Essay Preview: String Theory
Report this essay
Throughout history, scientists and philosophers have asked questions regarding Ð²Ð‚?where did the world come fromÐ²Ð‚™ or Ð²Ð‚?what is the world made ofÐ²Ð‚™. Mankind as a whole is entering a new age of learning and discovery and scientists are making attempts to answer such questions with the help of new technologies that until recently were not available. The theory that tiny, one-dimensional strands of energy called strings make up everything we see and feel is the leading candidate for describing the universe around us. Though still in the works of being proven, the theory that oscillating strings make up all matter is often referred to as the Ð²Ð‚?theory to end all theoriesÐ²Ð‚™ or even the Ð²Ð‚?theory of everythingÐ²Ð‚™ (T.O.E.). However, where there are believers, there are always skeptics: until the theory is proven the scientific community, as well as the public, will be torn on the idea that such a theory exists. If the theory is indeed one day proven true, scientists will be able to describe all aspects of the universe at a quantum or molecular level.
The main idea of string theory is its idea of uniting all four forces of nature into one unifying theory. Since the electromagnetic, strong, and weak forces can all be described at a quantum level, it is up to string theory to add gravity to that list. In order unify all forces of nature, string theory allows for the smallest of particles that have been discovered to be broken down even further and to replace point-particles with strings. An electron is not an infinitely small dot rotating around a nucleus, but a loop of a string that oscillates in a certain way. This is also true for quarks, which make up protons and neutrons, photons, the particles that make up light, and gravitons, the particles that relate to gravity. The different particles vary due to the different vibrations and oscillations of the strings that they are composed of. Ð²Ð‚ÑšIf I took a little piece of spaghetti and plucked it, it would vibrate back and forth. As it vibrates, it makes a note. The note that you get depends on how you pluck it. Roughly speaking, the idea of strings is that when you pluck it a certain way you might be looking at an electron. When you pluck it a different way you might see a particle of light. If you pluck it a third way you might be looking at a quark. All the particles are in fact different vibratory modes of this single object.Ð²Ð‚Ñœ (Sylvester James Gates, University of Maryland).
Ð²Ð‚ÑšThe discovery of the T.O.E.Ð²Ð‚”the ultimate explanation of the universe at its most microscopic level, a theory that does not rely on any deeper explanationÐ²Ð‚”would provide the firmest foundation on which to build our understanding of the world. Its discovery would mark a beginning, not an end. The ultimate theory would provide an unshakable pillar of coherence forever assuring us that the universe is a comprehensible place.Ð²Ð‚Ñœ (Brian Greene, The Elegant Universe) Brian Greene, professor of physics at Columbia University and a firm reductionist (believer in the idea that the universe can be described at a molecular level), is a strong advocate for string theory and is helping to lead the front in proving it. One of the major factors that deter physicists from string theory is its call for over ten dimensions and that such a fact would have affects on oneÐ²Ð‚™s own senses (which they do not, as far as we know). Some physicists