All Strings AttachedSat 06 June 2015
First of all, I'm no physicist. Everything written here is what I've gathered from other sources, like books and Wikipedia. As I never had a chance to check my thoughts with someone with proper and formal physics education, I might be (terribly) wrong, so don't quote me as a scientist or a proven theorist.
Most of my thoughts come from Brian Greene's Fabric of the Cosmos. I like how the book is easy to understand so much that I recommend it to everyone. I'll admit it, I was hardly waiting to get to the strings. Don't get me wrong, the whole book is golden, but I was mostly interested in strings. Just imagine (if you can, but up to now, nobody was able to) that vibrating string manifests itself as a particle. I mean, different vibrational patterns make up different things in our Universe: particles, time, energy, radiation, ... Once more, strings create time. Wow! What a concept. But I want to talk about something more scientific, if I may call it that. Throughout the research which is mostly mathematical, scientists came to conclude that the string theory gave birth to 5 different frameworks of string theory. It's like you say there are 5 different variations of the same theory. A bit awkward situation for science, but the 6th variation solved it all, or at least is trying to do that. It's not the 6th variation, it's "one ring to rule them all", to be a bit more precise. It's called the M-theory and nobody knows what M stands for. The craziest proposal I've heard of what M is: 180 degrees of W which stands for Witten, the person who came up with the idea of M-theory. Edward Witten is such a crazy guy that you have to love him. Although he's physicist, he's the first man who got the Fields Medal award, which is award in math. Unbelievable guy!
Anyway, back to the topic. In short, there are strings which are loops, and strings which are like a rope with two ends. Researchers found that "rope like" strings are attached to 2 dimensional branes. I won't go into what branes are for two reasons: I don't know and it's not that important at this time. The funny thing is that all forces are rope alike, except gravity. Even more, all forces except gravity are strings with two ends on the same brane. Now, this is astonishing, at least to me. This makes gravity special, which researchers knew before string theory, but it's even more special now. In theory, strings are 1-dimensional objects living in a 11-dimensional environment (10 spacial and 1 time dimension). All vibrational patterns of all known forces and matter are bound to the same brane, except gravity. This makes gravity able to traverse our 3 spacial dimensions and span on other branes. How? Gravity is made of loop strings, hence not being tied to any brane. Isn't that remarkable? I'm thrilled that we can (at least in theory) communicate with other dimensions through gravity. How? First thought is gravitational wave. Imagine that you can use gravitational waves to create bits, just like computers use electromagnetic field. I don't even know if it's theoretically possible, but dreaming about other dimensions is becoming less of a dream and more of a research. That makes me happy!