Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Garrett Lisi (New Yorker 21 July issue)

  1. Jul 14, 2008 #1

    marcus

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member
    2015 Award
    Dearly Missed

    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?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 14, 2008 #2
    I found this summary on the New Yorker's website
    http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2008/07/21/080721fa_fact_wallacewells

    Link provided by Astronuc.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 23, 2008
  4. Jul 14, 2008 #3

    marcus

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member
    2015 Award
    Dearly Missed

    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.
     
  5. Jul 15, 2008 #4

    garrett

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

  6. Jul 15, 2008 #5
    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 ?

     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2008
  7. Jul 15, 2008 #6
  8. Jul 15, 2008 #7
    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? :)
     
  9. Jul 16, 2008 #8

    garrett

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    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."
     
  10. Jul 16, 2008 #9
    Thanks for the answer !
    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.
     
  11. Jul 16, 2008 #10

    garrett

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Well, I didn't say "always polite." ;)
     
  12. Jul 16, 2008 #11

    garrett

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    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.
     
  13. Jul 16, 2008 #12

    Kea

    User Avatar

    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.
     
  14. Jul 16, 2008 #13

    MTd2

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Garrett,

    do you still insist on using any kind of superconnection, or did you give up?
     
  15. Jul 17, 2008 #14

    garrett

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    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.
     
  16. Jul 17, 2008 #15

    Kea

    User Avatar

    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?
     
  17. Jul 17, 2008 #16

    garrett

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    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.
     
  18. Jul 17, 2008 #17

    Kea

    User Avatar

    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?
     
  19. Jul 18, 2008 #18

    garrett

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    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.
     
  20. Jul 18, 2008 #19

    Kea

    User Avatar

    Thanks. Tony Smith says he is thinking about linking some of the quantum geometry (Dynkin diagrams from dessins) to your E8 structure.
     
  21. Jul 18, 2008 #20
    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.
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?