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A hundred years ago, Heinrich Hertz could proof experimentally that electricity and magnetism are two aspects of one single force - electromagnetism. According to our present knowledge, four fundamental forces altogether determine all the phenomena in nature: gravity, electromagnetism, the strong and the weak force.

# Quest for Unification

**Professor Edward Witten**

IAS Princeton

A hundred years ago, Heinrich Hertz could proof experimentally that electricity and magnetism are two aspects of one single force - electromagnetism. According to our present knowledge, four fundamental forces altogether determine all the phenomena in nature: gravity, electromagnetism, the strong and the weak force. On the path paved by Heinrich Hertz, physics continues to proceed straightforwardly: In the past decades experiments of particle physics have proven that the electromagnetic and the weak force, too, are two aspects of a more comprehensive fundamental force, the electroweak force. This raises hopes and supports further efforts to demonstrate that all the forces in nature can be unified in one single theory: from the strong force, which binds particles in the nuclei of the atoms, up to gravity which determines the large-scale structures of the universe. Prof. Dr. Edward Witten will demonstrate in his talk "Quest for Unification" how far physics has proceeded on this path until now.

**Edward Witten, Biography**

Edward Witten is a physicist with an outstanding mathematical expertness. His ability to interpret physical ideas mathematically is regarded as unique. The 50-years-old scientist was honored for his work with numerous distinctions and awards. In 1999 he even received the Fields-Medal, the highest award for mathematicians, comparable to the Nobel Prize in terms of reputation. The official name of the Fields Medals is "International medals for outstanding discoveries in mathematics." It is presented every four years at the International Congress of Mathematicians to up to four scientists who must be under the age of 40.