29 June 2013

The strings 2013 conference

The slides of the talks are found here. Have a look. I did nor spot many discussions on how string theory describes nature. I did not spot many discussions on where the field is going.

The apostles of string theory are very depressed and subdued: Witten, Seiberg, Sen, Vafa etc.

Many have switched to exploring emergence: Maldacena, Arkani-Hamed, Myers etc. In his last slide, Arkani-Hamed concludes that both space-time and quantum theory must emerge together.

The summary talk is also worth it: a superb summary of how detached from reality the speakers are. Like the summary of a conference of the communist party...


  1. I think that the most insightful ideas are the simplest. String theory isn't simple, so it cannot be insightful.

    Maybe I'm just a simpleton.

  2. Replies
    1. String theory is not simple.However it is beautiful and accurate mathematical acrobatics.This is dramatically exemplified by Ed Witten,the ST tsar,being receiver of Fields's prize for ST related math breakthroughs.Out of all ST experts,he has been acutely aware for a long time (in writing)of the main ST theory failure,which is to provide a (new) reasonable fundamental physical guiding principle that will enable to pinpoint the right mathematical avenue among the countless available alternatives.
      What we need now is an Einstein-like physicist for whom mathematics,no matter how beautiful,is after all only an instrument,secondary to sound physical cosiderations

  3. Simplicity is an unofficial but reasonable principle in science and ST does not seem to be simple...Ed Witten ,the ST tsar,examplifies best the problematics of ST--he received a Fields prize for his wonderful math achievements---but on the other hand he has been for a long time one of the few that are acutely aware of the main failure of ST scientists ,which is to provide a new reasonable fundamental physical guiding principle that could help pinpoint the right mathematical formulation among the countless alternatives available today.
    For this we need an Einstein-like physicist,for which math acrobatics,no matter how beautiful,is just an instrument,secondary to reasonable physical considerations.No wonder the ST textbooks ,unlike any other physics textbooks,contain lengthy apologetical chapters probably intended to explain why ST can be considered a legitimate physical theory

  4. Anonymous,

    string theory is a failure, because supersymmetry is a failure. Neither of them describes nature. The Fields Medal does not change a mistaken theory into a correct one.

    1. What I am saying is that ST is mainly a mathematical theory,not a physical theory.ST practitioners are mainly mathematicians,NOT physicists (e.g. Ed Witten).For them,Mathematics IS reality.Unification in general,and ST in particular,did not grow out of any specific and pressing physical needs,discrepancies etc..Strictly speaking,nothing is mathematically mistaken in ST.It looks (as Ed Witten himself alluded to) that ST people are preparing the mathematical apparatus for a future Newton or Einstein,who will succeed in providing a sound physical basis out of which the true essence and the right version of ST will stem...The issue of course is to ensure that people outside the ST establishment get a fair opportunity to adequately expound reasonable alternative views on fundamental physics ,unification,etc..(if they have some).It seems as if ST Ltd. provides much needed action and entertainment (and decent livinghood ...) to the physics community and to the world...

  5. Anonymous, string theory is not a tool for unification at all! Its basis contradicts nature. String theorists do not prepare ground for unification; they block the way to unification. But enough of this ...

  6. Agreed .
    What next?
    Shall we discuss some other unification ideas ?

  7. Before unifying SM and GR,one has to take care of their singularities.When doing this e,g, by correcting their Lagrangians appropriately,a unification procedure may come out naturally.

  8. Many people would agree. The issue is: what is the correct way to take care of the singularities?

    1. Please kindly read my paper
      A.Sternlieb 2013,J.Phys.:Conf.Ser.437,012010
      I would appreciate your comments(any!)

  9. Abraham, all results seem ok to me. But the question remains: how does nature avoid the singularities? Or asked differently: by what mechanisms leads to finiteness? Is it really a principle or a consequence of something else?

    1. It is truly my honour and pleasure to try to answer concisely in the following :
      --Nature(and reality,space,time,etc)is philosophy,literature,etc--definitely not physics
      --Physics deals (by definition!)with measurable well-defined entities that we call physical quantities
      --"really" Zero-sized and infinite-sized entities are not and will not be measurable ----therefore they should be excluded from the human mental construction we call physics
      --Mathematics is an INSTRUMENT to formulate physical laws
      ---There are no singularities in PHYSICS--ask any experimental physicist(living or not yet born...)
      ----Singularities are EXCLUSIVELY a mathematical problem
      ---We have the right and the duty to correct mathematical formulation of physical laws such as to prevent exactly zero or infinite valued solutions

      -----This is basically my principle-----------

      --It is a principle or a postulate
      --It is based on logical and physical common sense
      --I only can say that it seems to me to be a consequence of the fundamental finite human capabilities(non-zero and non-infinite)

      ---I am now in the process of trying to build corrected Lagrangian operators for SR,Dirac Equation ,GR ,SM and Maxwell eqs--I expect surprises..

      ---I would be glad to have more good people involved,because this is a lot of work

      ---It took me 4 years to see it published
      ---A well-known physics journal rejected it because the chief editor didn't like me (the referees did agree to accept !)

      Many physicists(including well-known, encouraged me to continue)

      ----I definitely need PR,although I abhor this notion

  10. Abraham,

    my view: the lack of zero and of infinity is well-known. The speed of light, for example. But: you do not specify the values of the limits. It is essential to give the numbers for the limits. I am reminded about Schiller's 6th volume, which lists upper and lower limits for all physical quantities.

    1. Thanks for the homework

  11. Well...
    The speed of light is the only known limiting value in physics.Listing any other specific value for an extremum is pure speculation.Moreover,minimum values are not measurable therefore they do not belong to Physics.So Schiller may be right,but he is not necessarily right .Schiller is definitely speculative and funny,in short--exquisite scientific entertainer---