Why String Theory is Wrong

  • Published: 20 December 2018
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    There’s this idea that beauty is a powerful guide to truth in the mathematics of physical theory. String theory is certainly beautiful in the eyes of many physicists. Beautiful enough to pursue even if it’s wrong?

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    Previous Episode: Quantum Physics in a Mirror Universe

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    Hermann Weyl once said, “If I have to choose between beauty and truth, I choose beauty.” It was in reaction to a rebuke by Einstein. Weyl had tried to explain electromagnetism by imposing on Einstein’s general theory of relativity very first gauge symmetry, Weyl invariance. Einstein pointed out it the proposal led to some absurd results, and so the idea went down in flames. It just couldn’t be true, despite the elegance of the math. But sometimes it can be hard to let go of the sense that a beautiful theory must be right. Could this also be the case with string theory?

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Comments • 3 426

  • John Veneruso
    John Veneruso  3 days back

    de Sitter Swampland Conjecture http://theory.uchicago.edu/~sethi/Teaching/P483-W2018/P483_W2018_Final_Report_Wen_Han_Chiu.pdf This conjecture places the vast majority of string theory topologies in the "Swampland" otherwise known as "not our universe." Additionally, Dark Energy appears to be incompatible with string theory: https://www.quantamagazine.org/dark-energy-may-be-incompatible-with-string-theory-20180809/ This doesn't necessarily rule out String Theory, but in the words of the Highlander Movie, There can only be one.

    • Gaand Faad News
      Gaand Faad News  3 days back

      So you understand it better than Dr. Brian Greene? Well... Time to leave this place.

      • Richard Deese
        Richard Deese  3 days back

        Is there, in truth, no beauty?

        • Ricky Rick
          Ricky Rick  3 days back

          In other words they still don’t know sh!t.

          • Dr. devesh sawant
            Dr. devesh sawant  3 days back

            Even quantum mechanics was refuted initially. But it's everywhere nowadays.

            • Clive G
              Clive G  2 days back

              Because the experiments agree with it.

          • Joshua Heishman
            Joshua Heishman  4 days back

            I can't believe how I understand gravity more than most who study it... Has it occurred to think of spacetime as the very fields that quantum field theory describes? It works if you use pilot wave theory and think of the waves as an extension of the particles. These waves could then form a standing wave bridge between particles as a representation of entanglement ... One particle spread out over a macroscopic scale would explain spooky action at a distance

            To show why the point interaction is never observed is that when the particles are close enough they dissolve into pure wave form which also allows a spread out interaction that avoids a singularity! However I'm no mathematician so I can't actually conjure up the required equations.

            • MEGABLAMP
              MEGABLAMP  4 days back

              I have a feeling that the existince of these dimensions can only be proven by a verifiable Theroy of everything. I am under the impression however that these "hidden dimensions" cannot be independantly verified apart from the theories they support

              • Larry Cornell
                Larry Cornell  6 days back

                So we are at a place where no experiment can confirm the needed next step? Don’t give up! Spend a few more trillion dollars on it, money makes the world go round. Wait, that is so simple and elegant.

                • Lukasz
                  Lukasz  6 days back

                  DNA is not made of amino acids (proteins are). DNA is made of nucleotides (spcifically, deoxyribonucleaic acid).

                  • Leonard Dobens
                    Leonard Dobens  6 days back

                    17:03 should have stuck with "I don't know" and added "anything about biology" - now I am questioning how much stuff this dude just makes up? enjoying the physics stuff anyway

                    • jirikivaari
                      jirikivaari  6 days back

                      Lubos Motl once posted a blog post about this:

                      I wonder if the channel could respond please.

                      • Alex Spicer
                        Alex Spicer  6 days back

                        I liked the bit when he said “ string theory”

                        • LUPO PIC
                          LUPO PIC  7 days back

                          6:23 all particles are some dachshund tail-waving in ten dimensions ツ

                          • William Donahue
                            William Donahue  1 weeks back

                            Take a decent reader with an accent, give him a stylish hair-do, the masses will believe. Put PBS on it, the sheep line up for the slaughter

                            • Siegfried Hekimi
                              Siegfried Hekimi  1 weeks back

                              DNA chirality, amino acid chirality...whaaaat?

                              • Eddie Whistler
                                Eddie Whistler  2 weeks back

                                This really wan't what the title said it was supposed to be about.

                                • Éamonn Síoċáin
                                  Éamonn Síoċáin  2 weeks back

                                  M-Theory may be just another Ptolemic contraption.

                                  • Nathan Wilson
                                    Nathan Wilson  2 weeks back

                                    Hey there! I hope you have a good day!😊

                                    • Diana Gibbs
                                      Diana Gibbs  2 weeks back

                                      "'Error can point the way to truth, while empty-headedness can only lead to more empty-headedness or to a career in politics." - Master Li, "Bridge of Birds"

                                      • Zach Althoff
                                        Zach Althoff  1 weeks back

                                        Haha! I like that. Here's another good quote, a bit more spiritual;
                                        "You cannot experience nothing: You do not look inside yourself to find
                                        yourself as some eastern religions have been saying; there is nothing
                                        there. You cannot see or experience nothing; it is impossible. You can be
                                        like nothing, but not experience it. There is nothing to experience.
                                        What does the experiencing cannot be experienced.

                                        Spiritual perspective:
                                        You do not look in; you do the opposite, and you
                                        look out through your senses. When you experience everything, you are
                                        nothing at the same time. You have to be nothing to experience everything.
                                        If you are something, there is no room for everything. It is the spiritual
                                        perspective. You are looking out from nothing to everything, from nowhere
                                        to everywhere, from stillness to movement, from darkness to light."
                                        Does that make sense?

                                    • dimel russell
                                      dimel russell  2 weeks back

                                      10^500 manifolds to choose from? Easy... just add another dimension

                                      • a c
                                        a c  2 weeks back

                                        DNA isn't built from amino acids but nucleic acids. tsk

                                        • dimel russell
                                          dimel russell  2 weeks back

                                          a c maybe he meant the molecules doing the building like the nucleases or isomerases

                                      • Dee Sabird
                                        Dee Sabird  2 weeks back

                                        How does the math work?

                                        • Frank Cooke
                                          Frank Cooke  3 weeks back

                                          Testable predictions or gtfo

                                          • FullAttach
                                            FullAttach  3 weeks back


                                            • Alan
                                              Alan  3 weeks back

                                              If I have to choose between beauty and money, I will choose money.

                                              • Ozenc
                                                Ozenc  3 weeks back

                                                Multidimensional super string vibrations consists of three dimensional orthogonal combinations of the strings vibrating with the different frequencies creating so may be called Multidimensional Lisajoux figures.

                                                • Nando & Blonde Moby Dick

                                                  is a waist of time only 4 dimensions are visible to human sense, so it can never be proved the existence of other dimensions to me all the geometry they show still a 3 dimensions drawing

                                                  • halneufmille
                                                    halneufmille  4 weeks back

                                                    String theorists are mathematicians. They explore the terrain of abstract objects that may provide useful ideas to scientists in 100 years.

                                                    • StevenSiew2
                                                      StevenSiew2  4 weeks back

                                                      Can super string theory help me tie my shoelaces in the morning?

                                                      • Tim Rowdy Yoder
                                                        Tim Rowdy Yoder  4 weeks back

                                                        I know more now than I knew 18 minutes ago. ..

                                                        • hamneshine bahar
                                                          hamneshine bahar  4 weeks back

                                                          دوستان دانشور و فرهنگ‌ورز، این مطلب در مورد تئوری ریسمان String Theory یکی از بحث برانگیزترین اندیشه‌های اثبات‌نشده در دنیای فیزیک است. تئوری ریسمان با ارائه نمایی جدید از عالم، ما را به فراسوی ظریف‌ترین قوانین حاکم بر هستی سوق می‌دهد. منظور از ریسمان، تجمع و تمرکز انرژی است. تئوری مزبور بر اساس این ایده است که همه چهار نیروی کائنات (گرانش، نیروی الکترومغناطیس و دو نیروی هسته‌ای) می‌توانند به شکل موسیقی دیده شوند. شرح و فهم تئوری ریسمان، به ایده‌های تجریدی و به بخش‌های جدیدی از ریاضیات نیاز دارد. بدون آشنایی با مکانیک کوانتوم، همچنین نسبیت عام، هندسهٔ دیفرانسیل و جبر تانسورها، فهم دقیق تئوری ریسمان میسر نیست. اما این بحث به روابط ریاضی تئوری ریسمان، وارد نمی‌شود. همنشین بهار
                                                          فایل صوتی
                                                          همه نوشته‌ها و ویدئوها در آدرس زیر است:
                                                          همنشین بهار

                                                          • Jonny Blade
                                                            Jonny Blade  4 weeks back

                                                            They keep adding spatial dimensions, why not try an extra time dimension

                                                            • Bryan Jordan
                                                              Bryan Jordan  4 weeks back

                                                              Its very unsettling that you can hear this guy force himself to breath louder than he actually talks. In the middle of every sentence, after every sentence, before every sentence. Cant watch it lol.

                                                              • MTG EZ Beginner
                                                                MTG EZ Beginner  4 weeks back

                                                                Uh oh. Don’t tell Sheldon.

                                                                • Nick Outram
                                                                  Nick Outram  4 weeks back

                                                                  There will only be a small handful of people ever able to progress this stuff, I'm just along for the ride and to observe the beauty of the countryside as it flies by...

                                                                  • Stan TheObserver
                                                                    Stan TheObserver  1 months back

                                                                    And then,they changed their minds in 2019 ( by adding dimensions,etc). I heard them.

                                                                    • Shadow V.
                                                                      Shadow V.  1 months back

                                                                      I wonder if ill live to see a theory of overything come into life and work when tested irl every time... well whatever im still 18 so hopefully i wont be an old bastard and not understand what scientist will come with then

                                                                      • Pat Downs
                                                                        Pat Downs  1 months back

                                                                        This is extremely simple, even elemental. Problem is you humans are just so backward and out of the loop.

                                                                        • matthew benard
                                                                          matthew benard  1 months back

                                                                          "I Push my Fingers, Into My Eyes"

                                                                          • phyric quinn
                                                                            phyric quinn  1 months back

                                                                            Stop contradicting yourself in your titles!!!

                                                                            • Dave Lorde
                                                                              Dave Lorde  1 months back

                                                                              I like how even-handed PBS Space Time is - two months before this vid, they posted "Why String Theory Is Right" https://youtu.be/iTTa9YcTe1k

                                                                              • the wizzard
                                                                                the wizzard  1 months back

                                                                                I know its 4am but "Eisenstein published a theory of gravity shortly before 1990" ? at 2:25 to 2:32 . This is beautiful going for a man who passed in 1955. must be time dilation! how about particles just being the projection of a wave. quantum gravity is the way to go.

                                                                              • Alan Space
                                                                                Alan Space  1 months back

                                                                                With dimension control only scarlet witch can exclaim string theory

                                                                                • Vincent Valez
                                                                                  Vincent Valez  1 months back

                                                                                  Need to take a dimension off that shirt smooth those strings out lol

                                                                                  • Arctic Haze
                                                                                    Arctic Haze  1 months back

                                                                                    Has Luboš Motl already excommunicated you?

                                                                                    • Lucius Chiaraviglio
                                                                                      Lucius Chiaraviglio  1 months back

                                                                                      Mistake when talking about correspondence between DNA helicity in our universe and a mirror universe: The chiral components of DNA are sugars, not amino acids.

                                                                                      • Mac Smith
                                                                                        Mac Smith  1 months back

                                                                                        those "s"' sounds are brutal

                                                                                        • Vir Quisque Vir
                                                                                          Vir Quisque Vir  1 months back

                                                                                          Ironically, the background music at 9:03 sound's like The Who's "We Won't Get Fooled Again!". String theory is neither right nor wrong. It simply doesn't make predictions very well. No scientific model is right or wrong. A scientific model makes predictions better than the competitors - wider and deeper - or worse than the competitors. All scientific models are provisional. As soon as a better one comes along, the model is dropped for the better one. Or set aside. Or used only in limited cases.