From Curves To Strings - Deepstash



Get an account to save ideas & make your own & organize them how you wish.



Why Gravity Is Not Like the Other Forces

From Curves To Strings

The ‘curves in space’ theory of gravity is falling out of favour due to the fact that Einstein’s equations seem to work on our solar system but begin to break when we apply the same near a black hole or back in time, during the initial big bang.

String Theory, which conceptualizes that gravity and all other forces are products of tiny vibrating strings, is the prime candidate to replace Einstein’s work.


This is a professional note extracted from an online article.

Read more efficiently

Save what inspires you

Remember anything


Why Gravity Is Not Like the Other Forces

Why Gravity Is Not Like the Other Forces


Key Ideas

Gravity And The Forces Of Nature

According to physicists, quantum particles are responsible for three forces of nature:

  • Strong nuclear force.
  • Weak nuclear force.
  • Electromagnetic force.

The fourth force of nature, gravity, is till now assumed to not originate from quantum particles, but from the curves in the space-time continuum, according to the celebrated physician Albert Einstein.

From Curves To Strings

The ‘curves in space’ theory of gravity is falling out of favour due to the fact that Einstein’s equations seem to work on our solar system but begin to break when we apply the same near a black hole or back in time, during the initial big bang.

String Theory, which conceptualizes that gravity and all other forces are products of tiny vibrating strings, is the prime candidate to replace Einstein’s work.

General Relativity Theory

Einstein's General Theory Of Relativity provides a rock-solid description of gravity, black holes and even the Big Bang, but fails to explain the very ‘singularities’ that signal towards infinity.

The extraordinary force of gravity can be researched with new-age engineering experiments but there is a risk of pushing too far and risking extreme damage by accidentally creating a black hole.

Gravity Leads To Black Holes

The infinite weirdness of black holes makes it difficult for a physicist to combine gravity with quantum mechanics (QM).

The fact that gravity works on everything makes it difficult to construct an apparatus to measure the QM properties of gravity. This is because the measuring apparatus can itself collapse into a black hole if it is heavy, and would not be able to measure accurately if it is too light.

Quantum Gravity And The Degrees Of Freedom

Any proposed theory of quantum gravity would need to take care of the principles of locality, which state that any variable can change independently while measuring the properties of any point in space-time. These variables are called the degrees of freedom.

A worthy theory of quantum gravity has to minimize the degrees of freedom.

The Holographic Principle

"The number of degrees of freedom in a spatial region is proportional to its surface area instead of its volume” - Daniel Harlow, Quantum gravity theorist at MIT.

Something Out Of Nothing

Quantum gravity experiments and observations show some interesting phenomena in particles and even space-time. It is the cause of the creation of entire universes, not just particles.

The more the universe expands, the more vacuum is created, due to the expansion of space-time, leading to further perplexing questions.

Gravity Is Incalculable

  • While performing quantum calculations, certain infinite terms appear, making these theories ‘non-renormalizable’.
  • Theories that are describing the forces of nature other than gravity, can easily be renormalized(put to scale) and that makes gravity an anomaly.
  • Gravity, for the most part, becomes a special force of nature that cannot be calculated.

Gravity And Unknown Factors

The reason Einstein’s theory of general relativity works well in lower energy calculations and standard quantum techniques but not in higher energies and scales (like a black hole), could be because certain key features or ingredients of gravity are yet unknown to us, and are therefore missing from the famous theory.


Insights of Albert Einstein
Insights of Albert Einstein

Many insights of Albert Einstein are now part of popular imagination: black holes, time warps, and wormholes show up in movies and books.

Less famous, but probably the most revolutionary pa...

Some changes don't change anything

The most fundamental aspects of nature stay the same.

For example, Einstein's papers on relativity show that the relationship between energy and mass is invariant, even though energy and mass can take on many different forms.

Even though matter produces energy, the energy-matter content of the universe never changes. Matter and energy are less fundamental than the underlying relationship between them.

Relationships over things

We often think of things as the heart of reality. But most often the relationship is more important, not the stuff.

We may think "stuff" like space and time are unchangeable aspects of nature. In reality, the relationship between space and time stays the same.

9 more ideas

Time Travel
Time Travel

The Science Fiction’s holy grail, Time Travel has been a popular topic in various books, movies and TV series for decades.

Time Travel is the ability to ‘travel’ between two different point...

Understanding Time

According to physicist Albert Einstein, time is not a constant phenomenon as it appears, but is an illusion, and can vary from different vantage points.

Space is three-dimensional, and Time, according to the famous physicist, is the fourth dimension. It also speeds up or slows down, so is actually subjective, as stated in his Theory Of Special Relativity.


Einstein's theory of general relativity says that Time can be bent, stretched and squeezed, and the four-dimensional fabric with a huge mass creates a dimple, or bending of Space-Time, causing gravity.

This effect of time dilation is proven using GPS satellite technology in space, making astronauts not only travel space but in a slightly different time than the earthlings.

6 more ideas

Science providing anwers
Science providing anwers

Despite the advances in science over the past century, our understanding of nature is still limited. Scientists still don't know what the vast majority of the universe is made up of or how cons...

Mysterian arguments

"Mysterian" thinkers give an important role to biological arguments and analogies.

Late philosopher Jerry Fodor argued that there are bound to be thoughts we are unable to think. Similarly, philosopher Colin McGinn claimed that all minds suffer from "cognitive closure" about particular problems. Just as animals will never understand prime numbers, so human brains are unable to consider some of the world's wonders.

Mysterians and pessimism

Mysterians present the question of cognitive limits in fixed terms: either we can solve a problem, or we will never be able to.

A possibility that eludes mysterians is one of slowly diminishing returns. We keep slowing down, even as we exert more effort, and there is no point where progress becomes impossible.

4 more ideas


Teleportation is the idea in which we step into a sort of scanner and instantaneously find ourselves somewhere else.

There are two ways this can'(t) be done: physical deconstruction at x and...

Teleportation is possible in principle

Recently, scientists were able to "teleport" photons to a satellite 300 miles away, using "quantum entanglement." This is where a pair of photons are able to simultaneously share the same state, even when separated by distance. Change the state of one particle, and the other changes too.

Teleportation can have big implications for a new “quantum internet.” It will be faster, more powerful, unhackable. 

Teleporting humans

Scientists are still working out how to teleport photons. Assuming they figure out how to teleport atoms, then molecules, the amount of bits to record and transmit, is unthinkable.

A person is made of an estimated 32 trillion cells. They would require a huge bandwidth and roughly 10th gigawatt-hours of power. Teleporting one person would require using the entire UK power supply for more than a million years and take 4.8 million million years to transfer - that is if you survive the transfer. It would be quicker to walk.

one more idea

The Hard Problem of Consciousness
The Hard Problem of Consciousness

Consciousness could be described as the feeling of being inside your head, looking out, or of having a soul.

How we learn, store memories, or perceive things, are easy prob...

Between Science And Philosophy

The problems of consciousness straddle the border between science and philosophy.

  • Some argue that conscious sensations, such as pain, don't really exist, others, that plants and trees must also be conscious.
  • A handful of neuroscientists have come to believe that the problem is about to be solved if we are willing to accept the conclusion that computers or the internet might soon become conscious too.
Ignoring The Problem

Science has been trying to ignore the problem of consciousness for a long time.

  • In the 1600s, René Descartes declared that nothing is more obvious and undeniable than the fact that we are conscious. Your consciousness can't be a fantasy. At the same time, your consciousness does not obey any of the usual rules of science. It doesn't seem to be physical. It can't be observed or really described. Descartes concluded that it had been bequeathed to us by God.
  • This Cartesian dualism remained the assumption into the 18th century. But it was unacceptable to the secular scientist that took the position that only physical things exist.
  • As late as 1989, the British psychologist Stuart Sutherland declared that it is impossible to specify what consciousness is, what it does, or why it evolved.
  • In 1990 Francis Crick and Christof Kock mentioned in a paper that most of the work in both cognitive and neurosciences makes no reference to consciousness because most don't know of a useful way of approaching the problem.

6 more ideas

Our own reality

Everyone has their own reality. The concept of a “personal brand” is to let others know who you are because if you don't, others will.

But, the reality is that although you can guide peop...

We see what we look for

We tend to assume that our perceptions of sights, sounds, textures, and tastes are an accurate portrayal of the real world. But when we find ourselves fooled by a perceptual illusion, we realize that what we perceive, is our brain's best guess at what that world is like.

Different perceptions

No-one will ever view us as we view ourselves.

We should consider if we are entitled to be seen by others the way we see ourselves.

2 more ideas

Paradigm Theory
Paradigm Theory

A Paradigm theory is a general theory that provides a broad theoretical framework or "conceptual scheme." It offers underlying assumptions, key concepts, and methodology to scientists wor...

When A Paradigm Shifts

A paradigm shift occurs when one paradigm theory is replaced by another:

  • Ptolemy's astronomy giving way to Copernican astronomy.
  • Newtonian physics (time and space are the same everywhere for everyone) replaced by Einsteinian physics. (time and space are relative to the observer's frame of reference.)
Thomas Kuhn and Why Paradigms Shift

The term "paradigm shift" was coined by the American philosopher Thomas Kuhn (1922-1996). He argued that science couldn't advance until most people working within a field agree upon a paradigm. Before the agreement, collaboration and teamwork are restricted.

Once a paradigm theory is established, those working within it can start doing normal science. But now and then, normal science reveals anomalies that can't be explained within the dominant paradigm. When the inexplicable results start piling up, it eventually leads to a "crisis."

2 more ideas

Consciousness And Quantum Physics
Consciousness And Quantum Physics

Understanding consciousness and how it fits in the universe is a perennial puzzle for decades. Some call it the holy grail of science.

Quantum physics is able to describe the atomic and...

The Observer Effect

Modern science is hesitant to talk about consciousness due to it opening a pandora’s box, putting their previously ‘bulletproof’ theories under suspicion.

Quantum Theory had a similar ‘uh oh’ moment when it was found that the behaviour of atomic level particles changes when we (a conscious observer) are looking at it, or not. This is known as the Observer Effect.

Objectivity Vs Consciousness

Physicists argue that objectivity might as well be an illusion, and consciousness has to be put in the picture of its worldview.

The two puzzles of Science, Consciousness and Quantum Mechanics, might as well be closely related, with one arising because of the other.

6 more ideas