The Cultural Currency of String Theory as a Scientific Imaginary
Publication Year: 2013
Published by: University of Michigan Press
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Title Page, Copyright, Acknowledgments
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1. Introduction: String Theory as a Theory of Everything
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String theory is reputed to have begun in 1968, when a postdoctoral fellow named Gabrielle Veneziano, working at CERN,1 one of the world’s leading high energy physics laboratories, proposed a solution to a vexing problem concerning the interaction of subatomic particles in the nuclei of atoms. He accomplished this by using a formula he had found in an eighteenth- ...
2. A Return to the Eleventh Dimension: String Theory as a Scientific Imaginary
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Now If You Believe in Physics, You Got the Eleventh Dimension . . . [Scott] Mehring, of Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, is forty- eight years old, the onetime owner of a business that had something to do with performance cars. He wore a tight leather motorcycle jacket with no visible shirt underneath and had a Rod Stewart haircut. He liked to ...
3. The Romance of Encounter: String Theory Technical Discourse
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These ambiguities, redundancies, and deficiencies remind us of those which doctor Franz Kuhn attributes to a certain Chinese encyclopedia entitled The Celestial Emporium of Benevolent Knowledge. In its remote In his preface to The Order of Things, Michel Foucault writes of how reading this passage from Borges caused him to laugh out loud; that it, as Foucault ...
4. Accessibility and Authority: String Theory Popularizations
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The previous chapter surveyed the expository portion of certain represen-tative texts in string theory technical discourse in their development of a scientific imaginary. The content of this exposition is best understood as an imaginary because it is primarily concerned with substantiating an abstract theoretical space as that which is natural. Theorists attempt to expose this ...
5. The Cosmic and Domestic: Adaptations of String Theory in Literature
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The previous chapter investigated the ways in which a selection of string theory popularizations makes an abstract theoretical space accessible through a pedagogical space. Within these string theory popularizations access becomes an imaginative mode that works to distinguish what theo-rists mark as novel in that space; in particular, images of strings and branes, ...
6. Strung Together: String Theory in Contemporary Globalized Culture
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As with many, I first encountered string theory when I picked up a copy of Brian Greene’s popularization, The Elegant Universe, in 1999. Having at the time a passing familiarity with the counterintuitive idiosyncrasies of quantum theory, I was drawn to it by the prospect of discovering fur-ther strangeness lurking in the remotest recesses of the subatomic uni-...
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Page Count: 280
Publication Year: 2013