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Felippa Amanta

UNICEF USA

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Can anyone explain to me what 'string theory' is?

I know this is a stupid question, but I've heard about string theory many times, but have no clue what it really is. Please understand I have very little background in physic. Do you have a good explanation about what it is and why it matters a lot in our universe? Thanks!

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    May 24 2012: I am obviously far from being a scientist but from what I read about it in the past (and from what many have already mentioned) it is really attempting to explain matter to its basic atomic constituents.

    also from what I read from Kaku, string theory may have some relation to explaining what dark matter is, so if you understand string theory it may give you some insight to the nature of and structure of dark matter...

    I'm not sure if this answered your question
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      May 26 2012: So you've read Kaku's book? Would you recommend it?

      And one more question, what's a dark matter?
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        May 29 2012: I cannot exactly say I read his book but I did read excerpts from it. The passages in his book were part of a larger anthology that I was reading but yes it was an excellent read and I would recommend it. The part that stuck out to me was when he mentioned how the government shut down studies for dark matter (or how the government stopped funding for this one device that would help scientist understand dark matter). This is interesting being that understanding the nature of dark matter would mean understanding much of our universe and its origins, which I am sure the government would have been interested in. the device was actually designed to understand more about string theory.

        As for dark matter, in a nutshell it is unseen matter that seems to be attracted to gravity. As mentioned before, no one can see dark matter but you can see its effects or influence on other bodies from the universe. For example, light cannot pass through dark matter. it can only go around dark matter. Also without it, many things in space would just fly off randomly. Galaxies would also break apart. Many astronomers and physicist realized that the bodies on the outer parts of galaxies were moving just as fast as those closer to the center part of the galaxies. This was quite odd because the outer bodies, moving at such a fast speed should have flown off into unknown space but they didn't and this concluded that there was something keeping the galaxies together and calculations showed that there was more mass than what people could actually see.

        String theory relates to this because many believe (or at least used to believe) that the constituents of dark matter, were actually sub-atomic, so seem theory in relation to dark matter is breaking down dark matter (or matter in general) to its molecular and basic constituents.

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