In our Honors Chemistry class, we spent the past two weeks studying String Theory, which is a unified theory of the universe explaining all physical phenomena. It describes how all the different forces and particles can be fully captured with just a few simple principles. However, the theory is not yet fully formed and cannot successfully predict the outcome of experiments with reach of modern science. This has led to many prominent scientists questioning its legitimacy. This “Theory of Everything” has caused a heated debate amongst the world’s leading physicists and mathematicians to prove and disprove their ideas associated with String Theory. I personally believe String Theory is an efficient framework for explaining the inner workings of the universe and I support the associated implications that it brings with it.
String Theory explains many of the deepest and smallest scale physics in the universe. It was first developed in 1968 by a physicist named Gabriele Veneziano who solved complex equations leading to others concluding his work was actually not a theory of infinitesimally small particles but extraordinarily tiny strings. Later work by Edward Witten and others showed how these tiny strings could be used to describe all the forces of nature and all the particles found in the world’s accelerators like Fermilab. Problems with the theory were almost immediately identified, including the fact that there were many equally good and valid ways to write it down. The problem was that only one could be correct and describe our universe. The most important point that transcended all other “Theories of Everything” that came before String Theory was that it had succeeded in unifying the gravitational force with the three other known forces: Strong, Weak and Electromagnetism. While the later three were previously unified in the Standard Model, no one had ever before been able to incorporate gravity. The celebration of this success was short-lived because...
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