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To begin to understand what mathematicians and physicists see in the abstract structures of symmetries, let’s start with a familiar shape.

The pot-stirring string theorist and quantum gravity theorist never sits still for long.

Daily bike rides, serendipitous interactions and long periods of solo thinking inspire this string cosmologist.

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

Recent calculations tie together two conjectures about gravity, potentially revealing new truths about its elusive quantum nature.

In order to fully understand the quantum world, we may have to develop a new realm of mathematics.

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.

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