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Edward Witten QUOTES / QUOTATIONS
And it turned out in string theory in the late '80s and early '90s we actually were able to calculate examples where you could really see changes in the topology of spacetime.
Quotation of Edward Witten
As far as extra dimensions are concerned, very tiny extra dimensions wouldn't be perceived in everyday life, just as atoms aren't: we see many atoms together but we don't see atoms individually.
Quotation of Edward Witten
As for the forces, electromagnetism and gravity we experience in everyday life. But the weak and strong forces are beyond our ordinary experience. So in physics, lots of the basic building blocks take 20th- or perhaps 21st-century equipment to explore.
Quotation of Edward Witten
As of now, string theorists have no explanation of why there are three large dimensions as well as time, and the other dimensions are microscopic. Proposals about that have been all over the map.
Quotation of Edward Witten
But the beauty of Einstein's equations, for example, is just as real to anyone who's experienced it as the beauty of music. We've learned in the 20th century that the equations that work have inner harmony.
Quotation of Edward Witten
Even before string theory, especially as physics developed in the 20th century, it turned out that the equations that really work in describing nature with the most generality and the greatest simplicity are very elegant and subtle.
Quotation of Edward Witten
Having those extra dimensions and therefore many ways the string can vibrate in many different directions turns out to be the key to being able to describe all the particles that we see.
Quotation of Edward Witten
I guess it's possible that string theory could be wrong. But if it is in fact wrong, it's amazing that it's been so rich and has survived so many brushes with catastrophe and has linked up with the established physical theories in so many ways, providing so many new insights about them.
Quotation of Edward Witten
I wouldn't have thought that a wrong theory should lead us to understand better the ordinary quantum field theories or to have new insights about the quantum states of black holes.
Quotation of Edward Witten
If I take the theory as we have it now, literally, I would conclude that extra dimensions really exist. They're part of nature. We don't really know how big they are yet, but we hope to explore that in various ways.
Quotation of Edward Witten
If we listen to a tuning fork, it sounds harsh to the human ear. And that's because you hear a pure tone rather than the higher overtones that you get from a piano or violin that give music its richness and beauty.
Quotation of Edward Witten
In Einstein's general relativity the structure of space can change but not its topology. Topology is the property of something that doesn't change when you bend it or stretch it as long as you don't break anything.
Quotation of Edward Witten
In the case of string theory, with our present understanding, there would be nothing more basic than the string.
Quotation of Edward Witten
It's indeed surprising that replacing the elementary particle with a string leads to such a big change in things. I'm tempted to say that it has to do with the fuzziness it introduces.
Quotation of Edward Witten
Now there must be skeptics out there who will tell you that these beautiful equations might have nothing to do with nature.
Quotation of Edward Witten
On the other hand, we don't understand the theory too completely, and because of this fuzziness of spacetime, the very concept of spacetime and spacetime dimensions isn't precisely defined.
Quotation of Edward Witten
One of the basic things about a string is that it can vibrate in many different shapes or forms, which gives music its beauty.
Quotation of Edward Witten
Quantum mechanics brought an unexpected fuzziness into physics because of quantum uncertainty, the Heisenberg uncertainty principle.
Quotation of Edward Witten
So when you ask me how string theory might be tested, I can tell you what's likely to happen at accelerators or some parts of the theory that are likely to be tested.
Quotation of Edward Witten
Spreading out the particle into a string is a step in the direction of making everything we're familiar with fuzzy. You enter a completely new world where things aren't at all what you're used to.
Quotation of Edward Witten
String theory is an attempt at a deeper description of nature by thinking of an elementary particle not as a little point but as a little loop of vibrating string.
Quotation of Edward Witten
Technically you need the extra dimensions. At first people didn't like them too much, but they've got a big benefit, which is that the ability of string theory to describe all the elementary particles and their forces along with gravity depends on using the extra dimensions.
Quotation of Edward Witten
The theory has to be interpreted that extra dimensions beyond the ordinary four dimensions the three spatial dimensions plus time are sufficiently small that they haven't been observed yet.
Quotation of Edward Witten
There was a long history of speculation that in quantum gravity, unlike Einstein's classical theory, it might be possible for the topology of spacetime to change.
Quotation of Edward Witten
Unity of the different forces and particles is achieved because they all come from different kinds of vibrations of the same basic string.
Quotation of Edward Witten
We see light waves with our eyes, but most of the other particles take 20th-century equipment to discover them.
Quotation of Edward Witten
You have that one basic string, but it can vibrate in many ways. But we're trying to get a lot of particles because experimental physicists have discovered a lot of particles.
Quotation of Edward Witten