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Author Topic: The Great Cosmic Roller-Coaster Ride  (Read 3333 times)
Phoenix
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« Topic Start: October 23, 2007, 08:33:56 pm »

Could cosmic inflation be a sign that our universe is embedded in a far vaster realm

http://sciam.com/article.cfm?articleId=8AFC73BC-E7F2-99DF-31FAE14B26815014&sc=WR_20071023
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« Reply #1: October 23, 2007, 10:58:23 pm »

Could cosmic inflation be a sign that our universe is embedded in a far vaster realm

http://sciam.com/article.cfm?articleId=8AFC73BC-E7F2-99DF-31FAE14B26815014&sc=WR_20071023

It could be embedded in a larger "realm" even without string theory being correct. Linde's Chaotic Inflation, for example. I really want to like String Theory, but more and more I'm wondering if it is even testable. There are a seemingly endless number of different string theories, lots of been ruled out, but there are still hundreds or thousands more (and the number seems to keep growing).
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« Reply #2: October 23, 2007, 11:17:35 pm »

I really want to like String Theory, but more and more I'm wondering if it is even testable.

But are any of them really testable with any great degree of certainty?
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« Reply #3: October 24, 2007, 08:37:39 am »

But are any of them really testable with any great degree of certainty?

Not really with current technology, and I'm beginning to wonder if all the various versions of string theory are testable under any technology. If string theory isn't disprovable (i.e., if there is no test that can show it is does or does not match reality), then it really isn't science.
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« Reply #4: October 24, 2007, 11:49:12 pm »

If string theory isn't disprovable (i.e., if there is no test that can show it is does or does not match reality), then it really isn't science.

I have to disagree
The article mentions that some string theories have already been ruled out.

And, anyway, science is an attempt to explain the mechanism behind an observed phenomenon

Take dark matter for example, it's basically a hypothetical construct to explain observations we can't account for with a known mechanism.
Just because we don't understand what it is, doesn't make its study the same as blind faith
We can rule out the impossible without necessarily proving that the possible explanation is fact
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« Reply #5: October 25, 2007, 08:19:35 am »

I have to disagree
The article mentions that some string theories have already been ruled out.

And more keep popping up. The total number of possible string theories is apparently enormous and whenever a good sized class of possible string theories are ruled out, proponents come up with even more variations. I like string theory, but I am really beginning to agree with those few physicists who think that there are some very basic problems with the foundations of any theory that seems to have an unending stream of variant theories to test.
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« Reply #6: October 25, 2007, 09:58:37 pm »

I am really beginning to agree with those few physicists who think that there are some very basic problems with the foundations of any theory that seems to have an unending stream of variant theories to test.

Maybe, but how much does an elementary particle need to change to make a big difference in any macro-world observations, let alone on a cosmological scale?
Also, it seems to be a common characteristic in the sub-atomic world for things to be a bit fuzzy
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« Reply #7: October 25, 2007, 10:19:46 pm »

Also, it seems to be a common characteristic in the sub-atomic world for things to be a bit fuzzy

This doesn't appear to be the sub-atomic world that's fuzzy, but the theory that's fuzzy.
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