I like to think that Einstein would look at string theory’s journey and smile, enjoying the theory’s remarkable geometrical features while feeling kinship with fellow travelers on the long and winding road toward unification.

The beauty of string theory is the metaphor kind of really comes very close to the reality. The strings of string theory are vibrating the particles, vibrating the forces of nature into existence, those vibrations are sort of like musical notes. So string theory, if it's correct, would be playing out the score of the universe.

Einstein comes along and says, space and time can warp and curve, that's what gravity is. Now string theory comes along and says, yes, gravity, quantum mechanics, electromagnetism - all together in one package, but only if the universe has more dimensions than the ones that we see.

The central idea of string theory is quite straightforward. If you examine any piece of matter ever more finely, at first you'll find molecules, atoms, sub-atomic particles. Probe the smaller particles, you'll find something else, a tiny vibrating filament of energy, a little tiny vibrating string.

If string theory is right, the microscopic fabric of our universe is a richly intertwined multidimensional labyrinth within which the strings of the universe endlessly twist and vibrate, rhythmically beating out the laws of the cosmos.

String theory is the most developed theory with the capacity to unite general relativity and quantum mechanics in a consistent manner. I do believe the universe is consistent, and therefore I do believe that general relativity and quantum mechanics should be put together in a manner that makes sense.

I'd say many features of string theory don't mesh with what we observe in everyday life.

General relativity is in the old Newtonian framework where you predict what will happen, not the probability of what will happen. And putting together the probabilities of quantum mechanics with the certainty of general relativity, that's been the big challenge and that's why we have been excited about string theory, as it's one of the only approaches that can put it together.

String theory envisions a multiverse in which our universe is one slice of bread in a big cosmic loaf. The other slices would be displaced from ours in some extra dimension of space.

My emotional investment is in finding truth. If string theory is wrong, I'd like to have known that yesterday. But if we can show it today or tomorrow, fantastic.

String theory has the potential to show that all of the wondrous happenings in the universe - from the frantic dance of subatomic quarks to the stately waltz of orbiting binary stars; from the primordial fireball of the big bang to the majestic swirl of heavenly galaxies - are reflections of one, grand physical principle, one master equation.

I can assure you that no string theorist would be interested in working on string theory if it were somehow permanently beyond testability. That would no longer be doing science.

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