Notices
Results 1 to 7 of 7

Thread: The New Cosmology

  1. #1 The New Cosmology 
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    The far side of the full moon
    Posts
    1
    We are on the verge of a new revolution in cosmology and astronomy. Dark Energy and Dark Matter remain mysterious and their natures simply must be determined or else Science will suffer a disastrous failure. I have not a clue as to what the New Cosmology will look like. All I know is that it will be different. I feel that in ten years or so, we will know. In the mean time, get ready for some astonishing new discoveries. These will, no doubt, include new facts about the true nature of black holes, insights into existence prior to the big bang, the reality of the multiverse and meta-time and a simplied version of quantum gravity. String or M-theory will be streamlined to be teachable in high school physics and supersymmetry will become a part of freshman college geometry. Hey, don't laugh. It is science's job to make the universe intelligible. It must be made inelligible to everyone, not just to M.I.T. Ph.D. graduates. Get ready...
    Reply With Quote  
     

  2. #2  
    Member epidecus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    90
    I don't see why you're so sure about the streamlining of (relatively advanced) physics in general education - especially since those topics you mentioned are either extremely difficult & advanced in content and/or still tentative hypotheses.

    The only way I see high school students learning such physics is on a purely conceptual (and ridiculously simplified) basis - and I mean ridiculously simplified.

    I think the highest physics offered broadly here in the US for high school level is an AP Physics course... for which I've heard deals with the simple aspects of Newtonian mechanics and basic approaches to some higher concepts. The math involved only goes as far as basic single-variable calculus. And you're here talking about quantum mechanics! And don't forget modern relativity... All-together a grand Everest of advanced mathematics in comparison to the tranquil bluffs of high school.

    Still, I agree it's indeed exciting to see what will come of cosmology and physics in the coming decades.

    NOTE: Sorry, edited this post several times. Accidentally posted mid-way typing and then I felt shaky on my statements.
    Last edited by epidecus; 03-17-2013 at 11:17 PM.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  3. #3  
    Administrator Markus Hanke's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Ireland
    Posts
    1,378
    String or M-theory will be streamlined to be teachable in high school physics
    That is highly unlikely, if not to say impossible.

    It is science's job to make the universe intelligible. It must be made inelligible to everyone, not just to M.I.T. Ph.D. graduates.
    I disagree, that is not science's job at all. Its job is to uncover the laws behind the universe, but that does not mean that those laws are necessarily easily understandable to everyone and anyone.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  4. #4  
    mvb
    mvb is offline
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Delaware
    Posts
    228
    Quote Originally Posted by Markus Hanke View Post
    That is highly unlikely, if not to say impossible.



    I disagree, that is not science's job at all. Its job is to uncover the laws behind the universe, but that does not mean that those laws are necessarily easily understandable to everyone and anyone.
    I think you are seriously overestimating the ability of scientists to understand the world compared to the ability of nonscientists to do the same and seriously underestimating the ability of a few scientists to explain science adequately to the general public. Moreover, if science does not take seriously its obligation to explain the results of the research funded by various governments, there will soon be no funds for that research.

    Even string and membrane theory could be explained, if they ever get any decent empirical support.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  5. #5  
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    504
    Quote Originally Posted by mvb View Post
    Even string and membrane theory could be explained, if they ever get any decent empirical support.
    That would require that someone actually define what they are. So far no one can do that. Even Brian Green finally admitted in one of his recent books that there is no definition for string theory -- he actually stated that perhaps the AdS/CFT correspondence might serve as some sort of definition.

    M-theory came from a talk given by Witten in 1995, in which he gave a plausibility argument that the five competing string theories at that time might in fact be different facets of a single over-arching theory which he termed "M theory". It was an insightful talk, but produced only the conjecture that such a theory might exist. The proof would be the production of a "dictionary" that would translate among the various string theories. No one has yet produced that dictionary. No one can actually define what string theory is and in fact the most important open problem in the field is "What is M theory ?''

    As to the AdS/CFT correspondence, that too is a conjecture, a conjecture advanced by Maldacena in 1997. Much use has been made of the conjecture, which postulates a correspondence between quantum chromodynamics on the boundary of anti de Sitter space and string theory on the space itself. In fact the conjecture has even been generalized (and taken as fact by some). But no one has shown that the conjecture is true.

    Before anyone explains string theory or M theory to high school students (or undergraduates, or graduate students, or anyone) it will have to be put into a form that is well-defined and communicable.

    Empirical support would be a big plus, but a cogent theory is the most pressing need. It is difficult to explain hand waving when the person waving their hands doesn't know why he is doing it. Empirical support might help to make a prediction of string theory understandable -- if string theory could only make a non-trivial prediction that is supported by test data. But I think the current problems with formulating and explaining them theory are more serious than just a lack of such support.

    I have little doubt that a presentation suitable for at least undergraduates, and perhaps high school students, could be put together, if only anyone actually understood the "theory". Barton Zweibach has attempted to produce a text that might be suitable for advanced undergraduates -- A First Course in String Theory -- though he has not been able to jump the hurdle attendant to a largely ill-defined theory.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  6. #6  
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Posts
    1
    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Anthony Kent View Post
    We are on the verge of a new revolution in cosmology and astronomy. Dark Energy and Dark Matter remain mysterious and their natures simply must be determined or else Science will suffer a disastrous failure. I have not a clue as to what the New Cosmology will look like. All I know is that it will be different. I feel that in ten years or so, we will know. In the mean time, get ready for some astonishing new discoveries. These will, no doubt, include new facts about the true nature of black holes, insights into existence prior to the big bang, the reality of the multiverse and meta-time and a simplied version of quantum gravity. String or M-theory will be streamlined to be teachable in high school physics and supersymmetry will become a part of freshman college geometry. Hey, don't laugh. It is science's job to make the universe intelligible. It must be made inelligible to everyone, not just to M.I.T. Ph.D. graduates. Get ready...
    this makes no sense to me i give up
    Reply With Quote  
     

  7. #7  
    KJW
    KJW is offline
    Super Moderator
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Posts
    861
    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Anthony Kent View Post
    String or M-theory will be streamlined to be teachable in high school physics and supersymmetry will become a part of freshman college geometry.
    So, when in the curriculum do you envisage the teaching of Lagrangian and Hamiltonian mechanics, classical electrodynamics, thermodynamics, etc?
    A tensor equation that is valid in any coordinate system is valid in every coordinate system.
    Reply With Quote  
     

Tags for this Thread

View Tag Cloud

Posting Permissions
  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •