An excellent thread about String Theory's shortcomings
Does String Theory Satisfy Einstein's Conditions for a Physical Theory?
In his autobiography Einstein said:
Before I enter upon a critique of mechanics as a foundation of physics, something of a broadly general nature will first have to be said concerning the points of view according to which it is possible to criticize physical theories at all. The first point of view is obvious: The theory must not contradict empirical facts. However evident this demand may in the first place appear, its application turns out to be quite delicate. For it is often, perhaps even always, possible to adhere to a general theoretical foundation by securing the adaption of the theory to the facts by means of artificial additional assumptions. In any case, however, this first point of view is concerned with the confirmation of the theoretical foundation by the available empirical facts.
The second point of view is not concerned with the relation to the material of observation but with the premises of the theory itself, with what may briefly but vaguely be characterized as the "naturalness" or " logical simplicity" of the premises (of the basic concepts and of the relations between these which are taken as a basis). This point of view, an exact formulation of which meets with great difficulties, has played an important role in the selection and evaluation of theories since time immemorial. The problem here is not simply one of a kind of enumeration of the logically independent premises (if anything like this were at all unequivocally possible), but that of a kind of reciprocal weighing of incommeasurable qualities. Furthermore, among theories of equally "simple" foundation that one is to be taken as superior which most sharply delimits the qualities of system in the abstract (i.e., contains that most definite claims). Of the "realm" of theories I need not speak here, inasmuch as we are confining ourselves to such theories whose object is the totality of all physical appearances. The second point of view may briefly be characterized as concerning itself with the "inner perfection" of the theory, whereas the first point of view refers to the "external confirmation." The following I reckon as also belonging to the "inner perfection" of a theory: we prize a theory more highly if, from the logical standpoint, it is not the result of an arbitrary choice among theories which, among themselves, are of equal value and analogously constructed.
Albert Einstein: Philosopher-Scientist, Volume One, 1949, Autobiographical Notes, p 21--23,
Open Court, Cambridge University Press.
Does string theory conform to this?
First off, thanks to everyone here & happy holidays. Though my words seem heated at times, I would like to extend my sincere thanks to everyone in this thread. You all seem fairly adept and intelligent. Physics is a tough sport, and I appreciate all the good sports here.
Is there any theory out there that accounts for both quantum mechanics and relativity with a simple postulate?
I have one, and I will post it soon. I am currently writing up a $1.00 NSF grant proposal. With it I will buy some pencils. I will get the paper out of my own pocket.
Yes--c is constant. But why is it constant? How is it constant? What underlying physical reality makes it this way? Does string theory answer this? Does any theory answer why? Remember how Newton said that Gravity held the moon in orbit about the earth? The theory was excellent--almost perfect, but then Einstein asked how and why, and he came up not with new math, but with new physics--the curvature of space-time.
Also, where does string theory take entanglement into account? Where does string theory account for action at a distance? I thought that we had agreed here long ago that string theory made no mention of these things, providing no deeper framework for the EPR paradox.
I will soon post my theory in Independent Research. But first let's address some of the current shortcomings of current theories:
Why is the speed of light constant in all frames?
Does any theory address this? Does any theory provide an underlying physical framework for this?
Why are light and energy quantized?
We know that they are, but does any theory tell us why they are? What underlying physical reality dictates this?
How can matter and energy display both wave and particle properties?
Does any theory provide an underlying physical reality that predicts that matter and energy can display both wave and particle properties?
Why are there non-local effects in quantum mechanics?
Why is there action at a distance? What physical reality causes the EPR paradox?
Why does time stop at the speed of light?
We know it does, but why? What's the physical reality behind this?
How come a photon does not age?
Why are inertial mass and gravitational mass the same thing?
Why do moving bodies exhibit length contraction?
What is the physical reality that causes this?
Why are mass and energy equivalent?
What is the physical reality that causes this? We know E=mc^2, but what does this imply about the deeper reality behind it all.
Why is time not the fourth dimension, but an emrgent property of the fourth dimension interacting with three spatial dimensions?
Our physical reality dictates that time is not the fourth dimension, as we can not move backwards through it. We can't even stand still in it.
Why is time a scalar, and yet also sometimes considered a dimension?
Why does the block universe make no sense? We do have free will, so the block universe cannot exist--this theory shows that a block universe does not exist.
Why does time's arrow point in the direction it points in? Why
entropy? What is the physical reality behind entropy?
Why do photons appear as spherically-symmetric wavefronts traveling
with the velocity c?
Why is there a minus sign in the following metric?
What deeper reality underlies Einstein's postulates of relativity?
What deeper reality underlies Newton's laws?
What underlies the laws of Inertia?
Why does general relativity fail at short distances? Why does quantum
mechanics dominate at short distances?
Why have so many great minds, like Einestein, Godel, Wheeler, Hawking, and Penrose called for a new conception of time? What should that new conception of time look like? What is the physical reality of space-time?
Why is the maximum and minimum four-velocity of every single object in the universe c? What does this say about the underlying physical reality of space-time?
Neither LQG nor String Theory address any of this.
I wish that String Theory did all of this, as it would free me up to go skiing.
But alas, just as thousands must get paid by NSF and go skiing at cool conferences, someone's gotta further physics.
I will post in Indpendent Research soon.
And again, a big thanks to everyone here.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!