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Talk:M-theory

Note: add a mention to Vafa's F-theory with 12 spacetime dimensions (2 time, 10 space).

Note 2: explain T-duality (between R and 1/R) and how it relates to energy; that there are two distinct measures for energy which give rise to different measures for dimensional size.


On the article it talks about 11-dimensional spacetime. Shouldn't this be a 12-dimensional spacetime with an eleven dimensional space? I don't know very much about M-theory, but I'm pretty sure that in string theory and Kaluza-Klein models in general, you need an even dimensional spacetime in order to allow left-handed and right-handed spins.

Read this article. http://www.2think.org/t000104284.shtml . I'm not certain this helps. Will review my notes again. Remember I don't fully understand this, and to explain it is worse ! BF

Hmm, that says 11-D spacetime, and some further searching confirms it. How very odd that that permits chiral asymmetry, but maybe some property of the 'branes allows it. Hmm. Sorry for the unwarranted questioning, and feel free to delete this conversation.

There's no simple answer since the superstring theories are constructed on top of the bosonic string theory, which is 26 dimensional. So for all I know, chirality is related to dimensionality. I am curious where you got the idea though. -- ark


"yet to produce testable predictions" can only come from a qualified physicist who is working in the field.. sorry" Boggle. WTF does that mean? Are you pulling rank? -- GWO

Of course not. I am explaining that whoever added that part must be researching M-theory, unless they are quoting someone who is. once again, that deletion was made because the THEORY has already been scrutinized by fellows of Witten, and stands. Someone chooses to assume or fantasize they are part of the M-theory group of physicists, outside wiki. That tiny addition to the main page was unsubstantiated presumption on someone's part. Moreover, I have read some recent journal abstracts(some Japanese scientists) which use M-theory to expand into new areas of superstring, meaning it works.

I found a site or paper (don't have it at hand) which had that section of the page (now moved/deleted) almost word for word. So I believe the person who wrote it was quoting a physicist, and not presuming to be a physicist. -- ark


String theory is different. Some people complain that it does not predict - but it in fact predicts a lot. To include gravity consistently to a quantum theory, we were forced to go to 10 dimensions, to discover supersymmetry, to allow topology change etc. Some people criticize string theory that it predicts nothing new, some people complain the string theory involves/predicts too much new stuff (excited strings, higher dimensions, SUSY etc.). Some critics happily belong to both categories and they do not realize how inconsistent their position is... ;-) (http://www.lns.cornell.edu/spr/2001-06/msg0033389)

Nice job cleaning up the article I originally wrote. The LD Learning Lab at Caltech does help a lot! I noticed some formulas painstakingly added with symbol fonts were removed by someone. This is very annoying to see on a science page. Not sure if wiki supports pdf yet, so restore the formulas, or I will. BF 22:55 Dec 12, 2002 (UTC)


I'm a mathematician and I've written a number of articles about analysis, and sometimes people complain that my articles are too specialized and don't make any sense. (For instance, see Lebesgue integration or Riemann surface.) However, I'm almost certain you guys are doing a poorer job than I am. There are a zillion and a half technical terms that aren't defined at all. In fact, almost every word of every sentence is some undefined techincal term. Here's a specific example:

The T duality infers the existence of open strings with positions fixed in the dimensions that are T-transformed.

T duality? T transform? What does it mean to have open strings with positions fixed in whatever dimensions?

Do you mean open as in f:[0,1]->X with f(0) \ne f(1) or as in f:(0,1)->X? Articles such as Riemann integral are long, not because the topic is complex, but because a more terse discussion missing numerous definitions is inappropriate, especially for an encyclopedia.

I think a lot could be done to disambiguate, clarify and otherwise make this very interesting article even better. Loisel 00:06 Jan 30, 2003 (UTC)

I agree absolutely. Sentences like The theory requires mathematical tools which have yet to be invented in order to be fully understood make me instantly assume that the following paragraphs are not going to be too enlightening. If nobody understands the theory because we don't have the mathematical tools - well, what kind of theory is that? Chas zzz brown 03:40 Feb 1, 2003 (UTC)

Right, that sentence is not particularly good. Some fields of physics haven't been completely axiomatized yet, and sometimes many mathematical details are unproven (I believe this was the case for much of Witten's work, which was otherwise excellent and warranted a Fields medal.) So I would understand if some of the theory hasn't been worked out to a mathematician's satisfaction. However, with the article as it is now, much more profound changes are needed than an axiomatization. Right now, the article is unreadable to non-experts and probably useless to experts.



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