Jenny and I had an  hour and a half talk with Mikhail Shifman,  on the history of Quantum Field Theory, which I asked him to summarize in 10 seconds or less, and he did a great job! He also does a debriefing on
Grassman numbers and their unique characteristics, and then he expresses his concern on Richard Dawid’s Non-Empirical Evidence based theory….bottom line, the theory says math is enough if nothing better shows up. Aside from above mentioned there is some more beautiful gems in here.

Misha Shifman

To give a short run down, Shifman’s work would not have come to fruit had it not been for the mathematical development that String theory went through.  Sure, we can argue about the word, “theory” but in QED where Feynman was able to compute a numerical analysis on the experimental values by developing his famous Feynman diagrams, failed miserably for Quantum Chromodynamics, they failed embarrassingly so, if I recall Shifman’s words.  Early advancements in String Theory allowed Shifman to find methods in this problem and he came up with, no joke, the penguin method.

To grab a quote on his work directly from the University of Minneota Site:

About My Work

“I do research in all branches of theoretical high energy physics: from Quantum Chromodynamics (QCD) as the theory of hadrons to extra dimensional (brane world) models of fundamental interactions, to supersymmetric field theories at strong coupling. Due to a mysterious property of color confinement, these are the most intriguing dynamical theories we have ever had. Crucial non-pertubative phenomena in these theories are very rich. Currently the focus of my research is the study of extended objects (topological defects) in Yang-Mills theories with or without supersymmetry. In the former case the power of supersymmetry allows one to obtain exact results. Some of them have numerous applications.”   (


Shifman along with two  other Dirac Medal Recipients

Here are some useful links!

University of Minesota – Mikhail Shifman’s Page

Shifman’s Google Site

Theories build on each other, that is physics, so it is unfair to throw away the entirety of string theory (you are welcome to discuss whether the term theory is appropriate) and typically, those who do, do not investigate its incredible power of prediction and AID in Quantum Chromodynamics, which is a whole new world from Quantum Electrodynamics.

So, the bottom line? Not everything about an accepted proposed theory is dead wrong and not everything is dead right. It is a continuous exploration, and in such, we hope to keep exploring, keep testing, and to keep checking our notes.  They all have holes, welcome to physics, enjoy your stay 🙂 If you want definitive answers, I recommend a religion!