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I Been out of the loop -- Progress on Unifying Equation?

  1. Dec 20, 2016 #1
    Unifying Equation

    Albert Einstein searched unsuccessfully for the unifying equation of physics (30 years).

    Has anyone found it yet? Did I miss the memo? If not, did everyone give up? With all our super computers and millions of scientists on the planet it surprises me someone hasn't figured it out.

    How about Stephen Hawking? Surely he must know it by now?

    Once again, I apologize for my stupidity. I appreciate your patience.
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 20, 2016 #2


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    So the beginner thread is in the black hole and the advanced thread is left standing. That's good, because PhDs generally master the art of googling. Some of them can even read and understand (and discard the omnipresent nonsense).

    Happy reading up. Were you out of the loop on a different planet ?
  4. Dec 20, 2016 #3
    Dear BvU,

    I really appreciate your sense of humor.
    Before I respond if you wouldn't mind helping a little?
    How do I find or navigate to the black hole you mentioned?
    Is that the letter designation we pick before we post?
    If so, which letter is the amateur one?
    Thanks for your patience, again.
  5. Dec 20, 2016 #4


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    There is A for advanced (graduate+ hence the reference to PhD); I for intermediate (undergraduate) and B for beginner (high school). It's a pick list with explanation -- all you have to do is read those :rolleyes:

    We don't like duplicate threads (mixups, confusion etc), so a mentor made your copy post disappear. It isn't a good idea to navigate towards black holes :smile:

    Helping a little is what I tried to do. My conservative guess is several million pages of publications are on the subject you touched. I am a slow typist -- no point in even trying. And I don't know where you were when still in the loop (for all I know you could be Steven Weinberg himself coming back from a weekend in the mountains -- but I grant you that's not very likely). Better to steer you to a place where you can start and leave you to pick the 'see also' you like and the references you prefer.

    CPEP and ParticleAdventure are great places too (but not very 'A' level ...:cool: )
  6. Dec 20, 2016 #5


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    Against my better judgement, I'm going to stick my unwanted nose in here. I know many parts of this were done in "jest", but I still want to address it because I've seen it being said, in one form or another, on here and in my many encounters with the public.

    First of all, no, there is no accepted formalism in the so-called "unification" yet. This is assuming that such a thing actually exists and can actually be verified.

    And that leads us to the next part, something that many people not in science do not quite comprehend. It is INSUFFICIENT to simply come up with an idea or a theory, no matter how strong, beautiful, outstanding, outrageous, etc.. it is. After all, we already have plenty of theoretical ideas from String, Superstring, M-Theory, etc... etc., and many of these claim to be on the path to a "TOE" or "unification" or whatever. So why are these not sufficient to be considered to be a valid theory? Because so far they lack EXPERIMENTAL VERIFICATION.

    This is a step in science that is necessary, and something many people either do not comprehend, or simply push aside as irrelevant (after all, many politicians and TV talking heads often simply spew things out of their mouths without bothering to offer any empirical evidence to support their statements, and many in the public believe them). It is why we build expensive, difficult experiments, such as the LHC, to verify many parts of our theories. Simply coming up with the concept of the Higgs, and hoping that it will be accepted without clear evidence of its existence, is not sufficient in physics, even if the concept came out of the well-tested Standard Model of elementary particles. The criteria of acceptance in physics is very demanding, and the requirement for empirical evidence has never been bypassed.

    So, it really doesn't matter if we have "millions of scientists" or we have supercomputers that can come up with all these ideas. They ALL need to be experimentally verified, no exception.

    And this leads to a perfect segue into the funding of experiments to verify, detect, measure, etc. these things. The public and/or the govt. have no problems in paying 10, 20, 30 billions of dollars for a single combat aircraft or ship. Yet, no one wants to pay $15 billion for the next particle collider that will produce numerous science for the next 10 to 20 years of its life. Our priorities are screwed up, and yet, people wonder why we haven't come up with such-and-such advancements already.

    Finally, the "million of scientists" here, many of them (including me) do not concern themselves with finding a unified theory. In fact, I will argue that the MAJORITY of practicing physicists do not work in this area of physics. There is this fallacy that physicists only work in esoteric, pie-in-the-sky areas with no direct connection to the everyday world. Part of my work used to be in improving the light detector in PET scans, so that patients do not have to be in the device for as long and won't need to be injected with as much of the nasty radioactive stuff. Many of us to not work in the "sexy" areas of physics that often get media attention or somehow become the focus of public fascination. Yet, these are the areas of physics that are often cited when funding justification and the worth of doing physics are debated. Physics isn't just the LHC, or the Higgs, or the ToE. It is also your iPhone, your MRI, etc...

  7. Dec 20, 2016 #6


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    What Zz said. BvU has also provided some good links to follow, so this thread can be closed.
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