String theory postulates that the fundamental building blocks of matter are not point-particles, as scientists previously thought, but are actually tiny vibrating strings. Matter is made of atoms, which are made of protons, neutrons, and electrons. Protons and neutrons are made of subatomic particles called quarks. And according to string theory, each elementary particle consists of a string with a particular vibration pattern. String theory has been widely covered by the media and has captured people's imaginations with its talk of a “cosmic symphony” of vibrating strings and the extra dimensions the theory requires.

Not only does string theory explain the fundamental building blocks of matter, it also resolves the conflict between the two great theories of physics—general relativity (extremely accurate on very large scales) ...

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