Apr 28, 2010

"What Is...?" Wednesday

String Theory

Imagine a wave of particles streaming out across space. Wouldn't that look like a great, long, wiggly string?  Is that string theory? Yes...well, sort of... However, it does demonstrate that particles.. any particles...can form long strings.

 There are long string streams emanating from the Sun right now, washing up against buildings and reflecting colours into your eye holes. There are strings of radiation particles bursting forth from your monitor, crashing up against your face, and running down cracks in your skin... There are streams of strings everywhere.

You may be thinking: "All this talk of streams is making me want to pee. Is that string theory?" No but read on...

Gravity is everywhere in the universe and as such it needs energy to keep it running. As luck would have it there is an awful lot of energy in all those particle strings all over the place. An awful lot. To demonstrate just how much energy is present in strings you can perform a string theory experiment of your own.

To illustrate this simply:

Step one: Decorate a tree with the christmas tree lights.

Step two: Undecorate the tree.
Step three: Put the lights in the bag.
Step four: Put the bag in your loft.
Step five: Wait one year.
Step six: Retrieve the bag
Step seven: Now, attempt to untangle the string of lights.

What you will discover is that a seemingly inoffensive string with plastic bulbs on it somehow stores staggering levels of energy within. Now imagine if you'd put two strings of lights in those bags. Pretty scary, huh? What about an infinite number of strings? A bit harder to imagine, but I'm sure you're getting the picture.

The universe is like that bag in the loft containing more christmas tree lights than you can imagine. Every planet is a bulb; some of the bulbs are broken, some are not. The person trying to unravel all those strings is the Space-Time Vortex Guy, Bob. The energy expelled by Space-Time Vortex Guy Bob, in unravelling the christmas tree lights is what we know as gravity. And that is string theory explained simply.

How, you may be asking, does this affect me...? Well, it shows that if this theory were to be proven...Science would explain how we affect our environment and how it affects us...kind of a pagan notion, eh?

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