Friday, June 21, 2002

trying out tools

special thanks to scott, who spent several hours with me yesterday explaining why the map i have been trying to make is so bloody difficult. combination and permutation formulas put my list of variables in the 3 million range...

string theory basics: bosons are particles that transmit forces and fermions are particles that make up matter. supersymmetry means an equal matching of bosons and fermions, and a supersymmetric string theory is called a superstring theory. only two types of superstring theory deal with open strings (the kind i'd work with). bosonic string theory can cope with open strings, but since fermions are excluded, it uses tachyons or particles with an imaginary mass. and you can only use bosonic string theory if the spacetime dimensions number 26. type I string theory uses spacetime dimensions of 10, and requires supersymmetry between forces and matter, with both open and closed strings, no tachyon, and where group symmetry is SO(32).

so where does this leave me? string theory moves too close to "universal" theory. too much containment and stabilisation. too much "proof".

i've moved on to topology... i met sha xin wei from georgia tech last month - responsible, in part, for t-garden - and his topological media lab really impressed me...

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