Glossary of Terms
String Theory A quantum theory which successfully incorporates the quantum field theories which describe particle interactions and gravity. It is so far the only known consistent candidate for a quantum theory of gravity.
Quantum Mechanics A theory developed by Bohr, Schroedinger and Heisenberg in the early 1900’s to describe the light emitted by atoms. An important consequence is that many characteristics of an object cannot take any value, but must be an integer multiple of some smallest value.
Quantum Field Theory Combining quantum mechanics and special relativity leads one to discover quantum field theory, which is the underlying formalism used to describe particle physics today. This was developed in the 1920’s and 30’s by Dirac, Feynman, Schwinger, and others.
Special Relativity Einstein’s fundamental insight was that the laws of physics should appear the same to all observers. This leads to the idea of the space-time continuum, which changed the way physicists thought about the world in a fundamental way.
Galileo’s Laws of Motion Before Einstein, the laws of physics came from Galileo and Newton. In their view, the laws of physics looked different to different observers. However, no contradiction with nature was observed since the differences remain very small until velocities close to that of light are involved.
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