String Theory Explained – What is The True Nature of Reality?

String Theory Explained – What is The True Nature of Reality?


What is the true nature of the universe? To answer this question, humans come up with stories to describe the world. We test our stories and learn what to keep and what to throw away. But the more we learn, the more complicated and weird our stories become. Some of them so much so, that it’s really hard to know what they’re actually about. Like string theory. A famous, controversial and often misunderstood story, about the nature of everything. Why did we come up with it and is it correct? Or just an idea we should chuck out? To understand the true nature of reality, we looked at things up close and were amazed. Wonderous landscapes in the dust, zoos of bizarre creatures, complex protein robots. All of them made from structures of molecules made up of countless even smaller things: Atoms. We thought they were the final layer of reality, until we smashed them together really hard and discovered things that can’t be divided anymore: Elementary particles. But now, we had a problem: They are so small that we could no longer look at them. Think about it: what is seeing? To see something, we need light, an electromagnetic wave. This wave hits the surface of the thing and gets reflected back from it into your eye. The wave carries information from the object that your brain uses to create an image. So you can’t see something without somehow interacting with it. Seeing is touching, an active process, not a passive one. This is not a problem with most things. But particles are But particles are very, But particles are very, very, But particles are very, very, very small. So small that the electromagnetic waves we used to see are too big to touch them. Visible light just passes over them. We can try to solve this by creating electromagnetic waves with more and much smaller wavelengths. But more wavelengths, means more energy. So, when we touch a particle with a wave that has a lot of energy it alters it. By looking at a particle, we change it. So, we can’t measure elementary particles precisely. This fact is so important that it has a name: The Heisenberg uncertainty principle. The basis of all quantum physics. So, what does a particle look like then? What is its nature? We don’t know. If we look really hard, we can see a blurry sphere of influence, but not the particles themselves. We just know they exist. But if that’s the case, how can we do any science with them? We did what humans do and invented a new story: A mathematical fiction. The story of the point particle. We decided that we would pretend that a particle is a point in space. Any electron is a point with a certain electric charge and a certain mass. All indistinguishable from each other. This way physicists could define them and calculate all of their interactions. This is called Quantum Field Theory, and solved a lot of problems. All of the standard model of particle physics is built on it and it predicts lots of things very well. Some quantum properties of the electron for example have been tested and are accurate up to 0, 0,00 0,0000 0,000000 0,00000000 0,0000000000 0,000000000000 0,0000000000002 %. So, while particles are not really points, by treating them as if they were, we get a pretty good picture of the universe. Not only did this idea advance science, it also led to a lot of real-world technology we use everyday. But there’s a huge problem: Gravity. In quantum mechanics, all physical forces are carried by certain particles. But according to Einstein’s general relativity, gravity is not a force like the others in the universe. If the universe is a play, particles are the actors, but gravity is the stage. To put it simply, gravity is a theory of geometry. The geometry of space-time itself. Of distances, which we need to describe with absolute precision. But since there is no way to precisely measure things in the quantum world, our story of gravity doesn’t work with our story of quantum physics. When physicists tried to add gravity to the story by inventing a new particle, their mathematics broke down and this is a big problem. If we could marry gravity to quantum physics and the standard model, we would have the theory of everything. So, very smart people came up with a new story. They asked: What is more complex than a point? A line- A line or a string. String theory was born. What makes string theory so elegant, is that it describes many different elementary particles as different modes of vibration of the string. Just like a violin string vibrating differently can give you a lot of different notes, a string can give you different particles Most importantly, this includes gravity. String theory promised to unify all fundamental forces of the universe. This caused enormous excitement and hype. String theory quickly graduated to a possible theory of everything Unfortunately, string theory comes with a lot of strings attached. Much of the maths involving a consistent string theory does not work in our universe with its three spatial and one temporal dimensions. String theory requires ten dimensions to work out. So, string theorists did calculations in model universes. And then try to get rid of the six additional dimensions and describe our own universe But so far, nobody has succeeded and no prediction of string theory has been proven in an experiment So, string theory did not reveal the nature of our universe. One could argue that in this case string theory really isn’t useful at all. Science is all about experiments and predictions. If we can’t do those, why should we bother with strings? It really is all about how we use it. Physics is based on maths. Two plus two makes four. This is true no matter how you feel about it. And the maths in string theory does work out. That’s why string theory is still useful. Imagine that you want to build a cruise ship, but you only have blueprints for a small rowing boat. There are plenty of differences: the engine, the engine, the materials, the engine, the materials, the scale. But both things are fundamentally the same: Things that float. So, by studying the rowing boat blueprints, you might still learn something about how to build a cruise ship eventually. With string theory, we can try to answer some questions about quantum gravity that have been puzzling physicists for decades. Such as how black holes work or the information paradox. String theory may point us in the right direction. When used in this spirit, string theory becomes a precious tool for theoretical physicists and help them discover new aspects of the quantum world and some beautiful mathematics. So, maybe the story of string theory is not the theory of everything. But just like the story of the point particle, it may be an extremely useful story. We don’t yet know what the true nature of reality is but we’ll keep coming up with stories to try and find out. Until one day, Until one day, hopefully Until one day, hopefully, we do know. This video was supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation and realized with the scientific advice of Alessandro Sfondrini.

100 thoughts on “String Theory Explained – What is The True Nature of Reality?

  1. The world is not a problem to solve for socialagists and scientists. The world is a living mystery. Our births our deaths our being in the moment these are mysteries they are door ways opening on to unimaginable vistas of self exploration, empowerment and hope for the human Enterprise.

  2. "Depending on the readings we get, we might just disprove string theory. That would make my day…"
    two minutes later
    "THIS IS A BAD EXPERIMENT! WE ARE BAD PEOPLE! WHY DID WE USHER FORTH THE GREEN APOCALYPSE?!"

  3. If wave length increses the waves should be further apart. I think my scentence is self evident. More wave length = lower pitch. Btw i dont know shit about anything else in the vid, just thought the graphic looked weird getting shorter. Maybe its wave amplitude thats increasing, again idk just an observation.

  4. At 2:09 you say "more wavelengths means more energy" where I think you mean "more frequency" or "less wavelength". Amazing video. ❤

  5. 2:05 how can "more wavelength mean more energy? "Isn't energy inversely proportional to wavelength and directly proportional to frequency?

  6. They made a mistake at 2:07
    They said "More wavelengths means more Energy" but in reality smaller wavelengths means more Energy since Energy is inversely proportional to wavelength and directly proportional to frequency.

  7. If quantum physics is showing that math as we know it doesn't work there, then maybe math as we know it doesn't work there. There's nothing scientific about making reality fit around a pre-existing model.

  8. It's just a little annoying when the video uses words like "stories" and "inventing" particle. No one invented the particles. They really do exist. If the graviton is real – then its real. The language just delegitimizes the science.

  9. I got the most new theory… Please read this……time is the intersection of the 3 dimensions…so if we have a motion of the Galaxy … traveling in space would be traveling in time…or in simple words we can say that the space is only in 3 dimensions the point of intersection is the time we live in…..so if just stop the motion of Galaxy we will be able to live for infinite amount of time….and if we retraces the path we will just go back in time..

  10. I think this video is all sorts of stupid because it tries to postulate that strong theory doesnt work because 10 dimensions dont exist. I postulate they do indeed exist its just we cant directly interact with them using our senses because we are only 3 dimensional beings. However we can interact with the other dimensions possibly through deep meditation as the human mind can go through something called the gateway process and gain access to higher dimensions through our consciousness. This may also bring about horrific and jarring conclusions ie there are higher dimensional lifeforms that are more intelligent and powerful than us beyond comprehension and description and they may even be limiting our power and understanding of the universe by attacking and manipulating our consciousness.

  11. It seems to me that if you have to create 10 spacial dimensions to make the math work, its probably a waste of time. But then again I'm a garbage man so what the hell do I know

  12. 'Until one day, hopefully, we do know.'
    Lol, no. Nature is not a mathematical question with one right answer. Who searches the meaning, has found it. Because the meaning is the search for the meaning.

  13. Seeing is touching ? It's not like the eye is intentionally sucking in the rays that hit the duck. More precisely, making the rays hit the duck and direct those rays towards the eye whenver we look at the duck, basically just controlling a set of rays TO HIT THE DUCK AND HIT THE EYE EVERTIME LOOKING AT THE DUCK. That's seems highly misinterpreted. SO I STATE THAT Seeing is not touching. Seeing is BEING TOUCHED (WITH SAME PASSIVE PROPERTY). Just like being touched when in someone's way, if eyes are aligned in the way of rays that scatter after hitting the duck, then the eye flips the input then gets compiled and output is ironically goes further inside, into the brain. So, it's not the duck that get hits onlly when we look at it. It already being constantly hit even when we don't look at it. To See it, we align our eyes in the way of scattering rays such that the eye can get enough input to process the image . NOW THE SEEING WONT GIVE THE Particle momentum. It's already in a continuous hits and in fullll momentum. If anything, seeing only reduces the high momentum that the particle already is in, with the constant hits from the rays.

  14. Why actually does no model of the universe include consciousness even though it is obviously there ?? Maybe our consciousness can be described with these dimensions that everybody wants to get rid of. Not very verifiable though … Or does somebody have an idea how to experimentally test that theory ??

  15. Wow… you deserve so much more subscribers. if I had a teacher like this I think I would have been einstein already.

  16. I don't claim to be smart. As a matter of fact. I know I'm not. But sometimes we as humans are so prideful that when we can't figure something out we either condemn it or change it to fit whatever we beleieve. With that in mind. I always wondered. What if OUR math is wrong. You can say 2+2=4 as a fact. Because that's how we developed math. But what if it doesn't. And that's why gravity destroys our math. But we're too set that we are right with our physics and math calculations. Or maybe, just like with string theory, 2+2=4 is false AND fact. Idk…I'm sure to all u smart asses I sound pretty dumb. But maybe we're looking at the problem the wrong way. That's all. Food for thought.

  17. Our universe is a particle to superior life and the particles we see are life. Aliens are bigger or smaller, maybe we need a size gun lol

  18. Gravity isn’t a product of large quantities of mass it coincides with electromagnetic frequency and they work together

  19. string theory is fun and interesting but it would never make for a good research subject. the number of prerequisites you need to have to even study the maths behind this is ridiculous

  20. I love everything about 1:25 – 1:47 Sound effect of a particle entering your eyeball, a bird getting pissed off because you hit it with an electromagnetic wave. It's just great.

  21. Not the Heisenberg uncertainty principle. Im sure im just repeating at this point tho. Im sure you guys know tho after all everything is meticulously researched and fact checked😜👌

  22. This is a Video where I have to go back to some earlier point because my brain wanders off "Homer Simpson- Style"

  23. Nobody:
    The universe when humanity get it wrong: I don't know how, but you used the wrong formula and got the right answer.

  24. I have never taken reality as seriously as I do right now. More than ever I'm recognizing it for the nightmare-equivalent that it is.

  25. My understanding of the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principal is different. It is not that you cannot measure both the position and momentum of a particle with absolute precision because photons perturb the measurement, instead, I believe it comes from the Schrodinger equation itself. In support of my point, I would say that if it had to do with photons perturbing the measurement, then the energy of the photons used to make the measurement would have to be incorporated into the equation, right? I am not saying that photons do not perturb a measurement, I am saying I don't think that is what the uncertainty principal is about.

  26. It all came out of nothing and it goes into nothing. You cannot understand or grasp it. You can just experience it. You cannot make knowledge out of it. You can just disslove in it. If you're happy , neither time nor space exists. If you're angry everything suffocates. A day for us is and year for an insect. We don't even know a single atom in its entirety. The best solution is dissolution.

  27. Mathematically, 2+2 can be also 0 and 1
    But only this 3 answers (0, 1, 4) are correct, if from "2+2" we assume, that "+" is adding and "2" is "second" == "next after 1"

  28. 3:06 well the mass of an electron can be taken as zero (1 by 1867th of that of hydrogen atom or 9.11 x 10^-31kg) but I don't understand why you took it's charge as zero. Isn't it suppose to be one unit charge 1.6 x 10^19 C ???

  29. Speaking for those lazy asshole scientists: get yor ass off and learn that reality than teach me. I cant waste my whole life waiting for ya. You cant do a fuck, can u? U guys just wanna explore space to have sex with aliens

  30. Surely, if the wavelength, the visible light, is bigger than the particles displayed in the video, the light wouldn’t have a problem touching the particles due to its vast size, the particles just wouldn’t be as clear due to half the light missing the particles, and half of the light beaming upon and bouncing off the particles??

  31. Perhaps we first need to invent a new language before we can describe the whole universe? I mean, if our current mathematical models don't jive, maybe we need new mathematical languages? Everything from the human perspective is relative. There's always a point of reference for anything we perceive.

    Perhaps that's why we chose to define space/time in relative terms. We perceive the universe in 3, or 4 dimensions, however you choose to look at it. Space/time is perceivable to us in relative terms, so it is describable in relative terms. Gravity and mass too are perceivable and describable in relative terms.

    What do you do if there are more than 3 or 4 dimensions and there's no way to perceive anything outside of those limits? What do you do if there IS a way to perceive them in some way? Is it even possible to create a language to describe such things with so little information? Will we EVER be able to describe the universe in such detail?

    Admiring math is like admiring poetry, it has aesthetic value, it is art by definition. Science is something more though. It has to be able to predict and describe and be testable. If we can't either bring two theories together or eliminate one or both to replace it with a new one, we may still have something useful, but we won't have a theory of everything. We won't truly understand how these things are connected. We need to be able to relate them to each other in some way.

    The funny thing about math is you can pretty much make it do what you want, you simply need to define the rules. Einstein's breakthrough came from not manipulating math, but using only empirical data and ruminating on the possibilities of what that data meant. The math came after. String theorists are doing art, not science. Use Empirical data to figure it out first THEN do the mathematics, you might even have to create a language to do that….

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