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string theory

Eva Silverstein at Stanford University
Thinking Places

Eva Silverstein’s Spirals and Strings

July 17, 2017

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

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.

Naked singularities
quantum gravity

Where Gravity Is Weak and Naked Singularities Are Verboten

June 20, 2017

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

Illustration: diver searching for new math
Quantized Columns

Quantum Questions Inspire New Math

March 30, 2017

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

string theory

The Strange Second Life of String Theory

September 15, 2016

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.


Moonshine Master Toys With String Theory

August 4, 2016

The physicist-mathematician Miranda Cheng is working to harness a mysterious connection between string theory, algebra and number theory.

Inside this chamber, silica spheres probe for hidden extra dimensions, distortions of gravity, and dark-matter particles. | Peter DaSilva for Quanta Magazine
experimental physics

Tiny Tests Seek the Universe’s Big Mysteries

May 3, 2016

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.


Physicists Hunt for the Big Bang’s Triangles

April 19, 2016

The story of the universe’s birth — and evidence for string theory — could be found in triangles and myriad other shapes in the sky.


Michael Atiyah’s Imaginative State of Mind

March 3, 2016

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.