Monday, June 17, 2013

String Wars 2013

It seems that the string wars go on. Bets have been lost, prediction have remained unconfirmed, and the whole question of predictivity has been challenged, but the true believers mostly remain unswayed. It seems that Jim Baggott has written a new book called Farewell to Reality which seems to be rather anti-string, and even had a debate with hyper-stringer Mike Duff. If you follow such matters it won't surprise you that Peter Woit and Lubos Motl have rather different takes on the book and the debate.

I tend to think of myself as a neutral in the string wars, but it probably won't surprise anybody that it seems to me that the most rabid string defenders are blowing a lot of smoke in their claims of a solid foundation and prospects for experimental confirmation. Evidently there is still some phase space for supersymmetric particles to be dicovered at the LHC, but if that fails, it's hard to see where experimental confirmation can happen in the next few decades.

So does string theory predict anything else that might be observed? If so, I have yet to hear about it.

PS - Retrodictions are not predictions.