This is the best article ...
This is the best article about physics I have read in a long time. If you have not read about physics in the last 50 years or so, I recommend you to read this single article. It will explain to you the status of the standard model in cosmology and particle physics in a precise language, only a nobel prize winner like Steven Weinberg is capable of. After reading this article you will be able to impress your fellow physics friend with sentences like these:
“That is, the quantities appearing in the fundamental equations are fields, which fill space like water filling a tub. Elementary particles are secondary; they are “quanta” of the fields, bundles of the fields’ energy and momentum, like eddies in water.”
“I have been a fan of string theory, but it is disappointing that no one so far has succeeded in finding a solution that corresponds to the world we observe.”
Read this article, you won’t regret it.
In the past fifty years two large branches of physical science have each made a historic transition. I recall both cosmology and elementary particle physics in the early 1960s as cacophonies of competing conjectures. By now in each case we have a widely accepted theory, known as a “standard model.”