Person of the Week

On 20 March, Alexander Polyakov of Princeton University took home the 2013 Fundamental Physics prize (hosted by the great Morgan Freeman) for his contributions to quantum field theory and string theory, including what are now considered classic descriptions of magnetic monopoles. These hypothetical particles would act like magnets that each have only one magnetic pole. So far hunts for magnetic monopoles suggest that if they exist, they are so rare that we may never find them. But the search could lead us to a better understanding of the basic forces in the universe, such as electromagnetism, and maybe even to a unified "theory of everything".


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