Discussion in 'Science and Nature' started by weedski, Jun 6, 2009.

  1. #1 weedski, Jun 6, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 6, 2009
    M, or Membrane Theory, is a new and exiting theory of, well, everything. The BBC has made a short program explaining M Theory and paralell universes which I found to be quite interesting. It discusses a lot of things regarding the universe, dimentions and so on. Sorry if I'm rambling but I'm really quite stoned right now. Here is the video:

    Part 1:
    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2_vpEyE6rug]YouTube - Parallel Universes - Part 1[/ame]

    Part 2:
    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tuT-fIPZITw"]YouTube - Parallel Universes - Part 2[/ame]

    Part 3:
    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f6_QwNrnAfo"]YouTube - Parallel Universes - Part 3[/ame]

    Part 4:
    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qngQkO_Rp7Y"]YouTube - Parallel Universes - Part 4[/ame]

    Part 5:
    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y2K_FR_MWMw"]YouTube - Parallel Universes - Part 5[/ame]

    BTW this is my hundredth post ;-)
  2. BTW, please feel free to discuss. I'm interested in knowing what other think about this theory.
  3. Well for one, I do not know where the term M theory came from, but it is the same as String Theory or "Super" String Theory. I have been studying string theory myself for the past year now. If you are interested more on this subject, I recommend to you the book The Elegant Universe: String Theory and Hidden Dimensions. I read it myself, and it's interesting.

    Now my thoughts on string theory are such: I think this is a facinating explanation to the question of how the universe works. It explains how so many different things in the world have corrolation with each other down on a sub-atomic level.

    Think of this for instance. If string theory is correct in its hypothesis that the strings of the universe flow and make a harmonic note to every action that occurs, it could scientifically links two things like music and emotion. When the notes of a string on a violen play and make you feel soothed with the transition of the notes, string theory would suggest that the harmonic motion of the strings at a quantum level, verve to make the atoms they control move the neurons throughtout your brain and create a feeling of euphoria.

    I'm not a very good writer so I think maybe what I was trying to explain in my last paragraph may be a bit spaced out to comprehend what I'm trying to get across.

    But yeah, string theory is an interesting theory.
  4. Yeah it is, did you watch the videos or are you just aware of what I wrote in my post? If you didn't, I'd recommend it, even though you clearly have a lot of knowledge on the subject, you still may find it intersesting/find something new.
  5. I watched the video. And yeah, I already have a pretty familiar background on the subject.
  6. So is the 11th dimension, and multiple universes and the idea of the universe being a membrane all part of the string theory or is that the difference between m-theory and string theory?

  7. String theory pretty much places emphasis on the fact that strings are the fundamental building blocks (vibrating in different frequencies to produce different kinds of products).

    M-theory extends upon that and also introduces the possibility that membranes could be floating around and that there has to be 11 dimensions. It's used to unify the string theories that all pretty much had the same idea, but just different manifestations.

    If you were to watch the show actually (Parallel Universes or Elegant Universe), they delve in how M-theory came to be.

    Do NOT confuse that the M stands for membrane. The reality is that no one really knows. Edward Witten for this very reason decided to keep it as 'M' and did not give a value for that letter.

    It's just better to think of it as a type of way to unify the currently existing superstring theories.
  8. Ok thanks man, that's helped clear some things up a bit.
  9. I have issues with string theory.

    If you take any mathematical model and introduce enough free parameters, you can rejigger it to fit any data you want.

    Right now, it really looks like that's what string theory is doing. At heart, "string theory" is just a vague field of highly abstract mathematics with lots of free parameters which, if you invest the collective efforts of an entire generation of theoretical physicists, can be made to yield a model that ends up predicting the world we see around us.

    The only problem is, we can't use it to make any unique new predictions. It's no good if your theory already accounts for everything that we know already and nothing more: it needs to say something additional that nobody's thought about yet, so's we can go out and see if that new prediction is also right. You can't do that with string theory because it's so vague you could make it predict anything.
  10. #10 weedski, Jun 6, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 6, 2009
    Yeah you've got some valid points. I also beleive that the idea of multiple universes to explain, for example, the 'weak gravitational force' (the idea that gravity, essentially 'leaks' from another universe) is just a way to be able to explain something, that we have little to no knowledge of. Similar to the way that religion was used to explain the unexplainable, the paralell universe theory seems to be doing the same thing. By saying that there are multiple, paralell universes, scientists are able to essentially explain anything, but it could be argued that they are 'cheating' somewhat.
  11. Science has always worked to fit theories to experiment. Quantum electrodynamics is the most accurate science we know today. Yet it is based on some questionable mathematics. Renormalization is a rather poor explanation mathematically for what we observe. But still, it manages to bound what we observe with tremendous accuracy.

    Of course we are at a point where we realize that the two great physical theories of our time, quantum mechanics and general relativity, do not agree. They do well enough to bound most experiments we can conduct, but we know there is a point they will fail.

    As is the progression of physics, newer and more refined theories will replace the old theories. Perhaps M theory or one of the various string theories is the true answer, maybe one of them is just a better approximation, or maybe it is the final Unified Theory.

    In the end all we can really do is show that the theory bounds the experimental values and is therefore a good representation of our physical world, until a better theory comes about from another brilliant mind.

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