Information for the general public and the press

We have received numerous enquiries from the press and from members of the public about the Strings 2001 conference. On this page we are providing some information that we hope will be helpful.

Conference Information

The International Conference "Strings 2001" will be held at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai, from January 5-10, 2001. It is being jointly organized by the Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics (Trieste, Italy), the Clay Mathematical Institute (Cambridge, U.S.A.), the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, and several institutions in India. Over 300 physicists working in "String Theory" from all over the world, including most of the leading figures in the subject, will participate in the conference. Around 45 speakers will deliver seminars highlighting the recent progress in the subject and charting out new directions.

This Conference is part of an annual series. In recent years, the Strings Conference has been held in Los Angeles, Amsterdam, Santa Barbara, Potsdam (Berlin) and Michigan. It is being held outside the U.S. and Europe for the first time.

Strings 2001 is being coordinated by Atish Dabholkar, Sunil Mukhi and Spenta Wadia from the Department of Theoretical Physics, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research. The Strings 2001 Secretariat can be contacted at 2152971, extension 2244, or by email at

String Theory in India

Over 40 physicists in India are actively engaged in original research in string theory. Indian physicists have made pioneering contributions to some of the crucial developments in this exciting endeavor.

What is String Theory?
  • String theory is currently the most promising candidate for a unified theory of the fundamental particles and forces which underlie all physical phenomena.
  • In string theory all elementary particles, such as electrons, photons, neutrinos and quarks, arise as different excitations of a single elementary string.
  • Gravity, electromagnetism, weak and strong nuclear interactions, which underlie all natural phenomena, are unified into a very tightly constrained, elegant and compelling theoretical framework.
  • String Theory promises to realize Einstein's dream of a Unified Theory of all forces in nature.
  • It provides, for the first time, a mathematically consistent formalism that combines the two pillars of twentieth-century physics: Quantum Theory and the General Theory of Relativity.
  • It has profound implications for some long-standing puzzles in physics, such as the nature of black holes and the origin of the universe.
  • If String Theory is eventually verified in experiments, it will revolutionize our conception of the structure of matter, space, and time.

Special Lecture Program

Strings 2001 will feature advanced technical seminars aimed at scientists working in this field. Following the conference, there will be a Special Lecture Program at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, with lectures by Professors David Gross, Stephen Hawking and Edward Witten, who are among the most distinguished theoretical physicists in the world. This Program will be by invitation only. For more information, click here.

Public Lecture

For the many science enthusiasts in Mumbai, there will be a Public Lecture by Professor Stephen Hawking at Shanmukhananda Hall, Sion, on January 14 2001. Passes will be made available by the British Council. For more information, click here.

In case you want to know more about String Theory, here are some links that should be useful.

Introductory Articles

Audio Lecture Websites

Last updated December 20, 2000