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Monday, June 12, 2006

String theory under attack

Here is a review from the Times online, pointed out by digg contributors, of the book titled "Not Even Wrong", by Peter Woit, a mathematics lecturer at Columbia University, that directly attacks the validity of string theory. I think I can see where the author is coming from. String theory, in its present form at least, is unable to make any experimental predictions. As such, it is merely an exercise in thought. It is for this reason that most experimentalists choose to simply ignore it.

However, the claim that string theory's popularity has stifled alternate research programs I think is misleading. The problem is that no one can come up with any viable alternate theories.

And, no, the silly gobblygook you can find on the web are not ideas worth taking seriously.

Posted at: 10:10 AM
Categories: Physics in the news
Fashion in space

Here is a story from space.com. Apparently the Japanese Exploration Agency (JAXA) and the private space tourism firm Rocketplane Ltd. are sponsoring a fashion contest for space travel. So far they have received 882 drawings from 365 contestants. A (very short, I suppose) fashion catwalk in weightlessness is planned in a Russian training aircraft.

Posted at: 9:37 AM
Categories: Physics in the news