A new Channel 4 show entitled The Theory Of Everything is about the search for a unified theory of physics. Current thinking focusses on 10-, 11- or 26-dimensional vibrating strands (superstrings) or sheets (m-branes) of energy. The introduction to the show claims it will turn this “into something we all can understand”. Good luck to them.

They start by oversimplifying, explaining that “everything in the universe, from a grain of sand to a distant star, is made of the same thing,” which rather misses the urgent and key point that these superstrings make more than matter – they make space and time and energy and all the forces too. That’s where it gets hard to understand and explain, and I hope they aren’t dodging it. I’ll keep watching because it’s something I care about, but they have really their work cut out.