String theory has so far failed to live up to its promise as a way to unite gravity and quantum mechanics. At the same time, it has blossomed into one of the most useful sets of tools in science.
The physicist-mathematician Miranda Cheng is working to harness a mysterious connection between string theory, algebra and number theory.
The search for exotic new physical phenomena is being led by huge experiments like the Large Hadron Collider. But at the other end of the spectrum lie tabletop experiments — small-scale probes of hidden dimensions, dark matter and dark energy.
The story of the universe’s birth — and evidence for string theory — could be found in triangles and myriad other shapes in the sky.
At 86, Britain’s preeminent mathematical matchmaker is still tackling the big questions and dreaming of a union between the quantum and the gravitational forces.
The physicist Subir Sachdev borrows tools from string theory to understand the puzzling behavior of high-temperature superconductors.
Two leading candidates for a “theory of everything,” long thought to be incompatible, may be two sides of the same coin.
If a theory can’t be tested, is it still science?
Explore the deepest mysteries at the frontier of fundamental physics, and the most promising ideas put forth to solve them.
By replacing black holes with fuzzballs — dense, star-like objects from string theory — researchers think they can avoid some knotty paradoxes at the edge of physics.