Edward Witten, born in 1951, is an esteemed American theoretical physicist and mathematician. He is renowned for his groundbreaking contributions to string theory, quantum field theory, and mathematical physics. Witten’s work in string theory, aimed at unifying quantum mechanics and general relativity, has had a profound impact on our understanding of fundamental physics. He has elucidated the mathematical structures within string theory and their connections to other areas of physics, such as black hole physics and quantum gravity. In 1990, Witten was awarded the Fields Medal, one of the most prestigious honors in mathematics, for his exceptional contributions. Throughout his illustrious career, he has continued to push the boundaries of theoretical physics, inspiring generations of researchers and reshaping our understanding of the universe’s fundamental law.

**Edward Witten Quotes**

1. “Quantum mechanics brought an unexpected fuzziness into physics because of quantum uncertainty, the Heisenberg uncertainty principle. String theory does so again because a point particle is replaced by a string, which is more spread out.”

**— Edward Witten**

2. “The hardest part of research is always to find a question that’s big enough that it’s worth answering, but little enough that you actually can answer it.”

**— Edward Witten**

3. “Even before string theory, especially as physics developed in the 20th century, it turned out that the equations that really work in describing nature with the most generality and the greatest simplicity are very elegant and subtle.”

**— Edward Witten**

4. “You enter a completely new world where things aren’t at all what you’re used to.”

**— Edward Witten**

5. “We know a lot of things, but what we don’t know is a lot more.”

**— Edward Witten**

6. “String theory is 21 st century physics that fell accidentally into the 20th century.”

**— Edward Witten**

7. “There is a difference between knowing what is true and knowing why it is true.”

**— Edward Witten**

8. “But the beauty of Einstein’s equations, for example, is just as real to anyone who’s experienced it as the beauty of music. We’ve learned in the 20th century that the equations that work have inner harmony.”

**— Edward Witten**

9. “M stands for Magic, Mystery, or Matrixaccording to taste.”

**— Edward Witten**

10. “One very important aspect of string theory is definitely testable. That was the prediction of supersymmetry, which emerged from string theory in the early ’70s.”

**— Edward Witten**

11. “There was a long history of speculation that in quantum gravity, unlike Einstein’s classical theory, it might be possible for the topology of spacetime to change.”

**— Edward Witten**

12. “I have a tendency, more than most other physicists, to try to figure out everything all at once, before I publish. And even to try to figure out everything in my head, without pencil and paper.”

**— Edward Witten**

13. “In Einstein’s general relativity the structure of space can change but not its topology. Topology is the property of something that doesn’t change when you bend it or stretch it as long as you don’t break anything.”

**— Edward Witten**

14. “String theory is an attempt at a deeper description of nature by thinking of an elementary particle not as a little point but as a little loop of vibrating string.”

**— Edward Witten**

15. “As for the forces, electromagnetism and gravity we experience in everyday life. But the weak and strong forces are beyond our ordinary experience. So in physics, lots of the basic building blocks take 20th- or perhaps 21st-century equipment to explore.”

**— Edward Witten**

16. “One of the basic things about a string is that it can vibrate in many different shapes or forms, which gives music its beauty.”

**— Edward Witten**

17. “Away from the safety of your home, the universe was not made for your convenience.”

**— Edward Witten**

18. “I have a much easier time imagining how we would understand the big bang, even though we can’t do it yet, than I can imagine understanding consciousness.”

**— Edward Witten**

19. “Most people who haven’t been trained in physics probably think of what physicists do as a question of incredibly complicated calculations, but that’s not really the essence of it. The essence of it is that physics is about concepts, wanting to understand the concepts, the principles by which the world works.”

**— Edward Witten**

20. “Im actually, for the most part, a complete agnostic politically.”

**— Edward Witten**

21. “If I take the theory as we have it now, literally, I would conclude that extra dimensions really exist. They’re part of nature. We don’t really know how big they are yet, but we hope to explore that in various ways.”

**— Edward Witten**

22. “So when you ask me how string theory might be tested, I can tell you what’s likely to happen at accelerators or some parts of the theory that are likely to be tested.”

**— Edward Witten**

23. “It’s indeed surprising that replacing the elementary particle with a string leads to such a big change in things. I’m tempted to say that it has to do with the fuzziness it introduces.”

**— Edward Witten**

24. “I wouldn’t have thought that a wrong theory should lead us to understand better the ordinary quantum field theories or to have new insights about the quantum states of black holes.”

**— Edward Witten**

25. “As of now, string theorists have no explanation of why there are three large dimensions as well as time, and the other dimensions are microscopic. Proposals about that have been all over the map.”

**— Edward Witten**

26. “The theory has to be interpreted that extra dimensions beyond the ordinary four dimensions the three spatial dimensions plus time are sufficiently small that they haven’t been observed yet.”

**— Edward Witten**

27. “As far as extra dimensions are concerned, very tiny extra dimensions wouldn’t be perceived in everyday life, just as atoms aren’t: we see many atoms together but we don’t see atoms individually.”

**— Edward Witten**

28. “We have one real candidate for changing the rules; this is string theory. In string theory the one-dimensional trajectory of a particle in spacetime is replaced by a two-dimensional orbit of a string. Such strings can be of any size, but under ordinary circumstances they are quite tiny,… a value determined by comparing the predictions of the theory for Newton’s constant and the fine structure constant to experimental values.”

**— Edward Witten**