Bob Coecke has developed a new visual language that could be used to spell out a theory of quantum gravity—and help us understand human speech.
"It’s a much more natural way to write things," says Coecke. "It cuts out a lot of syntactic garbage in the usual models of maths. Going to the more complicated stuff is still sort of rationally manageable." That means you can go on to describe the relations between different, and complicated, quantum processes in a clear and simple way—an especially useful trick when you want to represent some of the strange features of quantum theory, such as entanglement, nonlocality and teleportation.