# Do you have a new theory?

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Surely the greatest need is not for a better predictive theory but for a theory of explanation. It should tell us what mass and charge really are, why do some particles have zero charge, how do some zero charge particles convert to two opposite charge particles. At present we can predict but not explain. Surely a new theory should not simply be more attractive, or predictive, or better,[/i'] but, its priority should be, to improve to our underderstanding of current theory.

No. The idea that you need to know what something "really" is is an illusion. Things are what they are. What you are trying to do is impose your ideas on the universe instead of figuring out what the universe is. Charge is defined as a property that does such and so to other particles. Anything beyond that is philosophy and not science.

What people are trying to tell you is that your theory must "predict" knowledge we already have AND predict new knowledge we should find IF it is true. This is the standard method of theory evaluation. Instead, as far as I can see, your "theory" is simply a philosophical interpretation of current theories. That is outside the scope of science. Try a philosophical journal. There are several, including the Journal of the Philosophy of Science Association: http://philsci.org/ Look at the site, get the Instructions for Authors for the journal, and submit your paper.

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Severian

No one theory accurately predicts mass but' date=' several different concepts of mass allow prediction to be made providing the right concept for that particular method is used. As a result ST cannot define mass in non-mathematical terms. It does not tell us [b']what[/b] mass is or why mass exists; or what is the cause of mass.

Acutally, String Theory does all of these. Defining mass in non-mathematical terms is simply convenience and involves translating the language of mathematics to English. ST says mass is the result of vibration of strings. Thus mass exists because strings vibrate and the vibration is the cause of mass. You need to read more on String Theory.

Of course, ST does not tell you the source of strings. But then, it doesn't have to.

I challenge you to explain in non-mathematical terms why some particles have zero charge and what happens during the conversion process.

The implication here is that the Standard Model can explain this in mathematical terms. If you don't understand the math (like I don't), too bad for you. That is our failure, not a failure of the theory.

My theory does not predict charge but it does explain why the allocation of fractional charge to quarks is wrong.

Your theory must "predict", from the statements of the theory, that charge will exist and have the values it does. If the allocation of the fractional charge to quarks is wrong, then that hypothesis would not give the charges we see. Your theory must give the charges we see. Does it?

It explains what charge is. It does not predict mass but is does explain what mass is and why particles have there particular mass.

"why particles have there [sic] paticular mass" is predicting mass. Does your theory really predict what the particular mass of particles is?

It shows that the wave structure that seeks to determine particle structure, is the same wave structure that seeks to determine planetary orbits, or the distance between the rings around a comet; or the spiral structure of galatic arms.

I know that isn't true. The "waves" in QM are often probability waves, not movements.

'Only that which we are ignorant of, is beyond explanation; the rest is explainable'

This is one of the assumptions about the physical universe necessary to do science. It is usually put as the universe is accessible. That is, we CAN understand it (explain it). This isn't a fact as it is stated, but an assumption.

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No one theory accurately predicts mass but' date=' several different concepts of mass allow prediction to be made providing the right concept for that particular method is used. As a result ST cannot define mass in non-mathematical terms. It does not tell us [b']what[/b] mass is or why mass exists; or what is the cause of mass.

The inability of the Standard Model to predict the masses of the fundamental particles is a failure - or at least shows that it is incomplete. I know of no model which can predict them though, so I have nothing to replace it with. However, the Standard Model does tell us what mass is and why it exists, and even gives us a cause for mass - it is an interaction of the fundamental particles with the vacuum.

I challenge you to explain in non-mathematical terms why some particles have zero charge and what happens during the conversion process.

Why should I do it in non-mathematical terms? That is like refusing to pay your tax bill unless the government can explain your tax bill without using numbers. The fact of the matter is that some particles have zero charge because they are trivial representations of the symmetry group U(1) - does that count as mathematical? It probably does, but your inability to understand what it means does not make it wrong.

My theory does not predict charge but it does explain why the allocation of fractional charge to quarks is wrong.

Why is it wrong? It fits the data.

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Acutally' date=' String Theory does all of these. Defining mass in non-mathematical terms is simply convenience and involves translating the language of mathematics to English. ST says mass is the result of vibration of strings. Thus mass exists because strings vibrate and the vibration is the cause of mass. You need to read more on String Theory.

[/quote']

I would dispute that. String theorists have never been able to predict the masses of the particles. If the masses of the particles were really coming from the vibrations of the string then they would either all be massless, or have masses of the Planck scale. To get around this, string theory asserts that the particles we see are the massless modes, but that there is some additional (unknown) mechanism with causes a slight symmetry breaking, making the masses non-zero. That is certainly not a prediction, and the contribution to the mass is not the energy of vibration.

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Severian

However, the Standard Model does tell us what mass is and why it exists, and even gives us a cause for mass - it is an interaction of the fundamental particles with the vacuum.

I have already quoted Gross; Barut, Veltman and others say the same thing that there is no connection between SM, QT and what we observe. Strictly speaking SM and QT are philosophy not science.

I cannot predict mass but I can show that the difference between particles can be attributed to changes in the fractional wave structure. Unfortunately it is only possible to predict which fractional wave is involved (and therefore predict mass) in the negative lepton group. There is insufficient data to do the same for other particles.

The fact of the matter is that some particles have zero charge because they are trivial representations of the symmetry group U(1) - does that count as mathematical? It probably does, but your inability to understand what it means does not make it wrong.

No one understands what this means. Current practice is to tell students that if they can compute it they understand it (Veltman). That is why we need a theory that explains to underwrite the current predictive theories.

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I have a generalised new perspective on - re-cognition of a series of relatively old - tried and true theories; where the mathematics and predictions are already well established. That is, the required predictions and mathematical confirmations are already in place as the status quo in contemporary theoretical and astrophysical science.

http://forums.delphiforums.com/EinsteinGroupie

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I have already quoted Gross; Barut' date=' Veltman and others say the same thing that there is no connection between SM, QT and what we observe. Strictly speaking SM and QT are philosophy not science.

[/quote']

This is such complete rubbish. The Standard Model makes very clear predictions which are very well tested. It is most definitely science.

No one understands what this means.

I understand what it means. Why don't you?

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Severian

I understand what it means. Why don't you?

This makes you unique, according to Jim Baggott:

"the theory is, quite simply, not meant to be understood."

Further on he writes:

"Students are usually advised not to ask how this particular conjuring trick is done".

If you have an explanation (understanding) please let us have it.

Your attitude shows the difficulty those working on interpretation have to face. Only those at the very top are prepared to state the true position of QT, the rest firmly believe they understand it when in reality they have only a high mathematical skill, but no interpretation.

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If the masses of the particles were really coming from the vibrations of the string then they would either all be massless, or have masses of the Planck scale

I thought that string theory started a particle off with having the planck mass, and then via quantum fluctuations most of that mass is cancelled out, leaving the remainder as the total mass.

Also - and sorry for being another pest in this thread - but how exactly does the Standard Model of particle physics determine *why* particles have the mass they do. I was under the impression that the SM just takes these arbitrary values as a given and basically ignores the underlying reason, or am I wrong

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I thought that string theory started a particle off with having the planck mass' date=' and then via quantum fluctuations most of that mass is cancelled out, leaving the remainder as the total mass.

[/quote']

No - that is not right. That would be true of, for example, the Higgs boson in the Standard Model, but sting theory have inbuilt supersymmetry (this is the super of superstrings) which makes the quantum fluctuation cancel among themselves.

Also - and sorry for being another pest in this thread - but how exactly does the Standard Model of particle physics determine *why* particles have the mass they do. I was under the impression that the SM just takes these arbitrary values as a given and basically ignores the underlying reason, or am I wrong

As I said earlier, the mass comes directly from the strength of interaction of the particle with the vacuum. However, the arbitrariness is that our model does not predict what these strengths of interaction are, so we have to postulate the right strength to get the right mass. So we have no reason, for example, for why the top quark is so much heavier than the electron.

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I would dispute that. String theorists have never been able to predict the masses of the particles. If the masses of the particles were really coming from the vibrations of the string then they would either all be massless, or have masses of the Planck scale. To get around this, string theory asserts that the particles we see are the massless modes, but that there is some additional (unknown) mechanism with causes a slight symmetry breaking, making the masses non-zero. That is certainly not a prediction, and the contribution to the mass is not the energy of vibration.

"String theory, as stated above, postulates the existence of tiny vibrating strings that correspond to the observed elementary particles. Strings can undergo an infinite number of different vibrational patterns, called resonances, whose evenly-spaced peaks and troughs fit exactly along its spatial extent. By analogy, the strings of a guitar can similarly undergo an infinite number of vibrational patterns that meet the same requirement, though we only come in contact with a few of them. These recognizable vibrations are perceived by human ears as different musical notes. Similarly, the vibrations which strings undergo not only correspond to, but actually create, the different masses and charges observed in the various elementary particles. In other words, an elementary particle's precise properties are caused by the vibrations of its string. This connection is best illustrated for the mass of a particle. A vibrational pattern's energy is related to its amplitude, or the maximum height of a wave peak (or depth of a trough) and the wavelength, or the distance between one peak and the next. Greater amplitude and greater wavelength correlate with greater energy - that is, the more frenetic the vibrations of the string, the greater energy it has. Since energy is related to mass by Einstein's famous equation E=mc2, high vibrational energies correspond to high-mass particles."

http://superstringtheory.com/basics/basic3a.html and following pages:

"This is classical string. When we add quantum mechanics by making the string momentum and position obey quantum commutation relations, the oscillator mode coefficients have the commutation relations

[equation in here on page]

The quantized string oscillator modes wind up giving representations of the Poincaré group, through which quantum states of mass and spin are classified in a relativistic quantum field theory.

So this is where the elementary particle arise in string theory. Particles in a string theory are like the harmonic notes played on a string with a fixed tension. By looking at the quantum mechanics of the relativistic string normal modes, one can deduce that the quantum modes of the string look just like the particles we see in spacetime, with mass that depends on the spin according to the formula: [equation did not copy]"

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Severian

However' date=' the Standard Model does tell us what mass is and why it exists, and even gives us a cause for mass - it is an interaction of the fundamental particles with the vacuum.[/b']

I have already quoted Gross; Barut, Veltman and others say the same thing that there is no connection between SM, QT and what we observe. Strictly speaking SM and QT are philosophy not science.

Argument from Authority and selective quoting. If the SM and QT have no connection to what we observe, then they could not have been used, as they have been used, to predict new observations. It's quite obvious that the data make Gross, Barut, and Veltman wrong.

I cannot predict mass but I can show that the difference between particles can be attributed to changes in the fractional wave structure.

Then your theory is inferior to both the SM and String Theory, because both of them predict mass.

Unfortunately it is only possible to predict which fractional wave is involved (and therefore predict mass) in the negative lepton group. There is insufficient data to do the same for other particles.

Which is one reason why you can't get the paper published thru peer-review but try to convince non-physicists it is correct.

The fact of the matter is that some particles have zero charge because they are trivial representations of the symmetry group U(1) - does that count as mathematical? It probably does, but your inability to understand what it means does not make it wrong.

No one understands what this means. Current practice is to tell students that if they can compute it they understand it (Veltman). That is why we need a theory that explains to underwrite the current predictive theories.

I understand it, too. Zero charge is a consequence of that particular symmetry group. What else is there to explain? Why there is a symmetry group?

You (and apparently Veltman) seem to think that a hypothesis/theory should answer ALL question. That's never been the case yet. ALWAYS you get 3 or 4 new questions that pop up out of every answer. Zero charge is a result of the symmetry group. That's an answer. New question: why is there a symmetry group? But the symmetry group is the explanation for zero charge of some particles.

I think the difficulty lies in your misunderstanding of what an "explanation" is.

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This makes you unique' date=' according to Jim Baggott:

"the theory is, quite simply, not [i']meant[/i] to be understood."

Further on he writes:

"Students are usually advised not to ask how this particular conjuring trick is done".

If you have an explanation (understanding) please let us have it.

Your attitude shows the difficulty those working on interpretation have to face. Only those at the very top are prepared to state the true position of QT, the rest firmly believe they understand it when in reality they have only a high mathematical skill, but no interpretation.

It's looking more and more like the problem lies in what you see as "explanation". Let me take this to biology, where I am on more familiar, specific, ground. Surgeons had long known that bone would form in muscle at the site of bone surgery sometimes. What's the explanation? In 1965 Marshall Urist demonstrated that if he implanted demineralized bone matrix (bone from which all the mineral had been removed) in the muscle of a rat or rabbit, bone would form at the site. If he destroyed all proteins in the DBM, then bone would not form. Conclusion: there was a protein in DBM that caused extraskeletal bone formation following bone surgery.

Yet is this an "explanation"? Does it satisfy you? The identity of the protein is unknown, the responding cell is unknown, and the mechanism of the protein causing the cell to become a bone cell is unknown. From reading your posts, it appears that these unknowns would cause you to reject "a protein in bone explains non-skeletal bone formation following surgery on the bone." Yet, for that phenomenon, I would say that we do have an explanation.

In the years since, the protein has been identified, the receptor on the cell membrane has been identified, the signalling system inside the cell that transfers the binding of the protein to the cell membrane to turning on some genes in the DNA has been studied. However, we still don't know exactly which genes are activated, nor do we know how the products of these genes cause a cell to become a bone cell. So, would you say we still can't "explain" why surgery on a bone results in non-skeletal bone? Of course, there is the unanswered issue that only sometimes does non-skeletal bone form. So, we still don't know why only sometimes do we see non-skeletal bone. It seems obvious to hypothesize that most times not enough protein is released and that there are not enough responding cells. But that doesn't get us to the nitty gritty of exactly how much protein is necessary per cell.

Of course, we still don't have the nitty-gritty of the exact movement of each atom in the cell-membrane receptor protein such that we can explain exactly why binding of the cell receptor starts the signalling cascade. Nor do we have the exact movement of every atom in either the protein that is the transcription factor and the DNA such that we can "explain" how binding the transcription factor results in activation of the gene.

Do you see where I'm going here? There are layers of explanation. Because you don't have the next layer doesn't mean that you don't have any explanation.

And there is the related issue of whether the explanation makes sense to you. There is a difference between having an explanation and whether any particular individual can understand it. You want explanations, for instance, in non-mathematical language. But that may not be possible. Mathematics is a language, and sometimes, like all languages, complete and exact translation is not possible. You must learn the language in order to understand what is being said.

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lucaspa: I don't dispute any of that. String theories do indeed have particles in them with masses which correspond to vibrational modes.

The last equation in your quote from the second link which didn't come out was $J = \alpha^\prime M^2$, so we can relate the mass to the spin.

For spin zero (J=0) this gives M=0, or massless particles. For J=1 we get $M^2 = 1/\alpha^\prime$. Remember that $\alpha'$ is the string tension, so this is predicting Planck mass particles.

To be honest, I am getting confused while typing this, because I think this should imply that only the scalars are massless, but I was expecting to have all particles with a massless mode. I was then going to provide them with small masses via compactification (which is discussed in the second link you gave).

I am also slightly confused as to how the above equation can lead to the tachyonic expression $M^2 = -1/\alpha'$ since this seems to require J=-1.

Could he be meaning $J_Z$ when he says $J$? That would explain it... Sorry, I am no expert on String Theory.

Anyway, String Theories, while having particles with mass in them, are not predicting the masses of the particles. You can't sit down and work out the top quark mass for example, because it will be highly dependent on how you perform the compactification.

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There seems to be considerable misunderstanding of the current state of our knowledge of physics. I quote the introductory notes of several authors:

Extracts from ELECTRODYNAMICS AND CLASSICAL THEORY OF FIELDS AND PARTICLES by A.O. BARUT, Professor of physics, University of Colorado (1964 revised by author 1980)

It is in the hypothesis that the mass or inertia of the electron is entirely due to its own field; and, furthermore, that the momentum and spin of the particle are momentum and spin of the particles own field. In other words we could put mo=0

The measured mass of the particle is a result of the motion of the initially massless “particle” in an external field. Although this idea appears to be very attractive it is not possible, at the present time, to build a complete theory on this basis. Certainly the quantum effects must be taken into account. But even within the framework of quantum theories the nature of the mass of the particles remains unexplained.

Extract from “The Elegant Universe”.

Because string theory has no foundation in fact, it does not meet the criteria that defines science and is only correctly defined as philosophy (not science).

Writing in "Quantum Physics, Illusion or reality" Alastair I.M. RAE of the Department of Physics at the University of Birmingham states that Quantum physics is about "measurement and statistical prediction". It does not describe the underlying structure that is the cause of quantum theory.

This is confirmed by Richard Morris in "Achilles in the Quantum Universe" from which I quote:

"They (physicists) feel a complete explanation of the subatomic world will not have been attained until it is known why particles have the charge, masses and other particular properties they are observed to possess".

I feel that further progress will not be made until we have answered the question why? that is what my paper starts to do; it connects experimentally observed fractional measurements with theoretical mass and charge via a proposed wave structure.

It is not a question of being superior or inferior to QT or SM, it is a question of providing a description of the underlying structure.

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Dear Elas:

You just summed up the status quo in transitional physics today:

"There seems to be considerable misunderstanding of the current state of our knowledge of physics."

Dark matter. Gravitons. String Theory. The list of tachyons, leprechans and put ons goes on and on... Most of the so called 'new age physics' is frantically straight faced, straw grasping hypotheses...

Including the so called 'big bang theory' - which is an hypothesis, and a very poor one at that (there is no common center from which the observed expanding universe, expands. This is not the signature of an explosion. It is the signature of a repellng force in accordance with Newton's laws of 'attractive force', but acting in the opposite direction).

We often hear of Einstein's abandonment of his Cosmological Constant; we do not hear that he was back to working on it until his passing in 1955 at Princeton.

There's more to this of course. A lot of it is TOTAL FIELD THEORY at http://forums.delphiforums.com/EinsteinGroupie

Thank you and yours for being, and for reading this missive.

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It is in the hypothesis that the mass or inertia of the electron is entirely due to its own field; and' date=' furthermore, that the momentum and spin of the particle are momentum and spin of the particles own field. In other words we could put mo=0

The measured mass of the particle is a result of the motion of the initially massless “particle” in an external field. Although this idea appears to be very attractive it is not possible, at the present time, to build a complete theory on this basis. Certainly the quantum effects must be taken into account. [b']But even within the framework of quantum theories the nature of the mass of the particles remains unexplained[/b].

I suspect this is simply out of date, since it was originally writtenin 1960. The hypothesis is not that the mass of the electron is entirely due to its own field - the hypothesis is that the mass of the electron is due to the interaction with the vacuum, which gains a non-zero field content due to the Higgs mechanism. Within this framework, the masses of the particles are understood. We cannot predict the actual masses because the strengths of the interaction are part of the model, but we understand how mass comes about.

Extract from “The Elegant Universe”.

Because string theory has no foundation in fact, it does not meet the criteria that defines science and is only correctly defined as philosophy (not science).

I think this is a slightly extreme viewpoint, but I have some sympathy with this view. However, since a well defined string theory could in principle make predictions it remains science - just because we are too stupid to work out what these predictions are is not the fault of strong theory.

Writing in "Quantum Physics, Illusion or reality" Alastair I.M. RAE of the Department of Physics at the University of Birmingham states that Quantum physics is about "measurement and statistical prediction". It does not describe the underlying structure that is the cause of quantum theory.

This is again out of context, but I think he is pointing out that Quantum Physics is not the basis of our fundamental theories - Quantum Field Theory is, which is a completely different thing.

This is confirmed by Richard Morris in "Achilles in the Quantum Universe" from which I quote:

"They (physicists) feel a complete explanation of the subatomic world will not have been attained until it is known why particles have the charge, masses and other particular properties they are observed to possess".

A quote from a non-physicist with an axe to grind is not good evidence.

I feel that further progress will not be made until we have answered the question why? that is what my paper starts to do; it connects experimentally observed fractional measurements with theoretical mass and charge via a proposed wave structure.

And one could exqually well ask 'why?' for your 'proposed wave structure'. If you can explain the masses of the particle via some other hypothesis, you will still have a hypothesis which is unmotivated. If you truely want to be able to derive masses with no remaining 'why' then you have to have no hypothesis in the first place, which is logically impossible.

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Severian

Thank-you for the patience you have shown in replying to this amateur. I can now see that I have to base my case on the hypothesis that the Standard model is the reverse of reality.

If the particle is a vacuum field with a fixed quantity of vacuum force then mass is determined by the effect of the vacuum field upon the force carrier (or anti-force; both titles being somewhat unsatisfactory). This means the any reduction in the volume of the (particle) vacuum field leads to a greater vacuum force per unit of volume; this compresses the force carrier and is observed as an increase in mass.

My tables show how this works (by changes in the fractional wave pattern) and produces the mass numbers without the need for a Higgs particle. I show that the same mechanism (i.e. wave pattern) is observable in cosmic observations and can be used to explain the observed expansion of the universe.

My model does not predict because, with one exception, it is not possible to determine which fractional wave is involved in any particular interaction until after the change has occured. The one exception is the leptons where the same fractional difference seperates the leptons in the order in which their mass increases.

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Allow me to get a little lyrical here.

Metaphorically, physics is a picture drawn on the canvas of space-time. Rather, it is the description of that picture. At normal distances, well within the ranges of our sensory organs, the lines and shapes and movements of the picture are perceived and described using Newtonian mechanics. The picture does not look the same if we get too close. We begin to see the threads and fibers of the canvas. We can still try to describe it (quantum mechanics), but we are doing it blindly, without seeing the whole picture. If we step back too far, the whole canvas looks warped because of the finite speed of our sense modality. The canvas is beyond the useful ranges of our sight. The description of the canvas from this distance is special relativity (and to some degree, general relativity as well). Both QM and relativity are beyond the limits of our senses; beyond different limits of our senses. Any wonder theese theories are not easily unified or reconciled?

(I understand that our experiments and devices can go well beyond our senses. But what these extensions to our senses are doing is just translating the phenomena that fall beyond the limits back to a region where we can sense them using the same sense modality - EM interactions - and with the same speed constraint - speed of light.)

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There seems to be considerable misunderstanding of the current state of our knowledge of physics. I quote the introductory notes of several authors:

Extracts from ELECTRODYNAMICS AND CLASSICAL THEORY OF FIELDS AND PARTICLES by A.O. BARUT' date=' Professor of physics, University of Colorado (1964 revised by author [b']1980[/b])

You didn't give the years of the rest, but look at the DATE! 1980! That's 26 years ago. Thus, this is NOT the "current state of our knowledge". What's more, it is the author's opinion as of 26 years ago.

Do you think there might have been some progress in String Theory?

When you quote people, you have to check to make sure that what was said

then is still valid now. You haven't done that.

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Is anyone else having difficulty with this thread? My posts seem to be being eaten. They are there when I hit reply and look at the previous posts but not in normal viewing mode.

This is a test....

Edit: yes, I can see this one.

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Is anyone else having difficulty with this thread? My posts seem to be being eaten. They are there when I hit reply and look at the previous posts but not in normal viewing mode.

This is a test....

Edit: yes' date=' I can see this one.[/quote']

That happens to me sometimes, it's odd. Usually its when I close the browser accidentially right after submitting.

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Extract from “The Elegant Universe”.

Because string theory has no foundation in fact' date=' it does not meet the criteria that defines science and is only correctly defined as philosophy (not science). [/quote']

This has nothing to do with anything. Since theories are imaginative constructs, all theories start out as having no foundation in "fact" Yet they are science. The author here has made a mistake on how science is done.

Volume 13, #22 The Scientist November 8, 1999

http://www.the-scientist.com/yr1999/nov/halim1_p1_991108.html

Date: November 8, 1999

Courtesy of Rockefeller University

Nobel laureate Günter Blobel

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

" When Günter Blobel and David Sabatini first proposed the signal hypothesis in 1971, the whole thing was simply ignored. There was not a shred of evidence to support it."

This is confirmed by Richard Morris in "Achilles in the Quantum Universe" from which I quote:

"They (physicists) feel a complete explanation of the subatomic world will not have been attained until it is known why particles have the charge, masses and other particular properties they are observed to possess".

Richard Morris is a good science writer. However, he is not talking about QM here. As I noted in a previous post, one of the attractions of String Theory is that it does provide a "why" for all of these: the observations are a result of the behavior of strings.

I feel that further progress will not be made until we have answered the question why? that is what my paper starts to do; it connects experimentally observed fractional measurements with theoretical mass and charge via a proposed wave structure.

Let me agree with Severian: WHY is there a wave structure? You haven't explained the wave structure, have you?

It is not a question of being superior or inferior to QT or SM, it is a question of providing a description of the underlying structure.

When you admitted that your theory could not predict the values that QM or SM predicted, you admitted that your theory is inferior. Your underlying structure can't be correct if it can't give the correct observed values. That's how we initially test hypotheses in trying to falsify them: we test them against KNOWN data. Do they predict what we already know?

This is why String Theory has undergone a number of modifications: the earlier versions could not predict what has already been observed.

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Anyway, String Theories, while having particles with mass in them, are not predicting[/b'] the masses of the particles. You can't sit down and work out the top quark mass for example, because it will be highly dependent on how you perform the compactification.

The first quote does say mass will be predicted: it depends on the vibrational energy of the string via E=mc^2. An energy E(1) will correspond to a mass(1). So, knowing the energy of the vibration gives you mass of the particle. Now, it may be, as you say, that the energy of vibration is dependent on the compactification. I can't follow the equations well enough to tell. But that would still allow String Theory to predict masses; it would just constrain the compactification. Which, in turn, gives you limits of the compactification and allows you to test String Theory. If yourtest is sensitive enought to detect the compactification necessary to produce the mass, but you can't detect the compactification, then String Theory is refuted. I have read that String Theory is having troubles because there are tests to detect compactification and, so far, none has been detected. String Theory, so far, has been able to be modified to give smaller compactifications below the sensitivity of the tests: Kaku M, Testing string theory. Discover August 2005 http://www.discover.com/issues/aug-05/cover/

Or you can even run that in reverse and use it for prediction: knowing the mass of the particle, you should predict the vibration of the string. If that vibration is impossible, then String Theory is also in trouble.

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However, when coming up with a new theory it is important that it should be better than the old one. Therefore the first step of coming up with a new theory is a sufficient understanding of the old one.

Snail states that Richard Morris is “not talking about QM”, but surely the truth in one science are a truth in all sciences. Morris is either true or false, but never irreverent.

Snail adds that I have not explained the wave structure but, Fractional Wave Sequences have been known since about 1930 and I cannot trace the original papers. There are six known sequences and I show that a seventh is required to explain the fractional wave differences between pseudo scalar mesons.

Lucaspa complains about the use of a 26 year old quote, but the same statement is made currently by Gross and others. He goes on to claim that string theory provides “a why for these things”, it does not, as Prof. Robert Kane wrote recently “the value of masses cannot be explained by the Standard model” neither does it explain why there are three generations of particles or the connection between gravity and the other forces or why the universe is asymmetric.

You have to make sure that your new theory does everything at least as well as the old theory; otherwise the old theory remains more attractive. This is very difficult mainly because our current theories are so spectacularly good in their predictions.

I would put it differently by saying that a new theory should do those things that the old theory does not do, the ability to predict already exist but, (as Kane states) the 'explanation' does not, that is why students are told “if you can predict it you understand it”; to my way of thinking that is an unacceptable statement.

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