We know that if supersymmetric particles exist, they must be very heavy; otherwise we would have spotted them by now.
Very much, string theory is simply a work in progress. What we are inching toward every day are predictions that within the realm of current technology we hope to test. It's not like we're working on a theory that is permanently beyond experiment. That would be philosophy.
Relativity challenges your basic intuitions that you've built up from everyday experience. It says your experience of time is not what you think it is, that time is malleable. Your experience of space is not what you think it is; it can stretch and shrink.
In the far, far future, essentially all matter will have returned to energy. But because of the enormous expansion of space, this energy will be spread so thinly that it will hardly ever convert back to even the lightest particles of matter. Instead, a faint mist of light will fall for eternity through an ever colder and quieter cosmos.
I love it when real science finds a home in a fictional setting, where you take some real core idea of science and weave it through a fictional narrative in order to bring it to life, the way stories can. That's my favorite thing.
Oftentimes, if you're talking to a seasoned interviewer who asks you a question, they may do a follow-up if they didn't quite get it. It's rare that they'll do a third or fourth or fifth or sixth follow-up, because there's an implicit, agreed-upon decorum that they move on. Kids don't necessarily move on if they don't get it.
Black holes provide theoreticians with an important theoretical laboratory to test ideas. Conditions within a black hole are so extreme, that by analyzing aspects of black holes we see space and time in an exotic environment, one that has shed important, and sometimes perplexing, new light on their fundamental nature.