Will We Have A Final Theory Of Everything?

Tying together relativity and quantum physics might require 10-dimensional string-or something even stranger

The 20th century was quite a time for physicists. By the mid-1970s we had in hand the so-called standard model, a theory that accurately describes all the forces and particles we observe in our laboratories and provides a basis for understanding virtually everything else in physical science.

No, we don't actually understand everything--there are many things, from the turbulence of ocean currents to the folding of protein molecules, that cannot be understood without radical improvements in our methods of calculation. They will provide plenty of interesting continued employment for theorists and experimenters for the foreseeable future. But no new freestanding scientific...

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