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What happens to string theory if spacetime is doomed?

+ 3 like - 0 dislike
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What is expected to happen with string theory, if physics is reformulated according the lines hinted at by the twistor-uprising business discussed in this question and its answers for example and spacetime is doomed, as Nima likes to say?

Will it be incorporated into this new picture with "emergent" spacetime and surface again in certain limits? Or more generally, what effects will this twistor-revolution have on string theory, if any?

asked Feb 20, 2013 in Theoretical Physics by Dilaton (4,175 points) [ revision history ]
retagged Mar 18, 2014 by dimension10
Dear Dilaton, the fact that spacetime is doomed is one of the main results of string theory, primarily; twistor variables and other things are just individual manifestations of this stringy conclusion and it would be silly for Nima or anyone else to claim the priority in the "spacetime is doomed" paradigm shift which was derived and said a decade before him by string theorists such as Seiberg and Witten. So your causality is upside down. Your question is like asking what would happen to Einstein's research if the world respected relativity. Well, its key epoch would victoriously end.

This post imported from StackExchange Physics at 2014-03-12 15:24 (UCT), posted by SE-user Luboš Motl
Concerning the particular wording "spacetime is doomed", you may see that it was used by David Gross in 2004, right after he won the Nobel Prize: iep.utm.edu/time/#SH3f "Everyone in string theory is convinced that spacetime is doomed." The statement "Space and time may be doomed" (Witten) and "I am almost certain that space and time are illusions" (Seiberg) come from the 1990s, see google.com/…

This post imported from StackExchange Physics at 2014-03-12 15:24 (UCT), posted by SE-user Luboš Motl
@LubošMotl Aah, thanks for these clarifictions. Maybe I always misunderstood Nima or missed the parts in his talks etc where he mentioned that the "spacetime is doomed" thing in fact comes from string theory (?) ... so I always thought he means something else. But now it is clear :-)

This post imported from StackExchange Physics at 2014-03-12 15:24 (UCT), posted by SE-user Dilaton
Dear @LubošMotl , could you copy your important clarifying comments into an answer? I'd like to +1 and accept what you say :-)

This post imported from StackExchange Physics at 2014-03-12 15:24 (UCT), posted by SE-user Dilaton

1 Answer

+ 2 like - 0 dislike

My earlier impression that Nima's slogan "spacetime is doomed" could potentially lead to a reformulation of string theory, is wrong and an overinterpretation of Nima's very enthusiastic comments. As Lumo says in his nice clarifying comments, it is rather the other way round and "spacetime is doomed" is in fact a result that came out of string theory quit some time ago already:

The fact that spacetime is doomed is one of the main results of string theory, primarily; twistor variables and other things are just individual manifestations of this stringy conclusion and it would be silly for Nima or anyone else to claim the priority in the "spacetime is doomed" paradigm shift which was derived and said a decade before him by string theorists such as Seiberg and Witten. So your causality is upside down. Your question is like asking what would happen to Einstein's research if the world respected relativity. Well, its key epoch would victoriously end. Concerning the particular wording "spacetime is doomed", you may see that it was used by David Gross in 2004, right after he won the Nobel Prize:"Everyone in string theory is convinced that spacetime is doomed." The statement "Space and time may be doomed" (Witten) and "I am almost certain that space and time are illusions" (Seiberg) come from the 1990s, see many google results.

answered Mar 8, 2013 by Dilaton (4,175 points) [ revision history ]

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