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QSDWire – Portland, Oregon

Many parents wonder “why, why did our son/daughter grow up to be a string theorist?”

Ok, maybe not that many.

But for those who do (and you know who you are), please stop with the “what if’s”:  What if my son/daughter had a real job?  What if he/she had a medical doctorate instead of, well, whatever it is that string theorists have?

Enough!  While many say that there are at least Ten Reasons Why String Theory May Not Be Your Thing (and we strongly suggest clicking on that link, but not until you’ve read this page), we beg to differ.

To wit!  We present the Top Ten Reasons To Be A String Theorist:

Confident in knowledge that strings are always the life of the party


Silly String Party

Great deals available on cases of your theory


Silly String Case
Who says String Theory isn’t colorful?
The size of your string does not always matter


Size Does Not Matter - Small Is Fine - Uh Sure
Ability to look other physicists in the eye and say “unify this!”


Unify This!

Jogging path above the Large Hadron Collider is great exercise


Jogging above the Large Hadron Collider
Only 26.9 kilometers left to go, Sparky. Hey! Don’t step on that Higgs Boson!
Resolve eternal debate between macramé, crochet and cross-stitching


You see the strings, right?
You see the strings, right?
More elegant manner of unifying things than competing “Rope Theory”

Rope Theory
Rope Theory – a theory of Everything wherein tiny one-dimensional “ropes” oscillate – can unify quantum mechanics and gravity, just like the ropes illustrated above. “Ropes are a lot sturdier than strings.” – some Ph.D. candidate.
Rope Theory Hanging By A String (Theory)
Or maybe not…
Sleep easily at night confident that your theory will never be used to create weapons of mass destruction

Not Likely A Weapon Of Mass Destruction
…or ANYTHING practical, for that matter…
Extreme confidence that if you can’t get a date in this universe, you’ll score big time in another


Not In ANY Universe Buddy
Ok, maybe even another universe won’t help
Many theories have 3 dimensions, but ours goes to 11. Dimensions, that is.

Ours Goes To Eleven
Ours Goes To Eleven
Presenting England's Loudest Theory - String Theory
Click to enlarge

Did you click on the Eta/V8/MM picture in Reason 1?  Did you?  Did you?  If not, do so!


I don't get it!

Chill, chill, that’s ok…realize that String Theory is a complicated thing, and not many people get it. Heck, look at our Top Ten list…it’s pretty obvious we don’t get it either. Anyway, the best solution is to read this or check out what Wikipedia has to say. But for those too lazy to click (alas, you know who you are), here goes…

Reasons 9 & 10:  C’mon…need we explain the obvious?  String theory says that all matter is made up of tiny, tiny little oscillating one-dimensional strings.  Strings.  Get it?

Reason 8: Uh, strings are supposed to be really, really small.  This may give us a complex.  ‘Cause, uh, size doesn’t matter, right?

Reason 7: String Theory is one of the best bets out there for unifying quantum mechanics (the world of the really small) with theories of gravity.  Right now those two worlds don’t play nice.  Whatever theory unifies the two will earn a special place in the minds of the dozen or so people who will understand it.

Reason 6: The Large Hadron Collider is 27 kilometers around…start running!

Reason 5: There’s, uh, nothing that can be said about this one.

Reason 4: Unfortunately, we couldn’t find a link to the doctoral thesis on this “Rope Theory.”

Reason 3: It has been said by detractors that String Theory has no practical application in this world.  Yeah, that’s probably what they said about that “splitting atom” thing in the last century…

Reason 2: Some branches of string theory posit that there are many alternate universes out there.  And if you can mathematically prove that, our guess is that you’ll probably come to rely on those alternate universes for your dates.

Reason 1: Spinal Tap, the titular “band” from the mockumentary “This is Spinal Tap,” is the Loudest Band In England.  To prove this, they need only point to their amplifiers.  Most normal amplifiers only go up to 10.  But Spinal Tap’s are louder.  They go up to eleven.  Similarly, most theories live in 3 or 4 dimensions.  But at least one branch of String Theory contemplates 11 dimensions.  If you don’t get the joke now, we’re guessing there’s absolutely nothing we can write here to change that.  Just enjoy Eta, V8 and M. Monopole rocking and rolling.