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The World in Eleven Dimensions (IAI Academy)

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General relativity and quantum mechanics are the most successful theories in science. But at least one is wrong. Imperial's Michael Duff outlines why M-theory is our only candidate for an ultimate theory.

The quantum revolution in particle physics has left a deep rift at the heart of what we know about the universe. How we reconcile Einstein’s account of gravity with quantum mechanics remains one of the biggest mysteries in science and one of its most fertile areas of discovery- resulting in of the most radical and controversial ideas in modern science: string theory.

In this course, one of the greatest pioneers in contemporary physics, Michael Duff, makes the case for M-theory; string theory’s most complete account of reality- how it works, and how it changes our understanding of science, the universe, and beyond.

In this course, you will learn:

- Why one-dimensional ‘strings’ might make up the fabric of reality.

- How M-theory might revolutionize the standard model of particle physics.

- Why M-theory demands there to be 11 dimensions.

- What branes are, and why they suggest a potentially infinite multiverse.

- How these ideas might scientific mysteries from dark matter and the mystery of life.

- Why other universes might obey different laws.

- How M-theory challenges our idea of what science might be.


Course Syllabus

- Part One: Why M-theory?

Why do extra dimensions, strings and supersymmetry seem necessary to unify physics?

- Part Two: The Future of Physics

Can M-theory answer it's critics? Has there been progress? Duff outlines his vision for the future.