Physics Titan Still Thinks String Theory Is “On the Right Track”


Someone Somewhere

At a 1990 conference on cosmology, I asked attendees, who included folks like Stephen Hawking, Michael Turner, James Peebles, Alan Guth and Andrei Linde, to nominate the smartest living physicist.

At a 1990 conference on cosmology, I asked attendees, who included folks like Stephen Hawking, Michael Turner, James Peebles, Alan Guth and Andrei Linde, to nominate the smartest living physicist. Edward Witten got the most votes (with Steven Weinberg the runner-up). Some considered Witten to be in the same league as Einstein and Newton. Witten was and is famous for his work on string theory, which unifies quantum mechanics and relativity and holds that all of nature’s forces—including gravity–stem from infinitesimal particles wriggling in a hyperspace consisting of many extra dimensions.

Even then, string theory—which some enthusiasts (not including Witten) called a “theory of everything”–was extremely controversial, because there seemed to be no way to confirm experimentally the existence of…

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About agogo22

Director of Manchester School of Samba at http://www.sambaman.org.uk
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