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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 an Old Theory of Everything Is Gaining New Life
For decades, physicists have struggled to create a quantum theory of gravity. Now an approach that dates to the 1970s is attracting newfound attention.
Physicists Aim to Classify All Possible Phases of Matter
A complete classification could lead to a wealth of new materials and technologies. But some exotic phases continue to resist understanding.
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.
Newfound Wormhole Allows Information to Escape Black Holes
Physicists theorize that a new “traversable” kind of wormhole could resolve a baffling paradox and rescue information that falls into black holes.
How the Hidden Higgs Could Reveal Our Universe’s Dark Sector
The universe has not cooperated with physicists’ hopes. In desperation, many are looking for new ways to search for surprises at the Large Hadron Collider.
To Solve the Biggest Mystery in Physics, Join Two Kinds of Law
Reductionism breaks the world into elementary building blocks. Emergence finds the simple laws that arise out of complexity. These two complementary ways of viewing the universe come together in modern theories of quantum gravity.