Fan Mail

I have greatly enjoyed reading your paper: "String Theory: An Evaluation",
physics 0102051. The only thing I dislike about it, is that I did not write
it myself. My best wishes to you, it was time that someone had the courage to say what
you said. Well done.

You are (one of) the most intrepid guys in this business of particle physics. May the Lord
award you, and more pressing: protect you. Your written concerns about String theory
are among the most positive contributions to the progress of physics I have read lately.

I thoroughly agree with your article: String Theory: An Evaluation. Among
my colleagues, we very often have had similar discussions and I am very
happy you wrote these things up in brilliant way.

As an ex-string theorist who had the opportunity to leave for all the reasons you have
given ... I couldn't agree more.  You said it very well and in my
opinion it is very balanced.

I read you article on string theory. Its great and I agree with every word....
Actually I did my PhD on string theory more than 12 years ago
(its not that great, but i did realize that string theory was a waste of time)

Even here in India the situation is approximately like what you describe.
Unfortunately, the only practical way to resist one fad seems to be set up another fad.

I am a particle theorist who works on quantum gravity and who has worked
on string theory, although I no longer do. I thought you made the case
well and that your proposals were prudent. I hope you do not suffer too
much criticism for having done this.

Congratulations on physics/0102051! I hope the string mafia does
not send a hit squad after you.

I am a postdoctoral fellow, so I am one of the guys who, willy-nilly, had to
work on string theory to get grants. Unfortunately I haven't got a permanent
position from which I can tell what I think... And more and more people are
leaving theoretical physics because of this disappointment. To tell the truth,
I started as a string theorist... Many colleagues of mine, who work on quantum
field theory topics and, due to political reasons, string theory, totally agree with you.

I also want to let you know that your article may have "saved" a promising
young graduate student that we have here from going into string theory......

I read with great interest your recent article "String Theory: An
Evaluation," and would like to thank you for so coherently expressing the
frustrations that many in the high energy community feel over the
direction the field is taking. While I wish that your paper would provoke
an honest evaluation of the status and prospects of string theory, I fear
that it will be ignored by the string community and read only by those who
share your position.  What motive could they possibly have for
soul-searching when they have achieved such an incredible public relations
coup?  And this distorted view of string theory's successes is not
restricted to the general public; I have heard high energy
phenomonologists enthusiasticlly evaluating the future of string theory.  
It is appalling to see the number of high energy theory students at
Stanford University .... who choose to enter the string
community, when a world famous laboratory next door (SLAC) has a very
strong theory group with virtually no students in comparison.

I would even apply much stronger definitions of the activity of string
theorists, such as 'premeditated fraud' permanently committed by a truly
criminal, well-organised mafia, even though it hides itself behind all
kinds of 'intellectual priviledges' and 'scientifically' looking
speculations. Indeed, the properties you mention in your 'evaluation' are
very well known to everybody, including the 'string theorists' themselves
and their 'friends' from money-distributing agencies, and nevertheless, the
evident cheat continues, with ever growing magnitude.

It was wonderful to read your article on string theory, physics/0102051.
I have been watching the propaganda machine of string theorists expound on
how string theory is the solution to everything, yet it reproduces
absolutely nothing.  I agree with your assessment of how disastrous the fad of string theory
has been to young physicists like myself.  The handful of us who did choose
to pursue topics in semi-classical gravity and field theory find that we
can't even get interviews for junior faculty positions because our research
isn't the hottest trend in strings.  Many good young physicists have left the
field, instead finding work in industry, or moving back to classical gravity
where there are some job openings related to LIGO.

There is also an effect whereby mathematicians get excited because they think they are
collaborating on physics and physicists get excited because even if what
they are doing has no connection with nature, it has got the
mathematicians interested.    Thus a whole field of speculative
non-physical non-mathematics ends up taking off.

I am perhaps less sceptical than you about the scientific
evaluation of the string-M theory, though I would not
invest my life into it; let them try their best.
But, I am terrified by the impact of string theory
phenomenon on the social aspects of HEP and math phys
community, the professional ethics, and the
holy belief that the physics and science
is about searching for truth (rather than promoting
ones views/careers/...).

Since you say comments are encouraged, let me say: congratulations. I
love it. It's everything I ever wanted to say about string theory but of
course, since I'm just a graduate student, nobody wants to listen. From
the first time I opened Green, Schwartz & Witten in 1994 I couldn't stop 
wondering how can anyone of the sane mind take this theory seriously, but
I guess desperate people do desperate things.
(US) Stanford they are starting to teach string theory as part of the
undergrad physics curriculum...

... what you're saying in your article is
exactly happening between our string theorists and the physics graduate
students "unfortunately".

I feel that many people in string theory has an intimidatory attitude,
everything which is not on their realm of interest is "not interesting" or
"not important". Young scientists may regret later where
they have been lead. Congratulations for your courage  pointing to
the naked king.
Just wanted to point out that in the US  there are great new funding opportunities
for string theorists -  since the new administration is pushing faith based

Don't take prisoners!