Sock Theory vs. String Theory: "When Einstein Walked with Gödel - Excursions to the Edge of Thought" by Jim Holt

When Einstein Walked with Gödel: Excursions to the Edge of Thought - Jim Holt


My contribution to Holt’s Edge of Thoughts in the form of an article too:

An unauthorised and short version of physics.

How did scientists first deduce that the universe had hidden dimensions, dimensions that are curled up so tight we can't see them? Until recently SOCK THEORY was the ruling paradigm. It was thought that Theodor Kaluza and Oscar Klein deduced the existence of at least one additional dimension from well known tendency of socks to disappear and then re-appear in unlikely places. How else to explain the mysterious behaviour of hosiery? Latterly a new paradigm, STRING THEORY, has superseded sock theory. Leave a length of string or anything long, thin and flexible lying undisturbed for even a day and you will find it has somehow got itself tied into knots. This can only be explained if we assume at least one additional dimension. String theory also gave birth to QUANTUM FIELD THEORY. 

If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review.