> As a dedicated amateur, I can more or less follow along with stuff like Brian
> Greene's popular books, although the details of things like Group Theory elude
> me. I'm sure that's the reason I feel like I've been missing something, so
> hopefully someone here can straighten me out.
> Most of the popular press covering string theory seems to be about how the
> properties of particles are derivable in principle by reasoning about 'tiny
> vibrating strings', but my (sketchy in the extreme) understanding of QFT is that
> there are no particles, just the interaction of fields. If string theory is
> about explaining particles as strings, where does indeterminacy come from?
The OP's question is so intriguing, I can't stop from
making a fool of myself by replying...
I'll get to indeterminancy, but let's have fun.
First everyone should glance at,
Democritus, ((he looks stoned at the site, but he's ok in person)).
I think that's a fair place to start with limit of divisiblity
of matter, that formed the basis of the atomic theory,
Remarkably, 20th century technology has been able to investigate
that philosophy from 2000 years ago and find it is basically
truthful, ((hence Democritus has been honored posthumourously by
the Tucker Prize commitee for $1 trillion, accounting for inflation)).
That truth was about matter, but relativity and Quantum Theory
modified Democritus theory to a quantization of *action*.
So measurement is restricted to quantities of action "h",
being PLancks constant...there's much more.
Ken S. Tucker