Your plain-English guide to this complex scientific theory.

String theory is one of the most complicated sciences being explored today. Not to worry though! This informative guide clearly explains the basics of this hot topic, discusses the theory's hypotheses and predictions, and explores its curious implications. It also presents the critical viewpoints in opposition to string theory so you can draw your own conclusions.

Learn:

The basic concepts of this controversial theory

How string theory builds on physics concepts

The different viewpoints in the field

String theory's physical implications

Understand the "theory of everything" — grasp the key concepts and importance of the theory, and learn why scientists are so excited about finding a theory of quantum gravity

It all comes down to physics — discover how string theory is built upon the major scientific developments of the early 20th century

Building the theory — trace the creation and development of string theory, discover its predictions, and see whether accurate conclusions can be made

Take string theory for a spin — explore the core issue of extra dimensions, the implications for cosmology, and how string theory could explain certain properties of our universe

Boldly go where no one has gone — see what string theory has to say about possible parallel universes, the origin and fate of our universe, and the potential for time travel

Hear from the critics — listen in on the heated debates about string theory and weigh the alternatives being offered

Open the book and find:

The questions string theory attempts to answer

Easy-to-follow examples

Explanations of Einstein's theory of relativity, quantum theory, and particle physics

The successes and failures of string theory

Fascinating bits of string theory including strings and branes

Ways that string theory can be tested

Discussions of loop quantum gravity and other possible alternative theories of gravity

How the theory may relate to cosmic mysteries, from the origin of matter to black holes