Writing for Nautilus, George Musser, Director's Visitor and Scientific American contributing editor, highlights current work by Andrew Strominger, Member (1982–1987) in the School of Natural Sciences. Strominger and colleagues are investigating how two nearly identical formulas that concern how gravity and other forces act on large scales, developed twenty years apart with completely different approaches, might offer a “new and unusual path to unifying the laws of physics.”
“General relativity did not end up being the same thing as special relativity even at very, very long distances,” said Strominger. At very great distances, what remains is not just the symmetries of special relativity, but an infinite number of other symmetries called supertranslations.
"[I]n recent years, Strominger has clarified what supertranslations are, and his picture could have profound implications," Musser writes. “Now that they have fully catalogued the symmetries of spacetime, Strominger and others can look for ways it might emerge from a more fundamental system.”
Read more at Nautilus.