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Viewpoints on String Theory


The Elegant Universe homepage

String theory has its supporters and its gainsayers among theoretical physicists. Even advocates admit that the theory could be entirely wrong (though naturally they don't think it is). In the following interviews, read what seven physicists—some string theorists and some not—have to say about the theory and some of its more mind-bending components, such as extra dimensions and supersymmetry.

Note: For a definition of unfamiliar terms, see our glossary.


Sylvester James Gates, Jr.   Gravity is the odd man out for deep philosophical reasons.—Sylvester James Gates

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Sheldon Glashow   The string theorists have a theory that appears to be consistent and is very beautiful, and I don't understand it.—Sheldon Glashow

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David Gross   This revolution will likely change the way we think about space and time, maybe even eliminate them completely as a basis for our description of reality.

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Joe Lykken   You really are looking for those few golden, rare events where something miraculous happens.—Joe Lykken

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Amanda Peet   You can never prove that a theory of nature is correct. All you can prove is that it's the best theory you have.—Amanda Peet

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Steven Weinberg   If string theory unifies gravity with the other forces, then I think we'll be within our rights to ring a bell and say, 'Hey, this is it.'—Steven Weinberg

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Edward Witten   I would conclude that extra dimensions really exist. They're part of nature.—Edward Witten

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