M-Theory is a Map

M-theory is not a theory in the usual sense. It is a whole family of different theories, each of which is a good description of observations only in some range of physical situations. It is a bit like a map. As is weU known, one cannot show the whole of the earth's surface on a single map. The usual Mercator projection used for maps of the world makes areas appear larger and larger in the far north and south and doesn't cover the North and South Poles. To faithfully map the entire earth, one has to use a collection of maps, each of which covers a limited region. The maps overlap each other, and where they do, they show the same landscape. M-theory is similar. The different theories in the M-theory family may look very different, but they can all be regarded as aspects of the same underlying theory. They are versions of the theory that are applicable only in limited ranges—for example, when certain quantities such as energy are small. Like the overlapping maps in a Mercator projection, where the ranges of different versions overlap, they predict the same phenomena. But just as there is no fiat map that is a good representation of the earth's entire surface. there is no single theory that is a good representation of observations in all situations.


Just as there is no single flat map that can describe the Earth's surface, M-Theory is a collection of models that describe the laws of our Universe.

Folksonomies: metaphors metaphor quantum physics m-theory models

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Map projection (0.952524): dbpedia | freebase
Google Maps (0.921915): dbpedia | freebase | yago
Theory (0.836556): dbpedia | freebase
Earth (0.814486): dbpedia | freebase
Scientific method (0.810994): dbpedia | freebase
Geography (0.779670): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Latitude (0.739102): dbpedia | freebase
Universe (0.710475): dbpedia | freebase

 The Grand Design
Books, Brochures, and Chapters>Book:  Hawking , Stephen W. and Mlodinow , Leonard (2011-09-01), The Grand Design, Bantam, Retrieved on 2011-12-12
  • Source Material [books.google.com]
  • Folksonomies: science quantum physics m-theory


    09 MAY 2012

     Our Non-Intuitive, Shadowy Understanding of Nature

    Memes mostly about the quantum world, where we use metaphors to describe things we can't really conceptualize in the macroworld.
    Folksonomies: metaphor understanding
    Folksonomies: metaphor understanding