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Math Help - general relativity, quantum theory and the "problem" in between

  1. #1
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    general relativity, quantum theory and the "problem" in between

    As I understand it thus far, general relativity and quantum theory are somewhat "at odds" with each other. String theory is something that tries to reconcile these two theories. Can anyone explain this a little clearer, and tell me what classes to take that would be relevant to this "problem"?

    Thanks!
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    As I understand it, a good bit of the problem lies in the assumptions concerning space and time. General relativity uses Riemannian geometry as its basis, and that is a smooth space and time. Quantum mechanics, on the other hand, once you "zoom in" enough, assumes that space and time are choppy and frothy. String theory is one theory among many that attempts to reconcile the two. It has actually come upon hard times - string theorists are having a hard time getting jobs, as I understand it. String theory has no experimental basis, and that's its problem.

    Relevant courses: quantum mechanics, general relativity and cosmology, quantum field theory, all at the graduate level.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member bugatti79's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ackbeet View Post
    String theory has no experimental basis, and that's its problem.
    For curiosity, could you explain? Descriptively :-)
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by bugatti79 View Post
    For curiosity, could you explain? Descriptively :-)
    Sure. Everything string theory deals with is on the scale of the Planck length. Our technology isn't even close to being able to look at things that small. Ergo, string theory is just that: pure theory.

    Here's a link explaining the physics job market. And here's a link or two explaining further what I'm talking about.
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