I remember watching a show on TV (I think it was The Elegant Universe) about the string theory with Sunny. We started watching the show as eager audiences, raring to gather some new knowledge about the fabled theory. Needless to say, we lost our concentration after 15 minutes, and abandoned it entirely not long after that.
It didn’t exactly clear my confusion, but it did stir my interest and fascination. Indeed, why is this string theory so celebrated?
Since the 17th century, physicist have been looking for a unified theory that includes all 4 known forces (electromagnetic, gravity, weak and strong nuclear force) and explain the nature of the world. Einstein himself dedicated his last days searching for this theory.
The effort was started by the now-familiar electromagnetic theory, which unified electrical and magnetic forces (thought to be different forces before early 17th century). Later day efforts have yield the grand unification theory which unified the electromagnetic force and the nuclear forces (both strong and weak).
However, gravity has proven hard to include.
Physicists believe that the string theory will be the main key in unifying these 4 fundamental forces. The problem is, string theory is far from proven, with vital components still missing and hard to produce.
The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) in CERN (yes, the setting for the Dan Brown’s Angels & Demons), which will be completed in mid-2008 is hoped to provide the main components that will make headway for the string theory. It is of interest to note, that the LHC could theoretically spark the destruction the earth and probably the universe itself!
Will the LHC spell doom for us? Will we finally be able to travel through time? Guess we just have to wait.