What is Theory of everything: Definition and 81 Discussions

A theory of everything (TOE or ToE), final theory, ultimate theory, or master theory is a hypothetical, singular, all-encompassing, coherent theoretical framework of physics that fully explains and links together all physical aspects of the universe. Finding a TOE is one of the major unsolved problems in physics. String theory and M-theory have been proposed as theories of everything. Over the past few centuries, two theoretical frameworks have been developed that, together, most closely resemble a TOE. These two theories upon which all modern physics rests are general relativity and quantum mechanics. General relativity is a theoretical framework that only focuses on gravity for understanding the universe in regions of both large scale and high mass: stars, galaxies, clusters of galaxies etc. On the other hand, quantum mechanics is a theoretical framework that only focuses on three non-gravitational forces for understanding the universe in regions of both small scale and low mass: sub-atomic particles, atoms, molecules, etc. Quantum mechanics successfully implemented the Standard Model that describes the three non-gravitational forces – strong nuclear, weak nuclear, and electromagnetic force – as well as all observed elementary particles.General relativity and quantum mechanics have been thoroughly proven in their separate fields of relevance. Since the usual domains of applicability of general relativity and quantum mechanics are so different, most situations require that only one of the two theories be used. The two theories are considered incompatible in regions of extremely small scale – the Planck scale – such as those that exist within a black hole or during the beginning stages of the universe (i.e., the moment immediately following the Big Bang). To resolve the incompatibility, a theoretical framework revealing a deeper underlying reality, unifying gravity with the other three interactions, must be discovered to harmoniously integrate the realms of general relativity and quantum mechanics into a seamless whole: the TOE is a single theory that, in principle, is capable of describing all phenomena in the universe.
In pursuit of this goal, quantum gravity has become one area of active research. One example is string theory, which evolved into a candidate for the TOE, but not without drawbacks (most notably, its lack of currently testable predictions) and controversy. String theory posits that at the beginning of the universe (up to 10−43 seconds after the Big Bang), the four fundamental forces were once a single fundamental force. According to string theory, every particle in the universe, at its most microscopic level (Planck length), consists of varying combinations of vibrating strings (or strands) with preferred patterns of vibration. String theory further claims that it is through these specific oscillatory patterns of strings that a particle of unique mass and force charge is created (that is to say, the electron is a type of string that vibrates one way, while the up quark is a type of string vibrating another way, and so forth).

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  1. S

    I All possible models to explain the hierarchy problem?

    There is an interesting paper by Arkani-Hamed and collaborators (https://arxiv.org/abs/1607.06821) to address the hierarchy problem. There, they consider many possible models of fundamental particle physics where they all have an exact copy of the Standard Model but with different Higgs...
  2. S

    I All possible QFTs from geometry?

    Physicist Nima Arkani-Hamed has taken an approach to understand fundamental physics based on geometry (specifically, positive geometry). This started with his work with Jaroslav Trnka in the amplituhedron [1] and later it was generalised to the associahedron [2],the EFT-hedron [3]... I was...
  3. j-theory

    Are there any resources for artists interested in theoretical physics?

    TL;DR Summary: I would like to be involved in the physics community. Hello, my name is Joshua, I am a multidisciplinary artist and i have a big interest in engaging in conversations about theoretical physics to get a better understanding and also to apply into my art. My experience is pretty...
  4. Physics Slayer

    Implications of a "theory of everything"

    I think normal people and physicists have different definitions of a "theory of everything", normal people (I am not calling Physicists abnormal although some of dem are a bit wonky) usually mean something along the lines of meaning of life/why we exist/ purpose in life etc. Physicists on the...
  5. M

    A A strange theory of everything: dust on [itex]\mathbb{R}^{0|18}[/itex]

    https://arxiv.org/abs/0805.3819 Approximating the Standard Model and gravity with dust on \mathbb{R}^{0|18} Robert N. C. Pfeifer [Submitted on 25 May 2008 (v1), last revised 11 Jul 2020 (this version, v14)] This article describes a single species of non-interacting massless dust on...
  6. SEYED2001

    I Is the Theory of Everything necessarily deterministic?

    Hi I am aware that QM isn't deterministic. Should a theory of everything be deterministic to be a theory of everything, and if yes, then how can it be when QM as a part of it is not deterministic? Thanks in advance Seyed
  7. P

    A Strand Model Published: Physics of Particles & Nuclei 50 (2019)

    This is just to complement some older threads on the topic. The strand model, a conjecture that appears to describe both the standard model and general relativity, has been published. The DOI is http://dx.doi.org/10.1134/S1063779619030055 and the reference is Physics of Particles and Nuclei...
  8. Robin04

    What effect could a theory of everything have on science?

    I know it's hard to predict but what are the probable outcomes? When I hear about the theory of everything in different situations it always makes me feel that we really want to believe that it will be a final fundamental theory. How could the theoretical work look like after its success...
  9. M

    Is Quantum-Geometry Dynamics the Key to Solving Modern Physics Conundrums?

    I've always loved physics, since my first science fiction novel in 1971. I won a scholarship to do a Math-Physics double honours program at University of Waterloo in 1977, but was immediately seduced into computer science by the promise of being paid big bucks to play with computers all day...
  10. MathematicalPhysicist

    A Chaos, quantum gravity, theory of everything....

    How is chaos incorporated into quantum gravity theories, or in theories that incorporate all the known 4 interactions? I don't believe I've seen a thread where chaos theory is discussed in relation to superstring theories or LQG. I've seen some papers and dissertations on quantum chaos and...
  11. M

    Studying How Can I Improve My Understanding of Physics, Especially Quantum Mechanics?

    Since i was 16 years old, i loved physics and i was looking forward to full study it and with a big focus on quantum mechanics, but i have a problem that the physics informations that i studied in school and now in university are not arranged and there are some missing informations that stops me...
  12. zdroide

    I Is there a real need for a theory of everything (ToE)?

    I been studying quantum field theory and standard model lately. I not see how a unified theory could fit between quantum field and special or general relativity. One being for big objects and the other for microscopic one. In fact, standard model not seem to be all proven. Many particles are not...
  13. KarminValso1724

    Exploring the Search for a Theory of Everything

    I personally think there may not even be a TOE to discover.
  14. KarminValso1724

    B What would be the implications of a theory of everything?

    For example, how would finding a toe effect the world ecomomically?
  15. Cosmology2015

    It is possible from the general relativity reach a ToE?

    Hello everyone! As an admirer of string theory, I have strong interest in the theories that purport to unify general relativity with quantum mechanics. In the case of string theory, the goal is to find a form of describe the force of gravity according to the principles of quantum mechanics, ie...
  16. M

    Phlip Mannheim's conformal theory of everything

    I'll say in advance that I don't believe this, but I would like to have a coherent assessment of its merits and problems. For example, is this an elegant and logical synthesis; or is it just a patching together of various proposed solutions for various BSM issues, related only by the appearance...
  17. Yohanes Nuwara

    Can you explain this 'Theory of Everything' formula?

    I recently come across with an amazing equation of Theory of Everything; I wonder if TOE has been formulated (?) I found this equation on a website, check it out http://www.preposterousuniverse.com/blog/2013/01/04/the-world-of-everyday-experience-in-one-equation/. While seeing briefly this...
  18. Gort

    Can there ever be a Theory of Everything?

    This article triggered the topic: http://physicsbuzz.physicscentral.com/2010/09/hawking-mlodinow-no-theory-of_30.html In "The Grand Design", Hawking argues that there may never be a Theory of Everything (in spite of a movie by the same name). The article says "In a quantum world, particles...
  19. Gbl911

    The Theory of Everything (string theory)

    Hello, if you have ever heard of the TOE then you may be able to answer my question on this theory. The theory explains that there are tiny little strings in all atoms. Imagine the universe being an atom, the stings in this atom would be the size of a tree here on Earth. That is how small they...
  20. D

    What is the connection between Kolmogorov complexity and randomness?

    This is from an article from "Quantum Frontiers." The fundamental concept here is Kolmogorov complexity and its connection to randomness/predictability. A sequence of data bits like: 10011010101101001110100001011010011101010111010100011010110111011110 has higher complexity (and hence...
  21. M

    Stephen Adler's SU(8) theory of everything

    http://arxiv.org/abs/1403.2099 SU(8) unification with boson-fermion balance Stephen L. Adler (Submitted on 9 Mar 2014) We formulate an SU(8) unification model motivated by requiring that the theory should incorporate the graviton, gravitinos, and the fermions and gauge fields of the standard...
  22. L

    Theory of everything and chemical bond theory

    Hello, Theoretical physicists assert that quantum mechanic and relativistic world use distinct mathematical models that can not united into one so far. The reason of it, which I do not understand, is the gravity. Once we encompass the gravity in the quantum world (or vice versa), we (maybe)...
  23. R

    What areas in physics would you like the Theory of Everything to explain?

    What areas in physics would you like the "Theory of Everything" to explain? What are some of the mysteries in general physics, astrophysics, particle physics, etc would you like to see addressed when a theory of everything is finally forged? For me it would have to be what is dark...
  24. S

    Theory of Everything or Troll?

    This set of equations has been going around on the /sci/ boards of 4chan lately, but hardly anybody there knows what it means due to the level of math involved. Supposedly it links the Standard Model and Quantum Mechanics. Could anybody here provide any insight on what these equations...
  25. Jim Kata

    Theory of everything vs Godel's incompleteness theorem.

    Wouldn't Godel's incompleteness theorem imply that we could never have a theory of everything?
  26. J

    Theory of Everything: Can We Find the Answer?

    Do we really believe that, our approach to get TOE is going to bring some positive result. With our present approach, even if we get TOE, will it really can explain all the threads of nature.
  27. P

    Theory of Everything: Exploring the Unobservable 96%

    I have a question. Only 4% of the universe is observable, how can that be?
  28. J

    Could a Theory of Everything Unlock New Technological Marvels?

    When Hans Christian Orsted discovered electromagnetism in 1820, wedding electricity and magnetism, people probably did not realize the implications. I suppose it was merely a "laboratory curiosity," but of course, today we are fully aware of its fruits. Electrical generators, electrical motors...
  29. V

    Degrees of Freedom of the Theory of Everything

    I just want to know if there is any theorem that can forbid certain degrees of freedom in the Theory of Everything. Supposed quantum mechanics and generel Relativity are just classical limits of a third theory and the theory of everything. Is it possible for applications of this Theory of...
  30. U

    2011 Isaac Asimov Memorial Debate - The Theory of Everything

    In case you missed it, blurb followed by link: ============================================ Can the entire universe be explained with a single, unifying theory? This is perhaps the most fundamental question in all of science, and it may also be the most controversial. The 2011 Isaac...
  31. D

    What is Athene's Theory of Everything?

    (don't need to explain the content here, just watch the videos). A while ago, some World of Warcraft player posted these sets of videos. Later, a bunch of people started swarming over them like 10 year olds to a new pokemon game. They claim it makes so much sense and can't be understood by...
  32. ShayanJ

    Theory of everything and unifications

    Do we have a theory of everything now? I read somewhere that now there are just two fundamental forces.electronuclear and gravity.is it correct? From what theories,unification theories are concluded? Is the most acceptable theory of gravity NOW is general relativity? thanks
  33. I

    Unified Theory of Everything - Figured Out

    We all have read that a single theory to possibly fit on a diner napkin or small note card could be available sometime. My question to you all, is how does a non-scientist person go about having a legitimate scientist test a theory. If I have it figured out, and will require the help of a...
  34. S

    A very unlikely theory of everything (I think)

    Hi all. Last night while trying to explain how the world looks at the Quantum level I found myself stumbling upon a theory! Before I continue you must understand I have never studied physics nor am I a mathematician. Here goes: Imagine spacetime as a porous framework, the pores being...
  35. rhody

    Stephen Wolfram: Computing a theory of everything TED Video April 2010

    Thought you might like this... This http://www.ted.com/talks/stephen_wolfram_computing_a_theory_of_everything.html?utm_source=newsletter_weekly_2010-04-27&utm_campaign=newsletter_weekly&utm_medium=email" by Stephen Wolfram is about 20 minutes long, but the most interesting parts are from...
  36. L

    Equation for theory of everything

    Assuming we can come up with an equation that describes the foundamental forces of the universe can we then create a program using the equation to make predictions about the future outcome of the universe? How can quantum uncertainty play role in such outcomes? If the equation can be made to...
  37. R

    Einstein's theory of everything

    Does anybody know how Einstein's theory of everything worked. I've heard that it failed to mesh with either Quantum or relativity, but I've never heard what the concepts were that were the real base of the theory, besides its attempt to meld gravity with EM. How did he propose to do that?
  38. Delta2

    Is Quantum Physics the theory of everything if

    Hello i am new to forum, and relatively new to Quantum physics study. I know that Quantum Physics cannot explain all the physical or universal phenomena, BUT: Provided that gravitational fields are weak, and we have to do with phenomena at low energies , so that the distortion of space and...
  39. MTd2

    No "Theory of Everything" Inside E8: Jacques Distler & Skip Garibaldi

    THERE IS NO“THEORY OF EVERYTHING” INSIDE E8-new article from Jacques Distler on arxiv http://arxiv.org/abs/0905.2658 There is no "Theory of Everything" inside E8 Jacques Distler, Skip Garibaldi (Submitted on 16 May 2009) We analyze certain subgroups of real and complex forms of the Lie...
  40. T

    Unifying Quantum Mechanics and General Relativity: Why Hasn't It Been Done Yet?

    I'm thirteen years old and for the past two years i'v been learning quantum mechanics and relativity. I'm aware that one of the most important tasks of physics today is to unify the four fundamental forces. that is to put quantum mechanics and general relativity together. I'm always a huge...
  41. H

    Is the Theory of Everything Possible with Leptons and Quarks as Building Blocks?

    if leptons and quarks are indeed the ultimate constituents of matter,, as physicists today tend to believe,we should be able to construct a final theory of the structure of matter,just as Einstein dreamed to doing. this theory whimsically called the theory of everything. it is a combination of...
  42. F

    Could the theory of everything be a number?

    Greetings to everyone, I wish to exude much hope and optimism for the coming years for all of us. The reason I am here is because I saw an old e-mail in my spam folder from phys org, and the thought occurred to me that I need to share with you all my potential discovery that could have huge...
  43. R

    Is there a theory of everything?

    Here is an argument against the idea that there can exist a "theory of everything". Consider the trivial true and false theories, which explain every fact about the universe, the universe being defined as all those things (events,entities,etc.) that exist/that can be a cause: Trivial true...
  44. marcus

    TOE: Four radical routes to a theory of everything

    http://www.newscientist.com/channel/fundamentals/mg19826542.300-four-radical-routes-to-a-theory-of-everything.html The New Scientist 3 May 2008 issue cover story was about Four Radical Routes to a Theory of Everything, by Amanda Gefter. It would be interesting to know what the four...
  45. S

    Queston On The Theory Of Everything

    why can't eh idea of the megaverse be expanded downard. thet id\f the universe is part of something bigger, than why can't the same ting be fore subatmic levels and even in the case of the string theories. ssorry if I am typing bad because i am in the school library with only 5 min left. so why...
  46. S

    Thank you for your understanding.Dr. Gregory GreenmanPhysicist

    hey guys I am new to this but whatever. i am only 14 years old so please help me on any mistakes. i don't know the mathamtics behind my general theory but i do believe in the concept of it. my theory is very simple. it is... Everything, in and beyond the universe, is part of something bigger...
  47. Cyrus

    Theory of Everything: Videos with Michio Kaku & Walter Lewin

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2GnZ1n7no3M&feature=related http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i63RQoot5Rc&feature=related (Part II has Kaku in it). http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Gez1Fux4js&feature=related http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JRwiR8ig7Ak&feature=related (Dr. Walter Lewin...
  48. G

    Is String Theory Still the Best Path to a Unified Theory of Everything?

    I read sheldon Glashows view on the string theory he seemed to doubt it very much as a plausible theory, but some say this is our only lead towards a Grand Unified theory. What do you guys think? are we close to unifying nature? Steven Hawking believed it could be done before the end of the last...
  49. S

    Wnat to research the theory of everything

    in what profession i should get if i want to do some research in theory of everything. right now i am at undergraduate level but in a year or two i will need to pick my field i want to do research but don't know whether it is well paid or not , but i don't want to become a teacher or prof. ...
  50. N

    Theory of everything ? A joke

    It has become fashionable to talk about a "Theory of everything (TOE)". Are scientists really serious that their model describes really everything in the universe? If so, they must be either extremely pretentious or extremely stupid or probably both. At one time, the "Earth, Water, Air, Fire"...