Thursday, August 03, 2006


Wannabe string theory

I read in Gerard Hooft’s book “In Search of the Ultimate Building Blocks that string theory may end up involving knot theory. If so, there would be beads on the knots.

It tickles me to compare that to music theory. Harmony takes place on a necklace with twelve spots for beads, and you can only load a few beads (seven or so) onto it at a time. Then you color them “on” and “off”, and shift them around …

I don’t know why this comparison fascinates me so much, but it does. It’s manifestly useless. String theory isn’t even about strings, but rather high-dimensional analogues to them. I don’t think (nuclear) physics has anything to gain from music, or vice versa. Still, I’m really happy that human art and the laws of physics could be taking place on similar playing fields.

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