Thursday, June 12, 2014

26 Dimensions of the English Language

In string theory, all matter is envisioned as tiny vibrating strings, orders of magnitude smaller than the teeniest tiniest particle we can observe today. These strings are so tiny that scientists who work on the theory haven't yet found a way to experimentally observe a string, only consequences of the strings interacting. 

In quantum mechanics, the forces - electromagnetics, the strong nuclear force, and the weak nuclear force - work only because of bosons, special types of particles that bounce around and make them work. These bosons are also created by vibrating strings, so all matter and its various interactions are described as being different types of vibrating strings. 

This realization led to a prediction that caused a number of scientists to abandon the theory all together. String theory ONLY WORKS if you set up equations so that the universe has a total of 26 dimensions.

"Pilot" episode

Leonard:  At least I didn't have to invent 26 dimensions just to make the math come out.

Sheldon: I didn't have to invent them. They're there.

Leonard:  In what universe? 

Sheldon:  In all of them. That's the point. 

The equations of string theory necessitate twenty-six dimensions. Beyond our known space-time dimensions: up/down, left/right, front/back, and a dimension representing our movement through time, what properties would these other dimensions represent? 

Let's take a look at the English alphabet with its 26 letters for a possible answer.

Used with units of measure, the letter "A" represents each string as a unit of measurement. 

As with plan B, "B" represents an alternative string. 

The third fixed constant or known constant represents the constant of a given string. 

The diameter of a string.

The transfer or information exchange between strings. 

The frequency of a string.

The unit of gravity equal to the force exerted on it by a given string.

The fundamental constant of a string. 

An imaginary string. 

The force of one string when it moves position. 

The base temperature of a string.

The length of a string.

The mass of a string.

An unspecified string.

Used when strings combine forms.

The probability that a string will exist.

Denoting the hypothetical source of strings.

That which gives position or direction to a string.

The distance between strings.

A hypothetical entity with a mass 360,000 times that of a string.

Denoting the change of a string.

Opposing strings.

Corresponding to a one unit difference between strings.

Denoting the principal or horizontal axis in a system of strings.

Denoting the action or result of a string.

Used in repeated form to represent the sound of buzzing strings
zzzzzz, zzzzzz

This brings us to the heart of string theory, and all of theoretical science: how much trust should be put in the equations, absent experimental confirmation? Based on the 26 Dimensions of the English language, there is no real reason to put faith in any theory, especially if it requires a boson to work.

This post was created to explain that string theory must have a system: gravity, alphabet, or otherwise, to make it work. That doesn't make string theory wrong, it just makes it really complex and super hypothetical. But it is fun to think about ... 

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