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Dark Energy May Be Incompatible With String Theory
A controversial new paper argues that universes with dark energy profiles like ours do not exist in the “landscape” of universes allowed by string theory.
There Are No Laws of Physics. There’s Only the Landscape.
Scientists seek a single description of reality. But modern physics allows for many different descriptions, many equivalent to one another, connected through a vast landscape of mathematical possibility.
Questioning Truth, Reality and the Role of Science
In an era when untestable ideas such as the multiverse hold sway, Michela Massimi defends science from those who think it hopelessly unmoored from physical reality.
Three Decades Later, Mystery Numbers Explained
Zeta values seem to connect distant geometric worlds. In a new proof, mathematicians finally explain why.
Mathematicians Explore Mirror Link Between Two Geometric Worlds
Decades after physicists happened upon a stunning mathematical coincidence, researchers are getting close to understanding the link between two seemingly unrelated geometric universes.
Physicists Mourn Joe Polchinski, Developer of Deep Ideas and Paradoxes
The theoretical physicist Joe Polchinski, who died February 2, left a tremendous professional and personal legacy, says a friend and collaborator.
Why Is M-Theory the Leading Candidate for Theory of Everything?
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.
A Physicist’s Physicist Ponders the Nature of Reality
Edward Witten reflects on the meaning of dualities in physics and math, emergent space-time, and the pursuit of a complete description of nature.
Mathematicians Find Moonshine Link for Pariah Symmetries
A type of symmetry so unusual that it was called a “pariah” turns out to have deep connections to number theory.