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  • Writer's pictureWilliam Malpass

String Theory

Previously we discussed two systems of physical laws scientists use to describe reality.

  1. The system for large things that exhibit the effects of gravitational forces.

  2. The system for small things that exhibit the uncertainty principle and wave-particle duality.

We also learned the two systems are incompatible with one another. That is, large things don't follow the rules of the small things system, and vice versa. (In fact, to get even the small things to follow the rules of the small things system, we have to pretend gravity doesn't exist.)

Folks, I want to be honest with you. When I started this wonderful little blog, THE MAIN THING, I never dreamed I'd even use terms like curvature of space-time or wave-particle duality, much less try to explain them. However, as I've been researching the true nature of reality, I've come across many scientific-sounding terms like these. And I'm discovering even brilliant scientists and mathematicians aren't completely settled on what's really real.

With that in mind, I want to pass along a little information concerning yet another fun concept that all the kids are texting each other about: string theory. (Well, all the kids that are also theoretical physicists, anyway.)

A ball of string.

String theory attempts to reconcile the two systems of physical laws by hypothesizing that the universe is made up of strings stretching through space-time. (No, you can't see the strings. Sorry, but that wouldn't be fun enough.) The theory holds you can observe different combinations of particles known as bosons and fermions when the strings reach various excitement states. Maybe think of the strings of a guitar being strummed to produce various musical notes. The notes are the different combinations of particles.

Had enough fun yet? No? Okay, here's a little more string theory, friends. To get the mathematics to work properly, string theory predicts the universe doesn't consist of just three space dimensions: height, length, and depth; nor even the four dimensions of space-time: height, length, and depth + time; but likely consists of at least nine space dimensions and possibly 25 space dimensions! (10 and 26 dimensions, if we include time as a dimension.) Now that's fun!

Finally, I believe the Apostle Paul might have been an early proponent of string theory. In his letter to the church at Ephesus, he encourages the Ephesian believers to "grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ." (Ephesians 3:18) That's four dimensions, not three. Hmm. Don't you wonder Who might have given Paul the idea for more than three dimensions?

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