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Playing With Strings

My friend Jasper wanted me to talk about this… Hard to understand topic…

To explain String Theory we must start with the basics of the interaction between matter. You might’ve been taught that the atom is composed of protons, neutrons and electrons.
Right?…
Our current knowledge about the subatomic composition of the universe is summarized in what is known as the Standard Model of particle physics. It describes both the fundamental building blocks out of which the world is made, and the forces through which these blocks interact. There are twelve basic building blocks (And HUNDREDS of other building blocks). Six of these are quarks— they go by the interesting names of up, down, charm, strange, bottom and top. (A proton, for instance, is made of two up quarks and one down quark.) The other six are leptons— these include the electron and its two heavier siblings, the muon and the tauon, as well as three neutrinos.
This theory explains every fundamental interaction within an atom. For example, The strong force is carried by eight particles known as gluons, the photon is a mediator for the electromagnetic forces etc
Except for gravity. Standard Model, even quantum mechanics only works when gravity is assumed negligible.
Thats where string theory comes in.
Artists Rendering of something…
It attempts to close the gap between general relativity and quantum mechanics. The essential idea behind string theory is all of the different ‘fundamental ‘ particles of the Standard Model are really just different manifestations of a string. Instead of a solid quark for example, we have a little clump of string that not only can move, but can oscillate at different frequencies. So instead of thinking of a quark, or electron as a point, its actually composed of a 1 dimensional string. These strings have certain vibrational modes which can be characterized by various quantum numbers such as mass, spin, etc
The average size of a string should be somewhere near the length scale of quantum gravity, called the Planck length, which is about 10-33 centimeters.
The best thing about this theory is that it includes gravity as a fundamental interaction, the particle that would carry the gravitational force would have zero mass and two units of spin. This has been known by theoretical physicists for a long time. This theorized particle is called the graviton.

Oh… It has never been proven to be an accurate model to describe anything…

strange_spc_quasar_02

Big Water

Astronomers have discovered the largest and oldest mass of water ever detected in the universe…
Your mamma’s bathtub!

Just kidding :) But seriously, its a HUGE, 12-billion-year-old cloud harboring 140 trillion times more water than all the oceans on earth. it surrounds a large quasar ( APM 08279+5255) 12 billion light years away from earth.

APM 08279+5255 contains 4,000 times more water vapor than our own Milky Way galaxy

Apparently, early measurements indicate this cloud of water vapor has an average temperature of minus 53 degrees Celsius, and it’s 300 trillion times less dense than Earth’s atmosphere, which all sounds suspiciously like northern Canada…

That’s a Quasar ^
Our quasar is 20 billion times the size of the sun…