This question already has an answer here:

I was wondering if the finding of gravitational waves proves M theory. I know at Fermi Lab scientists were looking for gravitons in distant places in our universe so that they can prove string theory. I'm very interested to see if the LIGO finding would be this revealing. Please let me know your thoughts.


marked as duplicate by Danu, ACuriousMind, John Rennie general-relativity Feb 17 '16 at 6:55

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

  • 4
    $\begingroup$ You can answer questions like "I was wondering if the finding of gravitational waves proves M theory." for yourself very easily. Re-phase it as "Is M theory the only theory that predicts gravitational waves?". (This really leaves aside the whole question of how you should understand "prove" in a scientific rather than mathematical context, which is a whole 'nother kettle of fish). $\endgroup$ – dmckee Feb 14 '16 at 18:28
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ related (or duplicate?): Evidence for quantum gravity from gravitational waves $\endgroup$ – AccidentalFourierTransform Feb 14 '16 at 18:31

No. Firstly, gravitational waves show the success of the Einstein Hilbert gravity theory in 4 dimensions. (String theory reproduces this EH gravity so that's great!) Not for string theory or M theory.

In order to prove M theory right, we need to understand what M theory is in the first place. Very few people in the world understand M theory and it is still far from complete.

  • $\begingroup$ It seems to me like we are moving towards the multiverse theory and away from super-symmetry. I watched the CERN talk with Barry Barish and could tell that some of the scientists were legitimately upset. What is it about the multiverse theory that drives some physicists crazy? $\endgroup$ – Emma Feb 14 '16 at 18:36
  • $\begingroup$ I did not see Barry's talk but I don't understand why people were upset with gravitational waves? The gravitational wave discovery has nothing to do with the multiverse or string theory. This goes into the realm of philosophy but the argument is that a multiverse theory will not be testable or cannot come up with testable claims (at least not yet). This is outrageous even by some of the standards of any theory of quantum gravity. $\endgroup$ – user106422 Feb 14 '16 at 18:41
  • $\begingroup$ I don't know either, I just noticed that some of the physicists in the audience were being kind of hard on him and wondered why? I wondered if they thought that his findings weren't well researched enough. I could be off base. I really love to get into the spiritual science or philosophy of physics, which is why I'm so intrigued by gravitational waves and what they might mean for our future. Thanks for answering. $\endgroup$ – Emma Feb 14 '16 at 18:53
  • $\begingroup$ Well, usually physics is very no-nonsense so if the physics community is to accept a piece of work into mainstream physics, it will be subject to a lot of questioning which can sometimes seem intense. That is usually the way it works. My first single authored paper presentation was brutal, to say the least. But that's a part and parcel of the profession. $\endgroup$ – user106422 Feb 14 '16 at 18:57
  • $\begingroup$ Gotcha, that makes sense. $\endgroup$ – Emma Feb 14 '16 at 19:11

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.