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Can one derive all of physics from the 5 fundamental force equations?

  1. May 29, 2013 #1
    If one knew the equations for the 5 fundamental forces, would that not explain the entirety of all physical phenomenon in the universe? (Presuming there were not undiscovered forces?) Or would something like quantum mechanics not be explainable via those interactions?

    Does the nature of the 5 forces explain the occurrence of quantum phenomenon, like a particle being "multiple" places at once? Or is that currently a hidden feature of nature outside of the explanation of fundamental forces?

    Also what about things like dimensionality, space, time and the nature of the particles/matter that exist in this universe? Are those features also a result of/explainable by fundamental interactions, or would it be the other way around?
    Last edited: May 29, 2013
  2. jcsd
  3. May 29, 2013 #2
    Personally I don't think so =) for many reasons but one of the most prominent one is the fact that the Universe is not deterministic. As you said, quantum theory is a problem here as there is a randomness to how things behave; take Heisenberg's Uncertainty principle for example, what force determines that? Einstein famously refuted quantum theory for this very reason, he believed that 'God does not play dice' but so far all experiment says that he/she/it does and that he/she/it likes it very much ;).... Einstein and Heisenberg didn't get on very well either so perhaps that's why he refused it.

    There are many problems especially in the quantum Universe like superposition and entanglement which don't really make sense even with forces. They tell us something very deep though, and that is that we don't actually understand anything about the Universe. We don't even know what light is, a particle or a wave? So the the ideas we use to model the universe without even considering forces don't even really work yet.

    Space-time is affected by forces, and can exist without them so no it isn't determined by understanding the fundamental forces. Some properties of matter can be, such as mass is explained by the Higgs mechanism, but others aren't like strangeness which is just an intrinsic property. String theory is trying to resolve all that, but the maths for this is even more horrible than for entanglement so there hasn't been too great advance.

    Ultimately, scientists don't understand the universe. There are many models in place to try and understand piece by piece, but there is a reason that the our theory of the little small (quantum mechanics) is irreconcilable to the theory of the very big (cosmology etc.) and that's because there is something wrong in them. But they're not saddened by this, Richard Feynman said that he doesn't mind finding out that we are wrong, it just means he can think about it a bit more and that's enjoyable. There is plenty more room for new minds in science to understand this mess =)
  4. May 29, 2013 #3
    Five fundamental forces? Which is the fifth one?
  5. May 29, 2013 #4
    The Guage Bosons and Gavity are the fundemntal forces:
    Electromagnetic [Photon]
    Strong Nuclear Force [Gluon]
    Weak Nuclear Force 1 [W+/-]
    Weak Nuclear Force 2 [Z0]
    Gravity [Graviton]

    Though the first four ave been unified into a single force and the graviton remains undiscovered
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