• Question: Can you explain string theory??????

    Asked by coolman to Laura, Nicola, Norman, Sandra, Thanasis on 18 Mar 2013. This question was also asked by skaterman1, isu786.
    • Photo: Nicola Wardrop

      Nicola Wardrop answered on 18 Mar 2013:

      Nope, I am afraid not! Anyone else?!

    • Photo: Laura Soul

      Laura Soul answered on 18 Mar 2013:

      Haha, nope me neither, there aren’t very many people who really understand it because it involves a lot of extremely complicated maths.

      But here’s a website that explains it a bit if you want to find out more from the people who do really understand it: http://www.superstringtheory.com/

    • Photo: Thanasis Georgiou

      Thanasis Georgiou answered on 18 Mar 2013:

      Qualitatively, yes.

      There is a problem in physics: we have these two very successful branches, one is called quantum mechanics and the other general relativity. While they both work in their respective field, it’s hard to make them work with each other as part of general theory to explain the forces in nature (they all this “Theory of Everything” – physicists are a bit lazy when thinking names).

      String theory is one contender proposed intended to mix quantum mechanics and general relativity. The main idea is that matter, at a length scale which is smaller than one atom (so less than one billion of a metre), is composed from tiny vibrating strings of energy.

      While it is consistent with the two theories, string theory has been attracting much criticism because it is all theoretical at the moment. We cannot make experiments to prove that these strings are actually there or not!

      It’s up to the next generation of scientists like yourself to think of ways we can “probe” these tiny strings, to see if they exists or not, and find out a way to explain the physics in our universe.

      One of the leading scientists in the world, Professor Brian Green has published very nice books about string theory. You can even find him talking about string theory on youtube! He surely knows a lot better about the subject than me.

    • Photo: Sandra Phinbow

      Sandra Phinbow answered on 18 Mar 2013:

      Nope not me! It’s at that point that Prof Coxy gets boring to me.

      Here is a nice site that explains string theory for kids