What is matter? Forty years ago ideas about its fundamentals were vague and fragmentary. We’ve come a long way toward mastering matter, while gaining new insight into the nature of space and an inspiring vision of the symmetry of physical law. The analytic theories of matter, emerging from strange and once-revolutionary ideas from quantum theory and special relativity, are the Core of modern physics.
My first work in physics helped establish a major part of this Core, the theory of the strong force. (That’s the work for which I got a Nobel Prize in 2004.)
The Core presents many scientific challenges and opportunities, as well as visionary insights. What was the early Universe like? What goes on deep inside neutron stars? What is space? Where does mass come from? These questions are now ripe.
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