-14-07 05:03 PM
Response to Original message
60. Bucky's Law: any scientifice theorum preceded by "Whoa, like" or followed by "get it, dude?"...
...isn't going to pan out.
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Danascot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-14-07 06:31 PM
Response to Reply #60
77. Sorry Bucky

Whoa, like that's Bill & Ted's Excellent Law.
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slackmaster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-14-07 05:09 PM
Response to Original message
62. I thought my day was made when I saw the blooper video of the woman who was hit by lightning
This is even better.
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Skidmore Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-14-07 05:12 PM
Response to Original message
63. Man, the thought of math at this level makes my hair hurt.
No wonder the dude's bald!

Seriously, I admire people who think at this level but higher level math is not my forte. My son once wrote an entire paper for an engineering class on the properties of of an object standing still. It was like reading a foreign language. I just told him that he had done well and I was proud of him. I stood in awe. I had birthed this man and nurtured this mind. I knew him when.
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Fly by night Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-14-07 05:21 PM
Response to Original message
64. My theory of everything -- it's all good.
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Gabi Hayes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-14-07 06:22 PM
Response to Reply #64
76. what did the zenmaster say to
the hotdog vendor?
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Jeroen Donating Member (608 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-14-07 06:53 PM
Response to Reply #76
83. "A hotdog please"
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Gabi Hayes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-14-07 06:56 PM
Response to Reply #83
84. not even close.....
hint: hot dog isn't part of the answer, and it's not the sound of one dog barking, either
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Joe Chi Minh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-14-07 07:27 PM
Response to Reply #84
87. Could the 57 dimensions have something to do with the primordial soup, mebbe?
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Gabi Hayes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-14-07 07:34 PM
Response to Reply #87
89. no soup for you!
the answer lies within a koan-shaped sphere
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Sabriel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-14-07 08:06 PM
Response to Reply #84
99. Make me one with everything? n/t
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Jeroen Donating Member (608 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-15-07 03:57 PM
Response to Reply #84
159. Sorry, but I was standing right next to him
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Fozzledick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-14-07 08:32 PM
Response to Reply #76
101. "Make me one with everything!"
BTW, why did Bodhidharma cross the Himalayas?
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Gabi Hayes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-14-07 08:40 PM
Response to Reply #101
103. because one of his hands
Edited on Wed Nov-14-07 08:43 PM by Gabi Hayes
had the clap?

now, stop fu-ling around and shao us the answer!
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Fozzledick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-14-07 09:07 PM
Response to Reply #103
111. To get to the other side!
:hide:
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eridani Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-15-07 02:56 AM
Response to Reply #76
128. Make me one with everything n/t
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conscious evolution Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-16-07 06:59 AM
Response to Reply #76
173. Make me one with everything
What did the hot dog vendor say when the zen master paid with a Hundred dollar bill?


















Change comes from within.
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deutsey Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-16-07 04:18 PM
Response to Reply #76
178. Mu!
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GreenPartyVoter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-14-07 05:26 PM
Response to Original message
65. cool
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Stinky The Clown Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-14-07 05:53 PM
Response to Original message
70. Doood ..... like ..... its really tubular, mahn.
A doctorate and no university affiliation.

Kewl!
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Toasterlad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-14-07 06:02 PM
Response to Original message
73. Get a Job, Hippie!
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Kingofalldems Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-14-07 06:12 PM
Response to Original message
75. Homer Simpson's theory of the universe:
Edited on Wed Nov-14-07 06:16 PM by kingofalldems
It is shaped like a donut.
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Mike03 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-14-07 06:33 PM
Response to Original message
78. Fascinating and worth following
Edited on Wed Nov-14-07 06:55 PM by Mike03
If Lee Smolin is interested, I'm interested; although, Lee Smolin encourages all sorts of theories, especially Loop Quantum Gravity.

My only comments are that E8 supergravity is old but, as String Theory was in 1985, it is not well enough understood yet, but holds great potential. Lisi seems to be suggesting that the unknown particle parameters of the Standard Model (or beyond it) are not superpartners but the result of some unknown force entirely. The reason this is possible is that there are potentially degrees of freedom for particles that are not well understood and are not accounted for in the Standard Model. That is possible, but they also must have remarkably large masses not to have been discovered by the Tevatron. If this is so, why does he not classify them as superpartners? There is not enough info in the article to understand what he is arguing. Are they zero mass particles assigned a mass--and if so, by what force?

Could he be talking about extended Technicolor models, in which something other than the Higgs Field is responsible for the masses of the additional generations?

Other theories are desperately needed now, as String Theory draws closer and closer to the abyss of indeciperhability.
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Mike03 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-14-07 06:39 PM
Response to Original message
81. Theoretical Physicists: Can you tell us if this is legit or not?
Edited on Wed Nov-14-07 06:44 PM by Mike03
Is Lisi arguing that the Higgs field does not exist?

My understanding is that it is by no means guaranteed that the LHC will discover superpartners, but that it is expected to produce the Higgs--is this true or not?

EDIT: To be precise, not "produce the Higgs" but produce evidence of the Higgs.
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TrogL Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-14-07 07:49 PM
Response to Reply #81
93. In his response here, he seems to address that
http://backreaction.blogspot.com/2007/11/theoretically-... (about half-way down)

I can say that the current particles in the theory do not have superpartners. So if sparticles show up at the LHC, that's a setback for this theory, and some support for strings (although string theory has backed away from predicting sparticles -- it's odd that they get to have it both ways). I could easily add another copy of E8 to get superpartners, but I don't wish to complicate things beyond necessity.



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Mike03 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-14-07 07:50 PM
Response to Reply #93
94. Thanks! This is very interesting! N/T
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Mike03 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-14-07 07:52 PM
Response to Reply #93
95. Looks like there is still a large number of SM parameters
that will have to be put in by hand.
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TrogL Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-14-07 08:03 PM
Response to Reply #95
98. He admits it's ugly
...and this is one thing that concerns me. I don't understand WHY he's trying to confirm to Standard Model if he's got something that works without it.
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Mike03 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-14-07 08:47 PM
Response to Reply #98
106. Isn't String Theory even uglier than the Standard Model?
There are so many parameters to be put in by hand, and doesn't it predict the wrong cosmological constant? Mathmeticians believe ST is beautiful but a lot of physicists think it just adds more chaos to what we already know.
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TrogL Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-15-07 02:52 PM
Response to Reply #106
154. String theory lacks sufficient coherence to have any attribute
...even "ugly".

And I don't like parameters put in by hand. That easily leads to cherry picking.
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Mike03 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-14-07 07:21 PM
Response to Original message
86. Cali, would you give me permission to repost your post in the science forum?
I will just cut and paste and say it is your post from GD. I really want to know what some of the people there think of this article.
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cali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-14-07 08:03 PM
Response to Reply #86
97. of course. and you don't need to say it's my post. n/t
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Mike03 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-14-07 08:08 PM
Response to Reply #97
100. Thanks! You deserve to be credited for finding this. N/T
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lonestarnot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-14-07 07:30 PM
Response to Original message
88. bookmarking for a later read... off to the store for viddles.
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TrogL Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-14-07 07:35 PM
Response to Original message
90. Quite the flame war has broken out here
http://backreaction.blogspot.com/2007/11/theoretically-...

Example:

Your description of that paper is completely uncritical, it is just downright dumb. For example, you write "This is without doubt cool: He has a theory that contains gravity as well as the other interactions of the SM."

He doesn't have any unifying theory. His superambitious statements are based on roughly 10 major misunderstandings, to be sketched again below. If 1 out of these 10 misunderstandings appeared in a paper of a physicist who is viewed as a serious one, he or she would be deeply embarrassed.

But in certain other circles, 10 of them is not a problem.

First, it is impossible to unify bosons and fermions in one field, unless one has a fermionic symmetry (usually supersymmetry) that relates them. Lisi obviously doesn't have anything like that so his formulae adding bosons and fermions together are just like when you add temperature and time or apples and oranges - it's just elementary misunderstanding of elementary school science.

A related thing is that one can't unify fields with integer and half-integer spins, for analogous reasons.

Another level of this thing is that one simply can't interpret gravity as a bulk field, which means that one can't unify gravity with gauge forces in his childish way. Again, the relevant excitations transform differently with respect to the Lorentz group. Diffeomorphism group in 4D is not a special example of Yang-Mills theory of any kind. They're just not isomorphic.

There are many wrong technical statements, for example the E8 fundamental representation doesn't lead to 3 families under that decomposition.

Then there is a lot of more subtle errors, but all of the major ones show that the author simply doesn't know much about physics of spacetime. He might have learned roots of E8 but physics can't be reduced to roots of E8. Roots of E8 are just about one type of internal indices that fields can carry.

But fields in physics also carry Lorentz indices, statistics, and they interact according to formulae that are extremely important and cannot be ignored like in this paper.

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Mike03 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-14-07 07:38 PM
Response to Reply #90
91. Extremely Helpful
This is the sort of detailed critique I was hoping for.

Thank you very much.
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TrogL Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-14-07 07:58 PM
Response to Reply #91
96. I'm no physicist, but I am a student of logic
Using the tools of symbolic logic, I haven't found any gaping holes he has said. Garrett has admitted his premises up front which makes my life easier. Others, however, are not or making reference to a priori knowledge I lack - there's missing symbols.

What everybody is after, however, is reduction to triviality. To mis-quote Einstein, "to be able to explain it to a fifth-grader" (personally I find fourth-graders more reasonable - hormones haven't kicked in yet).
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Mike03 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-14-07 08:36 PM
Response to Reply #96
102. You are definitely smarter than I am
I am really a layperson with very little experience in math, trying right now as we speak to learn the math of supersymmetry and string theory. So it's hard for me to decipher a good theory from a bad theory, especially since many "good" theories are absurd to other scientists, such as Loop Quantum Gravity and Technicolor. Some people believe in these theories and others think they are ludicrous, and those like me have no way of judging.

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TrogL Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-15-07 12:52 AM
Response to Reply #102
127. I've changed my mind, but need another look
I think I've spotted a logical fallacy.

One of the physicists accused him of numerology and he's got a point. He's fallen in love with this construct of his and he's parcelling up the rest of his theory to fit the geometry. The facts should drive the structure, not the other way around.

He's dabbling in 'undivided middle'.
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TrogL Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-15-07 01:16 PM
Response to Reply #127
142. I've entered the fray
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spacelady Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-15-07 11:40 PM
Response to Reply #127
168. If I interpret correctly, albeit without complete understanding of
the formulae, is that he has backed himself into a corner, cannot give up his unsubstantiated hypothesis and therefore cannot "think outside the box."

Another analogy would be "sexing up the facts to make his case." There ARE many experts in their field who do this (by field I mean area(s) of expertise).
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Mike03 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-14-07 07:39 PM
Response to Reply #90
92. I'd like to know why Lee Smolin
Edited on Wed Nov-14-07 08:10 PM by Mike03
has such faith in this theory.
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spacelady Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-14-07 11:47 PM
Response to Reply #90
120. It's all about the Gravity, man. Vonnegut came close.
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whistle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-15-07 01:42 PM
Response to Reply #90
145. So you are saying he has totally misunderstood the mathematical language
...he is using to express his functions?
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L. Coyote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-14-07 08:54 PM
Response to Original message
107. he tells New Scientist. "I thought: 'Holy crap, that's it!'"
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Mike03 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-14-07 08:58 PM
Response to Reply #107
108. It's hard to take this seriously, but theoretical physics is in such
a dismal state that, frankly, I am desperate for a breakthrough. One thing we don't have now are many Einsteins, because of the way science is funded. If someone out there is vastly creative, I'll at least consider what they are saying and see what people with more intelligence than I do think about it.
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Mike03 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-14-07 09:00 PM
Response to Original message
109. Somewhat Off Topic
Just curious: Does it look to anyone else like String Theory/M Theory is basically going down the shithole?

If you agree this is the case, we need to begin to examine other fundamental theories for the SM as well as quantization of gravity and the origin of the universe.
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entanglement Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-14-07 11:52 PM
Response to Reply #109
122. It's great math - whether it's great science or not remains to be seen
BTW, the 'bosses' and 'activists' of string theory like Ben Green, Lubos Motl :) and Leonard Susskind take serious offense at any hint that string theory is a dead end. Lee Smolin and Peter Woit have gone public with their misgivings about String theory and the politics surrounding it, but my understanding is that the string establishment is very far from giving in. One problem is that alternatives to string theory, like LQG, are probably just as *non-disprovable* as string theory.

(/I'm not a theoretical physicist)

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Mike03 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 07:09 PM
Response to Reply #122
192. Thanks for your comment
I couldn't agree more with everything you wrote. Lubos Motl was an embarrassment to Harvard and as a defense to String Theory.

Even as a kid just out of college, I was enamoured of supersymmetry and string theory.

Maybe these theories are dead wrong, but before I die I would love to have some deep understanding of the laws of the universe, what our universe is, why it exists, and how it has come into being.

Right now, I'm reading (trying to read) textbooks on String and M theory, so there must be some part of me that is hoping...

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dweller Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-14-07 11:13 PM
Response to Original message
117. reminds me of this
http://www.coralcastlecode.com/index.html






http://www.coralcastlecode.com/id47.html


but then most of the time, this reminds me of that.
dp
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spacelady Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-15-07 12:52 AM
Response to Reply #117
126. These are interesting. When I have had visionary dreams
that seem to carry a deeper meaning, they usually have a mandala or hourglass shape that pulses in an irregular rhythm.
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Cha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-15-07 11:54 AM
Response to Reply #126
138. Oh, Lucky You..
I don't have those kind of dreams..but sometimes they're not too bad. :)
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conscious evolution Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-16-07 07:04 AM
Response to Reply #126
174. The heartbeat of the universe
I know what you speak of.The same thing happens to me also.
Anytime I feel the heartbeat in live music I know things are about to get interesting.
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spacelady Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-14-07 11:59 PM
Response to Original message
123. When all is said and done, the Unified Theory will be so simple
to comprehend it will be like slapping your forehead and saying, "I could have had a V-8!."
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Joe Chi Minh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-15-07 07:00 AM
Response to Reply #123
129. Surely, only a mathematical formulation would be possible - if it ever
Edited on Thu Nov-15-07 07:00 AM by KCabotDullesMarxIII
will be.

Since light only interacts with space-time and appears to have its own reference frame outside of it, whence the certainty that our universe is an integral, autonomous unit? Physicists have shown an awesomely risible propensity for dismissing the possibility of anything their competency can't, by definition, get a handle on.
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WheelWalker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-15-07 12:03 AM
Response to Original message
124. Holy crap, I get it!
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woo me with science Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-15-07 12:26 AM
Response to Original message
125. But...but...you didn't say if he backs Kucinich, Edwards, or Hillary!
How can I possibly know whether to praise or ridicule him!???????
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gatorboy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-15-07 11:00 AM
Response to Original message
135. "I don't know Butchie instead."
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AngryAmish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-15-07 11:03 AM
Response to Original message
136. The headline reads like The Onion
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JAbuchan08 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-15-07 11:52 AM
Response to Original message
137. That's bodacious Duuude!
completely righteous!
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Greyskye Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-15-07 12:07 PM
Response to Original message
140. Reminds me of The Tao of Physics
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Tao_of_Physics

Only book on tape I've ever listened to.

:smoke:
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Truth2Tell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-15-07 12:49 PM
Response to Original message
141. Huge K&R!!!
This thread made my morning.

I love me a Lebowski heavy thread!!! You guys are killin' me.
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Mrspeeker Donating Member (671 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-15-07 02:52 PM
Response to Original message
155. this post shouldn't be so highly recommended
Its a really kewl theory but we really need to be talking about other subjects like the democratic party!
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jgraz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-15-07 02:56 PM
Response to Reply #155
156. We should probably move this to the Science forum
But it's pretty damn interesting.
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immoderate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-15-07 04:33 PM
Response to Reply #156
160. But it's also a story...
You may be right, but a lot of people got to participate who don't get to science. Non-science types appreciated seeing this. All those recs didn't come from physicists.

--IMM
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immoderate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-15-07 04:44 PM
Response to Original message
161. Why isn't this thread showing up on the Greatest page?
Not that it's so important, but if this one isn't there, how do we know that others aren't there? Bug? Rules?

--IMM
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CabalPowered Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-15-07 04:45 PM
Response to Reply #161
162. Greatest are only up for 24 hours
after the initial post.
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immoderate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-15-07 06:15 PM
Response to Reply #162
165. I knew that...
I guess time flies, and all.

Anyway, thanks for reminding me, stupid as I was.

--IMM
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Lisa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-15-07 07:15 PM
Response to Original message
166. Awesome! Sending this to all the surfing scientists I know ...
And I'm on the west coast, so there are a lot of them!
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Duer 157099 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-16-07 04:27 AM
Response to Original message
170. You know, I probably could agree with this theory
except I think I would have switched the green with the blue, and the squares with the triangles.

Then it would work.
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lovuian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-16-07 06:03 PM
Response to Original message
180. Its what they call Sacred geometry
kinda looks like this too



I think he is on to something
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derby378 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-16-07 06:07 PM
Response to Original message
181. Whoa.
I'm getting in late on this, but even if this TOE peters out, it's a pretty cool idea.
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Uncle Joe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-16-07 06:22 PM
Response to Original message
182. I was watching a sitcom last night or the night before and I could swear, I saw the same pattern
Edited on Fri Nov-16-07 06:44 PM by Uncle Joe
on a throw pillow on a couch, it might have been that program with Jim Belushi or it might have been 30 Rock the other night.

P.S. I'm serious as a heart attack, this isn't an attempt of using snark.
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Mike03 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-16-07 06:24 PM
Response to Original message
183. Check out Peter Woit's blog, "Not Even Wrong."
Edited on Fri Nov-16-07 06:49 PM by Mike03
Woit is the author of an excellent anti-String Theory book called "Not Even Wrong" and has operated a website by that name for several (three/four?) years.

He is the first person thanked in the acknowledgements portion of Lisi's paper, so Woit apparently gave Lisi some guidance of some sort on this theory. Woit is a nice guy, and the fact that he helped him may not mean that he agrees entirely with the suppositions of the theory.

Woit is a mathematician who I believe specializes in topology, but he did devote years to String Theory and has an excellent reputation.

He is one of a number of physicists who are discussing the merits of this paper on blogs.

The state of physics is such that it would not surprise me terribly if a better idea did come entirely out of left field at this point. There is a myopia in physics now fixated on String, M Theory and Membranes. There are other theories that show promise, but they are being drowned out by the String Mania.

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AntiFascist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 04:58 AM
Response to Reply #183
190. I know practically nothing about quantum physics, but I am a fan of....

the HistoryHD channel, and they've had some really cool programs, one that dealt with the Big Bang theory (talk about your history!). It sounds like the latest version of the theory postulates that the nature of the universe during the earliest stages of the Big Bang was such that the fundamental forces were combined into one force and then when gravity split off as a separate force inflation occured (or something to that effect) where the universe briefly expanded at a rate faster than the speed of light and all of the basic structures were laid out. Inflation solves several problems that other theories can't explain, including why the temperature of the universe seems to be consistent. Also, String Theory seems to be having a problem explaining inflation. It seems that theories of physics depend just as much on physical cosmology as they do on observable phenomena involving supercolliders.
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Mike03 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 07:13 PM
Response to Reply #190
193. Interesting.
I wasn't aware that inflation conflicted with String Theory, but that could very well be true. I know ST has a different calculation for the Cosmological Constant--that may be the same thing you are talking about. The prediction is off by huge magnitudes!

One problem with string theory seems to be that they have to keep adding new schemes to circumvent why ST is in conflict with the Standard Model or with the world we see around us.
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Joe Chi Minh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 07:03 PM
Response to Reply #183
191. Well, I once read somewhere that string theorists say that string theory,
Edited on Sat Nov-17-07 07:15 PM by KCabotDullesMarxIII
even if wrong, would still be valid; it couldn't be definitively disproved. Certainly, words to that effect. Doesn't inspire confidence in string theory, does it?

But the woolly, "fashion" mindset is nowhere stronger than in liberal Arts courses in universities. I remember in the sixties T S Eliot was The Wheel when it came to Shakespearian criticism. The sublime, often haunting evocations of Eliot's language and imagery, together with the more amorphous style of modern poetry, in my opinion, masked the essential pusillanimity of his character as evidenced in his life, leaving him quite ill-equipped for appreciating the works of Shakespeare, which do however, reflect his magnanimity.

In literature - poetry excepted - genius tends to rise to the top, at least in terms of the classics. However, artistic brilliance was never a mark of character in the Fine Arts, which, in a way, resemble the modern style of poetry written by Eliot and Dylan Thomas. Not exactly "mechanistic". What marks out Shakespeare's genius to a notable degree, it seems to me, is that it comprehends both strands of genius.
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Mike03 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 07:17 PM
Response to Reply #191
194. Thanks for your intriguing post
String Theory certainly may have validity. It's original purpose was not to provide a theory of everything but to solve smaller problems.

It IS fascinating and strangely compelling, even though I read both pro and anti string material. When I was just out of college I set as one of my goals to understand String theory in a deeper sense, and that is a goal that I've not abandoned. Now, all these years later, I'm in a very fortunate position where I can do that.

Your art/science analogy is very poignant, if I understand it. It seems to be a very enlightened view of science.
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Joe Chi Minh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 07:43 PM
Response to Reply #194
195. Thank you. I found the parallels in the respective studies intriguing.
Edited on Sat Nov-17-07 07:55 PM by KCabotDullesMarxIII
As a youngster, although I had no aptitude for it, I was attracted to empirical science, because it seemed honest and straightforward. I've since realised, of course, that professional/personal integrity is always problematic in any profession/field of learning.

Oddly enough, from the immeasurably superficial and tenuous grasp of the meaning of string theory I gained from a magazine article on the subject, I also found something very attractively plausible about it. It's a pity that it is just conjecture at the moment. Equally opaque to me is Lisi's theory, but I can appreciate why authoritative figures in the field are excited about it, seeming to contain, as it does, so many reassuringly felicitous and simple congruences with traditional bedrock paradigm. (If that makes sense!)
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Joe Chi Minh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-18-07 01:17 PM
Response to Reply #194
196. While I am hoping that Lisi's theory is a major breakthrough in physics,
Edited on Sun Nov-18-07 01:30 PM by KCabotDullesMarxIII
it does seem to me that the starting point of physicists today is self-limiting, in a way that for all the mechanistic context of Newton's physics, he was able to see beyond. I believe he posited that while his calculations were based on 4 dimensions, there might be more.

Many today would consider Newton a fanatical religious "nut", and he certainly became more keen on theology (until more recent times held to be the Queen of the Sciences), however bizarre his own take on it, than he was on mathematics, which he came to scorn.

However, I believe he will turn out to be more modern in his thinking than today's scientists, who, understandably valuing the focus on the observable physical world, nevertheless, now that the extremities of scientific knowledge appear to be approached, will need to open their minds to the possibility (actually, certainty) that physics and metaphysics will not only meet, but must meet in an area "beyond our ken".

If I am not mistaken, scientists today adopt the secular fundamentalists's position, that a creator God can have no relevance to their field of enquiry; which is odd, since special relativity seems to indicate that, while the proper reference frame of light (despite the latter's interaction with our world of space-time) must exist outside of space-time, it is also anthropocentric - an epistemological question! And does not this crucial role of the observer also obtain at the sub-atomic level? The observer is caught in both, it seems, in an inescapable grip, which is uniquely personal.

The gravitational fields of physical phenomena, on the other hand, appear to be functions of the phenomenas' proper physical autonomy (albeit, inter-subjectively observable). So, reconciling such seminally disparate fields without reference to metaphysics-religion would seem to be quite a feat...
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Mike03 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-16-07 06:29 PM
Response to Original message
184. P.S. To anyone bemoaning the fact that this thread is hanging on
so long, I think it is utterly fantastic that people are so interested in the new physics and what the answers to our most fundamental and primal questions may be.

Another way of looking at it is that we are paying for this research; we ought to know enough about it to help direct it, and there is a legitimate debate now about whether too much money is going to String and M Theory, and to clutter the physics departments of universities only with String Theorists.
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Taverner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-18-07 02:53 PM
Response to Reply #184
198. Exactly: this is Earth shattering
Scientists will look back to this (hopefully, if it pans out) as being more significant than the Theory of Relativity, Watson-Crick's DNA discovery, and the Origin of Species

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Leopolds Ghost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-18-07 02:31 PM
Response to Original message
197. Totally Fascinating. But isn't this an experiment in mapping rather than an explanation?
It is incredibly beautiful in the same way Euler's Identity is incredibly beautiful (that's as far as I
got in Math and anyone who doesn't believe in meaning and purpose to the universe hasn't considered the
incredible elegance of Euler's Identity which establishes the completely unforseeable and integral relationship between e, i and pi, three fundamental mathematical concepts -- more fundamental than M-space!!)
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