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STRING THEORY
Einstein Had this idea that all things in the universe are connected - and he was right!
This theory successfully unites the laws of the large -- general relativity --
and the laws of the small -- quantum mechanics --
breaking a conceptual logjam that has frustrated the world's smartest
scientists for nearly a century.

If string theory proves correct,
the universe we see obscures a reality that is far more rich and subtle than
anyone ever imagined -- a universe with numerous hidden dimensions,
a universe in which the fabric of space can tear, a universe that may be but
one of many parallel universes ceaselessly popping in and out of existence
throughout eternity.

Albert Einstein, the inventor of general relativity, dreamed of finding a single theory that would
embrace all of nature's laws. But in this quest for the so-called unified theory, Einstein came
up empty-handed, and the conflict between general relativity and quantum mechanics has
stymied all who've followed. That is, until the discovery of string theory.

This is where it gets really interesting........

Modern physics is composed of two theories that are just plain incompatible:

General relativity, is fantastically successful in describing big things like stars and galaxies.      
 

The other, quantum mechanics, is equally successful in describing small things like atoms
and subatomic particles.

Then it's string theory to the rescue!

The serendipitous steps that lead from a forgotten 200-year-old mathematical formula to the
first glimmerings of strings --
quivering strands of energy whose different vibrations give rise to quarks, electrons, photons,
and all other elementary particles.

Strings are truly tiny, being smaller than an atom by the same factor that a tree is
smaller than the solar system.

But for the first time ever we can combine the laws of the large and the laws of
the small into a proposal for a single, harmonious theory of everything.

One of the most peculiar aspects of strings is that they require more than the three familiar
dimensions of space plus one of time. In fact, string theory calls for at least ten dimensions in
order that its rather abstruse mathematics remain consistent.

Extra dimensions can be folded up in plain sight without our noticing.

It's like an electrical power cable seen from afar.

To us, the cable looks like a one-dimensional line. But to an ant crawling on the cable, it has
an extra, circular dimension -- its circumference -- which we can't see from a distance.

On a much smaller scale, strings may vibrate in and around extra dimensions that
are so tiny
that we are completely unaware of them
, even though they play a vital part in determining why
the world around us has the properties it does.

String theory appears to be able to "unify" the known natural forces (gravitational,
electromagnetic, weak and strong) by describing them with the same set of equations.

Think of a guitar string that has been tuned by stretching the string under tension across
the guitar.
Depending on how the string is plucked and how much tension is in the
string, different musical notes will be created
by the string. These musical notes could
be said to be excitation modes of that guitar string under tension.

In a similar manner, in string theory, the elementary particles we observe in particle
accelerators could be thought of as the "musical notes" or excitation modes of elementary
strings.

In string theory, as in guitar playing, the string must be stretched under tension in order to
become excited. However, the strings in string theory are floating in spacetime, they aren't
tied down to a guitar. Nonetheless, they have tension. The string tension in string theory is
denoted by the quantity 1/(2 p a'), where a' is pronounced "alpha prime"and is equal to the
square of the string length scale.


Welcome to the 11th Dimension,

The new eleventh dimension is different from all the others, since it implies that strings can
come in higher dimensional shapes called membranes, or "branes" for short.

These have truly science-fiction-like qualities, since in principle they can be as large as the
universe. A brane can even be a universe -- a parallel universe -- and we may be living on one
right now.

Branes might also explain why gravity is the weakest force, requiring all the matter in the
Earth to produce a measly one g.

According to this idea, gravity may be far more potent, but most of its strength is leaking into
a parallel universe.

String theory might not just be a crazy idea, but crazy reality.
Here are some sites to visit
that explain it in different ways.

ISN'T THIS JUST AMAZING?

Eleven dimensions, parallel
universes and world made out
of strings.  
It's Not Science fiction - it's
string theory.   PBS   Nova
Elegant Universe
This has lots of interactive
graphics too.

String Theory and the
Unification of Forces
Sunil
Mukhi

The Official String Theory
Web Site: by a bunch of
Brainiacs

String Theory - Wikipedia

What is String Theory?    by
Nuclea -  They also have an
Espanol version

Ghosts Of The Grand Spiral. -
Explores the ideas in string
theory.  Fictional novel.  
"A magazine publisher
discovers a mysterious,
ancient manuscript........"
Do not worry about your difficulties in Mathematics.
I can assure you mine are still greater.
~ Albert Einstein
Counter
Also known as superstring theory,
the startling idea proposes that
the fundamental ingredients of nature are
inconceivably tiny strings of energy,
whose different modes of vibration underlie
everything that happens in the universe.

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