Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Space Science

Famous Hawking Black Hole Bet Resolved? 500

Posted by simoniker
from the brittanica-please dept.
Mick Ohrberg writes "In 1997 the three cosmologists Stephen Hawking, Kip Thorne and John Preskill made a famous bet as to whether information that enters a black hole ceases to exist -- that is, whether the interior of a black hole is changed at all by the characteristics of particles that enter it. It now looks like Stephen Hawking and Kip Thorne may owe John Preskill a set of encyclopedias of his choice, since physicists at Ohio State University 'have derived an extensive set of equations that strongly suggest that the information continues to exist -- bound up in a giant tangle of strings that fills a black hole from its core to its surface.'"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Famous Hawking Black Hole Bet Resolved?

Comments Filter:
  • Hawking radiation (Score:5, Informative)

    by Space cowboy (13680) on Monday March 01, 2004 @05:30PM (#8434331) Journal
    Steven had posited in the 70's that the black holes leak (Hawking radiation), but the paradox is that they radiate a 'black-body' spectrum (entirely thermal radiation) in inverse proportion to their mass (so as they get smaller, the radiation increases). The problem here is that all the information went in, but it's very difficult to infer information from a black-body radiated spectrum (!). Steven therefore thinks that information is lost forever.

    The article though is a bit hand-wavy over why the information is preserved in this new theory... (I guess Nth dimensional maths doesn't appeal to the reporter :-). I don't think the fact that the string-theory radius matches the black-hole radius is sufficient to prove the case, though it's an interesting pointer, a curious coincidence if indeed it is such ...

    Effectively this is a conjecture - if the strings continue to exist, then they'd have the same size as the black hole appears to have. The throwaway statement " That means a black hole can be traced back to its original conditions, and information survives." seems a bit of a stretch though :-)

    Simon
    • by Gil-galad55 (707960) on Monday March 01, 2004 @05:35PM (#8434374)
      In my physics experience, coincidence typically means you got the right answer... unless it's a test question, in which case you're probably wrong.
      • by kfg (145172) on Monday March 01, 2004 @05:46PM (#8434480)
        My experience is that that sort of coincidence is suggestive, in other words you've gotten something right, but determining just what that something is is often a)problematic, and b)not always what you thought it was at first.

        KFG
        • by Gil-galad55 (707960) on Monday March 01, 2004 @05:52PM (#8434534)
          And then there are the times when you get lucky and get the right answer for the wrong reason... which is, I suppose, why we have peer review!
          • by kfg (145172) on Monday March 01, 2004 @06:07PM (#8434680)
            Damn that peer review. The Nobel board laughed at me when my theory was submited, but I'll show them. Yes, I'll show them.

            Mwuhhahahahahahha!

            KFG
          • Re:Hawking radiation (Score:3, Interesting)

            by Anonymous Coward
            I suppose, why we have peer review!

            Peer review might help, but normally people attempt to recreate the experiment. That's how science weeds out "luck".

            • by orin (113079) on Tuesday March 02, 2004 @02:30AM (#8438214)
              Actually a lot of complex experiments (unless they come up with something totally unexpected like Cold Fusion) - are not reproduced.

              The reason is that it is difficult enough to get funding for a complex experiment at the best of times. If you try to get funding to perform a complex experiment that someone else has already performed, you are a lot less likely to be successful.

              So although the theory is that scientific experiments are always directly replicated, in most cases scientists don't have the will (why go where someone has gone before) or the funds to do so.
      • by dnoyeb (547705) on Monday March 01, 2004 @05:59PM (#8434611) Homepage Journal
        In my mathematical experience, coincidence usually means you have used circular logic/calculations somewhere. In effect proving your foundation.

        But its always nice to figure out how you fooled yourself :)
      • Mathur's tests (Score:5, Interesting)

        by trip11 (160832) * on Monday March 01, 2004 @06:10PM (#8434699) Homepage
        I've actually had Mathur for classes as I'm an undergraduate at Ohio state in physics. His tests really are not all that brutal as he is both an amazingly smart man and a good teacher. He has this dry humor that you have to pay attention to to get. Amusing quips include:

        "It will be a big piece of fun" (talking about deriving equations)

        "thats a rather large force" (after mentioning that the force to pull two pieces of a capacitor apart could lift the city of columbus)

        If you get a chance to meet him, don't pass it up. He's a great guy

      • Re:Hawking radiation (Score:5, Interesting)

        by CheshireCatCO (185193) on Monday March 01, 2004 @06:42PM (#8434966) Homepage
        Careful there. A simple-minded Newtonian derivation gives the correct Schwartschild radius for a black hole, despite having two deep physical flaws and relying on completely inapplicable physics. For that matter, two words: "Bode's Law."
    • by dandelion_wine (625330) on Monday March 01, 2004 @05:35PM (#8434381) Journal
      No, NO, Space_Cowboy, you have got it ALL WRONG.

      Now I want you to repeat after me:

      - First
      - Post
      - !
    • Re:Hawking radiation (Score:5, Interesting)

      by SeanTobin (138474) * <byrdhuntrNO@SPAMhotmail.com> on Monday March 01, 2004 @05:57PM (#8434593)
      The thing about black holes emiting radiation is that they don't actually emit any radiation. Anything that enters the event horizon is gone - for good. It doesn't come back ever, even as black body radiation.

      The way theorists get around this is through virtual particles. Assume that virtual particle pairs are blinking in and out of existance all the time, but are never noticed because before they become 'real' particles they destroy each other (think particle/anti particle). The fun part comes when the particles appear on opposite sides of an event horizon. One gets sucked into the black hole, and the other becomes a full-fledged particle with a small chance of escapeing. Because the escapeing particle was never in the event horizon to begin with, it can contain no information from within the black hole.

      Now, how the black hole doesn't gain mass from the anti-particle I'm not quite sure... I'll leave that up to all the ./ theoretical physisists.
      • Re:Hawking radiation (Score:5, Informative)

        by CAlworth1 (518119) on Monday March 01, 2004 @06:15PM (#8434739) Homepage
        IANATP (theoretical physicist), but I think I may be able to shed a bit of light on the last question.

        As I understand it, the idea is that the particle and the anti-particle come into being at the same place, moving in different dirrectsion, and the anti-particle is more prone to being pulled in somehow due it its being the opposite of the other mass in the black hole. The particle escapes, generating the black-body radiation, and the anti-particle enters the black whole and collides with a corresponding particle, leaving existance as the original particles came into existance - messed up I know.

        If anyone is curious, (stolen from The Universe in a Nutshell by Stephen Hawking, the temp of a black hole is

        Temp = (h * c^3)/(8 * pi * k * G * M)

        where h is planck's constant, c is the speed of light, G is Newton's gravitational constant, k is Boltzman's costant,T is temp, and M is the mass of the black hole.
      • Re:Hawking radiation (Score:3, Informative)

        by imsabbel (611519)
        Well, you are mostly right.
        BUT:
        If an anti-particle enters the black hole, it LOSES mass. So its a process in which energy is emitted outside of the event horizon and the mass inside the event horizon is decreased. That no mass actually transfered out of the black hole is only a semantic problem (like tunneling, ect).

        I cant really speak about the asymetry that enables this process, because its a few years about my quantum physics level, but it could be possible.

        Btw: There are theories that the resulting ra
      • Re:Hawking radiation (Score:5, Informative)

        by ralphclark (11346) on Monday March 01, 2004 @06:32PM (#8434869) Journal
        Because the escapeing particle was never in the event horizon to begin with, it can contain no information from within the black hole.

        Except that the pair of virtual particles are an entangled pair and if one catches the escaped one and measures its quantum state, one then knows the quantum state of the one that fell in. Catch enough of them and you know about an appreciable fraction of the black hole (in theory!)

        Now, how the black hole doesn't gain mass from the anti-particle I'm not quite sure

        The energy that was used to create the virtual pair came from the black hole's gravitational field, thus robbing the hole temporarily of mass. For each "virtual" particle that escapes as Hawking radiation, that mass is lost permanently so the mass of the hole goes down, over time. Now remember that this loss can only happen at the event horizon; if the black hole is very large, the tidal force (the gravity gradient) at the event horizon will be weak and thus the rate of particle loss will be very low. For very small black holes the tidal force at the event horizon will be enormous and almost all virtual pairs close to the boundary will separate in this way.

        So large black holes will simmer coldly, shrinking only with glacial slowness if at all, and small ones will be hot and shrink very rapidly indeed - finally disappearing altogether in an brief, intense burst of radiation, according to Hawking's theory.

      • Re:Hawking radiation (Score:5, Informative)

        by krlynch (158571) on Monday March 01, 2004 @06:32PM (#8434875) Homepage

        Now, how the black hole doesn't gain mass from the anti-particle I'm not quite sure...

        The black hole doesn't gain mass, because the particle that fell in has negative energy. Remember, you can't create energy from nowhere, but you can "borrow" some from the vacuum temporarily ... that's where the virtual pairs come from. They borrow energy from the vacuum, which they have to give back after a time (roughly) Delta T < hbar/E, where E is the energy of the particle pair.

        Now, if one half of the pair falls across the event horizon, it isn't coming back. The particle that escapes the hole becomes "real" because it has no one to annihilate with, so it carries off energy E/2. But since you can't yank energy out of the vacuum indefinitely, the particle that fell in had to be carrying energy -E/2 ... which isn't a problem, because it isn't a "real" particle, so it's energy need not be consistent with your expectations from freshman physics.

        So, where does that energy E/2 that goes into the escaping particle come from? The only place it can: the black hole. Remember, a negative amount of energy fell in. So the hole has to lose some mass in the process. Which is why we say that the black hole "emits" particles.

        The mathematical details are, of course, much nastier than that, but that's the gist of things...

    • Black Hole Interior (Score:5, Interesting)

      by whig (6869) * on Monday March 01, 2004 @06:10PM (#8434701) Homepage Journal
      Perhaps the information survives in the black hole interior. Physics infers a black hole by an event horizon, but that does not necessarily imply a singularity. On the other hand, if the interior is considered as a "universe" with its own set of physical laws and structure, this conjecture could be quite relevant.

      For a somewhat handwaving explanation of what I'm talking about, take a look at this [3dresearch.com] hypothesis.
    • Re:Hawking radiation (Score:5, Informative)

      by nihilogos (87025) on Monday March 01, 2004 @06:20PM (#8434777)
      The article though is a bit hand-wavy over why the information is preserved in this new theory...

      The abstract from the NPB article is

      • It has been found that the states of the 2-charge extremal D1-D5 system are given by smooth geometries that have no singularity and no horizon individually, but a `horizon' does arise after `coarse-graining'. To see how this concept extends to the 3-charge extremal system, we construct a perturbation on the D1-D5 geometry that carries one unit of momentum charge P. The perturbation is found to be regular everywhere and normalizable, so we conclude that at least this state of the 3-charge system behaves like the 2-charge states. The solution is constructed by matching (to several orders) solutions in the inner and outer regions of the geometry. We conjecture the general form of `hair' expected for the 3-charge system, and the nature of the interior of black holes in general.


      If your institution is a subscriber you can get the full text from here [sciencedirect.com]

    • Re:Hawking radiation (Score:5, Informative)

      by Science_Writer (758048) on Monday March 01, 2004 @07:06PM (#8435162) Homepage

      (I guess Nth dimensional maths doesn't appeal to the reporter :-).

      I'm the reporter, and you're absolutely right -- It doesn't! :-) Not when I'm trying to keep things simple for a general audience, anyway. There is much more detail in the researcher's journal article, in the March 1 issue of Nuclear Physics B [sciencedirect.com].

      Proud to be slashdotted,

      Pam Gorder
  • by squarefish (561836) * on Monday March 01, 2004 @05:30PM (#8434333)
    and he looks really pissed [theonion.com] about it too.
  • by gnu-generation-one (717590) on Monday March 01, 2004 @05:32PM (#8434350) Homepage
    "Stephen Hawking and Kip Thorne may owe John Preskill a set of encyclopedias of his choice"

    Do they take Wiki? [wikipedia.org]
  • by microbox (704317) on Monday March 01, 2004 @05:34PM (#8434361)
    Is there any hard evidence that string theory is correct?

    I'd be holding onto my bet a little longer I think=)

    • string theory does not predict anything that could be tested, so there is nno evidence for/against it.
      this is also why quite a few people feel its more philosphy than science
      • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 01, 2004 @06:14PM (#8434725)
        Responding as I am taking a string theory course from Prof. Zwiebach here at MIT ...

        String theory certainly does predict a number of things that are easily testable ... just not right now. For instance, compactified extra dimensions (as SR includes) introduce additional energy terms to simple quantum problems (i.e. "particle in a box" problems, and SHOs). The problem is that these effects are very large; ergo, the energies necessitated to test these theories are somewhat higher than we can accomplish.

        Yes, it's a theory, yes it's kinda off-the-wall and feels a bit contrived, but, studying it, I gotta say that it's pretty if nothing else. It's elegant enough and compelling enough - in terms of what it promises to explain - that it's worth following until it's found to actually be wrong.

        A quantum theory of gravity might not be so motivating to you, but if you're a physicist, it's worth trying something wonky to get to it. (Speaking of which, Quantum Loop Gravity - also very wonky - is awesome).

        And, as for "quite a few people" finding it too philosophical ... well, quite a few people aren't physicists. *shrugs*
        • Gravity (Score:3, Interesting)

          by DigiShaman (671371)
          I still think gravity is about "proportional displacement". For example, space might be trying to displace mass thus making gravity an effect of push rather then a pull. However, if the space between two objects is superceded by the total mass of the said objects, then they could be pushed away. If true, then this might explain why whole galaxies are moving away from each other at and exponential rate. Yet, the objects in a galaxy are attracted to each other.

          If this holds up to be true, then it could be ph
    • String theory is misnamed. It is more appropriate to call it the 'string method of calculation'. String 'theory' is simply a mathematical metaphor which allows predictions of the behaviour and interactions of sub-atomic entities. For example, if you assume that particles are 1-dimensional lines or loops you avoid many of the problems (specifically, singularities and infinities) you get if you assume particles are infinitesimal points. Because of this, you can't say that string theory is 'correct', simpl
  • by ENOENT (25325) on Monday March 01, 2004 @05:34PM (#8434364) Homepage Journal
    Yikes! Sounds like all information that enters a black hole turns into spaghetti code!!! The horror! The horror!

  • Of course (Score:5, Insightful)

    by FreeLinux (555387) on Monday March 01, 2004 @05:35PM (#8434375)
    This all works on the assumption that you accept string theory in the first place. While string theory may be the darling of astro physicists at the moment, it remains far from proven. If I were Haking, I'd defer payment for a while.
    • Re:Of course (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Bingo Foo (179380) on Monday March 01, 2004 @05:56PM (#8434582)
      String theory has not been proved, but neither has any physical theory. Perhaps you are complaining that unlike other physical theories, it is unlikely that an experimentally accessible test for disproving string theory can be found. This makes string theory not really "science," in the sense that we normally understand it.

      Additionally, people's names are conventional rather than scientific, but their legal usage has necessitated their meticulous recording. While it can't be proven, it can be verified beyond a reasonable doubt that the Lucasian Chair of Mathematics at Cambridge is Stephen Hawking.
  • Tracing origins... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Theaetetus (590071) <.moc.liamg. .ta. .todhsals.suteteaeht.> on Monday March 01, 2004 @05:36PM (#8434387) Homepage Journal
    From the article: Since Mathur's conjecture suggests that strings continue to exist inside the black hole, and the nature of the strings depends on the particles that made up the original source material, then each black hole is as unique as are the stars, planets, or galaxy that formed it. The strings from any subsequent material that enters the black hole would remain traceable as well.

    That means a black hole can be traced back to its original conditions, and information survives.

    But, if the information about the origins is contained in the strings inside the black hole, that information is inside the event horizon, and can not be observed by anything outside the event horizon. Maybe the information survives, but there's no way to get at it... Unless I'm missing something here? Cosmologists?

    -T

    • by Tumbleweed (3706) * on Monday March 01, 2004 @05:37PM (#8434398)
      > Unless I'm missing something here? Cosmologists?

      "Is there a cosmologist in the house? Anyone? My god, get this man a cosmologist!"
  • by Lattitude (123015) on Monday March 01, 2004 @05:36PM (#8434391)
    I say we send someone to find out for sure... Darl, you interested?
  • the information in the black hole, we'll finally find Amelia Earhart. And Jimmy Hoffa. And hundreds of millions of socks. And Duke Nukem Forever.
  • by Gleng (537516) on Monday March 01, 2004 @05:39PM (#8434414)
    bound up in a giant tangle of strings that fills a black hole from its core to its surface

    Sounds like the back of my desk!

  • by Andy Smith (55346) on Monday March 01, 2004 @05:42PM (#8434450) Homepage
    the information continues to exist -- bound up in a giant tangle of strings
    Aw! Information wants to be free.
  • by jasondlee (70657) on Monday March 01, 2004 @05:51PM (#8434530)
    I think these physicists think that they're so much smarter than the rest of us that they can string a bunch of big words together in a sentence that really makes no sense at all and pass it off on us as the greatest discovery ever, assuming that we're ignorant enough to take their word for it. After reading that article intro, I think they're making a safe bet... :)
  • by Guspaz (556486) on Monday March 01, 2004 @05:52PM (#8434532)
    1. Read up on advanced physics
    2. Make bet against famous physicists
    3. ???
    4. Profit!
  • by ackthpt (218170) * on Monday March 01, 2004 @05:52PM (#8434533) Homepage Journal
    In 1997 the three cosmologists Stephen Hawking, Kip Thorne and John Preskill made a famous bet as to whether information that enters a black hole ceases to exist

    Slashdot, where information goes to die.

  • by digrieze (519725) on Monday March 01, 2004 @05:54PM (#8434565)
    I have to change careers. These physicists (sp?) have just created the biggest manefestation of a quantom physics illustration ever (namely scrondiggers (sp?) cat). The black hole is the box, the information entering the event horizon is the cat. Anything at the singularity is not observable and is therefore in a permanent state of flux between states (not really, but our ignorance of what's going on creates that condition). When we make observation our predispositions on the data influence the observation and change the reality. In other words YOU CAN'T BE WRONG NO MATTER WHAT YOU SAY!

    Is there some way I can get this gig?

  • by B2K3 (669124) on Monday March 01, 2004 @06:00PM (#8434618)
    I had a conversation about this very topic this afternoon. I even uttered the phrase, "Thank God black holes have no hair!" I'm glad I didn't bet on it.

    On a side note, what would be a good bet for physics today? "I'll bet you the Google cache..."

    And remember, not only am I president of the hair club for black holes, I'm also a client.
  • by Jerf (17166) on Monday March 01, 2004 @06:02PM (#8434639) Journal
    It is often... though not often enough... pointed out that the singular of "data" is not "anecdote".

    Similarly, "fact" is not merely an emphatic form of "theory".

    I might as well theorize that black holes don't exist at all [space.com]; who owes what now? Oh, right, nothing changes, because theories aren't facts .

    Mick Ohrberg, why don't you grow out of Physics Fanboydom and take some time to learn some real stuff? For starters, why don't you being with Science 101 and learn the definition of "theory", and "equation", and other such basic terms?
  • What it doesn't say. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by DynaSoar (714234) * on Monday March 01, 2004 @06:05PM (#8434664) Journal
    I can buy that the information survives and continues to exist inside the Schwarzchild radius.
    But when they say:

    "The strings from any subsequent material that enters the black hole would remain traceable as well. That means a black hole can be traced back to its original conditions, and information survives." ... they're going to have to explain a bit harder just how it is we're supposed to be able to extract that information back out through the event horizon. Whether it continues to vibrate on linked strings or vanishes in a puff of nonreality makes no never mind if you can't get it back out.

  • by HarveyBirdman (627248) on Monday March 01, 2004 @06:07PM (#8434676) Journal
    ...if I may wax Clintonian.

    Maybe it exists on the other side of the event horizon, but I thought string theory tells us that things like event horizons shield the universe from singularities and other discontinuities. The information cannot be retreived, therefore, from the point of view of the universe, it has ceased to exist.

    What's the difference, really, between destroyed information and irretrievable information?

  • by dacarr (562277) on Monday March 01, 2004 @06:14PM (#8434727) Homepage Journal
    I mean, one of the laws of energy states that it cannot be created nor destroyed, only converted, and the same *generally* goes for matter (lacking antimatter). Yes, black holes can theoretically alter reality, but if they are effectively hypercompressed neutron stars, the alteration is that you get one hell of a monstrous compression algorithim.

    So for the quantum astronomy and astrophysics geeks, am I missing something?

    • by 1s44c (552956) on Monday March 01, 2004 @06:20PM (#8434767)
      You are missing something.

      Noone doubted the energy continued to exist.
      The bet concerned the patten of information held by the matter/energy. The questions was if you encoded something in a patten of laser light and sent that into the black hole would the encoded information continue to exist? ( given that no record of the data sent exists except that encoded in the light. )

      Google for holographic universe, it's interesting stuff.

  • by Canthros (5769) on Monday March 01, 2004 @06:15PM (#8434736)
    Decompression support expected in next WinZip release.
  • by jd (1658) <{moc.oohay} {ta} {kapimi}> on Monday March 01, 2004 @06:17PM (#8434747) Homepage Journal
    I can prove that if you pour information into Congress, you end up with a tange of red tape, which is similar to a superstring. (Red tape is used to hold things together that would otherwise fly apart; red tape requires at least 10 more dimensions to exist; and there is some evidence that particles of beaurocracy have negative gravity.)


    However, there is no proof that any of the information survives, after being caught up in red tape. Indeed, all evidence so far suggests that it does not.


    (Beurocracy particles are a subclass of Strange Quarks that have beeen influenced by a politic Ion)

  • Woooosh! (Score:3, Funny)

    by Barlo_Mung_42 (411228) on Monday March 01, 2004 @06:32PM (#8434870) Homepage
    That's the sound of this article flying over my head.
    "bound up in a giant tangle of strings that fills a black hole from its core to its surface"?

    So it's really just a tightly wound baseball?

  • by vlad_petric (94134) on Monday March 01, 2004 @07:11PM (#8435205) Homepage
    1. Tunneling effect - a particle has a certain chance of overcoming a potential barrier even if it doesn't have enough energy to do so. Why can't a particle from within a black hole escape it similarly?

    2. Accumulation of mass/energy. What exactly prevents a black hole from exploding, after accumulating enough mass - what makes them so stable? Is it possible that the Big-Bang was an explosion of a huge black hole ?

    3. If a half of a quantum-entagled (EPR) pair enters the event horizon, can it somehow be used as a "probe" ?

  • by chadjg (615827) <(moc.oohay) (ta) (0002elessegdahc)> on Monday March 01, 2004 @07:16PM (#8435254) Journal
    Whereas I'm pretty sure they made this stuff up over a pint just to screw with my head and to give me the dry heaves at the mention of n-th whatever...

    Honestly, how many people really understand this stuff? It is glorious mental exercise and all, but good grief. Somehow I don't mind paying taxes to support this. As soon as we decide that we're not a bunch of brutes we should be trying to do exactly this kind of thing.

    And yes, I did read the article. Tried anyway.
  • by Jonathan (5011) on Monday March 01, 2004 @07:35PM (#8435390) Homepage
    In the well known documentary, _The Black Hole_ (filmed in 1979, before most of the Slashdot audience was born), the probe ship passed through the black hole, with all information intact, although it meant passing through 30 seconds of excruciatingly bad special effects. In addition, although the main ship Cygnus did not survive, the particularly evil-looking robot Maximillian did.
  • by Genda (560240) <(mariet) (at) (got.net)> on Monday March 01, 2004 @08:56PM (#8436025) Journal
    One of the more interesting predictions regarding string theory, is that as matter falls towards the event horizon, and is accelerated to a superb approximation of the speed of light, it appears to freeze at that point and hover there for eternity, emitting tremendously high energy radiation.

    What makes this interesting, is that as the matter slows down (an effect of time dialation), one can theoratically see more and more of the strings/string-structure (as higher and higher vibrational harmonics appeared to freeze out from the string's wild oscillations.) This in fact would mean that the available information about every string of matter that ever fell into any given black hole remains in the univerese as an observable phenomenon frozen at the surface of the black hole. Clearly this protects the conservation of information regarding all matter within the universe (as distinct from the space between the event horizon and the singularity which is a very different kind of place, and one that responds to different considerations as described by the Preskill's work.)

    By the way if you ever want to read a great book on strings, and get a fantastic oveview of both Relativity and Quantum Mechanics, "The Elegant Universe" is a superb read. That and the authors subsequent comments about the strengths and weaknesses of both String Theory, and Quantum Loop Gravity point to an as yet undiscovered world view that will cleanly answer these dichotomies, the way these threories answer the dichotomy between Relatitivity and Quantum Mechanics.

    Genda

    "God not only plays with dice, he sometimes throws them where they cannot be seen..." -- Stephen Hawking
  • Ironic Science (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Ralph Spoilsport (673134) on Tuesday March 02, 2004 @02:33AM (#8438226) Journal
    First: I think String theory is probably correct HOWEVER:
    Second: I can't see how you can possibly test any of this.

    If you can't test it, then it's just a likely story. It might be a more likely story than saying little green elves did it all, but in essence, it;s not that different.

    Tangles of strings - Suuuure.

    As I said, it probably is true, and string theory is a lot cleaner, but damn - what are you going to do? Crack open a black hole to find out?

    We. don't. think. so.

    It strikes me as what Horgan calls "Ironic Science".

    RS

Programmers do it bit by bit.

Working...