One of remaining problems in physics is how to quantize gravity and to unify gravity with the electromagnetic, weak and strong interactions. Seeking answer for this may reveal the nature of space-time as well as interactions, and possibly provides a solution to the long-puzzled cosmological constant problems. String/M theory is at present the best candidate for solving the aforementioned problems, and it has been proved successful theoretically in many aspects, for example, it has provided, for the first time, a microscopic explanation to black hole entropy for certain black holes in string theory, concretely realize the holography principle of certain gravitational systems, shows a potential in solving strongly-coupled QCD as well as quark confinement, and already indicates that space-time may not be a fundamental concept.
Almost every major university in US and in European countries puts resource and man-power in this theory. Even in Asia, countries like India, Japan and Korea have put a lot emphasis on it and have made world-known contributions to the development of this theory. In comparison, China has been fallen quite behind. In order to catch up, we have to learn the good lessons the other Asian countries such as India has laid out and at the same time keeping exchanges with outside.
Under the supports of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the National Science Foundation of China and the University of Science and Technology of China, and efforts and helps for many others, We, the Interdisciplinary Center for Theoretical Study, was formally established on May 14, 2002. The major focus of the center at present is on string/M theory and the related.In recent years, pioneer efforts on string theory in China have been made by many well-known people and many other colleagues such as those from the Institute of Theoretical Physics at Beijing. Hopefully, this center will add its own contribution from now on to the development of string/M theory in China and makes it different in years to come.Prof.JianXin Lu is the first and the current director of this center.