Questions Science and Education

Is string theory still in the running for a theory of Everything?

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Jasmin Khan

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In the subject of physics, string theory is one of the important theoretical frameworks which consider one-dimensional objects named strings in place of Point-like particles of physics. The theory describes how such strings actually propagate through space and make interaction with each other. If measured using a distance scale which is larger compared to string scale, a string appears like a very ordinary particle.  The mass, charge, as well as other properties, are determined by the string’s vibrational state. The string theory is basically the theory based on quantum gravity.

String theory is known to offer a path towards quantum gravity.  If we can manage to make the judicious selection of "the math which works out in this way," we will get the scope to get both General Relativity as well as the standardized Model out of it. It's the sole idea, till date, which managed to give us this.  It’s the only reason why it is so preferred choice. Hardly matters if you accept success or failure of string theory, or how you react on its lacking in respect to verifiable predictions, it will always remain to be one highly active area in the research of theoretical physics.  

In layman language, we can describe string theory as a set of attempts to structure the four popular fundamental interactions—electromagnetism, gravitation, powerful nuclear force, weak nuclear force—together into one single theory.

A theory of everything (TOE or ToE) also known as a final theory, master theory or ultimate theory,  is basically nothing but a hypothetical single, with the coherent theoretical framework of the subject of physics which fully explains as well as links all the physical aspects of this universe. Eventually, this string theory emerged as a candidate of the ultimate theory of this universe, but truly with some drawbacks and controversy.

This discovery of heterotic string was made by the joint collaboration of David Gross, Emil Martinec, Jeffrey Harvey, and Ryan Rohm in the year 1985. String theory is both broad as well as the varied subject which attempts towards addressing several deep questions related to fundamental physics. String theory is applied in resolving several problems associated with black hole physics and also gave birth to several developments in the field of pure mathematics.  

String theory provides a combined description of particle physics and gravity.  It is a perfect candidate for TOE, which is a self-contained model of mathematics which talks about all fundamental forces besides different forms of matter.

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