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QSDWire – October, 2011

It seems that everyone is high on string theory these days.  Heck, there’s even a Top Ten list of Reasons To Be A String Theorist (and we strongly suggest clicking on that link, but only after you read this top ten list).

But, you know, string theory isn’t for everybody.  We here at the QSDWire understand your confusion…should you become a string theorist or not?  Is string theory for you?  These are weighty questions, ones that require at least a moment or two’s thoughts.  And of course, we’re here to help.  We’re not suggesting you lean one way or the other, but here’s the Top Ten Reasons String Theory May Not Be Your Thing:

Can’t say “Calabi-Yau” without giggling


Can you say Calabi-Yau without giggling?
Neither can we
You think everyone’s “extra dimensions” can be eliminated via strict adherence with the Atkins diet


Extra Dimensions
We think there was an extra dimension or two in there at some point
Profound stuttering while trying to say the “M” in M-theory


Stuttering M-Brane
Looks like she’s got an M-Brane stuck in there somewhere…
Confuse “string theory” with “silly string” at local Toys-R-Us


Orange Silly String
Ok, so it’s a little like the big bang…shake it up, press the button a bam! Expansion! Err, uh, Inflation! Uh, well, Strings!
Reliance on use of yarn in doctoral dissertation won’t work


Doctoral Thesis In Yarn
“My thesis begins with the unraveling of yarn theory…” Good luck with that, Sparky.
Thoughts of little, vibrating strings make you itch all over


Itchy Strings
Sure, the socks help, but it’s the strings that itch. Strings, all over you, everywhere. Little, little strings. Oscillating. Itchy yet?
Unable to convince spouse and/or parents that spending your life researching an esoteric theory with billions of potential solutions, little likelihood of physical verification anytime soon, and practically zero chance of making dollar one beyond your graduate assistant stipend is a better family financial option than flipping burgers

Spongebob Is A Successful Fry Cook
Of course there are some very successful fry cooks out there…
Inability, as compared to real string theorists, to visualize 5, 6, 7 and 8 dimensional shapes, particularly at Plank-like sizes


Looking For Really Small Dimensions
“We don’t care how small they are…REAL string theoriest don’t need microscopes to see the 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th dimensions.” Yeah, but that 11th is a doozy. Keep looking!
Thoughts of living within a three-brane just don’t excite you as much as prospects of being a photographer for an adult magazine


One Of These People Should Not Be Wearing A Speedo
One of these people should NOT be wearing a Speedo…
Frequent nightmares that, alas, loop quantum gravity is REALLY where it’s all at


What Loop Quantum Gravity May Look Like
What Loop Quantum Gravity may look like


I don't get it!

What’s not to get? It’s about string theory…you know, everything is made up of tiny, one-dimensional oscillating strings. It allegedly unifies two basic theories which don’t play nice together…quantum mechanics and relativity. Different variations contemplate multiple universes (whohoo!) and many dimensions (those who disagree with this post will likely note that there are at least 10 Reasons To Be A String Theorist, especially as the dimensions go to eleven – Rock On!).

What? You don’t get one of the Reasons? We’re…shocked…likely because we don’t really get them either. But here goes:

Reason 10: Calabi-Yau is fun to say. Try it. You’ll like it.

Reason 9: You see, string theory contemplates dimensions 5 through 11 (at least M-Brane variations). More dimensions, like gaining weight. Get it? If not, we suggest stopping reading right now…it doesn’t get any better below…

Reason 8: Because the song “MMMBop” is enough to frighten anyone into stuttering.

Reasons 6 & 7: Because strings can’t have all the fun.

Reason 5: The strings in String Theory oscillate. They vibrate. ALL OF THE TIME. They’re everywhere, ON YOUR SKIN RIGHT NOW. Try to NOT scratch now, or go to sleep for that matter…

Reason 4: Ok, this one’s a bit mean, and we apologize for that. But if you’re looking for fame and fortune, you might want to look in another area of study. Just sayin’

Reason 3: Plank sizes are really, really small. With today’s technology you can’t REALLY see the strings. You have to envision them in your mind, like true string theorists do, but without mind altering substances.

Reason 2: Think of this one in terms of results…here are the results of a Google image search for “M-Brane“. You can compare that to the results for a Google image search for the term “adult magazine”. Note the subtle differences.

Reason 1: Quantum Loop Gravity is a competing theory…may the best theory win! 🙂