Friday, April 06, 2018

Could the sufferings of the dying superstring theory be finally over?

It is painful to see the death throes of superstring models to continue year after year. Peter Woit wrote about recent article suggesting that maybe string-/M-theory does not allow at all the de Sitter spaces (dS) needed at QFT-GRT limit for cosmological reasons (accelerated expansion). dS space is required by the small value of cosmological constant causing the accelerated expansion - in fact by its sign. If the claim of the article is true and is taken seriously, there is danger that the whole business might start again from scratch! Let us keep fingers crossed that this does not happen.

To understand what is involved, some notes about landscapeology are in order.

  1. The whole business is based on wishful thought that physics for 2-D space-times in 10 or 11-D space could be transformed to that for 4-D space-times but it seems that 2 to 4 won't go.

  2. Landscape consists of huge number solutions of QFT limit with Calabi-Yau as internal space. This does not allow to fix 4-D space-time defining large dimensions.

  3. Swampland is identified as space-times consisting of 4-D space-time geometries not "derivable" from string model at the highly questionable QFT-GRT limit. There is an ambitious program trying to chart all space-times which do NOT emerge as solutions QFT-GRT limit. In TGD this program would mean finding all space-time surfaces which are NOT preferred extremals of the action principle. This new branch of physics could be called geography of Swampland.

  4. Anti-de-Sitter space (AdS) appearing in AdS/CFT correspondence would require wrong sign of cosmological constant. The challenge is to find solutions with dS as 4-D space-time. Of course, macroscopic space-time as dS space is also a notion deriving from the thinking that QFT+GRT as such describes the physics of string models in long length scales.

The proposal of the article is that dS theories are in Swampland. If macroscopic space-time can be really regarded as dS, then string theory is dead and the sufferings of the patient would be finally over.

The situation in string models and theoretical particle physics has a long history of wrong hypothesis transformed soon to dogmas, and one should return to seventies, when GUT paradigm emerged - and probably as a great surprise for its proponents - became suddenly a dogma. Fast decision making and quick moves: this is the recipe for success in career building but in science it leads to a catastrophe. And in politics and economy too. It is not perhaps an accident that superstring business began at eighties when also yuppies took the power: in Finland their business games led to a deep economical depression and division of people to rich and poor: we are still suffering the consequences of the ensuing moral degeneration.

For a summary of earlier postings see Latest progress in TGD.

Articles and other material related to TGD.

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