Hawking's "End of Physics" Stephen Hawking wrote a paper a few years ago which discussed a "Godel's Theorem" for Physics. Godel's Incompleteness Theorem is a mathematical result which states that any formal system of mathematics necessarily has true statements which can't be proved using the axioms of the system. Godel's Incompleteness Theorem showed the impossibility of Hilbert's idea that there was an ultimate set of axioms and deductive rules (i.e. a complete formal system of mathematics) with which all true statements could be derived. [Many authors have explained Godel's proof in less advanced language, and I encourage you to look at those if you haven't, since the proof is beautifully mind-f***ish, especially the Epimenides aspect.] Hawking was discussing that since physics appears to be strongly mathematical, there might be some sort of proof that there will always be more physical truths that can't be derived from any grand unified theory. He seems to think it's possible that a physics result similar to Godel's Incompleteness Theorem might conclusively show that a GUT is impossible. What do you guys think of this idea? I think it's a very cool idea, actually, and unlike my fellow physics students, I don't dislike the idea that there's no ultimate Grand Unified Physics of God. The universe would be cooler if it were truly beyond any theory or comprehension. Plus there'd always be jobs for physicists! I think that if such a physical theorem were to be found, it would probably be in the context of information theory. Claude Shannon's work on information has a resonance with statistical physics and quantum theory. Alan Turing's work on the halting problem has relevance to the use of algorithms (i.e., theories) to computationally simulate physical laws. I know this is all vague, but to me, these things seem to ring out as related to the possibility of GUTs. Maybe simulating the GUT in a physical computer (or brain) might be analogous to using a universal turing machine to find out whether a certain algorithm stops. Any thoughts?