[Marxism] Fwd: An Amateur Critique of String Theory | JSTOR Daily

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Wed Dec 30 07:47:11 MST 2015


I drove a rented sedan to New York City to interview Peter Woit, a 
theoretical physicist at Columbia who has taken refuge in his 
university’s mathematics department. He’s a refugee because his 
criticisms of string theory have made him the subject of some derision 
among other physicists, who have subjected him to such trollish epithets 
as “incompetent, power-thirsty moron” and “stuttering crackpot-in-chief.”

According to Professor Woit’s 2002 article in American Scientist, string 
theory “is built on the idea that elementary particles are not pointlike 
objects but are the vibration modes of one-dimensional ‘string-like’ 
entities,” which exist in 11-dimensional spacetime. But, Woit points 
out, there’s an obvious problem with that: String theory’s requirement 
of 10 spatial dimensions is “in serious disagreement with all the 
evidence of one’s senses.” He continues: “Matching string theory with 
reality requires that one postulate six unobserved spatial dimensions of 
very small size wrapped up in one way or another. All the predictions of 
the theory depend on how you do this, but there are an infinite number 
of possible choices, and no one has any idea how to determine which is 
correct.” Crazy like a fox: apparently my half-drunk skepticism wasn’t 
so misplaced.

full: http://daily.jstor.org/i-heart-physics-love-story/



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