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Discussion: Physics-26 page paper-string theory

in: Orienteering; Off-Course

Jan 14, 2015 3:03 AM # 
AddisonB:
Hey all. I was assigned a 26 page research paper on string theory. I am starting to understand the basics of the theory, however , when the articles start to explain the theory in more depth, it's way over my head. Please any help would be greatly appreciated!!
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Jan 14, 2015 3:53 AM # 
Iamstillhungry:
You follow the string to the first control. There may or may not be an actual control bag there but there are usually stickers. Put the stickers on your card. Follow string to the second control. Collect another sticker. Repeat until you get to the end of the string. Save your map and your sticker collection in a binder. Sometimes you can get a small prize for collecting all the stickers. Practice rapid sticker placing at home to gain valuable seconds on the others during real competitions. Work on not getting distracted by bugs, squirrels and slugs.
Jan 14, 2015 4:03 AM # 
AddisonB:
Hahaha that was good!
Jan 14, 2015 4:27 AM # 
Tundra/Desert:
sheldon.cooper@caltech.edu
Jan 14, 2015 4:27 AM # 
carlch:
That's what you get from a professor.

From an engineer, string theory is "don't push on a rope"
Jan 14, 2015 4:41 AM # 
jjcote:
If you actually find somebody who can explain string theory, next you should try to get help with your book report on Finnegan's Wake.
Jan 14, 2015 5:07 AM # 
j-man:
How can I prepare for the US Team Trials?
Jan 14, 2015 6:05 AM # 
mikeminium:
Look for Brian Greene's "The Elegant Universe". It is a fairly good introduction, detailed, but not too mind-blowingly technical. I'm pretty sure I have a copy; IF I can find it (big IF) I'll bring it to Georgia Nav Cup - assuming your paper is not due before then. I also notice that Amazon recommends another of Greene's books, "The Fabric of the Cosmos: Space, Time, and the Texture of Reality" as being somewhat less technical than "The Elegant Universe", but I have not read that one.

I think Stephen Hawking has some understandable stuff, but I don't remember which of his books might be best. Look for audio versions at the library, and you can listen for a few hours on the long drive to and from Georgia.

Definitely ride with Orunner and cedarcreek, bring up the subject, then be prepared to take copious notes on their ramblings and musings.
Jan 14, 2015 6:23 AM # 
Swampfox:
Ask the teacher to please allow it to be a 25 page paper instead.
Jan 14, 2015 11:38 AM # 
ndobbs:
You'd probably get bonus marks for a consistent 11-page paper.
Jan 14, 2015 12:33 PM # 
graeme:
I suggest you concentrate on the one page which is in the plane of the paper. The professor wont read the pages facing in the other 25 dimensions.

"I have discovered a truly marvelous demonstration of this proposition that this page is too flat to contain."
Jan 14, 2015 12:59 PM # 
theway:
The configuration of the butt cheeks is such that the optimised route is always a perfect bifurcation of the buttock area. The string will pass along the line of bifurcation (the shortest distance from A to B) which is subject to increases in temperature and humidity during running. Vertical displacement of one buttock relative to the other can lead to dangerous levels of friction and damage to the surface coating (or skin). Don't wear a G-string, you will chafe.
Hope that helps.
Jan 14, 2015 1:41 PM # 
mikeminium:
APers sure know how to string a guy along!
Jan 14, 2015 5:00 PM # 
BoulderBob:
The string theory consists of violins (1st & 2nd), violas, ‘cellos (or ‘celli) and double basses. There are conventions as to the ratios of instruments; e.g. a large orchestral ensemble may consist of 16 first violins, 14 seconds, 12 violas, 10 cellos and 8 basses (16, 14, 12, 10, 8). Time is also part of the equation, but often is found to be 3/4 or 4/4, although in some higher dimensions 3/10 or even 5/24 are possible.
Jan 14, 2015 5:53 PM # 
A.Child:
What undergrad class makes you write papers on string theory?
Jan 14, 2015 6:20 PM # 
iansmith:
A serious answer: string theory is a proposed improvement on the current "theory of everything" - the standard model; one of the aims of string theory is to incorporate a quantum mechanical description of gravity, which has so far eluded the standard model.

The mathematics underpinning string theory are extraordinarily complicated including differential geometry, group theory, and very high level topology. If you're not a math or physics grad student, you probably won't understand the technical (i.e. real) description of string theory.

To write such a paper, I suggest approaching it from the broader context of what problem string theory is trying to solve. A few things I suggest reading (and writing) about:

- General Relativity - Einstein's theory of gravity, which improves upon Newton's (noob) theory
- The Standard Model of particle physics - the canonical theory of physics, predicting such cool things as the Higgs Boson. Pay close attention to areas where the theory breaks down, such as neutrino mass and quantum gravity, as these indicate the theory is incomplete.
- M-Theory and Edward Witten - the canonical version of string theory and the guy who basically crushed all other string theorists with his brain.
- History of the standard model - there's some wicked sick stuff in here, from Schrodinger and Heisenberg, understanding stars, radiation, splitting the atom, lasers, superconductors, discovering stuff like neutrinos, neutrons, wave/particle duality, Feynmann, and so on. This guy isn't bad.
- History of string theory - you know, stuff http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_string_the...
Jan 14, 2015 7:53 PM # 
AddisonB:
Thanks Sheldon cooper! :) this is awesome!!!!
Jan 14, 2015 7:54 PM # 
AddisonB:
And gateway in northern Kentucky!!! Achilds
Jan 14, 2015 9:55 PM # 
GuyO:
What did you do to make your Physics teacher hate you?
Jan 14, 2015 10:20 PM # 
graeme:
This was a serious question? Sorry, i assumed it was a joke, "26" being the number of dimensions that the universe has to have if bosonic string theory is to give vaguely sensible results. Maybe your teachers are having a laugh?

I'll get back to the discussion of whether crags are point features or line features...
Jan 14, 2015 10:35 PM # 
mikeminium:
You could write a page in each dimension? Of course, we only see things in three of them :-) "Hey teach, the other 23 are right here, can't you see them?"
Jan 15, 2015 12:59 AM # 
iansmith:
Maybe you can persuade your teacher a 25-page paper is acceptable, then apply induction.
Jan 15, 2015 5:29 AM # 
tRicky:
Present a 26 page paper on ISSOM instead and see if your teacher can understand the basics of the theory behind mapping 1.1m boulders.

This discussion thread is closed.