Theories of the Universe: It's All Held Together with Strings

It's All Held Together with Strings

Congratulations! You've made it through quantum mechanics, relativity, and super-symmetry. We finally come to the most promising of all the theories of everything, superstring theory. And while there are other theories to explain the structure of the universe, such as plasma cosmology and the yet to be discussed holographic universe, as far as pure science is concerned, superstrings offer the best solution.

In the last section, “Supersymmetry, Superpartners, and Superman,” the two fundamental aspects of supersymmetry—extra dimensions and superpartners—laid the foundation for discussing superstring theory. For as you'll see, the latest theory of everything relies on extra dimensions as well as the union of the two pillars of physics, quantum mechanics and general relativity. And although these extra dimensions are needed, the real key to the whole theory is the strings themselves. What are they? What are they made of? What exactly do they do? These questions will be answered in due course. So let's unravel what superstring theory is all about.

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Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Theories of the Universe © 2001 by Gary F. Moring. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

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