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**UNC PHYSICS AND ASTRONOMY COLLOQUIUM**

Dr. Jonathan Heckman, Harvard University

**“String Theory and the Real World”**

The Standard Model of particle physics provides a remarkably accurate description of Nature at small distance scales. But although this theory remains in close agreement with experiment, coupling the Standard Model to gravity leads to internal theoretical inconsistencies at length scales much smaller than current experiments can probe. In this talk we review some of the recent progress made in formulating a self-consistent theory based on embedding the Standard Model in a strongly coupled phase of string theory known as “F-theory”. This has also led to the discovery of a number of surprisingly rich mathematical correspondences, which we also explain. We explain how these formal results are now being leveraged to make contact with current and future experiments.