By Peter Griffin 21/03/2017 13


Theoretical physicist Brain Greene brings his A Time Traveller’s Tale show to Auckland on Sunday night.

Sciblogs is offering readers the chance to pick up two A reserve tickets to see this acclaimed show.

All you need to do to enter is tell us what “string theory” is.

Write your brief explanation of string theory in the comment section below this post here on Sciblogs.

We’ll pick what we consider to be the most eloquent explanation of string theory as the winner of the tickets and put your names on the door for the show.

Keep it succinct, capture our imagination – and may the best explanation win!

Entries close 5pm on Thursday.

Don’t miss out!

If the task of describing string theory gives you a headache, Think Inc. and Loop still have some tickets available for Professor Greene’s show.

One of the world’s leading science communicators, Professor Greene will explore string theory, mathematical physics and cosmology in his popular lecture and audience Q&A.

The Columbia University professor of physics and mathematics is famous for his popular science books, including The Elegant Universe and The Fabric of the Cosmos.

His one and only Auckland appearance is part of an ongoing series by Think Inc, Loop and sponsored by AUT University, that features leading thinkers from around the world. Last September saw Dr Ben Goldacre feature on the Think Inc. bill in a well-received lecture and Q&A in Auckland. Tickets for A Time Traveller’s Tale start at $79.


13 Responses to “Brian Greene, string theory and a great ticket giveaway”

  • It describes how the vibrating filaments (strings) that make up objects interact with each other and unify the forces of universe.

  • String theory is the idea that all the fundamental particles we know are actually only one thing, a ‘string’, vibrating and interacting in different ways to make up all the forces we know. It’s the idea that if we can understand strings, we can understand and unify the theories of all the forces in the universe! 🙂

  • A selection of the entries that came in via the Sciblogs Facebook page… (www.facebook.com/sciblogs)

    Sam La Hood: “The theory covering the interaction of one dimensional “strings” apparent throughout the universe (vs traditional particle theory)”

    Nick Leack: “It’s an attempt to unify the strong nuclear force, the weak nuclear force, the force of gravity and the electromagnetic force into a single ‘Theory of Everything’.”

    Iron Aidan: “How long is a piece of string? etc.”

    Peter Rimmer: “Is there really a universe where a magical disc world supported by four elephants traverse the universe on the back of an intergalactic turtle….I’d like to think so!”

    Martin Sinclair: “An attempt to explain the most fundamental building blocks of a single particle. If I knew more I’d not need to see Brian Greene. I want to learn more so would like go please.”

    Peter Felhofer: “Mathematical model of reality that seems beyond the reach of experimental proof, that answers some questions while leaving many unexplored.”

    Steve Butler: “String theory is the world beyond our physical world which explains our physical world.”

    Polly McIntosh: “String theory according to a mum: string is the universal fixer upper, lunch box lid broken – string, shoelace lost – string, curtains flapping – string, eyebrows gone overboard – threading aka string, hair ties, plaited for belts, kids toys. String theory, it holds everything together makes everything better. Can Brian Greene teach me otherwise, I’ll bring my string and see what he can do with it!?”

  • And some more via Twitter:

    @eloise_gibson “little dancing filaments of energy” that make up every force and object we see.

    @MacGman3 “Two strings don’t make a rope, or a unifying physics theory…”

    @JamesIrelandNZ “It describes how the vibrating filaments (strings) that make up objects interact with each other and unify the forces of universe.”

    @BowmarPeter “ST replaces particles in quantum mechanics with one dimensional strings, and describes those interactions in space time … it’s very cool😀”

  • String theory is the general term used to describe a set of theories that propose that all matter in the universe is made of vibrating filaments of pure energy called strings. The different vibrational patterns of these strings produce the different types of particles we detect and observe. However, for such theories to work, our universe has to contain anywhere between 10 to 26 dimensions while we can only experience 4 of these; 3 of space and 1 of time. If we could confirm the existence of strings and other dimensions, string theory could be the “holy grail” of modern physics, an explanation for the existence of all fundamental forces and forms of matter, a theory… of everything.

  • There’s only one other person that can explain what string theory is: Al, Sam Becket’s assistant and holographic friend: “Take a piece of string. One end of the string represents birth, the other end represents death. Tie the ends together, and what you get is a loop. Ball the loop, and all the days of your life touch each other. Therefore, one could leap from one day to another in his/her own lifetime.”

  • Some more entries via Facebook:

    Louise McMillan: “String theory is the theory that each of the particles that was thought to be a fundamental particle is actually the representation in 4D spacetime of something akin to a vibrating string. The vibrations of the string, and the interactions of the string with other strings, are what give rise to the properties and interactions of particles that we actually observe. The current most supported theory holds that the universe is actually 10 dimensional, where 4 of those dimensions are the spacetime we live in, and the remaining 6 dimensions cannot be directly observed.”

    Jenny Nicholls: “It’s complicated.”

    Derek Tearne: ” Only Kim Hill and a handful of scientists worldwide understand what string theory is. The scientists can’t agree beyond the first page of equations.”

  • String theory is the general term used to describe a set of theories that propose all matter in the universe is made of vibrating filaments of pure energy called strings. The different vibrational patterns of these strings produce the different types of particles we detect and observe. However, for such theories to work, our universe would have to consist of anywhere between 10 and 26 dimensions while we can only experience 4 of these; 3 of space and 1 of time. If we could confirm the existence of strings and other dimensions, string theory could be the “holy grail” of modern physics, an explanation for the existence of all fundamental forces and forms of matter, a theory… of everything.

  • A complex and confusing theory that has been the bane of at least two of my sixteen years, and I’m sure will continue to be for many more. Attempting to reconcile quantum theory and Einstein’s theory of relativity, it describes everything as made of vibrating strings – a ridiculous idea, but hey, its a ridiculous universe.

  • A couple more from our Sciblogs Facebook page

    Joshua Bodyfelt: “String theory is the result of mathematicians pretending to be physicists.”

    Oleksandr Fialko: “String theory is the most poetic theory in physics, where orchestra of vibrating strings produces particles – building blocks for everything else.”

  • Via Twitter:

    @Dowlz 1-The theory that the length (time or distance) to anywhere is exactly the length of a piece of string-If only you knew what that was

    @Dowlz 2- So “how long until the end of the world?” Ans= “How long is a piece of string”. My string theory knows the answer!

  • In case you were wondering, the winners of the ticket giveaway for Brian Greene were…

    Nicholas Kondal: “String theory is the general term used to describe a set of theories that propose that all matter in the universe is made of vibrating filaments of pure energy called strings. The different vibrational patterns of these strings produce the different types of particles we detect and observe. However, for such theories to work, our universe has to contain anywhere between 10 to 26 dimensions while we can only experience 4 of these; 3 of space and 1 of time. If we could confirm the existence of strings and other dimensions, string theory could be the “holy grail” of modern physics, an explanation for the existence of all fundamental forces and forms of matter, a theory… of everything.”

    AND

    Louise McMillan: “String theory is the theory that each of the particles that was thought to be a fundamental particle is actually the representation in 4D spacetime of something akin to a vibrating string. The vibrations of the string, and the interactions of the string with other strings, are what give rise to the properties and interactions of particles that we actually observe. The current most supported theory holds that the universe is actually 10 dimensional, where 4 of those dimensions are the spacetime we live in, and the remaining 6 dimensions cannot be directly observed.”

    Congratulations to the winners – hope you enjoyed the show.

    Stay tuned for more Sciblogs ticket giveaways coming soon…

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