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string theory

string theory

The Strange Second Life of String Theory

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

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

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

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

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.


Taming Superconductors With String Theory

The physicist Subir Sachdev borrows tools from string theory to understand the puzzling behavior of high-temperature superconductors.


String Theory Meets Loop Quantum Gravity

Two leading candidates for a “theory of everything,” long thought to be incompatible, may be two sides of the same coin.


A Fight for the Soul of Science

If a theory can’t be tested, is it still science?


Theories of Everything, Mapped

Explore the deepest mysteries at the frontier of fundamental physics, and the most promising ideas put forth to solve them.