Strings and Philately

Over at Evolving Thoughts, John Wilkins pokes string theorists:

Ernst Rutherford, the “father” of nuclear physics, once airily declared “In science there is only physics. All the rest is stamp collecting”. By this he meant that the theory of physics is the only significant thing in science. Such mundane activities as taxonomy in biology were just sampling contingent examples of physics.

So it is with some amusement that I note that in order to make sense of string theory, a group of physicists have been trying to do taxonomy over string theories.

I’m never sure who reads what blogs, but I wouldn’t want this to fail to come to the attention of the right people…

(There’s much more to the post than that– the shot at string theory is just the jumping-off point for a discussion of philosophy of science. I doubt he realizes what a can of worms he’s (potentially) opening with that, though…)

2 thoughts on “Strings and Philately

  1. If BRST invariance is falsified string theory is wrong. Bell the cat.

    Galileo, Principia‘s opening page, metric gravitation, string theory… all demand isotropic vacuum and the Equivalence Principle. Both are exhaustively validated to at least 14 decimal places. Weitzenböck’s teleparallel gravitation wholly contains GR without either founding postulate. Agreement is banal. Testable divergence is interesting.

    Do chemically identical left and right shoes violate the Equivalence Principle given a chiral vacuum background for the massed sector? String theory could be overall wrong as Euclid cannot navigate Earth’s surface. Somebody should look – parity Eötvös experiment opposing enantiomorphic space groups P3(1)21 and P3(2)21 single crystal quartz; parity calorimetry experiment opposing P3(1)21 and P3(2)21 single crystal benzil.

    A century of composition and spin Eötvös experiments nulled within experimental error. A nulled parity Eötvös experiment fully meets the gold standards of publication and degree conferral. Otherwise, add a Swedish December vacation for killing string theory 10^1000 times dead.

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