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Universe's stringy birth revealed by young Czech scientist in EURYI winning project

The dream of theoretical physics is to unite behind a common theory that explains everything, but that goal has remained highly elusive. String theory emerged 40 years ago as one of the most promising candidates for such a theory, and has since slipped in and out of favour as new innovations have occurred. Now Europe is fortunate to have one of the worlds leading experts in string theory working on an ambitious project that could make significant progress towards a unified theory, and at least help resolve two mysteries. One is how the universe emerged in the beginning as a random fluctuation of a vacuum state, and the other is a common explanation for all sub-atomic particles.

Czech physicist Dr. Martin Schnabl has been selected to receive a EURYI Award by the European science Foundation (ESF) and the European Heads of Research Councils (EuroHORCS) to help him pursue his project and build on five years of hard work culminating in the solution of an equation in string field theory that had gone unsolved for 20 years. The elegance and beauty of the solution have been widely praised in a field that is highly regarded for its aesthetic appeal, drawing together many important concepts in mathematics and physics. The EURYI Awards scheme, entering its fourth and final year, aims to attract outstanding young researchers from anywhere in the world to work in Europe for the further development of European science, contributing to building up the next generation of leading European researchers.

String theory was developed in an attempt to bring together the physics of the big and the small, represented respectively by general relativity and quantum mechanics. It replaces the idea of elementary particles occupying a single zero point with a one dimensional string joining two points. In this sense a string, like a particle, is a model designed to represent or predict particular fundamental properties of the physical universe. But while the number of particles cont
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Contact: Thomas Lau
tlau@esf.org
33-388-762-158
European Science Foundation
2-Aug-2007


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