Stringy Article

The New York Times has a nice article about the recent string theory conference, Strings05, where a panel discussion on the next string theory revolution has held.
I especially like

Leonard Susskind, a Stanford theorist and one of the founders of string theory, replied, “There’s nothing to do but just hope the Bush administration will keep paying us.”
Amanda Peet of the University of Toronto suggested making string theory “a faith-based initiative,” to much nervous laughter.

Come on string theorists, even you have got to admit that this is funny!
A heartening part of the article is at the end

At the end Dr. Shenker invoked his executive privileges. He asked the audience members for a vote on whether, by the year 3000, say, the value of the cosmological constant would be explained by the anthropic principle or by fundamental physics.
The panel split 4 to 4, with abstentions, but the audience voted overwhelmingly for the latter possibility.

I don’t think my mother ever said “If you can’t say something nice about someone, don’t say anything at all,” but in this spirit, I won’t say anything about the anthropic principle. Although I will say that the only thing which anoyed me more than Stephen Hawking’s musing on God in “A Brief History of Time” where his musings in “A Brief History of Time” on the anthropic principle.

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4 Responses to Stringy Article

  1. R.R.Tucci says:

    YA GOT TROUBLE
     Well, ya got trouble, my friend.
    Right here, I say trouble right here in Jersey City
    Why, sure, I’m a stringy player
    Certainly mighty proud to say,
    I’m always mighty proud to say it
    I consider the hours I spend pulling out all my hair are golden
    Help you cultivate horse sense and a cool head and a keen eye
     Now, folks, let me show you what I mean
    You’ve got one, two, infinitely many stringy vaccua
    Vaccua that mark the difference between a gentleman and a bum
    With a capital ‘B’ and that rhymes with ‘Stree’ and that stands for ‘String’
     And all week long, your Jersey City youth’ll be fritterin’ away
    I say, your young men’ll be fritterin’
    Fritterin’ away their noontime, suppertime, choretime, too
    Ya got trouble, folks, right here in Jersey City
    with a capital ‘T’ and that rhymes with ‘Stree’
    and that stands for ‘String’
     May I have your attention, please? Attention, please
    I can deal with this trouble, friends,
    with the wave of my hand, this very hand
    Please observe me, if you will I’m Professor Harold Hill
    and I’m here to organize a quantum computer band
    Oh think, my friends, how can any stringy guess
    ever hope to compete with a gold Q comp
    Rah, rah, rah-da-da-da-da, rah-rah
    Remember, my friends, what a handful of Apple players
    did to the famous, fabled walls of I B M
    Oh, corporation walls come a-tumblin’ down
     Oh, a band’ll do it, my friends, oh yes
    I said a Q C band, do you hear me?
    I say Jersey City’s gotta have a Q C band
    and I mean she needs it today
    Well, Professor Harold Hill’s on hand
    and Jersey City’s gonna have her Q C band
    Just as sure as the Lord made little green apples
    and that band’s gonna be in uniform

  2. Jon says:

    According to the NY Times article (and other NY Times articles before it), there are a mere 10500 possible universes shown by string theory. That’s not too bad. Of course, if they were able to print exponentials correctly (or at least replace the comma in 10,500 with a ^), it might make string theory look pretty silly.

  3. Dave Bacon says:

    Yeah, I saw that (10500) Doh.
    Perhaps we just need a quantum computer to search this space. We could use Grover’s algorithm to reduce the search problem from 10^500 to sqrt(10^500)=10^250. A much more reasonable number? Um.

  4. Joe Fitzsimons says:

    Perhaps you can glean some information from a QFT, but I’m not sure how. Still that would be much quicker, and you wouldn’t even need that many qubits.

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