Dwight Cates's Reviews > The Complete Idiot's Guide to String Theory

The Complete Idiot's Guide to String Theory by George Musser
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M_50x66
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Jan 20, 09

Read in January, 2009

Excellent, non-mathematical introduction to string theory, one of the competitors for the Theory of Everything.

So why do we need strings? Well, there are (so far as we know) four fundamental forces in the universe. Unfortunately, right now we need two theories to explain them all -

In the world of the ultra-small quantum mechanics has been incredibly successful at describing what goes on at the molecular level and below. It's been experimentally verified many times over and unites electromagnetism, and the strong and weak nuclear forces.

In the world of the ultra-large, we have general relativity, which accounts for gravity and the large-scale structure of the universe - again with a high degree of precision.

Basically, both theories break down and make nonsensical predictions in extreme enviroments, like the (presumed) Big Bang, or around black holes. String theory is one of the leading contenders to bridge this gap and unite all the fundamental forces.

I think this book will provide you all the background you need to follow the search for a Theory of Everything in popular sources like Scientific American and New Scientist
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by Andy (new)

Andy Now I shall quiz you on this the next time we share a beer, this Physicist is not convinced by String Theory, but hey what do I know


Dwight Cates Andy wrote: "Now I shall quiz you on this the next time we share a beer, this Physicist is not convinced by String Theory, but hey what do I know"

Indeed, Andy, no one's really convinced - and the book devotes pages to alternate theories as well, including loop quantum gravity and casaul set theory. LQG has some good things going for it, and a cosmology being developed based on it. Read this article from New Scientist, for example.



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