Re: Cyclical Universe based on Big Rip Scenario - Jan 03, 2008 03:10 AM

Hi Rufus, (Austin)

I’m back from the reality of the beach.

In ’The Trouble with Physics’, Lee Smolin notes that string theory is background-dependent; however, since the background (space) evolves in time, such as gravity acting on itself-so, we really need a background-independent theory, like what forms space, but that’s not easy. M-"theory" wishes to be background independent form of string theories, but it doesn’t yet exist even in name only, for the ’M’ doesn’t yet stand for anything and it isn’t a theory, just a hope!

String theory got any result it wanted by the choice of a convenient background and by using many dimensions. As such, there are too many solutions to it now and they can’t tell which is the preferred one, I summary, Smolin thinks string theory wasted 30 years, although there were, as always, a few side benefits, like insights into new concepts of math.

String theory says that vibrating strings give rise to all the now fundamental particles and forces (around 40 of them?) and predicts more particles that are far too large for any bombardment ring to ever find. But the real question is what the strings could be made of, how they came to be compressed with such astronomical tension.

(Sent Mar)It is actually a very good explanation of the current state of physics. So far we have one perceived reality as we know it and many varied theories. This was the challenge that Einstein faced when he devoted the latter stages of his studies to finding a unified theory. There is no easy way to use the known theories because they find a boundary or mathematically undefinable point where they just do not make sense any more. That is not to say the quest is wrong but it may mean we are not yet defining the right universal shape. So at this point each of the theories within its zone is very accurate.

As for unified theory or the TOE the Theory Of Everything, well if it was hard for a genius like Einstein then perhaps we shouldn’t beat ourselves up to much for struggling to find one. It would be nice to think that in his papers he did come up with a unified theory no matter how strange ... because it may just be a starting point for lesser mortals.

He was such an inspired genius that maybe he did overestimate our potential to come up with a unified theory or even that for the time being we may even be safer not knowing. Remember he lived in turbulent times.

I like the quote

"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius -- and a lot of courage -- to move in the opposite direction." Albert Einstein

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