From commenter Hendrik, there’s the news that USC has put out a press release claiming that String Theory Could Be the Foundation of Quantum Mechanics. These claims are based on this paper, which argues that finding the Heisenberg commutation relations in a string field theory calculation means string field theory can be the foundation of quantum mechanics.
In my quantum mechanics course this semester, I’m now up to around chapter 13 or so of the notes available here. Last class I was pointing out that one already sees the Heisenberg commutation relations in classical Hamiltonian mechanics. The functions on phase space are a Lie algebra, satisfying commutation relations given by the Poisson bracket. These relations are determined by knowing what happens on linear functions, together with the Leibniz rule. On linear functions, the commutation relations are Heisenberg’s.
So, I think the discovery out of USC is an even greater one: string field theory can explain not only quantum mechanics, but classical mechanics too.
Update: I should have realized that this thing already had one wave of hype earlier this year, courtesy of Tom Siegfried, which I wrote about here. This new wave comes courtesy of Physics Letters, which thought this worth publishing, and USC, which thought a press release was a good idea.
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