I’ve been watching the PBS series Elegant Universe, a quick and easy refresher on the forces of our universe. It’s pretty fascinating, and feels great to stretch the mind in that direction. Essentially, Einstein developed the Theory of Relativity which describes universal forces on a grand scale (stars & galaxies); and Quantum Mechanics describes forces on a much smaller cellular level (atoms & subatomic particles). There is continued search for a single unified theory that envelops all of nature’s laws, and many believe that String Theory (some call it the Theory of Everything) might just be it.
Basically, String Theory identifies subatomic particles as being made up of vibrating strings, rather than the before-thought balls of energy; they are responsible for the properties of all matter. String theorists think that the theory accounts for all four known forces: gravity, the strong & weak nuclear forces and electromagnetism. It could very well be the theory Einstein had been searching for at the end of his life.
Even though the string theory can’t be proven, which is why many experts discount it, it’s still exciting to witness the passion of those trying to figure it out. String Theorist Brian Greene muses:
The discovery of the Theory of Everything—the ultimate explanation of the universe at its most microscopic level, a theory that does not rely on any deeper explanation—would provide the firmest foundation on which to build our understanding of the world. Its discovery would mark a beginning, not an end. The ultimate theory would provide an unshakable pillar of coherence forever assuring us that the universe is a comprehensible place.