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What is String Theory ?

String Theory is an ambitious attempt to try and reconcile Quantum Mechanics and General Relativity, which seem incompatible with each other in the standard framework of quantum field theory.

Its basic postulate is that the fundamental constituents of matter, ordinarily thought of as pointlike particles, are instead tiny vibrating strings, interacting by splitting and joining interactions. This shift of paradigm is sufficient to cure the usual ultraviolet divergences of perturbative gravity, however it comes at a cost: string theory predicts the existence of tiny extra dimensions beyond the 3+1 usual dimensions of space-time, as well as hosts of other particles at Planckian energy.

Despite current lack of experimental evidence, many theorists are confident that String Theory, or one of its avatars, is the language that Nature has chosen to express the laws of the World -- their only worry is:
Did She forget to endow string theorists with sufficient intelligence to grasp it ?

Learn more about String Theory from the following general public resources:

arXiv   Spires   JHEP   MSN   CCSD   Google   Pages Jaunes   SNCF   Rates   Sytadin   Wikipedia