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One inch theory

  1. Mar 30, 2012 #1
    I hear physicist talk about a theory of everything, or a one inch theory.
    First of all, is it physically possible to have a equation that is one inch long that can explain everything?
    Second, what would the equation consist of? Obviously i'm not asking what exactly would it be, because if you knew you would publish it. But what would someone expect it to be on the lines of.

    Is this possible?
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 30, 2012 #2


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    Most fundamental equations are extremely compact in their classical form. They also don't tell you anything useful until you expand all the terms. For example, here is the Maxwell's Equations in SR formalism.

    [tex]\Box A^{\nu} = \mu_0 j^{\nu}[/tex]

    Or here is the field equation from General Relativity that describes curvature of space-time.

    [tex]G_{\mu\nu}=8\pi T_{\mu\nu}[/tex]

    Classical Quantum Mechanics is pretty much covered by Schrodinger Equation.

    [tex]H\psi = E\psi[/tex]

    Well, you get the picture. These are some pretty fundamental equations. It wouldn't be terribly surprising if the equation covering all of the above would end up being just as elegant in its most simplified form.
  4. Mar 30, 2012 #3
    Yes but those equations are explaining certain phenomena, an equation would be dealing with everything in the universe and the universe its self i'm assuming. How would one be able to wrap it up into something noted above.
  5. Mar 31, 2012 #4


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    No. These equations, together, explain almost all phenomena. In fact, if you name me a phenomenon, I can almost promise you that it falls within one of these 3 or some combination thereof. The major exceptions are condensed matter stuff (superconductors, etc) and particle physics. I left these out by choosing to go with Schrodinger's Equation instead of pulling something from RQFT to make the equations a bit more familiar.

    There really are just a handful of equations that are truly fundamental, and they all have a very simple form.
  6. Mar 31, 2012 #5
    So is there an equation for how the inflation period expanded?
  7. Mar 31, 2012 #6


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    Sure. Just put correct value for T in the second equation.
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