Success comes only to someone who has a lot of knowledge and who thinks for a long time about solving a problem.

Success comes only to someone who has a lot of knowledge and who thinks for a long time about solving a problem.

For example, if we could make a solid lead bar several light years from our solar system to Alpha Centauri and place it in the path of a neutrino beam, for some of them even such an obstacle would be surmountable. Neutrinos are able to pass through the Earth as if it does not exist, moreover, trillions of neutrinos emitted by the Sun constantly penetrate our body even at night. Pauli admitted: "I have committed the unforgivable sin – I assumed the existence of a particle that will never be found" 7.

Neutrinos are so elusive and undetectable that they even prompted John Updike to write a verse called Cosmic Insolence:

Neutrinos, tiny shadows, Rejecting mass and charge, Do not recognize the law of communication, Interactions and barriers. They rummage around the entire Universe, Without compromising straightness. For them – an empty inflated ball A trillion-ton globe of the earth. Nothing moving or touching, They pass through it – So photons glide through the glass, So the dust blows in a draft. No walls for them, no pedestals. They are able to precipitate Cold hardening of steel And hot copper ringing and agility. They fly in such a career that stallions never dreamed of, Over all class barriers Invading the body of me and you .Their judgment is inconceivably high, Their sentence is inevitable, He sends streams of Insensible guillotines on their heads. Diving somewhere in the Euphrates, They go deep, To pierce a New Yorker and his wife from under the bed. In the middle of the night, pierce a featherbed! You say: here are good fellows! And I think that neutrinos are Space impudent people8.

Although neutrinos were once considered a completely untestable theory due to their weak interaction with other matter, today we regularly receive neutrino beams in particle accelerators, conduct experiments with neutrinos emitted by an atomic reactor, and reveal their presence in mines deep underground. (When a blinding supernova illuminated the sky in the Southern Hemisphere in 1987, physicists noticed a sharp burst of neutrinos passing through detectors deep in mines. This was the first time neutrino detectors were used to make important astronomical measurements.) In just three decades, neutrinos have gone from idea , which is impossible to verify, to the valuable assistants of modern physics.

The problem is theory, not experimentation

If we consider the history of science over a long period of time, we can assume that there are still grounds for optimism. Witten is convinced that someday science will get to the bottom of Planck’s energy. He states:

Distinguishing simple questions from difficult questions is not always easy. In the XIX century. the question of why water boils at 100º was considered insoluble. If someone told a physicist from the 19th century that in the 20th century. this temperature can simply be calculated, he would have considered what he heard a fairy tale … Quantum field theory is so complex that no one fully believed in it for 25 years.

According to Witten, “good ideas always get confirmation” 9.

Astronomer Arthur Eddington even wondered if scientists were exaggerating the importance of testing any assumptions. He wrote: “Scientists usually claim that beliefs should be based on observation, not theories … I have never come across anyone who follows this in practice … Observation is not enough … theory largely determines beliefs "ten. Nobel laureate Paul Dirac put it even more bluntly: "The beauty of an equation is much more important than matching an experiment." Or, in the words of CERN scientist John Ellis, "as it was written on a candy wrapper that came across to me a few years ago," in this world, only optimists achieve anything. " But despite the arguments inspiring some optimism, the situation with the experiments is depressing. I agree with the skeptics that the best we can count on is an indirect test of ten-dimensional theory in the 21st century. The fact is that ultimately this is a theory of creation, so its verification inevitably involves a partial reproduction of the Big Bang in laboratory conditions.

Personally, I don’t think we will have to wait a century for our accelerators, space probes and cosmic ray particle counters to become powerful enough to indirectly confirm the existence of the tenth dimension. After some time, obviously during the lifetime of today’s physicists, someone will have the intelligence to either confirm or refute the ten-dimensional theory using string field theory or other nonperturbative equations. Thus, this is a theoretical rather than experimental problem.

If we assume that some talented physicist will solve the problem of string field theory and deduce from it the known properties of our Universe, there will remain a practical problem: when will we be able to use the possibilities of the theory of hyperspace. There are two options:

1. We will wait until our civilization has mastered energies trillions of times greater than those that we can get today.

2. We will meet representatives of extraterrestrial civilizations who know the art of hyperspace control.

Recall that it took about 70 years (between the appearance of the work of Faraday and Maxwell and the work of Edison and his colleagues) to start using electromagnetic interaction for practical purposes. However, modern civilization largely depends on the mastery of this power. Nuclear interaction was discovered almost at the turn of the century, but even now, 80 years later, we have no way to reliably control it using fusion reactors. The next leap – harnessing the power of unified field theory – will require a much larger leap in the development of our technique and technology, and is likely to have even more significant consequences.

The fundamental problem is that we are forcing superstring theory to answer questions about everyday energy, when its element is Planck energy. This amazing energy was released only at the moment of creation. In other words, superstring theory is nothing more than creation theory. And as if from a cheetah, planted in a cage, we demand from this magnificent creature that it dances and sings for our amusement. But the element of the cheetah is the African savannah, and the element of superstring theory is the moment of creation. Nevertheless, given the technological level of our artificial satellites, perhaps there will be a new "laboratory" in which we can experimentally investigate the natural elements of superstring theory, that is, an echo of creation!

1 David Gross interview. See: "Superstrings: A Theory of Everything?", Ed. Paul Davies and J. Brown (ed., Superstrings: A Theory of Everything? Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988), p. 147.

2 Sheldon Glashow, Interactions, New York: Warner, 1988, p. 335.

3 Ibid, p. 333.

4 Ibid, p. 330.

5 Steven Weinberg, Dreams of a Final Theory (New York: Pantheon, 1992), p. 218-219.

6 Cited in: John D. Barrow and Frank J. Tipler, The Anthropic Cosmological Principle, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1986, p. 327.

7 Cited in: F. Wilczek and B. Devine, Longing for the Harmonies, New York: Norton, 1988, p. 65.

8 John Updike, Telephone Poles and Other Poems, New York: Knopf, 1960. (Per. G. Varenghi. – Approx. Per.)

9 Cited in: K. C. Cole, A Theory of Everything, New York Times Magazine, 18 October 1987, p. 28.

10 Cited in: Heinz Pagels, Perfect Symmetry: The Search for the Beginning of Time, New York: Bantam, 1985, p. eleven.

11 Cited in: K. C. Cole, Sympathetic Vibrations: Reflections on Physics as a Way of Life, New York: Bantam, 1985, p. 225.

Why wasn’t it possible to learn about numbers, algebra and geometry in such a fascinating way before? The Magic of Mathematics is the book you dreamed of in school. Using many unusual examples – playing cards, ice cream balls, measuring mountains – Arthur Benjamin tells you about the beauty of mathematical formulas. Everything, from which the head was spinning before, now turns out to be simple and clear. The book also explains what is not so familiar to the inexperienced reader: Pascal’s triangle, mathematical infinity, unusual properties of some numbers, the Fibonacci sequence, the golden ratio. This will expand and enrich your knowledge, and the deeper you comprehend mathematics, the more exciting its magic is.

Nick. Bitter"Science and Life" No. 3, 2016

Other Science Tales Nick. Gorky see in "Science and Life" No. 11, 2010, No. 12, 2010, No. 1, 2011, No. 2, 2011, No. 3, 2011, No. 4, 2011, No. 5, 2011, No. 6, 2011, No. 9, 2011, No. 11, 2011, No. 6, 2012, No. 7, 2012, No. 8, 2012, No. 9, 2012, No. 10, 2012, No. 12, 2012, No. 1, 2013, No. 11, 2013, No. 1, 2014, No. 2, 2014, No. 3, 2014, No. 7, 2014, No. 8, 2014, No. 10, 2014, No. 12, 2014, No. 1, 2015, No. 4, 2015, No. 5, 2015, No. 6, 2015, No. 7, 2015, No. 9, 2015, No. 1, 2016, No. 2, 2016.

"Space Detectives" is a new book by the writer, Doctor of Physics and Mathematics Nikolai Nikolayevich Gorkavy. Its heroes are familiar to readers from the science fiction trilogy "Astrovityanka" and scientific fairy tales published in the magazine in 2010–2014; in numbers 1, 4-7, 9 2015; in No. 1, 2 2016

Paul Dirac (circa 1930). Photo: Wikimedia Commons / PD

Another fairy tale, which Princess Dzintara told her children before going to bed, began with a short introduction.

– Human character is largely laid down in childhood. So it happened with Paul Dirac. He was born in England, his father, a Swiss, taught French in Bristol and demanded that everyone speaks only French at home. For English-speaking children, and there were three of them in the family, this turned out to be a difficult task, so the boy grew up silent, prone to solitary reflections.

At the age of sixteen, Paul entered the University of Bristol at the Faculty of Engineering, although his favorite subject was mathematics. Later, when Dirac became an outstanding theoretical physicist, he still highly valued his engineering education. “Before, I only saw meaning in exact equations. It seemed to me that if you use approximate methods, then the work becomes unbearably ugly, while I passionately wanted to preserve the mathematical beauty. The engineering education that I received just taught me to come to terms with approximate methods, and I found that even in theories based on approximations, you can see a lot of beauty … If it were not for engineering education, I probably never achieved would be success in their subsequent activities … "

Before graduating from university, Paul did an internship at one of the machine-building plants, but there they were not impressed with the talents of the newly-made electrical engineer and he was not offered a job.

– As far as I understand, it became a huge boon both for him and for science? – Andrey noticed.

– I suppose so. If Dirac had gone into engineering, it is unlikely that he would have taken up fundamental science.

Left without work, Dirac was carried away by the general theory of relativity, with the basics of which he got acquainted while still studying at the university. Paul studied the famous book on the theory of relativity by the English theoretical physicist Arthur Eddington and even talked with its author, a recognized expert in this field. In parallel, Paul studied mathematics for two years at the University of Bristol, visiting him as an auditor. After passing the examinations brilliantly, Dirac received a university scholarship and a grant from the Bristol Department of Education. These funds allowed him to continue his education in graduate school at Cambridge University.

Paul Dirac’s alma mater is the University of Bristol. Photo: Francium 12 / Wikimedia Commons / PD

It so happened that in Cambridge, his scientific adviser was a professor, an English theoretical physicist, astrophysicist and mathematician, a specialist in statistical mechanics, Ralph Howard Fowler. At first Dirac was disappointed, but that quickly passed. Fowler introduced the young man to the ideas of Niels Bohr and the concepts of nascent atomic physics. Dirac became interested in a new topic. Subsequently, he wrote: “I remember what a tremendous impression Bohr’s theory made on me. I believe that the emergence of Bohr’s ideas was the greatest step in the history of the development of quantum mechanics. The most 1984 george orwell analysis unexpected, the most surprising was that such a radical departure from Newton’s laws gave such wonderful results. "

Dirac called his dissertation “Quantum Mechanics”. He was deeply impressed by a lecture by one of its creators, the German physicist Werner Heisenberg, which he read in Cambridge in the summer of 1925. Dirac corresponded with Heisenberg, studied his work. “I have the most compelling reasons for being an admirer of Werner Heisenberg,” he wrote. – We studied at the same time, were almost the same age and worked on the same problem. Heisenberg succeeded where I failed. By that time, a huge amount of spectroscopic material had accumulated, and Heisenberg found the right path in his labyrinth. By doing this, he gave rise to the golden age of theoretical physics … "

For several years, Dirac published a number of articles that, together with the works of Heisenberg and another of the founders of quantum mechanics, the Austrian theoretical physicist Erwin Schrödinger, became the basis of new quantum mechanics. One of the results obtained by Dirac was particularly impressive. He managed to obtain the relativistic equation for the electron …

– And what does the relativistic equation mean? Galatea asked.

– This is an equation that describes the motion of bodies at the highest speeds, but, of course, less than the speed of light, because the theory of relativity does not allow any material body, including an electron, to overtake light. Nonrelativistic equations include, for example, the equations of Newton’s dynamics – they describe the motion of bodies with speeds much lower than the speed of light.

At that time, there was no relativistic equation for the electron. Dirac recalled: “… difficulties arose in reconciling quantum mechanics with the theory of relativity. I was very concerned about them at that time, but other physicists, for some reason I do not understand, did not care about these problems at all. "

For a long time Dirac could not get the required formula. He wrote: "For several months this problem remained unresolved, and the answer arose out of the blue, being one of the examples of undeserved success."

– How is this “the answer came up unexpectedly”? And why does Dirac call this success undeserved? Galatea asked.

– Dirac was modest. Success comes only to someone who has a lot of knowledge and who thinks for a long time about solving a problem. Only a concrete solution is unexpected, when all the pieces of the puzzle fall into place. Only very modest people can consider their success undeserved. When nature reveals its secrets to them, they can consider this happiness unearned.