Talk pdfTalk slides about the origin of colours, of the fine structure constant and of the electron mass. A short and readable introduction to the topic. With four animations.

• A conjecture on the complete description of nature
• Quantum electrodynamics from strands
• Gravitation from strands
• The standard model from strands
• Background
• Volume VI of Motion Mountain

A conjecture on the complete description of nature

When we look at the starry sky, we admire the vast space, the coloured twinkling stars, and the deep blackness. The strand conjecture proposes an explanation for their origin, their properties and their motion. The foundations of what we find around us – particles, space, horizons and colours of everything we see – are explained.

pdfA conjecture on deducing general relativity and the standard model with its fundamental constants from rational tangles of strands. 59 pages.

Unification. The paper argues that all of modern physics arises, directly and inevitably, from the Planck scale. It was published in Physics of Particles and Nuclei, volume 50 (2019) pages 259-299,
At present, the clearest introduction to the strand conjecture might well be the preprint on QED that is found below.


Tests. The paper and the following preprints about the strand conjecture provide numerous experimental predictions about electric dipole moments, Planck limits, parity violation, additional elementary particles, graviton detection, torsion, new forces, supersymmetry, grand unification, anomalous magnetic moments, glueballs, scalar mesons, neutrino masses, effects beyond the standard model, and dark matter. A longer list of tests is given here.


Naming. When is a theory about fundamental physics "of everything"? Of course, any such theory has to agree with all observations, experiments and measurements. Of course, such a theory has to agree with quantum field theory, the standard model, general relativity and cosmology – at least under usual experimental conditions. And of course, such a theory has to make testable predictions. But above all, such a theory must explain what is unexplained so far. This includes explaining the particle spectrum and the four interactions, explaining the mass values and mixing angles of all elementary particles, and explaining the value of the coupling constants of the three gauge interactions, ab initio. If your favourite physics theory does not, it is not "of everything". – This one is.


Science: question everything, check everything.


Quantum electrodynamics from strands

Extension 1. This preprint tells how strands induce electricity, magnetism and optics.

pdfA conjecture on quantum electrodynamics. 42 pages.

Colours and beauty. The strand conjecture shows how the tangle model leads to quantum electrodynamics. Numerous tests for the conjecture are given. In addition, the strand conjecture appears to allow approaching two old challenges: how to calculate the fine structure constant and how to calculate the lepton masses – both from first principles. The preprint uses the tangle model of particle to deduce estimates, as well as tests of the conjecture. The fine structure constant 1/137.036(1) and the lepton masses, in particular the electron mass, are the ingredients that determine all colours, tastes, smells, sounds and most shapes around us. In other words: it is argued that tangles of strands generate all beauty in nature.


Gravitation from strands

Extension 2. This preprint tells how strands induce gravity – with predictions and experimental tests.

pdfTesting a microscopic model for space and gravitation. 43 pages.

50 000 solar masses per second. Strands provide a microscopic model for space and horizons. This allows to derive the field equations of general relativity. Over seventy tests of the strand conjecture are listed. For example, strands confirm that gravitation – like nature itself – has a mass to length limit c2/4G, a mass flow limit c3/4G, a momentum flow or force limit c4/4G and a luminosity or power limit c5/4G. The limits are given by one quarter Planck mass per Planck time, or 50 756 solar masses per second (times c-1, times c or times c2). No observation ever reached these limits.

Any complete description of nature has to be somewhat crazy. To satisfy this requirement, the following animation, made by Jason Hise, shows how black hole rotation is modelled in the strand conjecture. With a bit of imagination you can determine the location of the ergosphere.



The standard model from strands

Extension 3. This preprint will make you enjoy the standard model.

pdfA conjecture on the origin of the standard model and its constants. 25 pages.

Soon, a longer preprint will appear here, entitled "Testing a conjecture on the origin of the standard model".

Simplicity, unity, elegance. It is regularly claimed that the standard model is complex, incomplete or even ugly. The strand conjecture argues the exact opposite: all of particle physics is due to tangled strands fluctuating at the Planck scale. A single fundamental process appears to explain the principle of least action, the observed interactions and their symmetry groups, the observed elementary particle spectrum, and the constants describing them. Tests and predictions are given. They agree with all experiments. In addition, the explanation of the standard model using strands is almost incredibly simple, consistent, surprisingly hard to vary, truly beautiful, and complete.



Technicalities. The strand conjecture reproduces the Lagrangians of the standard model and general relativity, explains the number of generations and the particle spectrum, deduces all Feynman diagrams and propagators, explains the gauge groups U(1), SU(2) and SU(3), explains the fundamental constants ab initio, solves the hierarchy problem, explains neutrino masses without a see-saw mechanism, solves the strong CP problem, predicts the validity of the standard model and of general relativity up to the Planck scale without any intermediate energy scale, implies that the weak interaction violates parity maximally, explains the equality of proton and positron charge, has no problems with anomalies, predicts no issues with baryogenesis, has no grand unification, has no supersymmetry, has no additional spatial dimensions, has no inflation, no inflaton and no dilaton, solves a number of black hole and singularity issues, implies gravitational waves, has no dark matter particles, has a naturally small, if not vanishing cosmological constant, solves various problems about gauge theories, answers Hilbert's sixth problem, and explains the principle of least action.


Particle tangles. Images of the three conjectured neutrino tangles:
N1 N2 N3
Note the similarity of the electron neutrino tangle with three loose strands. This is one reason for its low mass value.

Images of the conjectured tangles for the electron, the muon and the tau:
These tangles, together with the quark tangles and the elementary boson tangles, appear to reproduce all Feynman diagrams of the standard model. (Can you help producing 3d pictures that can be rotated by a html viewer?)


Betting. The description with strands is called a conjecture throughout. But in fact, it is more than that: the strand conjecture is a bet on the correct description of nature. The precise formulation of the bet is given here. Any challenge of the "bet" that supports our tiny non-profit will be considered.


Objections. It is hard to get accustomed to the idea that every particle has tethers. Feel free to contribute issues, criticisms or suggestions to the wiki found at or send them via email to


Blog. The blog on research about fundamental physics and tangles of strands tells more about general ideas, past mistakes, encountered difficulties, and more.


Motivation. An important motivation has always been the support for the ailing T-shirt industry.


On gravitation, see also this paper: C. Schiller, General relativity and cosmology derived from principle of maximum power or force, International Journal of Theoretical Physics, vol. 44 (2005) pp. 1629-1647.


Volume VI of Motion Mountain

History. A more extensive, more passionate, but also older and less precise presentation is the original text on the strand model. It was written as a research volume that continues the adventure of the five textbook volumes. The first tangle assignments for the Higgs, for the gluons and for leptons appear to have been wrong. The present edition has been updated with most results from the above preprints, but it also mentions the errors of the past:

The quest for a complete, unified theory leads to a proposal with testable predictions, to ab-initio estimates of the W/Z and Higgs/Z boson mass ratios, and to a new ab-initio approximation for the fine structure constant and the other fundamental constants. 500 pages, 40 MB.

Here is a preview of the research volume:

It can also be found at