Universe(s) Origin(s) 1 of 7 - String Theory /
Infinities / Singularities
(Top Posts - Science - 072802)

Excerpts from "Almost Everyone's Guide To Science :
The Universe, Life, and Everything" (John Gribbin,
ISBN 0-300-08101-4) ...

... The range of gravity, like the range of electromagnetism,
is, in principle, infinite, because the relevant field quanta
(gravitons) have zero mass, like photons.

... The Holy Grail of theoretical physics is a kind of Super
Grand Unified Theory, which would bring in gravity as
well. ... Because gravity is so weak (one hundred billion
billion billion billion times weaker than the strong force)
... progress as there is comes from ... a theory which
replaces the familiar idea of particles as points at which
the field quanta are located with the idea of little loops
of 'string'.

... there are two reasons why many physicists today think
that strings represent the ultimate truth, and are the basic
building blocks of matter.

The first is that they get rid of unwelcome infinities that
plague any theories that envisage particles as fundamental
points. That would mean that the particles have zero vol-
ume, and as a result, somewhere along the line in the calcu-
lations you inevitably end up dividing by zero. ... There
are ways to get around this, using a trick called renormal-

... Using this kind of trickery in the standard theory, re-
normalisation can be made to work, giving finite answers
that match experimental measurements of things ... But it
is a procedure forced upon physicists by circumstances,
and one which many physicists hate.

The problem of dealing with infinities in this way disap-
pears in string theory, though, because you no longer
have to deal with mathematical points that have zero size.
There are none of these uncomfortable point sources (also
known as singularities), and no need for renormalisation.

The second great thing about string theory is that it pre-
dicts gravity. ... That doesn't mean that physicists yet
have their Holy Grail, their theory of everything. The
mathematical complexities inherent in string theory make
it difficult to develop the ideas fully, and there is still the
frustration of not being able to test the ideas against

... the theory has come along out of the pure mathemat-
ics, without any underpinning of experiment on which to
build. String theory has been memorably described as
a piece of twenty-first-century physics that fell into the
laps of twentieth-century physicists. But it is widely
regarded as a viable alternative to the older field theory
approach using the idea of point particles, and it defin-
itely removes (or rather, never experiences) the diffi-
culties which seem to make a complete quantum field
theory of gravity an impossible dream in those theories.

However things develop over the next hundred years,
though, one thing is certain. Writing at the end of the
twentieth century, this is as far as we can take you in
terms of probing into the innermost structure of mat-


Some answers to mysteries of universe(s) origin(s)
may be found 'neath earth's surface.

Secrets lie deep underground
Physicists seek insight into origin of everything
July 8, 2002 Posted: 1739 GMT
Excerpt: SOUDAN, Minnesota (AP) -- A steel cage
rattles and shakes as it drops a half-mile into the earth,
a cable wire the only thing keeping those inside from
taking the express route.

... scientists are using gigantic equipment and the most
advanced computers to crack the riddle of the neutrino,
an elusive and little-understood subatomic particle that
could answer fundamental questions about the origin of
everything. ..."

-end insert-

... In order to continue our description of the scienti-
fic understanding of the world we live in, it is time to
turn our attention outwards, starting once again with
atoms, but looking at how they are assembled into
larger and larger objects.

Working in this direction, the ultimate aim of science
is to explain the existence of the Universe itself, and
how it came to be the way it is. Somewhere in the
middle range of sizes between the world of funda-
mental particles and the Universe at large, we will
find an explanation of our own existence. ...

From the intro to John Gribbin's book:

"Concern for man himself and his fate
must always be the chief interest of all
technical endeavors . . . in order that
the creations of our mind shall be a
blessing and not a curse to mankind.
Never forget this in the midst of your
diagrams and equations."
-Albert Einstein, Caltech, 1931

(end excerpts)

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Posts in this series:

Universe(s) Origin(s) Preface

Universe(s) Origin(s) - 1 of 7
}}} String Theory / Infinities / Singularities {{{

Universe(s) Origin(s) - 2 of 7
}}} No Origin of the Universe? {{{

Universe(s) Origin(s) - 3 of 7
}}} Multiverse? {{{

Universe(s) Origin(s) - 4 of 7
}}} Universes from Black Holes? {{{

Universe(s) Origin(s) - 5 of 7
}}} Cyclic Universe? {{{

Universe(s) Origin(s) - 6 of 7
}}} Einstein / Big Bang / Superstrings {{{

Universe(s) Origin(s) - 7 of 7
}}} Nothing / Everything {{{


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