User talk:Polytope24

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Polytope24, you are invited to the Teahouse[edit]

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Hi Polytope24! Thanks for contributing to Wikipedia.
Be our guest at the Teahouse! The Teahouse is a friendly space where new editors can ask questions about contributing to Wikipedia and get help from peers and experienced editors. I hope to see you there! Jtmorgan (I'm a Teahouse host)

This message was delivered automatically by your robot friend, HostBot (talk) 01:18, 1 August 2013 (UTC)

Explaining[edit]

I patrolled your page. I went through the enormously-backlogged list of newly-created pages and confirmed that your page was okay: not spam, not an attack page, not a copyright violation, not any of the other reasons for which I would delete someone's page without asking. Then I clicked "patrolled" to remove it from the list of "pages that have not yet been patrolled", and moved on to the next entry. That's all. DS (talk) 01:25, 28 August 2013 (UTC)

Your GA nomination of AdS/CFT correspondence[edit]

Hi there, I'm pleased to inform you that I've begun reviewing the article AdS/CFT correspondence you nominated for GA-status according to the criteria. Time2wait.svg This process may take up to 7 days. Feel free to contact me with any questions or comments you might have during this period. Message delivered by Legobot, on behalf of SPat -- SPat (talk) 00:21, 14 September 2013 (UTC)

Thanks again for your time! Polytope24 (talk) 00:39, 14 September 2013 (UTC)

Your GA nomination of AdS/CFT correspondence[edit]

The article AdS/CFT correspondence you nominated as a good article has passed Symbol support vote.svg; see Talk:AdS/CFT correspondence for comments about the article. Well done! Message delivered by Legobot, on behalf of SPat -- SPat (talk) 23:22, 19 September 2013 (UTC)

Your GA nomination of Mirror symmetry (string theory)[edit]

The article Mirror symmetry (string theory) you nominated as a good article has passed Symbol support vote.svg; see Talk:Mirror symmetry (string theory) for comments about the article. Well done! ColonelHenry (talk) 15:38, 23 September 2013 (UTC)

While waiting for the bot to transclude the GA1 template, you can find my review at Talk:Mirror symmetry (string theory)/GA1. Congratulations to you for such a thoroughly prepared and informative article.--ColonelHenry (talk) 15:38, 23 September 2013 (UTC)

A barnstar for you![edit]

GA barnstar.png The Good Article Barnstar
Thanks Polytope24 for helping to promote Mirror symmetry (string theory) and AdS/CFT correspondence and to Good Article status. Please accept this sign of appreciation and goodwill from me. Your contributions are much appreciated! --Sp33dyphil ©hatontributions 03:27, 25 September 2013 (UTC)
Thanks a lot! Polytope24 (talk) 04:44, 25 September 2013 (UTC)

Congratulations[edit]

On having AdS/CFT correspondence promoted to FA status! You were a joy to work with and I was impressed with your patience throughout the FA process, more patience I could have mustered. Cheers, --Mark viking (talk) 00:06, 17 November 2013 (UTC)

Yes congratulations. We definitely need more articles like yours. --Laser brain (talk) 00:59, 17 November 2013 (UTC)
Thanks to both of you for helping out! Polytope24 (talk) 02:11, 17 November 2013 (UTC)

Main Page appearance: AdS/CFT correspondence[edit]

This is a note to let the main editors of AdS/CFT correspondence know that the article will be appearing as today's featured article on December 8, 2013. If this article needs any attention or maintenance, it would be preferable if that could be done before its appearance on the Main Page. If you prefer that the article appear as TFA on a different date, or not at all, please ask Bencherlite (talk · contribs). You can view the TFA blurb at Wikipedia:Today's featured article/December 8, 2013. If it needs tweaking, or if it needs rewording to match improvements to the article between now and its main page appearance, please edit it, following the instructions at Wikipedia:Today's featured article/requests/instructions. The blurb as it stands now is below:

A cross section of anti-de Sitter space

The anti-de Sitter/conformal field theory correspondence is a conjectured relationship in theoretical physics between two kinds of physical theories. On one side of the correspondence are conformal field theories, including theories similar to the Yang–Mills theories that describe elementary particles. On the other side of the correspondence are are anti-de Sitter spaces (cross section depicted), which are used in theories of quantum gravity, formulated in terms of string theory or M-theory. Proposed by Juan Maldacena in late 1997, the AdS/CFT correspondence represents a major advance in our understanding of string theory and quantum gravity. This is because it provides a non-perturbative formulation of string theory and because it is the most successful realization of the holographic principle, an idea in quantum gravity originally proposed by Gerard 't Hooft. In addition, it provides a powerful toolkit for studying strongly coupled quantum field theories and has been used to study many features of nuclear and condensed matter physics by translating problems in those subjects into more mathematically tractable problems in string theory. (Full article...)

UcuchaBot (talk) 23:02, 21 November 2013 (UTC)

Precious[edit]

Cornflower blue Yogo sapphire.jpg

field theory
Thank you for quality articles on physics, such as anti-de Sitter/conformal field theory correspondence and Mirror symmetry (string theory), raising awareness for mathematical physics, with concentration on facts and a self-critical approach, - you are an awesome Wikipedian!

--Gerda Arendt (talk) 12:01, 8 December 2013 (UTC)

Thank you! Polytope24 (talk) 15:26, 8 December 2013 (UTC)

A year ago, you were the 686th recipient of my PumpkinSky Prize, --Gerda Arendt (talk) 07:32, 8 December 2014 (UTC)
Today M-theory, thank you! --Gerda Arendt (talk) 08:04, 22 June 2015 (UTC)

Three years ago, you were recipient no. 686 of Precious, a prize of QAI! --Gerda Arendt (talk) 07:55, 8 December 2016 (UTC)

Review for holographic principle[edit]

Hi Polytope,
Congrats on the AdS/CFT article! Given your knowledge on the topic, can I please ask you to review the short presentation I made for the Hyakutake papers here and maybe suggest improvements/clarifications? Do you think it's a good idea to link this recent work in the AdS/CFT article? Thanks for your help! Alma (talk) 16:58, 21 December 2013 (UTC)
Hi Alma. It looks pretty good to me. I added a citation to the AdS/CFT article. Polytope24 (talk) 20:39, 21 December 2013 (UTC)
Great, thanks a lot! Alma (talk) 20:44, 21 December 2013 (UTC)

Edit Revert[edit]

Could you please justify the revert of my edit?

Mirror symmetry[edit]

Hi Polytope. I was listed at that the project members list as a copy-editing, not a contributor of substantive edits. However, I know User:Paul August to be an approachable active editor. Perhaps you could ask him to weigh in at the FAC instead. Regards, AGK [•] 23:30, 22 March 2014 (UTC)

Okay, thanks for the reference! Polytope24 (talk) 23:59, 22 March 2014 (UTC)

[edit]

Polytope24, I see your article on mirror symmetry was promoted. Congratulations! Only a thousand edits and you already have two featured articles - I'm impressed! RockMagnetist (talk) 23:35, 13 April 2014 (UTC)

Thanks for helping out with the review! Polytope24 (talk) 03:09, 14 April 2014 (UTC)

Main Page appearance: Mirror symmetry (string theory)[edit]

This is a note to let the main editors of Mirror symmetry (string theory) know that the article will be appearing as today's featured article on May 9, 2014. If this article needs any attention or maintenance, it would be preferable if that could be done before its appearance on the Main Page. If you prefer that the article appear as TFA on a different date, or not at present, please ask Bencherlite (talk · contribs). You can view the TFA blurb at Wikipedia:Today's featured article/May 9, 2014. If it needs tweaking, or if it needs rewording to match improvements to the article between now and its main page appearance, please edit it, following the instructions at Wikipedia:Today's featured article/requests/instructions. The blurb as it stands now is below:

A Calabi–Yau manifold

In mathematics and theoretical physics, mirror symmetry is a relationship between geometric objects called Calabi–Yau manifolds (pictured). The term refers to a situation where two Calabi–Yau manifolds look very different geometrically but are nevertheless equivalent when employed as extra dimensions of string theory. Mirror symmetry was originally discovered by physicists. Mathematicians became interested in this relationship around 1990 when Philip Candelas, Xenia de la Ossa, Paul Green, and Linda Parks showed that it could be used as a tool in a branch of mathematics called enumerative geometry. Today mirror symmetry is a major research topic in pure mathematics, and mathematicians are working to develop a mathematical understanding of the relationship based on physicists' intuition. Mirror symmetry is also a fundamental tool for doing calculations in string theory, and it has been used to understand aspects of quantum field theory, the formalism that physicists use to describe elementary particles. Major approaches to mirror symmetry include the homological mirror symmetry program of Maxim Kontsevich and the SYZ conjecture of Andrew Strominger, Shing-Tung Yau, and Eric Zaslow. (Full article...)

You (and your talk-page stalkers) may also be interested to hear that there have been some changes at the TFA requests page recently. Nominators no longer need to calculate how many "points" an article has, the instructions have been simplified, and there's a new nomination system using templates based on those used for DYK suggestions. Please consider nominating another article, or commenting on an existing nomination, and leaving some feedback on your experience. Thank you. UcuchaBot (talk) 23:01, 24 April 2014 (UTC)

precious again! --Gerda Arendt (talk) 06:48, 9 May 2014 (UTC)

M theory[edit]

What do you think of this? Also, there is currently a redirect from membrane theory to m theory... if that source is not good enough, then maybe the redirect should be removed. Thoughts? KDS4444Talk 05:36, 24 July 2014 (UTC)

Hi KDS4444. The term "M-theory" actually has a fairly complicated history. I undid your edit because I don't think the theory was called "membrane theory" in 1995 when it was first discovered. You are right that the M has something to do with membranes, and I've made some changes in the history section that will hopefully clarify this point. The lead already talks a little about what the M stands for, and I don't think it's appropriate to go into too much detail there.
Just so you know, the article you link to is copied from an earlier version of the Wikipedia article which had a number of problems. Polytope24 (talk) 17:05, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
My bad on the circular Wikipedia reference. Here's a better one dated 2004 and non-Wiki in which the use of the term "membrane" is discussed as an alternative meaning for the M. What I was aiming for in all of this is the following: when someone types "membrane theory" in a Wikipedia search, they are redirected to "M theory" where the words "membrane theory" did not appear. This ends up being confusing for the reader... "I was looking for 'membrane theory'... Is this 'membrane theory' or not? Does that 'M' stand for 'membrane'?" I have no background in theoretical physics or string theory, and am only trying to do something with that redirect so that it doesn't end up causing more confusion than it should. If a redirect takes you to a page, that page really should mention the words/ terms of the redirect somewhere so that the reader knows how the originally-typed word(s) fit into the article where that reader has eventually landed. This is in keeping with the Principle of Least Astonishment (WP:R#PLA). Thoughts on that? KDS4444Talk 20:00, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
Honestly, I wouldn't really care if we just got rid of the redirect. The term "membrane theory" is definitely not a standard name for this subject, and anyone who types that in a Wikipedia search is probably just confused about the terminology. Polytope24 (talk) 16:33, 26 July 2014 (UTC)
In that case, I will remove the redirect myself (and if anyone complains, I will ask them to speak with you about it... But I doubt anyone is going to complain). KDS4444Talk 10:47, 27 July 2014 (UTC)
It seems the process requires a deletion nomination through the Redirects for Discussion page. I have linked the nomination to our discussion here. KDS4444Talk 10:47, 27 July 2014 (UTC)

Template:String theory[edit]

Hello,

Re this, would a fundamentals/phenomenology section be acceptable – i.e. a single section consisting of the three fundamentals links followed, separately, by the three phenomenology links – ? Sardanaphalus (talk) 09:13, 10 October 2014 (UTC)

Hi Sardanaphalus,
I don't think it makes sense to combine these things. The articles listed under "Fundamental objects" refer to the fundamental degrees of freedom of string theory. They are the physical objects described by the theory (i.e. strings in certain limits and branes more generally). Phenomenology is a branch of string theory research that attempts to make predictions at the LHC and other experiments. Polytope24 (talk) 18:53, 10 October 2014 (UTC)
  • Understood. As each of the first five sections only contain a few links, I've now edited the template so that only the remaining two sections (Related concepts, Theorists) are collapsible lists. Hopefully, that's acceptable. Regards, Sardanaphalus (talk) 23:07, 13 October 2014 (UTC)
Looks good. Thanks for helping out with this. Polytope24 (talk) 23:08, 13 October 2014 (UTC)

Invitation[edit]

Ilc 9yr moll4096.png You've been invited to be part of WikiProject Cosmology

Hello. Your contributions to Wikipedia have been analyzed carefully and you're among the few chosen to have a first access to a new project. I hope you can contribute to it by expanding the main page and later start editing the articles in its scope. Make sure to check out the Talk page for more information! Cheers

Tetra quark (talk) 19:56, 30 December 2014 (UTC)

WikiProject Cosmology - task[edit]

I decided to drop you a message to make sure you check out the first task of the cosmology project: Help improve the Universe. Please feel free to remove this message after you read it :) Tetra quark (talk) 03:30, 7 January 2015 (UTC)

Your GA nomination of M-theory[edit]

Hi there, I'm pleased to inform you that I've begun reviewing the article M-theory you nominated for GA-status according to the criteria. Time2wait.svg This process may take up to 7 days. Feel free to contact me with any questions or comments you might have during this period. Message delivered by Legobot, on behalf of Vinethemonkey -- Vinethemonkey (talk) 20:00, 26 January 2015 (UTC)

Your GA nomination of M-theory[edit]

The article M-theory you nominated as a good article has passed Symbol support vote.svg; see Talk:M-theory for comments about the article. Well done! If the article has not already been on the main page as an "In the news" or "Did you know" item, you can nominate it to appear in Did you know. Message delivered by Legobot, on behalf of Vinethemonkey -- Vinethemonkey (talk) 22:21, 2 February 2015 (UTC)

Compactification illustration[edit]

I'm working on creating SVG illustrations for the compactification illustration. It will differ a bit from the existing image, but I think what I'm doing can better represent what needs to come across. Please email me through Wikipedia, send me a brief message with your email address, and I will send you two prototypes. If you can offer some constructive feedback and/or pick the best image, I will upload it for use in the article.

As for a possible "source", was there a similar illustration in Brian Greene's "The Elegant Universe"? I know the documentary demonstrated the concept showing a close-up of a telephone wire. Anyway, let me ask another editor for his thoughts on the sourcing concerns. – Maky « talk » 20:10, 3 March 2015 (UTC)

Thanks Maky, it's very kind of you to offer to do this. At the moment, I don't have access to a computer with appropriate imaging software, so I won't be able to work on any of these issues for a few days. In the mean time, you're certainly welcome to create new images for the article.
I think "The Elegant Universe" sounds like an excellent source for the picture you're talking about. The image we're looking for is illustrating a very simple concept which is explained in lots of different places, so it's a little odd to cite a source for it. The source you mention is probably the best choice in this case. I'll send you an e-mail and take a look at your pictures. Polytope24 (talk) 00:42, 4 March 2015 (UTC)

Promotion of M-theory[edit]

Congratulations on bringing M-theory to FA status! Running the FA gauntlet was a lot of work, and you did a great job. Cheers, --Mark viking (talk) 03:16, 27 March 2015 (UTC)

Thanks Mark viking! I hope to work with you again on a future featured article! Polytope24 (talk) 15:05, 27 March 2015 (UTC)
Glad to see M-theory on the main page; you certainly deserve it for the work you do here! StringTheory11 (t • c) 04:52, 22 June 2015 (UTC)

Why do you keep deleting my diagram of String AdS/CFT correspondences and dualites???[edit]

Dualities and correspondences in Superstring Theory

Don't just delete things. If you see an inaccuracy in a diagram fix it and make it better. I'm sure it's not too hard to edit a diagram in Windows Paint. You are not helping bringing complicated subjects to the general public by deleting diagrams that show things clearly. Diagrams don't have to exit other places. Likewise the text in a Wikipedia article doesn't exist in another place in this exact form.

Here is a diagram but far too complicated so I simplified it. All I've done is take the string duality and AdS/CFT correspondence and combined them in one diagram. They are all related as everyone who works in string theory and AdS/CFT knows. All the links in the diagram I made are explicitly stated either in the AdS/CFT article or string dualities article.

Here is another diagram of dualities. How can you say all these things aren't related and shouldn't be put on a single diagram?

I think you feel like you own the Ads/CFT page. Unless you ARE actually Edward Witten, or Juan Maldacena in which case I bow to your superior knowledge. (But that would be a bit strange to write an article about yourself!) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Drschawrz (talkcontribs) 14:07, 15 September 2015 (UTC)

Hi Drschawrz, thanks for your message. It was never my intention to discourage you from editing the AdS/CFT article. I reverted your changes because I see a number of problems with what you're trying to do. I mentioned this briefly when I reverted your edits, and I'll try to explain the issues in more detail here.
First of all, I am concerned that the material you added is not entirely relevant to the article. For example, while the monster VOA is a very fascinating structure, its relation to the AdS/CFT correspondence is still fairly obscure and conjectural, and this relationship is not indicated in your diagram anyway. Likewise, the relations between the different versions of superstring theory are quite interesting, but not directly related to the AdS/CFT correspondence. It would make much more sense to include this diagram in the string dualities article, which needs a lot of work at the moment.
A much more serious problem is that you have not cited any sources. Official Wikipedia policy, as documented in WP:WHYCITE, requires citations for any material that is likely to be challenged. Your diagram shows a great deal of detailed technical information, but this is very difficult to verify without a single reference.
The lack of citations is particularly worrisome since the diagram appears to contain a fair amount of misinformation. For example, you claim that type IIB superstring theory can be compactified on AdS3×S3×S3×S2, but this is impossible since the latter space has dimension 11, which is larger than the critical dimension for superstring theory. You claim that there is a connection to the AdS/CFT correspondence and certain sporadic groups, but without a reference its impossible to know exactly what you're talking about. I also don't understand why you describe M-theory as a theory in AdS11.
Please do not ask me to fix the diagram for you. I've worked hard to bring this article and others to featured status. Other people are perfectly welcome to edit the article, but it's important that these edits be technically accurate and supported by reliable sources. Polytope24 (talk) 18:21, 15 September 2015 (UTC)
Hello, yes I did add the edits to say that AdS/CFT is not mathematically proven. I think it is import to say that it is a conjecture. Yes, there are lots of tests which seem to show it is true in certain cases.
So-called "physicists level of proof" is not a proof. There have been many "physicist proofs" that have turned out to be wrong. Even many conjectures by Witten turned out to be wrong when studied by the mathematicians. In fact, Witten bares some responsibility for this as he has made quite a few conjectures including that there exists an 11 dimensional theory called M-Theory which unites all string theories. This may or may not be true. But he is allowed to make such wild conjectures because of his other excellent work including his work involving knot polynomials and Chern Simons theory.
In particular I don't think there exists a mathematical proof of the AdS/CFT between string theory and N=4 Super Yang Mills. If there is no mathematical proof it means that it might only be true for the cases that have been tested.
I don't really know how to cite the non-existence of a proof. I would rather just say it is a conjecture and then at a later date if someone finds a proof one can change this to cite the proof.
Anyway, I don't really care that much. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Drschawrz (talkcontribs) 23:03, 3 October 2015 (UTC)

ArbCom elections are now open![edit]

Hi,
You appear to be eligible to vote in the current Arbitration Committee election. The Arbitration Committee is the panel of editors responsible for conducting the Wikipedia arbitration process. It has the authority to enact binding solutions for disputes between editors, primarily related to serious behavioural issues that the community has been unable to resolve. This includes the ability to impose site bans, topic bans, editing restrictions, and other measures needed to maintain our editing environment. The arbitration policy describes the Committee's roles and responsibilities in greater detail. If you wish to participate, you are welcome to review the candidates' statements and submit your choices on the voting page. For the Election committee, MediaWiki message delivery (talk) 17:03, 24 November 2015 (UTC)

ArbCom Elections 2016: Voting now open![edit]

Scale of justice 2.svg Hello, Polytope24. Voting in the 2016 Arbitration Committee elections is open from Monday, 00:00, 21 November through Sunday, 23:59, 4 December to all unblocked users who have registered an account before Wednesday, 00:00, 28 October 2016 and have made at least 150 mainspace edits before Sunday, 00:00, 1 November 2016.

The Arbitration Committee is the panel of editors responsible for conducting the Wikipedia arbitration process. It has the authority to impose binding solutions to disputes between editors, primarily for serious conduct disputes the community has been unable to resolve. This includes the authority to impose site bans, topic bans, editing restrictions, and other measures needed to maintain our editing environment. The arbitration policy describes the Committee's roles and responsibilities in greater detail.

If you wish to participate in the 2016 election, please review the candidates' statements and submit your choices on the voting page. MediaWiki message delivery (talk) 22:08, 21 November 2016 (UTC)

Do you own the M-theory article?[edit]

Am I actually allowed to write anything on the M-theory article, or will you just revert it all?

Seriously dude, why do you keep reverting my edits on the M-theory article? In one case, I tried clarifying what was meant by "similar to quarks and leptons" an you told me it meant "quarks and leptons", so I changed it to that, and then you rejected me when I made that change and said, hell no, it's not that either. Get a life, or at least try to help me instead of playing gatekeeper. 75.139.254.117 (talk) 07:13, 21 December 2016 (UTC)

I can take a hint. Just let me know, and I'll bugger off, and we don't have to waste any more of each other's time. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 75.139.254.117 (talk) 07:28, 21 December 2016 (UTC)
Dear 75.139.254.117, you are certainly welcome to edit the M-theory article, but I felt there were some issues regarding the correctness of your changes. I'll try to explain the issue here, and then maybe we can talk about how to give a clearer explanation in the article.
The passage you're referring to is about N=4 supersymmetric Yang-Mills theory. The article introduces this as a theory which "describes particles similar to the quarks and gluons that make up atomic nuclei". The point is that N=4 supersymmetric Yang-Mills theory is a fictitious theory which does not provide an exact description of any real world system. Physicists study this theory to gain insight into more realistic theories and develop techniques for doing calculations. In some cases, this theory is also useful for understanding certain qualitative features of real physical systems. But despite its usefulness, the theory does not describe the physics of the real world. This is because the theory has certain symmetries that do not exist in nature.
Now, in your original edit, you were asking for clarification regarding the names of the particles in this theory. The problem is that the particles don't really have specific names. The theory describes particles which are formally similar to quarks and gluons, and if you look through the literature, you'll see that these are in fact referred to as such, but they are not the same particles that make up atomic nuclei. They are unphysical counterparts of those particles that are important for theoretical reasons.
In principle, it would have been possible to explain all of this in the article, but it would require a significant digression, and it would probably distract from the main point, which is that physicists discovered S-duality originally in a field theoretic context and later found that the same duality connects different versions of string theory. It's always a tricky business to explain the main points in these articles without overwhelming the reader with background information, and I think the current version of the article does a good job getting the main points across in a reasonably succinct way. Polytope24 (talk) 16:20, 21 December 2016 (UTC)
I should also say that I'm a bit uncomfortable with your changes to the section on the number of dimensions. The article talks about how in physics "space and time are not modeled as separate entities but are instead unified to a four-dimensional spacetime". You modified the end of this sentence by adding the phrase "three dimensions of space and one time dimension". I'm letting it slide since it's an informal way of speaking that's fairly common in popularizations of physics, but in reality there is no canonical choice of time direction in a relativistic theory, and so one cannot really identify three dimensions as "the space dimensions" and a fourth as "the time dimension". Polytope24 (talk) 16:24, 21 December 2016 (UTC)
Thank you, I appreciate the response. As you say, that is a lot of background, but I think it's exactly the kind of thing that's missing from the article, or related ones. To solve the naming concern with that background it would have sufficed to say something like "unnamed particles formally similar to quarks and leptons", and provided a link where this is further clarified. In my opinion, a good faith effort would have tried to do something along those lines. By your same logic, about not wanting to bring in a plethora of background information, I can't understand your removal of my simplification of the BFFS section. If you look at what I did, my simplification was to delegate the discussion of matrix models to the highly relevant matrix models article. This isn't arbitrary. While I agree that we shouldn't assume the reader is familiar with matrices, I feel the discussion of them in this article is a digression. The link to matrix models provides a clean link for an interested reader to learn more about the matrix background, and a discussion of matrices would be much more relevant there. This article could easily digress into a discussion of virtually all of mathematics. I see no reason why matrices have a special place, worthy of digression.
Based on your comments above, I see you making a distinction between physical theory and another class of models. This distinction was definitely never clear to me before, and I've read a lot of the articles here. Perhaps there is a missing article, or a clearer statement of this assumption is required. My guess would be that what is meant is that the other class of model is the "toy model" I've seen mentioned a few times, maybe even on the N=4 SYM page. If that's the case, I think Wikipedia is letting readers down on explaining those assumptions.
With regard to dimensionality, my chief concern is consistency. There seems to be a physicist penchant for saying things like 3+1 dimensions when they are trying to be clear, so I tend to try to go along with that convention. When they are being terse, they will sometimes suppress the explicitness of the time dimension, which leads to a lot of confusion, because then it is never clear whether they are referring to a count of spatial dimensions or spacetime dimensions. Assuming the reader will guess correctly is a non-starter for me, tantamount to assuming the reader is a physicist. The existence of models with more than the "standard" 1 time dimension makes this problem even worse. Most of these articles would be better by not assuming anything about dimensionality, and instead clarifying the conventions being used in the particular article. This article is a case-in-point, a situation that I was trying to improve.
In general, I do not like handwaving in articles, as I feel that a lot of the physics articles currently do. While that may be common in the physics community (and academia in general), it is diametrically opposed to the point of an encyclopedia. I find that one of the best strategies for improving articles is to identify handwaving, and contextualize it appropriately. It usually reveals missing context that could be made explicit--and never would be apparent if it wasn't pointed out. It almost never requires wholesale changes to an article, except in cases where the article sucked to begin with.
Lastly, I'll touch on the U-duality. I'm still on the fence on this. Excluding it from this article still seems arbitrary to me, as everything I've seen here seems to suggest that it is not context sensitive, and seems to suggest that its discovery was directly attributable to M-theory. I may be wrong about that. For me, this seems to be another case of unstated assumptions, and I'd like to get to the root of what those are. What I take you to be saying is that U-duality was put forth in another (unstated) theory, and that the standard formulation of M-theory doesn't explicitly mention it. In my mind, that doesn't disqualify U-duality as being relevant to M-theory. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 75.139.254.117 (talk) 19:33, 21 December 2016 (UTC)
I welcome any clarifications that can be incorporated into the article in a sentence or two, even if the material is not central to the topic of the article. Personally, I would prefer to keep the explanation of matrices so that readers without much background can have some idea of what the section on matrix models is talking about. If you think we can improve the article by including a brief phrase like "theoretical particles formally similar to quarks and gluons", then I'm fine with that too.
As you point out, the term "theory" has a technical meaning in physics which is different from its colloquial meaning. In physics, a "theory" consists of certain mathematical data that one can use to calculate the probabilities of ostensibly physical processes. A theory in this sense does not have to be fully realistic, and some theories, like N=4 SYM, do not even attempt to describe the real world. I believe you had some questions in your earlier edits about the difference between a "theory" and a "model". In physics there is a kind of quantum field theory called a sigma model which is characterized by way its fields are represented mathematically. (Technically, a sigma model is a theory in which the fields are represented by maps from an auxiliary manifold into spacetime, rather than being represented by sections of a fiber bundle over spacetime.) The BFSS matrix model is an example of a "theory" in the above sense, but it is called a "model" because mathematically it is formulated like a sigma model. This is such a technical point that I can't imagine you would gain anything by explaining it in the article.
As for the section on dimensions, I don't entirely agree with the wording, but I'm going to leave it as it is. Strictly speaking, it doesn't make sense to say that spacetime has "three spatial dimensions and one time dimension" for the reasons that I gave in my last comment. To be more precise, one should really say that spacetime is a four-dimensional manifold equipped with a semi-Riemannian metric. On the other hand, the language you're using to describe dimensions is quite common, so it's probably okay for an article like this one.
Finally, I think it's misleading to link to "U-duality" as one of the main articles in the section on dualities. It's a comparatively insignificant topic in the overall scheme of things, and in fact it doesn't even refer to a specific kind of duality. If you look in the textbook by Becker, Becker, and Schwarz, you'll see over a hundred pages on string dualities, and short two-page section on the U-duality group. Polytope24 (talk) 00:32, 22 December 2016 (UTC)
Ok, why don't you take a look at my original edits, and see if you can find tweaks that address the points that were raised there and discussed above? It seems like we've discussed a couple sensible options.
I prefer the words framework or system to describe the objects physicists use for theories. That's really what most physicists "theories" are. What is difficult with that, is that physics theories of this sort are out of step with the notion of scientific theory--this results in a lot of unnecessary confusion. While both are about frameworks, in the broader scientific sense of the word it is also about having a solid evidentiary basis. From the point of view of logic, this is the difference between validity and soundness. Many physics theories are well supported by evidence, and even many new ones can claim to be, by virtue of generalization from established results, but many new physical theories are completely unfounded in their novel aspects, and yet many physicists would claim these as theories in the scientific sense. Case in point would be Neil DeGrasse Tyson with simulated reality, but there are many others.
To the original point, however, I fail to see much difference between the ideas of framework, system, or model, excepting that physicists use theory to mean unfounded model. We can't really get beyond the fact that physicists have named things theory, when they really are models, as Wikipedia naming policy will favor the established physics names, however, we can still be consistent within an article, and switching gears between model and theory wording is jarring to a novice reader. For that reason, I recommend the more neutral terms for the sake of exposition, so that there can be consistency, and using the more loaded terms only as a point of reference. I don't really intend to explain the difference in the article, but it certainly wouldn't hurt to call a "theory" a less loaded term within the exposition. Also doesn't take many words.
While I understand your point about the spacetime manifold, yes, it is quite common to see them explicitly called out. While many theories (tee hee) do a great job of explaining spacetime as a coherent undifferentiated structure (manifold, orbifold, whatever), there is still the difficulty that physicists do not have an understanding of time or space uniquely, even within these frameworks. In other words, it is a presumptive physicist perspective that claims that spacetime is elementary without an understanding of space or time in themselves. Since novice readers won't be familiar with spacetime, I would prefer not to complicate the matter with assumptions about spacetime such as this. It also avoids physicist POV.
I don't really judge the dualities by their popularity, although notability is definitely relevant to the conversation. If it's valid as a generalization of the existing dualities, then my feeling is that it's valid and notable, even if unpopular. Not going to lose sleep over it, but I really don't understand your reluctance if it's valid. Maybe it's just a personal preference on my part, but notability for me is much more about validity than popularity. I will, however note that it was added to a section for external reference, rather than expounded in the text itself. If your objection is really about it being listed as a main article, then maybe a sentence in the text saying it exists would be sufficient for taking it out of the main section? 75.139.254.117 (talk) 04:22, 23 December 2016 (UTC)