Garrett Lisi (New Yorker 21 July issue)

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marcus
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Main Question or Discussion Point

What do you know about the current status of Garrett's TOE gambit?

Has anyone been checking his website? Any news?

Has anyone seen the article about Garrett in the 21 July issue of the New Yorker magazine?
 

Answers and Replies

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Has anyone seen the article about Garrett in the 21 July issue of the New Yorker magazine?
I found this summary on the New Yorker's website
ANNALS OF SCIENCE about physicist Garrett Lisi’s “An Exceptionally Simple Theory of Everything.” Writer describes Lisi giving a talk at a conference in Morelia, Mexico in June of 2007. The conference was attended by the top researchers in a field called loop quantum gravity, which has emerged as a leading challenger to string theory. Lisi believed that he had discovered what physicists call a Theory of Everything—a unifying idea that aims to incorporate all the universe’s forces in a single mathematical framework.
http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2008/07/21/080721fa_fact_wallacewells

Link provided by Astronuc.
 
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marcus
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I found this summary on the New Yorker's website...
Excellent! thanks for finding that! I'd guess neither simple adulation nor simple mockery---the New Yorker writers tend to be good at rendering complex human nature in depth. they often write about scientists and mathematicians, and some of their most interesting portraits come about that way.
 
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with my life
This is Garrett Lisi !? What an honor. Great sense of humor the link to wikipedia saying "edit me" :smile:

Talking about politics, Distler has posted quite a polite statement, about what is referred to as one of the major criticism : how to include all 3 generations. It is of course easier to criticize than to create. Can you tell us (me, poor experimentalist) whether there is some foreseeable progress with this problem, or if you came to the conclusion that it is a dead end ?

Although we are labeling triality partners as fermions of different generations, the exact relationship between triality and generations is more complicated and not yet clear to the author.
[...]
This relationship between fermion generations and triality is the least understood aspect of this theory. [...] A correct description of the relationship between triality and generations, if it exists, awaits a better understanding.
 
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Hi Marcus,

The New Yorker article is pretty good -- although there is a lot of emphasis on physics politics. For a good description of what's been going on with the theory (including a good overview), and with my life, the Wikipedia articles are good:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/An_Exceptionally_Simple_Theory_of_Everything

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antony_Garrett_Lisi

Sorry I haven't been around PF as much -- been busy!
Hey Garrett! I unfortunately haven't read this article but Woit's summary indicates you're now working on applying your ideas to alternate forms of E8. Do you think this is what we should expect your next paper to cover? :)
 
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Hello humanino,

It's just "A." Garrett Lisi. Glad you liked the joke, it appears many have taken it to heart -- which is kind of cool and kind of... weird. (Guess I'm not yet used to the public eye.)

I agree that Jacques Distler is often polite. But the quotes you've provided (which I hope people appreciate as expressing the fact that this is not a complete theory) are taken directly from my paper. I have been thinking about this problem a lot (since it's the biggest problem), but don't have much to say about it right now. At this point I'm still hoping for further insight as I and others figure out what a D8 spin foam would look like.

Hi Coin,

Yes, you can find me behind Obama. And I've been enjoying the discussion at Peter's blog, even though it's mostly about string theory, blogs, and physics politics. Hmm, next paper... maybe "An Unusually Complicated Theory of Something."
 
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Thanks for the answer !
the quotes you've provided are taken directly from my paper.
yes, I should have made that clear :shy:
I would not have cared to post Jacques' comment here, the "polite" was meant to be ironical.
 
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Well, I didn't say "always polite." ;)
 
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Yesterday I had a very enjoyable lunch with Gregg Zuckerman, and he told me Bertram Kostant had posted his conversation with the New Yorker journalist to his office door. Jeff Adams has put it on the web:

http://www.math.umd.edu/~jda/kostant/

But it's a blurry scan/photo. It would be helpful if someone with strong eyes could transcribe that and post it to this thread.
 
Kea
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Garrett, does your new investigation of E8 involve the trinities of Arnold and Lieven Le Bruyn, and groups like the monster? Since the Kostant construction involves the p=11 and other features of trinity, I think this is a natural question.
 
MTd2
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Garrett,

do you still insist on using any kind of superconnection, or did you give up?
 
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humanino,
Thanks. This story about Einstein saying Lie groups will be very important... That is very cool, Lie groups were not so well known then.

grosquet,
Thanks, but I guess your eyes weren't as strong, or at least as fast. ;)

Kea,
Interesting, but I hadn't considered this, no.

MTd2,
Yes, I think a superconnection is the best mathematical structure for describing gravity and the standard model.
 
Kea
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Yes, I think a superconnection is the best mathematical structure for describing gravity and the standard model.
Really? I'm a bit confused about your physical justifications here. E8 is mathematics. What are the physical reasons for thinking a superconnection is sufficient to describe gravity?
 
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Hi Kea,
A superconnection has a 1-form part and a Grassmann number part. The 1-form part is a principal bundle connection. We can describe gravity with a so(4,1) principal bundle connection, via MacDowell-Mansouri.
 
Kea
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Yes, I know all that but it doesn't answer my question. I am demanding more from unification than some pretty mathematical patterns. Like for example a derivation of the standard model parameters, and the implementation of principles beyond classical gravity. How do you propose achieving this?
 
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Hmm, OK, I thought you were asking how a superconnection could describe gravity.

To address your other questions... My guess is that the superconnection will be quantized as a kind of spin foam. For the standard model parameters corresponding to coupling constants, I expect these to run (via renormalization) from a single value at high energy. For the standard model parameters corresponding to masses, these might come from the v.e.v.'s of a set of Higgs fields. But, since this all relates to geometry, I suspect these possible Higgs v.e.v.'s and the resulting fermion masses may have interesting geometric relations. This is the main reason I think what you and Carl have been working on, with the CKM and MNS matrices, is interesting, and deserves more attention.
 
Kea
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This is the main reason I think what you and Carl have been working on, with the CKM and MNS matrices, is interesting, and deserves more attention.
Thanks. Tony Smith says he is thinking about linking some of the quantum geometry (Dynkin diagrams from dessins) to your E8 structure.
 
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It's very interesting to see Garrett, Kea, Tony Smith, Carl Brannen and others diligently working on this very difficult problem, whatever the conditions. Good luck to you all.
 
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Thanks grosquet, your eyes might not be as fast, but they're accurate.
 
Evo
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Several posts were edited or deleted for possible copyright violation. Remember the "Fair Use" law only entitles you to post a small sampling (1-2 paragraphs at most) without permission. Also, please post the link to the article you are referring to so that people may go to that site to read for themselves.

When in doubt, less is best.

Thank you.

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https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=5374
 
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Private email conversations, displayed publicly on an office door by their owner, entitle for copyright ? The material is still available on the link posted by Garrett. The point was to make it more readable. You would need to remove the link as well if you insist this is copyrighted.
 
Evo
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They're deleted pending moderation.
 
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Actually Jeffery Adams appears to have now taken the Kostant office-door papers down from his own website, so Garrett's link no longer points to anything.
 

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