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Posted: Tue Apr 12, 2005 12:32 pm Post subject:
Newbie Observations on The Elegant Universe



Just read The Elegant Universe and hope to improve my meager
understanding by suffering the slings and arrows of outrageous Usenet.
It seems to me that the compactified dimensions are not small as far as
a vibrating string is concerned. Consider a 3D (X,Y,time) string. If
the string is vibrating in the Y direction and doesn't interact with
itself then the Y dimension can be compactified as small as one likes
and it makes no obvious difference. The dimension is small only in the
sense that only shortrange interactions are possible.
It was said that everything depended on the geometry of the eleven
dimensions and there were no free parameters. The problem was the huge
number of possibilities. There was also seemed to be no particular
reason to think there is only one geometry, and the author implied
there could be many in some sort of flux. In particular there could be
oscillations between dual spaces. One starts to wonder whether these
strings are oscillating knots in spacetime. The author suggested that
tiny black holes continually form and are the mechanism of such
topological change.
I recalled those QED diagrams where there are all possible paths with
all possible particles. With strings this ambiguity of particles would
be natural. If the "particles" are vibrational modes of strings then a
string can be vibrating in several modes at once.
The graviton has a Zen character in that it is a vibrational mode that
is heavily damped by quantum fluctuations. So the mode exists but the
string can only vibrate in that mode in a transient, statitical, noisy
sense. So this vibration is happening and not happening. Or some
onehand clapping like that.
There was a mention that one of the compatified dimensions might be a
time dimension. Would this have anything to do with Hawking's
imaginary time? 

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