E.g., "Noble Prize"
Just following the link is enough to tell that indeed, under any reasonable definition of "straight face test" that site would not pass as an academic affiliation. I suspect that the "endorsement" from t'Hoof was more of the "I don't care, send it to these guy" followed by a brisk walk in the opposite direction.
As to the issue at hand, I don't think anyone claims to have a complete string theory to begin with so it's not really an issue of proving anyone wrong.
The sad truth is rather that despite lots of work by many people, string theory and/or supersymmetry, these ideas from a past millennia, are basically the frameworks which produces most somewhat novel ideas today. And its not like people don't try other things, the criticism that string theory is a dead end is at least twenty years old by now, so it's not like there are no incentives to come up with new stuff.
It is true that for a while there was an awful lot of papers with strings or string like words going up on the archive, but looking at the actual production right now, hep-th seems to be into black hole information paradox. So maybe Smolin and Woit making all that fuss did have an effect. Or maybe the graduate students thinking of going into string theory found Luboš blog and decided that accounting was probably more fun anyway.
This is precisely it. The name "String theory" is a bit of a misnomer; it's a framework, not a scientific theory like evolution or special relativity despite the common perception. Sure, it does make predictions (like tiny bits a vibrating energy or "strings" are the most fundamental thing in the universe), but that's a lot like playing solitaire in windows and then proclaiming it a bad OS. Strings are only a tiny piece of a much larger framework.
String theory is a framework in which you build scientific theories. Where relativity or evolution might be programs on a computer, string theory is the OS. Which is why there's so much confusion.
And to say it's a dead end is incorrect; to date there have been some incredibly useful applications in unrelated fields. People are using it for all kinds of things. Even if it's not a theory of everything, it is still helping advance our knowledge and understanding of science.
Yeah, the Nobel laureate told you that, not as an endorsement, but because it is the standard response. "Ah yes, that is... erm... interesting... how about you submit it for a notable journal. Oh sorry, I need to go talk to whatshername over there, kthnxbai."
Peer review exists for a reason. Specifically, the merits of theories can't be assessed via HuffPo opinion pieces, and the ratio of rubbish to quality speculation is so large, that actual professional scientists need a filtering mechanism.
"What worries me is that it takes about 70 to 100 years for a theory to evolve into commercially viable consumer products. Laser are good examples. So, if we are tying up our brightest scientific minds with theories that cannot lead to empirical validations, can we be the primary technological superpower a 100 years from now?"
I get the feeling that proposing something bold and wrong in physics results in a 'crackpot' label, effectively ending your career. So if you want a career, stay away from making bold predictions. Stay away from testable new ideas!
Perhaps the attraction of string theory is that it never leads to testable specific -- and therefore possibly wrong -- predictions. There are infinitely many permutations of string theory, all of which are mathematically potentially valid. So you can publish forever on string theory and never be wrong.
Reminds me of the old Star Trek TNG episode where they killed the Borg collective by giving it an impossible but mathematically valid shape to contemplate. It contemplated, and contemplated, and contemplated, and... stopped doing anything else. Since the halting problem is unresolvable, it's possible to contemplate within the bounds of any Turing-complete mathematical system forever.
> Albert Einstein first broached the possibility of stimulated emission in a 1917 paper
The closer you look, the less the history of innovation looks like a simple sequence.
"Lasers? yeah, the theory dates back to the first micro-organism with a photo-sensitive organelle. Took a little while to put it together tho. '
I strongly disagree, and that gives very little credit to the various brilliant people involved in the various stages of the history. Everything seems obvious in retrospect.
But it doesn't change the timeline very significantly, so it's a side issue.
My meaning was more that it was foundational, not that the stuff that built from it was obvious (fortunately I drew my straight line backwards, not forwards)
Or you could avoid making bold predictions, and instead do science: Run experiments, report results.
Perhaps it should be that science is entirely disconnected from how it's presented and who by; but in reality, it is still a human pursuit, and in order to be successful at it, you need to appeal to other humans, and you need to do it well. This is true of basically all pursuits involving social groups.
This is, of course, highly critical after reading only a single data point, but it's probably a contributing factor to the frustration here.
- there is serious evidence of crackpottery, as evidenced by other contributors
- there is little evidence of good science, as evidenced by other contributors
- there is little evidence of good review (either of
content or of prose), as evidenced by other contributors
- in the absence of all of those, one would fall back on the credentials of the author, which seem to be minimal
- Super Physics for Super Technologies is self-published (via Amazon CreateSpace)
- the forum seems very bizarre for this subject
I don't think this article is worth HN readers' time to read and consider, and I'd taken its presence on the front page as an endorsement by the community. I want my time back.
"In the context of string theory, he literally floods the pages of his book with undefendable speculations about some basic results of string theory. Because these statements are of mathematical nature, we are sure that Lee is wrong even in the absence of any experiments." 
Famously, yes. But although that may have been true to a first approximation, it ignores the fact that alternatives have never been completely taboo.
The primary one in recent decades was Loop Quantum Gravity, and the related Spin Foams that my friend John Baez worked on for many years.
LQG hasn't won the day, I'm just mentioning that it was an alternative to String Theory that didn't ruin careers.
I would disregard his unsupported opinions out of hand without thinking twice, but not his supported arguments, whether right or wrong.
Disclaimer: I'm not a physicist.
"39. 50 points for claiming you have a revolutionary theory but giving no concrete testable predictions."
> Prof. Gerardus 't Hooft had brought up something interesting in his 2008 paper "A locally finite model for gravity" that "... absence of matter now no longer guarantees local flatness..." meaning that accelerations can be present in spacetime without the presence of mass. Wow! Isn't this a precursor to propulsion physics, or the ability to modify spacetime without the use of mass?
I don't know about the speculations, but the basic question of curvature in the absence of mass is totally orthodox general relativity.
It's a very widespread folk myth, even with physicists, that absence of matter means asymptotically flat spacetime, but it's not absolutely true.
I had thought John Baez discussed this on sci.physics ages ago, but after I couldn't find that, this is the first formal reference I dug up to support that:
"Relativity And Geometry"
by Roberto Torretti, 1983
Page 199: Chapter 6, Gravitational Geometry
> First several new non-flat matter-free solutions of the field equations have been discovered, which show that an empty universe built in accordance with General Relativity can be a very lively place, the interplay of pure gravitational energy being enough to produce some remarkable phenomena if a handful of test particles is supplied.
[footnote  on page 334 discusses "Friedmann's equation", with a limit tending to 0 in the case of interest]
Maybe the point is that the orthodox stuff is usually concerning an empty universe solution? I had thought there were non-empty universe solutions that behaved this way as well, but I might be misremembering.
Also, "The Founder & Chairman, Solomon completed a 12-year study into the physics & engineering of Gravity Modification"
"Solving gravity modification and doing it in 12-years is a very significant achievement as Michio Kaku’s estimate was ‘several hundred years’ (April 2008 Space Show interview)."
I guess Huffington Post doesn't have copy editors?
Seriously, why is the Huffington Post not banned as a source here?
(The OP headline was previously "Strings Are Dead")
I long ago filed HuffPo under "clickbait" along with similar entities, like the Daily Mail.
I was listening until this. What is the basis for this statement? Whenever I've made a statement trying to forecast the future by a date, I've been almost always wrong.