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Published on Jul 11, 2010
Toronto. February 26 2010 Physicist Amanda Peet, Professor at the University of Toronto explains string theory.
String theory, a part of modern theoretical physics, has wiggled its way into the popular consciousness during the past decade. While the details are technically complicated, the basic idea is stunningly simple - that the fundamental Lego blocks making up matter and force are tiny vibrating strings (rather than infinitely small particles). Some people presenting string theory to the public, like Brian Greene, emphasize its mathematical beauty. By contrast, this presentation will focus on the powerful physics motivations for the invention and development of string theory.
Ideas on the menu include: explaining the epic clash between quantum mechanics and general relativity, string theory basics, extra dimensions of space, D-branes and duality, the LHC, the origin and ultimate fate of the universe, and the black hole information paradox. This presentation is largely self-contained; no physics or math background is assumed, other than a layperson's curiosity about physical science.