Quantum tunnelling of a new, third kind could finally put string theory to the test

The whole “finally, a way is found to test string theory” business is starting to become a complete joke. See the latest such nonsense:

Quantum tunnelling of a new, third kind could finally put string theory to the test

which is based on this preprint.

Note: I’ll be traveling this week, first to Edinburgh, where a celebration of Sir Michael Atiyah’s 80th birthday is going on, then stopping in Dublin on the way back to New York.

Update: As usual, Slashdot can be relied upon to promote the latest “predictions from string theory” hype.

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7 Responses to Quantum tunnelling of a new, third kind could finally put string theory to the test

  1. Felipe says:

    Dublin? Is there a talk planned?
    Are you going to be around Trinity College by any chance?

  2. Peter Woit says:


    No, the trip to Dublin is really just my vacation. I will be around Trinity meeting someone there Friday, might be at tea that afternoon…

  3. David G. says:

    Hi! Just bookmarked your blog. I picked up the book yesterday. Mainly looking for more info (I liked your posts and the links, along with the sidebar links). Esp. interested in book reviews and recommendations for my library and reading.

    Have a great trip to Eire! – David in Houston

  4. bz says:

    It’s not quite fair to criticize this paper as a joke in testing string theory. In the preprint, the only time the word “string” comes out is in page 2:

    “tunneling of the 3rd kind can serve as a tool to search for physics beyond
    the standard model in the form of light minicharged particles. The latter arise naturally
    and consistently1 in many extensions of the standard model based on field and string

  5. Marion Delgado says:

    bz: the paper is definitely not a joke, the hype might be.

    The remnant question is: Does this “third kind of tunneling” exist and would it bolster string theories?

    First, we KNOW from experience that no matter what, any result won’t be taken as weakening, let alone falsifying, string/etc. theory. Partly because there’s such a large variety of possible string theories.

    Second, we DON’T know whether discovering this conjectured tunneling would help bolster string theory generally, because it’s unclear from the article to what extent string theories uniquely posit that.

  6. Coin says:

    So do I understand this “third way” tunneling paper correctly that they’re not proposing a new effect, they’re just deriving a previously unnoticed emergent behavior of old effects?

    I don’t think I quite understand their remark on page 2 which bz quotes– how exactly is it that this effect could allow us to more easily detect previously undiscovered particles, as they claim?

  7. Engineer says:

    The author of the referenced paper also has another one about checking for anomalies in the coulomb field.
    The author does state that both field theories and string theory allow for mini-charged particles.

    I am for any tests that give null results, however I have to agree with Peter that there are a lot of recent discussions about angels on the head of a pin, including some over at Cosmic Variance.


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