Mike Duff Finds New Way to Test Strings

String theorist Mike Duff famed for his pioneering work on M-theory has announced a novel and practical way to test the theory of strings. The Abdus-Salam Professor of Theoretical Physics at Imperial College delivered a talk on “Black Holes and Qubits” in Durban earlier this month. His work with Borsten, Dahanayake, Ebrahim, Marrani and Rubens caused a stir last year because of the widely misinterpreted claim that it provides a test of the mathematics of string theory.  “Two different branches of theoretical physics, string theory and quantum information theory (QIT), share many of the same features, allowing knowledge on one side to provide new insights on the other. In particular the matching of the classification of black holes and the classification of four-qubit entanglement provides a falsifiable prediction of string theory in the field of QIT.” he said.

During the workshop, Duff teamed up with new collaborators from various fields of quantum physics to try out a completely new way of testing strings that came to light during the interdisciplinary discussions, and this time it was very much for real. Andrzej Dragan, Jason Doukas, Ivette Fuentes, Mike Duff and Nick Menicucci demonstrated the method that involves placing long strings under tension. The objective was to observe the temperature that results from uniform acceleration known as the Unruh effect.  Some of their critics have already described it as “highly risky” and “jumping to wild conclusions.”, but Duff has responded by challenging them to test it for themselves. ViXra Log has exclusive video of how the amazing experiment turned out.

Update: I probably did not fool many people with this post, but in case anyone is wondering, that really is Mike Duff and other participants of the Relativistic Quantum Information Workshop doing the bungy jumping. The jump-off point is 106 meters above the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban. If anyone has experienced any equally unusual activities organised at conferences and workshops please do tell.

4 Responses to Mike Duff Finds New Way to Test Strings

  1. Kea says:

    LOL! Good one! But it’s not April 1 in the UK yet?

  2. What? says:

    Come on. NOT LOL! You wasted 5 minutes and 15 seconds of my time plus the time reading the posting for nothing. There is no joke here, nothing funny, nothing to see, don’t bother watching the video. :^(

  3. Lawrence B. Crowell says:

    Large strings under enormous tension might distend into long strings if the string remains in a phase corresponding to a superstring. If the string thermalizes or changes its phase it will likely become a “gas” of strings of standard length L_s = sqrt{4πα’}. This is the conversion of a superstring into a cosmic string. A cosmic string is a one dimensional region where the vacuum state is that of the unbroken Lagrangian. It is similar to the physics of supercooled water that can be colder than the freezing point. In the phase transition of a gas or liquid to solid there can be boundary zones or grains where the gas or liquid state persists. This might have occurred during the inflationary period of the universe, where a string in a zero temperature state is stretched by the 63 efolds of the inflationary expansion of the universe. A 10^{-31}cm string could be stretched to near the mm scale, where some other process might have further expanded the string to cosmic string proportions.

    The connection between string theory and putative cosmic strings is with F-theory, which takes one into 12-dimensions, or with D-strings that are related to F-strings by S-duality between strong and weak interactions. One of the corner stones of string theory is the Nambu-Goto action, which is a starting point for the string action determined by the area of the string world sheet. The one spatial quantum dimension theory also describes the cosmic string. If a superstring is drawn into a very large filament so that its states remain invariant under the symmetries of the Lagrangian the string can be converted into this “defect” that is a cosmic string. The string has a huge tension, related to the string parameter α ′, and if this string is stretched to enormous lengths this can have a large gravitation. The curvature of space can be thought of as an orbit around the string, but where the area enclosed by the loop is the disk with a wedge cut out of it. This deficit angle θ then defines the Ricci scalar curvature bounded within that loop as R ~ θ/2πr^2, where r is the radius of the loop.

    It is hard to know how stable these are, and it could be that interactions with them might break the string up into small strings near the string length. The deficit angle above would have a gravitational lensing effect, and if one passed between the Earth and a distant object it might be detected that way.

    The video is a bit of an interesting tongue-n-cheek for April 1. However, we might think of superstring interacting with black holes under some tension.


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