During the past three years many theoretical physicists have dedicated themselves to working on superstring theory. With varying degrees of conviction we believe that we have at hand for the first time many of the essential ingredients for an almost unique quantum theory that gives a unified description of all elementary particles and the forces between them. We also believe that this theory is free from the inconsistencies that have thwarted all previous attempts to construct a “unified field theory” that describes gravity together with the strong, weak and electromagnetic forces. In short, as some popular media like to put it, we may finally have “the theory of everything.”
Considering the elementary building blocks of nature to be strings rather than point particles allows one to construct consistent quantum theories that unify gravity with the other known forces.