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AdS-CFT

Animation of black hole formation.
mathematical physics

New Math Proves That a Special Kind of Space-Time Is Unstable

May 11, 2020

Einstein’s equations describe three canonical configurations of space-time. Now one of these three — important in the study of quantum gravity — has been shown to be inherently unstable.

Illustration of black holes connected by a wormhole.
quantum information theory

Wormholes Reveal a Way to Manipulate Black Hole Information in the Lab

February 27, 2020

A proposal for building wormhole-connected black holes offers a way to probe the paradoxes of quantum information.

Art for "How Our Universe Could Emerge as a Hologram"
Abstractions blog

How Our Universe Could Emerge as a Hologram

February 21, 2019

Physicists have devised a holographic model of “de Sitter space,” the term for a universe like ours, that could give us new clues about the origin of space and time.

Art for "How Holography Could Help Solve Quantum Gravity"
In Theory

How Holography Could Help Solve Quantum Gravity

November 14, 2018

In the latest campaign to reconcile Einstein’s theory of gravity with quantum mechanics, many physicists are studying how a higher dimensional space that includes gravity arises like a hologram from a lower dimensional particle theory.

520px photo of Joe Polchinski
Quantized Columns

Physicists Mourn Joe Polchinski, Developer of Deep Ideas and Paradoxes

February 20, 2018

The theoretical physicist Joe Polchinski, who died February 2, left a tremendous professional and personal legacy, says a friend and collaborator.

M theory and its six components
Abstractions blog

Why Is M-Theory the Leading Candidate for Theory of Everything?

December 18, 2017

The mother of all string theories passes a litmus test that, so far, no other candidate theory of quantum gravity has been able to match.

Edward Witten in his office at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey.
Q&A

A Physicist’s Physicist Ponders the Nature of Reality

November 28, 2017

Edward Witten reflects on the meaning of dualities in physics and math, emergent space-time, and the pursuit of a complete description of nature.

Juan Maldacena
Thinking Places

Juan Maldacena, Pondering Quantum Gravity by the Pond

June 23, 2017

One of the world’s preeminent theoretical physicists seeks a quiet place to think.

animated gif of a fractal tunnel
theoretical physics

Physicists Uncover Geometric ‘Theory Space’

February 23, 2017

A decades-old method called the “bootstrap” is enabling new discoveries about the geometry underlying all quantum theories.