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Old 05-03-2014, 09:09 AM
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Default Nothing but Music: The Essentials of Superstring Theory

Table of Contents
.......The Elegant Universe
THE ELEGANT UNIVERSE, Brian Greene, 1999, 2003
```(annotated and with added bold highlights by Epsilon=One)
Part III: The Cosmic Symphony
Chapter 6 - Nothing but Music: The Essentials of Superstring Theory
Nothing but Music: The Essentials of Superstring Theory
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Music has long since provided the metaphors of choice for those puzzling over questions of cosmic concern. From the ancient Pythagorean "music of the spheres" to the "harmonies of nature" that have guided inquiry through the ages, we have collectively sought the song of nature in the gentle wanderings of celestial bodies and the riotous fulminations of subatomic particles. With the discovery of superstring theory, musical metaphors take on a startling reality; for the theory suggests that the microscopic landscape is suffused with tiny strings whose vibrational patterns orchestrate the evolution of the cosmos. The winds of change, according to superstring theory, gust through an aeolian universe.

By contrast, the standard model views the elementary constituents of the universe as pointlike ingredients with no internal structure. As powerful as this approach is (as we have mentioned, essentially every prediction about the microworld made by the standard model has been verified down to about a billionth of a billionth of a meter, the present-day technological limit), the standard model cannot be a complete or final theory because it does not include gravity. Moreover, attempts to incorporate gravity into its quantum-mechanical framework have failed due to the violent fluctuations in the spatial fabric that appear at ultramicroscopic distances—that is, distances shorter than the Planck length. The unresolved conflict has impelled a search for an even deeper understanding of nature. In 1984, the physicists Michael Green, then of Queen Mary College, and John Schwarz of the California Institute of Technology provided the first piece of convincing evidence that superstring theory (or string theory, for short) might well provide this understanding.

String theory offers a novel and profound modification to our theoretical description of the ultramicroscopic properties of the universe—a modification that, physicists slowly realized, alters Einstein's general relativity in just the right way to make it fully compatible with the laws of quantum mechanics. (Epsilon=One: "Fully" ??? In many ways, this statement is far from true. For example: Nothing within the concepts of either GR or QM considers—or reconciles all theories with one another—galactic, accelerating expansion, Cosmic Entaglement, or the Why? of the Pauli Exclusion Principle, the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle, Cosmic Entanglement, the Locus of the Universe, et cetera, et cetera. To resolve such enigmas that currently remain inexplicable without plasible theories to the standards of IPSO and Philogic one must resort to the historical first "string" theory . . . Pulsoid Theory). According to string theory, the elementary ingredients of the universe are not point particles. Rather, they are tiny, one-dimensional filaments somewhat like infinitely thin rubber bands, vibrating to and fro. But don't let the name fool you: Unlike an ordinary piece of string, which is itself composed of molecules and atoms, the strings of string theory are purported to lie deep within the heart of matter. The theory proposes that they are ultramicroscopic ingredients making up the particles out of which atoms themselves are made. The strings of string theory are so small—on average they are about as long as the Planck length—that they appear pointlike even when examined with our most powerful equipment.

Yet the simple replacement of point particles with strands of string as the fundamental ingredients of everything has farreaching consequences. First and foremost, string theory appears to resolve the conflict between general relativity and quantum mechanics. As we shall see, the spatially extended nature of a string is the crucial new element allowing for a single harmonious framework incorporating both theories. Second, string theory provides a truly unified theory, since all matter and all forces are proposed to arise from one basic ingredient: oscillating strings. Finally, as discussed more fully in subsequent chapters, beyond these remarkable achievements, string theory once again radically changes our understanding of spacetime.
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Table of Contents
.......The Elegant Universe
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