Is "String Theory" Falsifiable?
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25-10-2013, 07:46 PM
Is "String Theory" Falsifiable?
From my very basic understanding of String Theory, there is absolutely no evidence to support it whatsoever. It should perhaps not even be considered a theory, but a hypothesis. Since understand it very well, heck, even the experts seem to be fuzzy on the math, I cannot speak intelligently on the subject, but I wonder, is it falsifiable?

Is there a scientist in the house? cjlr?

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25-10-2013, 08:05 PM
RE: Is "String Theory" Falsifiable?
(25-10-2013 07:46 PM)Dark Light Wrote:  From my very basic understanding of String Theory, there is absolutely no evidence to support it whatsoever. It should perhaps not even be considered a theory, but a hypothesis. Since understand it very well, heck, even the experts seem to be fuzzy on the math, I cannot speak intelligently on the subject, but I wonder, is it falsifiable?

Is there a scientist in the house? cjlr?

It is currently only a hypothesis, not falsifiable.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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25-10-2013, 08:18 PM
RE: Is "String Theory" Falsifiable?
NFI.

From what I can make out, string theory is the study of itty bitty stuff that all stuff is made of and how gravity relates to it.
The String in string theory is just a place holder name for little stuff.

so it could be just as easily called "little stuff theory" ,

That's why its a theory and not a hypothesis

anyway that's my layman's take , too lazy to Google, the truth is always less humorous than my preconception.

Is there a scientist in the house? cjlr?

Theism is to believe what other people claim, Atheism is to ask "why should I".
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25-10-2013, 08:23 PM
RE: Is "String Theory" Falsifiable?
Not falsifiable. It falls out of the math.
http://www.ted.com/talks/brian_greene_on...heory.html

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25-10-2013, 08:28 PM
RE: Is "String Theory" Falsifiable?
(25-10-2013 08:23 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  Not falsifiable. It falls out of the math.
http://www.ted.com/talks/brian_greene_on...heory.html

"But many physicists, including some string theorists themselves, recognize that the strings their theory hangs on are the greatest stumbling block to the acceptance of this radical idea. Far smaller than any subatomic particle identified so far, strings may be too minuscule to ever be seen or detected, which leads to the question: How can string theory be tested?

To be scientifically useful and valid, a theory must make predictions that are testable. Confirming a prediction lends support to a theory; negating a prediction suggests the theory may be wrong. Unless such tests can be performed, an idea is simply philosophical, not scientific. Without confirmation that the mathematical theory based on strings explains ideas that were not understood before, string theory may never be fully accepted as a scientifically valid concept. "

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25-10-2013, 09:03 PM
RE: Is "String Theory" Falsifiable?
Well now; I may be a quantum physicist, but I'm no string theoretical quantum physicist. But ah! If I tell you guys wrong, who'd know? Tongue

It's falsifiable insofar as confirming alternate hypotheses would, of necessity, be corroboration to the contrary. Not that there really are any alternate hypotheses. So there's that.

Which is to say - string theory is not really a predictive theory. It is an attempt to create an underlying unity to which disparate observations may be connected. It is so far a means of connecting existing observation; there is no real way to extend it to new observations. It's not that it is in principle untestable. It's that it is practically untestable. Incidentally all models for reconciling gravity tend to have this drawback, precisely because of the thing they are attempting to explain: the relatively feeble nature of gravitational interaction.

And even then it's not so much that string theory does not admit of any predictions or even that it does not admit of testable predictions, but that it does not admit of singular predictions - it's less a single theory than a way of looking at things.

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26-10-2013, 06:42 AM
RE: Is "String Theory" Falsifiable?
It's my understanding (though it could be wrong) that string theory predicts 9 dimensions. Is this not so? Could we disprove it if we could prove 10 or more dimensions?

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26-10-2013, 08:26 AM
RE: Is "String Theory" Falsifiable?
I heard from a friend who spends most of his time reading about stars and so forth that there are 11 confirmed dimensions by string theory. I have no knowledge at all in this subject but just wanted to let you all know.
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26-10-2013, 08:39 AM
RE: Is "String Theory" Falsifiable?
(26-10-2013 08:26 AM)The_Thinking_Theist Wrote:  I heard from a friend who spends most of his time reading about stars and so forth that there are 11 confirmed dimensions by string theory. I have no knowledge at all in this subject but just wanted to let you all know.

There are no "confirmed" dimensions beyond the four we are aware of.

There is not one 'string theory', there are several models.

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26-10-2013, 08:41 AM
RE: Is "String Theory" Falsifiable?
(26-10-2013 08:39 AM)Chas Wrote:  
(26-10-2013 08:26 AM)The_Thinking_Theist Wrote:  I heard from a friend who spends most of his time reading about stars and so forth that there are 11 confirmed dimensions by string theory. I have no knowledge at all in this subject but just wanted to let you all know.

There are no "confirmed" dimensions beyond the four we are aware of.

There is not one 'string theory', there are several models.

I misspoke; if string theory is true (the one he knows of I suppose), than there are 11 dimensions.
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