Friday math movie - string theory

By Murray Bourne, 15 Feb 2008

Einstein's contribution to mathematics and science was profound.

He developed ideas following on from Maxwell's famous Wave Equations, which hinted at the connection between magnetism, electricity, energy and the speed of light.

So while 19th century physicists felt that they pretty much knew all the fundamental theories of the universe, the early 20th century saw an explosion in the development of science and mathematics.

Newton's ideas of gravity were not sufficient to explain the behaviour of light, so Einstein proposed various solutions to try to explain what gravity was all about. But even Einstein's theories have been undergoing further refinement and development through the 20th century.

This week's video gives some background to the concept of string theory. String theory suggests that the building blocks of the universe are 1-dimensional vibrating strings of energy, rather than 0-dimensional point-like particles.

[Update: This video is no longer available from YouTube. It was a copyright violation.

Too bad.]

See the 4 Comments below.

4 Comments on “Friday math movie - string theory”

  1. Li-sa says:

    The movie can't be watched.

  2. Murray says:

    Thanks for alerting me, Li-sa.

    The movie has disappeared from YouTube. I have updated the post.

  3. Li-sa says:

    You don't have to disappoint readers though. The video belonged to a 3-hour-long programme called "The Elegant Universe" by PBS and the link is:

  4. Murray says:

    Thanks, Li-sa. That's a great find.

    And it appears that the segment is no longer available on YouTube because of this statement on the PBS page:

    Note that NOVA programs are not available for downloading due to rights restrictions.

    It's great that they still make the videos available for watching online.

Leave a comment

Comment Preview

HTML: You can use simple tags like <b>, <a href="...">, etc.

To enter math, you can can either:

  1. Use simple calculator-like input in the following format (surround your math in backticks, or qq on tablet or phone):
    `a^2 = sqrt(b^2 + c^2)`
    (See more on ASCIIMath syntax); or
  2. Use simple LaTeX in the following format. Surround your math with \( and \).
    \( \int g dx = \sqrt{\frac{a}{b}} \)
    (This is standard simple LaTeX.)

NOTE: You can't mix both types of math entry in your comment.

Search IntMath, blog and Forum