# String Theory

Discussion in 'Physics & Math' started by Beer w/Straw, Dec 15, 2017.

1. ### NotEinsteinValued Senior Member

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None of which has anything to do with mathematical strides string theory has made, so it's completely irrelevant.

So you admit the two things you mentioned are irrelevant? Good.

The link you gave is about string theory, yes, and that didn't escape my attention. What did escape your attention though, is that you have it without context, and that you quoted the table of contents of the entire article. What you should have done is link to this instead: https://www.quora.com/Who-is-Martin-Schnabl-What-did-he-do-for-a-string-theory

Also note that I didn't actually comment on your link, as I had no idea how it was connected to the rest of your post. Now I know: the link is the only relevant part; the entire rest of the post is "a little humor" (i.e. completely irrelevant and misleading).

"String theory uses maths" is not a mathematical stride string theory has made; that's nonsensical!

All I'm doing is pointing out how various parts of your answer are wrong. Why don't you give a correct answer, for a change? Do you have a correct answer? Then, by all means, lay it out for us and (I'm sure) several other interested parties.

What does this have to do with anything? Please stop bringing up irrelevant things!

Erm, you are the one debating string theory here. You go do that with an expert in the field.

That's not a mathematical stride.

(As we'll see in a moment, I don't need to define strides, because you obviously know what it means.)

Perhaps, but you've moved the goalposts: we were talking about "mathematical strides", not "scientific strides".

And finally, finally, you manage to produce some actual answers to the question! Thank you for those; I don't understand why this was so difficult for you? Why couldn't you have done this in the first place?

(Irrelevant now.)

3. ### Write4UValued Senior Member

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No, we are talking about "string theory" and string theory can only be described by mathematics. Thus any advances in the existing theories are made by mathematical strides.

As usual you have moved the goalposts and ignored the most important quotes I posted.
But I'll repeat it again just for clarity;
and
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_string_theory

This btw, can be fundamentally demonstrated by Music Theory. Hence my lighthearted reference to a violin.

and
https://www.physics.uci.edu/~tanedo/files/notes/StringNotes.pdf

That is making "strides" and is seems we have come a "long way" from the observation of the effects of a hammer striking an anvil.

Last edited: Dec 27, 2017

5. ### NotEinsteinValued Senior Member

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False. String theory is not purely mathematics, so there are non-mathematical parts to it. The very fact that it's a physics theory should tell you that.

You switched from "mathematical strides" to "scientific strides", and now you accuse me of moving goalposts? That's quite intellectually dishonest.

The only think I ignored of your posts was a list of links that was posted without any context or comments. And now that you've actually given the context; yes, that was indeed an answer to the original question.

Oh look, string theory isn't purely mathematics. It can have condensed matter physical strides and cosmological strides as well! Thank you for proving my earlier point.

I never claimed otherwise; all I asked you to actually answer the question, which you have now done a second time.

Music theory uses Polyakov actions? Source please.

(But are they "mathematical strides"?)

Oh, I don't disagree, but I also don't see how this is relevant to the discussion?

7. ### Write4UValued Senior Member

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This may be worth watching.

Note; Western note "a" is usually tuned at 440 hz. But in reality "a" @ 432 hz yields a richer fuller sound

This may not seem to have much to do with string theory, but if we look at the images, we can clearly see that 432 hz, yields a mathematically "purer" tone, from which any derivatives would also be more pure and defined, especially in the harmonics they produce. Thus cleaner, more defined vibrations yield cleaner more defined harmonics and IMO, this is important at a scientific level.

Last edited: Dec 27, 2017
8. ### Write4UValued Senior Member

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If you had not ignored them, you would have seen it the first time. I don't quote unless I think it explains what I am talking about.

9. ### Write4UValued Senior Member

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http://www.superstringtheory.com/blackh/blackh4a.html

Note the mathematics which were developed (mathematical strides) to account for these phenomena..

10. ### exchemistValued Senior Member

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Tell that to a geologist, or an organic chemist. It's just arrogant rubbish - probably from some blinkered physicist.

The language of physics may be largely mathematics, but even in that case, as we have previously discussed on other threads, you need the language of words first, to define physical concepts, for which the relationships between them can then be expressed mathematically.

Trying to put maths on a pedestal like this doesn't wash. The root of science is observation, description of nature. You cannot divorce science from observation. And observation is not mathematics.

Last edited: Dec 27, 2017
11. ### Write4UValued Senior Member

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That subject was covered by Robert Hazen.
Language itself is a mathematical ordering of sounds.
I absolutely agree that observation is at the root of science.
But the objects or actions being observed are mathematical in their very nature. That's why we need maths to prove or disprove our observations.

It is often said that formal symbolic mathematics is man's greatest intellectual accomplishment, although almost all living things use intuitive mathematics as the tool for catching prey or communicate.

What is your problem with accepting mathematics as the tool for doing science? It allows us to go much deeper than mere observation, because all things have a mathematical property that defines it, even in the abstract. What else is there?

Last edited: Dec 27, 2017
12. ### exchemistValued Senior Member

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I have no problem with mathematics as one tool. I have a degree in chemistry after all, in fact with quantum chemistry as a special subject.

But not the only tool. And still less "the language" of science, which is what you actually said.

To illustrate how ridiculous a proposition it is, I invite you to tell me how you would describe the morphology of a glaciated landscape in mathematics. Or the structure of a eukaryotic cell. See what I mean?

Furthermore, in science, maths is not used "to prove or disprove our observations". It is exactly the other way round: observations are used to test the validity of models, which may be mathematical models. In other words, observation trumps maths in science.

Did Charles Darwin use the language of mathematics to describe the origin of species? Or perhaps you think he wasn't doing real science?

13. ### Write4UValued Senior Member

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No he started with observation of adaptive colorations in the same species. A brilliant observation!
But he had no clue how this happens mathematically, that's why he could not publish his work. He had no proof.
That came later with the advance of genetics.

14. ### exchemistValued Senior Member

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He wrote a whole book called "On the Origin of Species", which he did publish (on 24th November 1859 - he was to live a further 22 years after it was published) without any mathematics, and which famously revolutionised our understanding of biology. Read about it here, since clearly you have no idea what you are talking about: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/On_the_Origin_of_Species.

And I'm waiting eagerly for your mathematical description of a glaciated landscape. How's that coming along?

And your mathematical description of a eukaryotic cell?

After all, if "the language of science is mathematics", it must be possible to describe both in purely mathematical terms, right?

15. ### SeattleValued Senior Member

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Fractals maybe?

16. ### Write4UValued Senior Member

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Thanks for reading the entire post. I did forget to place proper quotation marks.

17. ### exchemistValued Senior Member

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Don't get him started on those!

The simple fact is that, without trying to force-fit any mathematics onto it, you can and do have perfectly respectable scientific disciplines that use the language of words to describe both the phenomena and the models.

There is a kind of silly and arrogant reductionism abroad by which some physicists like to claim everything reduces to physics, and physics reduces to mathematics. It's cock. Physics can only be expressed in maths because it deals with artificially simplified systems that isolate individual strands of physical behaviour. The moment you move away from such artificial simplifications, you find that purely mathematical models cannot - even in theory - account completely for what we observe and that a far bigger array of qualitative and descriptive methods is needed to construct useable models.

Witness geology, organic chemistry, biology, etc.

Even in physics, the concepts become before the maths. For instance, nobody can define "energy" except in words, and even then it is notoriously tricky to do.

18. ### SeattleValued Senior Member

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I agree that math describes the simplified assumptions of physics and is not the physics itself. I think some physics can only be accurately described via math because it's only "understood" as a math construct (quantum physics).

It works as a predictor due to the math. It hasn't been adequately described verbally because the "why" isn't yet adequately understood.

19. ### Write4UValued Senior Member

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Well, as I said, the proof came later,
https://www.britannica.com/science/evolution-scientific-theory
See Seattle's post #52 above. Seems he reads more carefully than you, though I must admit my own sloppyness in using quotation marks.

Last edited: Dec 27, 2017
20. ### Write4UValued Senior Member

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I guess, you still haven't seen the Robert Hazen presentation. Start at 24:50

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