From: "Ian C. Dengler" <cargan#NoSpam.delrio.com>
Murphy's Ten Laws for String Theorists:
(1) If you fix a mistake in a mathematical superstring calculation, another
one will show up somewhere else.
(2) If your results are based on the work of others, then one such work will
turn out to be wrong.
(3) The longer your article, the more likely your computer hard disk drive
will fail while you are typing the references.
(4) The better your research result, the more likely it will be rejected by
the referee of a journal; on the other hand, if your work is wrong but not
obviously so, it will be accepted for publication right away.
(5) If a result seems to good to be true, it is unless you are one of the
top ten string theorists in the world. (By the way, these theorists refer to
their results as "string miracles".)
(6) Your most startling string-theoretic theorem will turn out to be valid
in only two spatial dimensions or less.
(7) When giving a string seminar, nobody will follow anything you say after
the first minute, but, if miraculously someone does, then that person will
point out a flaw in your reasoning half-way through your talk and what will
be worse is that your grant review officer will happen to be in the
(8) For years, nobody will ever notice the fudge factors in your
calculations, but when you come up for tenure they will surface like fish
being tossed fresh breadcrumbs.
(9) If you are a graduate student working on string theory, then the field
will be dead by the time you get your Ph.D.; Even worse, if you start over
with a new thesis topic, the new field will also be dead by the time you get
(10) If you discover an interesting string model, then it will predict at
least one low-energy, observable particle not seen in Nature.
In summary, anything in string theory that theoretically can go wrong will
go wrong, but if nothing does go theoretically wrong, then experimentally it
is ruled out.
See explanation String Theory Jokes:
Physics 10: String theory is a unification model based on the idea that all
elementary particles are different vibrations of a microscopic string.
Concerning (6), string theories are formulated in various numbers of spatial
dimensions, of which nine is the most popular. Concerning (10), the phase
"low-energy, observable particle" means that current accelerators are
capable of producing and detecting it.
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