A Physicist’s Physicist Ponders the Nature of Reality

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https://www.quantamagazine.org/edward-witten-ponders-the-nature-of-reality-20171128/

Edward Witten reflects on the meaning of dualities in physics and math, emergent space-time, and the pursuit of a complete description of nature.
Edward Witten in his office at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey.

Jean Sweep for Quanta Magazine

Edward Witten in his office at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey.

Among the brilliant theorists cloistered in the quiet woodside campus of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey, Edward Witten stands out as a kind of high priest. The sole physicist ever to win the Fields Medal, mathematics’ premier prize, Witten is also known for discovering M-theory, the only candidate for a unified physical “theory of everything.” A genius’s genius, Witten is tall and rectangular, with hazy eyes and an air of being only one-quarter tuned in to reality until someone draws him back from more abstract thoughts.

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