Quest for Unification

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Professor Edward Witten, IAS Princeton,

Heinrich Hertz Lecture 2002

A hundred years ago, Heinrich Hertz could proof experimentally that electricity and magnetism are two aspects of one single force - electromagnetism. According to our present knowledge, four fundamental forces altogether determine all the phenomena in nature: gravity, electromagnetism, the strong and the weak force.

On the path paved by Heinrich Hertz, physics continues to proceed straightforwardly: In the past decades experiments of particle physics have proven that the electromagnetic and the weak force, too, are two aspects of a more comprehensive fundamental force, the electroweak force. This raises hopes and supports further efforts to demonstrate that all the forces in nature can be unified in one single theory: from the strong force, which binds particles in the nuclei of the atoms, up to gravity which determines the large-scale structures of the universe.

Prof. Dr. Edward Witten will demonstrate in his talk "Quest for Unification" how far physics has proceeded on this path until now.

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Date of recording: 2002-06-17
Presenter: Professor Edward Witten

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