String theory contends the fundamental forces and matter of nature can be reduced to tiny one-dimensional filaments called strings -- but no test exists for the predictions stemming from the premise.
Now researchers at the University of California-San Diego, Carnegie Mellon University, and the University of Texas at Austin have developed a test that involves measuring how elusive high-energy particles scatter during particle collisions.
"Our work shows that, in principle, string theory can be tested in a non-trivial way," said Carnegie Mellon Professor Ira Rothstein.
Some physicists believe such collisions will be observable at the Large Hadron Collider, a subatomic particle collider to begin operating later this year in Europe.
Professor Jacques Distler of the University of Texas at Austin; Professor Benjamin Grinstein at University of California-San Diego, Carnegie Mellon graduate student Rafael Porto and Rothstein developed the test based on studies of how strongly force-carrying particles called W bosons scatter in high-energy particle collisions.
The test is detailed in the Jan. 26 issue of the journal Physical Review Letters.