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Presents ideas on some of the most fascinating topics in modern theoretical physics for the layman
Unconventional, in that the discussion goes beyond what is known to focus particularly on what is still unknown
Fascinating and suggestive speculations on the nature and role of time
New fundamental forces of Nature? New forms of "dark'' energy? Signals from epochs preceding the Big Bang? Is our space-time unique? Only a joint study of the three topics examined in this book – gravity, strings and particles – may provide answers to these questions. Such a study may also provide the key to solving one of the most fascinating mysteries of modern science, namely: Besides time and the three spatial dimensions, how many other dimensions exist in our universe?
The book is primarily addressed to readers who do not necessarily have a specific background in physics but are nevertheless interested in discovering the originality and the possible implications of some of the amazing ideas in modern theoretical physics. The emphasis is on conveying ideas rather than explaining formulas, focusing not on what is known but -- mainly -- on what is still unknown. Many parts of the book are devoted to fundamental theoretical models and results which are potentially highly relevant for a deeper understanding of Nature, but are still waiting to be confirmed (or disproved) by experiments. From this point of view, the material of this book may also be of interest to professional physicists, whether or not they work in the field of fundamental interactions.
Content Level »Popular/general
Keywords »Brane-world scenario - Compactified dimensions - Dark energy and cosmological constant - Dilaton phenomenolgy - Gravity at Small Distances - Hidden Forces of Nature - Multidimensional Universe - Quintessence - String Cosmology and Branes - String Theory Explained - String Theory and Unified Theories - Strings and extended objects - Supersymmetry and supergravity - Vacuum energy density