Key Events in String Theory History

Part of the String Theory For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Although string theory is a young science, it has had many notable achievements. What follows are some landmark events in the history of string theory:

1968: Gabriele Veneziano originally proposes the dual resonance model.

1970: String theory is created when physicists interpret Veneziano’s model as describing a universe of vibrating strings.

1971: Supersymmetry is incorporated, creating superstring theory.

1974: String theories are shown to require extra dimensions. An object similar to the graviton is found in superstring theories.

1984: The first superstring revolution begins when it’s shown that anomalies are absent in superstring theory.

1985: Heterotic string theory is developed. Calabi-Yau manifolds are shown to compactify the extra dimensions.

1995: Edward Witten proposes M-theory as unification of superstring theories, starting the second superstring revolution. Joe Polchinski shows branes are necessarily included in string theory.

1996: String theory is used to analyze black hole thermodynamics, matching earlier predictions from other methods.

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