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In Search of the Ultimate Building Blocks by Gerard 't Hooft

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24 Eleven-dimensional space-time

We return to the next-to-last bus stop on the super-highway, called ‘supergravity’. Supergravity theory worked well, but not well enough. At some points the mathematical construction did not work perfectly. Also, not all particle types seemed to fit together in such a model, and not all infinities cancelled. In courageous perseverence, researchers next tried the same theories in spaces with many more dimensions than ours.

A two-dimensional space can be compared with the surface of a piece of paper, such as the pages you are reading now. Suppose you tear one page out now and roll it up to obtain a cylinder. For a little red spider that happened to be walking on your paper, this makes little difference. It takes ...

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