Posted: May 04, 2010 6:45 pm
by Nautilidae
twistor59 wrote:Would anyone care to summarise what, in their opinion, are the very best arguments for string theory...

Just to be clear, I'm asking because I'm interested, not because I'm going to come up with a load of counter arguments to demolish them. I don't know enough about the subject to do that.

One of superstring theory's strengths is it's potential as a theory of everything. By describing phenomena in terms of strings and branes, the theory can reproduce the standard model of particle physics and produce quantum gravity. Essentially, rather than having many different kinds of particles and forces, all of those particles and forces can be described by the different vibrations of fundamental object: the fundamental string. While there are other theories of quantum gravity, no other theory incorporates both quantum gravity and the standard model. It can also be used to solve the black hole information paradox. Another very pleasing result of superstring theory is supersymmetry. Supersymmetry is a cornerstone of particle physics, and string theory was one of the first models (if not the very first) to predict it.

There are several tests for string theory, but almost all of them involve very high energy experiments, which haven't been created until recently (the LHC). For instance, string theories predict extra dimensions. If these dimensions exist, the lower limit of black hole mass, the Planck mass, is reduced to the TeV energy range. This means that if particle collisions at the LHC occur at high enough energies, CERN should detect both micro black holes and massive string states called string balls. Depending on the specific conditions, however, the string balls may simply collapse to form more black holes