The Problem with String Theory ...

Author: Mark Fiorentino

String Theory is without a doubt the hottest TOE theory happening right now. The planet Earth has some of the very best minds working in this field of physics. The fact that so many of our best minds are working in this field is one of my main concerns. By the time that you have completed this article you will understand why I am so worried about the vast amount of talent that is being wasted on this red herring. String Theory is a very, very popular and exciting theory that most scientists are very positive and upbeat about. In virtually every scientific article and paper on the subject of String Theory or any of its many spin off theories, I call them the ugly step children you will find someone saying we are on the verge of a major breakthrough. Yet, year after year passes by and still this theory fails to accomplish the Unification of Gravity to the other forces Electromagnetism, and the Weak and Strong Nuclear forces.

At last count there are currently 6 major variations of the theory. See table below:

A Brief Table of String Theories
Only bosons, no fermions means only forces, no matter, Major flaw: a particle with imaginary mass, called the tachyon
Supersymmetry between forces and matter, with both open and closed strings, no tachyon
Supersymmetry between forces and matter,
Supersymmetry between forces and matter, with closed strings only
Supersymmetry between forces and matter, with closed strings only
Supersymmetry between forces and matter, with closed strings only.

Table provided by


There is also yet another String Theory emerging from the ever growing list of String Theories. The new theory is called M Theory. Some people say it is the Mother of all theories. The number of String Theories may be shrinking because M Theory basically combines or compresses all the other String Theories into 1 single theory.

To be blatantly honest with you, I think it is time to put a stop to the madness. We are intellectually over indulging ourselves. Since Gabriele Veneziano first introduced us to the world of String Theory (1968). We have invested huge amounts of intellectual brain power in an attempt to make this flawed concept work. We will not achieve force unification if we continue to pursue this course.

Now that was a very bold statement I just made and I am sure that it will anger many people in the field of theoretical physics. To the people who have a problem with my opinion on the topic of string theory I have but one thing to say, "Tough Crunchies to you". If we are to advance, we have to, at times, challenge the establishment. This is one of those times.

The philosophical reasoning behind my ideas is straight forward and rational. The argument I make is simple.

1. The very number of strings theories suggests that the idea as a whole is flawed. Why so, because that no matter what the solution eventually turns out to be, there will only be ONE solution that explains reality. In other words there is only going to be one correct solution.

Therefore warning flags should be going up for a theory that has multiple variations.

2. In the very best scenario that could happen for String Theory is that 1 of the 6 original theories turns out to be correct. This is an unlikely scenario as each one has serious flaws. So in this scenario all the work on the other incorrect variations has been a gigantic waste of time and resource.

3. The M Theory variation is based on combining all 6 variations which are all flawed in some way. How good can a theory ultimately turn out to be when its foundational components are all flawed? So now, in addition to the 6 string theories we add yet another one which means even more valuable human resources wasted on another red herring. If we are going to see, in our life time a solution to unification problem we are going to have to stop running down the dead end path.

4. The theory that describes reality should be simple. String Theory is anything but simple. The mathematics is the most complex we humans have ever devised. Einstein once said, "When the solution is simple, God is answering." He had a basic belief that the answer to Unification problem was going to be simple. I agree with this philosophy.

5. One of the most troubling aspects of String Theory is that it takes many more dimensions than we actually experience in order to make the math work. There is absolutely no evidence for the existence of dimensions beyond the ones we currently experience. It is another added complexity to make this theory work. Another quote from Einstein, "God always takes the simplest way." We are not listening.

If you are out to describe the truth, leave elegance to the tailor.

6. The theory is completely untestable. The geometry that is described as existing is so small that there will never be a technology that can probe to the size and energies needed to see if strings really exist. If you can't test a theory then it is nothing more than a phantasm.

7. The underlying concept of the theory is based on ultra small vibrating strings. No one has ever really said what the strings are made of and why they vibrate. The theory can't even tell us whether the strings, if they exist, are closed or open. With string theory, all we get is just another particle like solution for reality. Instead of talking about and considering what is the core essence of particles and what they are made from we have constructed in our imaginations another particle that must be the ultimate explanation for force. We are stuck in a particle paradigm.

The logic of the seven philosophical arguments should eventually be enough to do in String Theory. To summarize, my belief is that String Theory is an attempt to unify forces of nature via an imaginary construct and this approach is flawed for the following reasons.

1. As introduced in other articles about the nature of force three of the four primary forces that we are attempting to combine are particle mediated. Only gravity is mediated by space itself. Therefore, this is an inequality and it cannot be solved.

2. String Theory needs multiple extra non-existent dimensions to work. In reality there are only four spatial dimensions and one time dimension that are needed. You may have noticed in the previous statement I said four spatial dimensions. Please see the article The Road to Unification via SR Theory for further explanation.





Web site contents © Copyright Mark Fiorentino 2006, All rights reserved.