Why String Theory?

Why String Theory?

by Joseph Conlon

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Overview

Physics World's 'Book of the Year' for 2016

An Entertaining and Enlightening Guide to the Who, What, and Why of String Theory, now also available in an updated reflowable electronic format compatible with mobile devices and e-readers.

During the last 50 years, numerous physicists have tried to unravel the secrets of string theory. Yet why do these scientists work on a theory lacking experimental confirmation?

Why String Theory? provides the answer, offering a highly readable and accessible panorama of the who, what, and why of this large aspect of modern theoretical physics. The author, a theoretical physics professor at the University of Oxford and a leading string theorist, explains what string theory is and where it originated. He describes how string theory fits into physics and why so many physicists and mathematicians find it appealing when working on topics from M-theory to monsters and from cosmology to superconductors.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781482242478
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Publication date: 11/24/2015
Pages: 260
Sales rank: 1,193,600
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Joseph Conlon is a professor of theoretical physics at the University of Oxford and a fellow and tutor in physics at New College. He has been a recipient of the student-nominated Outstanding Tutor award across physical and life sciences for his undergraduate teaching. He is a world-leading researcher on string theory and the author of over 50 scientific papers. He has also given over 100 seminar and conference talks worldwide. His research mainly focuses on phenomenological applications of string theory to particle physics and cosmology. Visit WhyStringTheory.com for more details about his work.

Table of Contents

Why?
The Long Wait

Scales of Science: Little and Large

Big Lessons of Physics
SPACE AND TIME ARE CUT FROM THE SAME CLOTH
SPACETIME IS DYNAMICAL
THE WORLD IS DESCRIBED BY QUANTUM MECHANICS
THE WORLD REALLY, HONESTLY, TRULY IS DESCRIBED BY QUANTUM MECHANICS
NATURE LIKES SYMMETRIES
THE UNIVERSE WAS YOUNG, SMOOTH AND HOT, BUT IS NOW OLD, COLD AND WRINKLY
DIFFERENT CAN BE THE SAME
NATURE IS SMARTER THAN WE ARE

The Truth Is Out There

What?
What Was String Theory?

THE BIRTH
THE NAMING CEREMONY
THE WILDERNESS YEARS
HARBINGERS OF GREAT JOY
THE LIMELIGHT
THE THEORY FORMERLY KNOWN AS STRINGS

What Is String Theory?
QUANTUM FIELD THEORY BY ANY OTHER NAME
THE MISANTHROPIC LANDSCAPE
FIFTY YEARS ON

What For?
Direct Experimental Evidence for String Theory

Why Strings? Quantum Field Theory
THE PROBLEM OF STRONG COUPLING
THE ADS/CFT CORRESPONDENCE
APPLICATIONS TO COLLISIONS OF HEAVY IONS
APPLICATIONS TO CONDENSED MATTER PHYSICS

Why Strings? Mathematics
PEER RESPECT
OF MONSTERS AND MOONSHINE
MIRROR SYMMETRY
CULTS IN PHYSICS

Why Strings? Cosmology and Particle Physics
EXTRA DIMENSIONS AND MODULI
WHAT MAKES MODULI AND WHAT MODULI MAKE
AXIONLIKE PARTICLES
COSMIC MAGNETISM
EXPERIMENTAL ENNUI

Why Strings? Quantum Gravity
COUNTING BLACK HOLES
SINGULARITIES AND TOPOLOGY CHANGE
THE ULTIMATE COLLIDER

Who?
A Thousand Flowers Blooming: Styles of Science
THE REVOLUTIONARIES
VORSPRUNG DURCH TECHNIK
STOCKHOLM OR BUST
THE MOST SUBLIME BRAHMINATE OF PRINCETON
IL FAUT CULTIVER NOTRE JARDIN

#EpicFail? Criticisms of String Theory

Why String Theory?
REASONS FOR SUCCESS
RIVALS AND COMPETITORS
PREDICTING THE FUTURE

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