String Theory Quotes (11 quotes)

For more than ten years, my theory was in limbo. Then, finally, in the late 1980s, physicists at Princeton said, “There’s nothing wrong with this theory. It’s the only one that

*works*, and we have to open out minds to hyperspace.” We weren’t destined to discover this theory for another 100 years because it’s so bizarre, so different from everything we’d been doing. We didn’t use the normal sequence of discoveries to get to it.*Describing reaction to his superstring theory of hyperspace which mathematically relates the universe’s basic forces.*
String theorists can explain plausible models of a unified universe, but unfortunately they cannot explain why we inhabit a particular one

String theory is 21 st century physics that fell accidentally into the 20th century.

String Theory is a part of twenty-first century physics that fell by chance into the twentieth century.

String theory is revealing the deepest understanding of the Universe we have ever had.

Superstring theories provide a framework in which the force of gravity may be united with the other three forces in nature: the weak, electromagnetic and strong forces. Recent progress has shown that the most promising superstring theories follow from a single theory. For the last generation, physicists have studied five string theories and one close cousin. Recently it has become clear that these five or six theories are different limiting cases of one theory which, though still scarcely understood, is the candidate for superunification of the forces of nature.

The mathematics involved in string theory … in subtlety and sophistication vastly exceeds previous uses of mathematics in physical theories. … String theory has led to a whole host of amazing results in mathematics in areas that seem far removed from physics. To many this indicates that string theory must be on the right track.

The moment you encounter string theory and realise that almost all of the major developments in physics over the last hundred years emerge—and emerge with such elegance—from such a simple starting point, you realise that this incredibly compelling theory is in a class of its own.

There are 60 sub-atomic particles they’ve discovered that can explain the thousands of other sub-atomic particles, and the model is too ugly. This is my analogy: it’s like taking Scotch tape and taping a giraffe to a mule to a whale to a tiger and saying this is the ultimate theory of particles. … We have so many particles that Oppenheimer once said you could give a Nobel Prize to the physicist that did not discover a particle that year. We were drowning in sub-atomic particles.

Now we realize that this whole zoo of sub-atomic particles, thousands of them coming out of our accelerators, can be explained by little vibrating strings.

Now we realize that this whole zoo of sub-atomic particles, thousands of them coming out of our accelerators, can be explained by little vibrating strings.

We don't know what we are talking about. Many of us believed that string theory was a very dramatic break with our previous notions of quantum theory. But now we learn that string theory, well, is not that much of a break. The state of physics today is like it was when we were mystified by radioactivity. They were missing something absolutely fundamental. We are missing perhaps something as profound as they were back then.

[Karen] Uhlenbeck’s research has led to revolutionary advances at the intersection of mathematics and physics. Her pioneering insights have applications across a range of fascinating subjects, from string theory, which may help explain the nature of reality, to the geometry of space-time.