Statements about TOEs, Theory of TOEs

  • #1
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I can't find the proper place for this so I'll put it here. I have some questions and some possible answers (or at least my answers). I apologize to the moderator that has to decide where to move this to. :yuck:

Let me suggest that there should be a theory of TOEs.

What is a ToE? (For that matter, what's a theory and what's "everything"?)

Is there a TOE? How many? What's the simplest one? Is there a simplest one?

If there is a TOE, can it be represented symbolically vis a vis symbols human have created or can create? For example, is it expressible as a "one inch equation," a phrase made popular by Michio Kaku?

What traits must be common among all TOEs other than the defining traits? What are the characteristics that are essential to be a TOE?

This is all a study of TOEs without specifically mentioning any candidate TOEs, a theory of TOEs. Can a theory of TOEs produce or yield a TOE?


Can any of this be proved at least to the standards of modern math? If not, to what extent does that torpedo the whole notion of a TOE?
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
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If we do find a TOE, then I hope it can be verified through experimentation and not just through equations on a blackboard.
 
  • #3
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An equation says something along the lines of X really is Y or X is also Y. It shows when two things are different in appearance but identical in nature.
I doubt equations, statements of the form "X is Y," will be all that comprises a TOE; it might end up being circular.
To answer one of my own questions, I think a good place to start is that a TOE is a complete description of reality.
 
  • #4
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I was watching stevens hawkking last night on nova and they mentioned theory oof everythings, but they also had equation in background which i manage to found on internet today, ithink that this sis what they say is theory of everythings, no?
 

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  • #5
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That all depends on what you call a ToE.

There isn't a consensus; for me, a ToE is a complete description of reality. In my POV, that equation would then not be a ToE.

A complete description could be called "blueprints," and what I am suggesting the topic of this discussion is what is the nature of blueprints and, in particular, is there a set of blueprints for reality that can be expressed in mathematical English in a finite document (or even a one-inch equation)?

And if the answer is no, if the blueprints of reality cannot be specified in a finite intelligible document, can these blueprints themselves be completely described (compressed) in a finite document?
 
  • #6
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Where can i find one inch equations? is not on goggle?
 
  • #7
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It's a term coined (afaik) by Michio Kaku.
 
  • #8
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Oh, ok thanks you, i think i have to think about this. very hard business no?

Here is song about one inch equation for enjoyments and thinkings:


Lyrics to One Inch Equation :
Been trying to grasp these concepts
I snatch a little more every day
Well in time your mind may find that
Each new find makes it harder to say that

Gravity got its hold on me

Hides inside just like the precept
That resides behind every principle
May your mind in time come see that
To defy could be possible

It's electromagnetic between you and me
And it hits with a nuclear force

The theory of everything
Will be a theory of everyday
The theory of everything
Here will be a theory of every way

Gravity got its hold on me
It's electromagnetic between you and me
And it hits with strong nuclear force
 
  • #9
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Thanks for posting :smile:
 
  • #10
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Theorems are fated to be improved upon. A current TOE must incorporate all conflicting theories -- which, after all, were never really in conflict.

If "everything" is all that we will ever perceive, can we ever take leave of our senses?
 
  • #11
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What about other, abstract, types of things like equality, identity, numbers, triangles, etc.. They are a part of everything, no?
 
  • #12
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See if you have access to http://physics.aps.org/articles/v4/55" [Broken].
 
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  • #13
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According to Wikipedia, a theory of everything is a theory that models physical reality in a way that would, in principle, predict what would happen in any given experiment.

In my opinion, this would be a theory that is capable of predicting the exact properties of all of the elementary particles, and the forces that cause them to interact with one another.

I wouldn't consider a theory of everything to be something that would immediately solve all scientific problems, however. We also need a better understanding of emergence in order to describe complex systems, since you would otherwise theoretically need a quantum computer more complex than the system you are describing in order to make exact predictions about it.
 
  • #14
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If we solves theory of everythings, what does this mean for human?
 
  • #15
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I would define it as Max Tegmark does, to be a complete description of reality. Knowing it would do as you say but would be inclusive of more than physical phenomena.

If we solves theory of everythings, what does this mean for human?
well it means that humans can have the potential to grasp what the nature of reality is.
 
  • #16
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I would define it as Max Tegmark does, to be a complete description of reality. Knowing it would do as you say but would be inclusive of more than physical phenomena.



well it means that humans can have the potential to grasp what the nature of reality is.
What are non-physical phenomena?
 
  • #17
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Mathematical phenomena such as the distribution of primes or commutativity of integers.
 
  • #18
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Hmm, I wonder if a ToE would explain things like that as well as the properties of the physical universe.
 
  • #19
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If we still maintain that a ToE is a complete description of reality...at least for the sake of argument...

I can envision a scenario in which reality is described completely yet that description does not answer the question why. Like Intregal wrote in another thread, why does the EM field exist, why does gravity exist (or some question along that line). A complete description need not answer such questions nor explain anything.

Now we can start talking about a complete explanation for reality but that is like a quantum leap up from a complete description of reality. Some people might want to call this more stringent thing a ToE, and not merely a complete description.
 
  • #20
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I'm surprised at all the discussion about TOE, and not one peep about the most serious challenges to the notion of such a thing from condensed matter physicists.

1. http://www.pnas.org/cgi/reprint/97/1/28.pdf
2. http://www.pnas.org/cgi/reprint/97/1/32.pdf
3. http://arXiv.org/abs/hep-th/0210162
4. R.B. Laughlin, Rev. Mod. Phys., v.71, p.863 (1999).
3. P. Anderson, Science v.177,p.4 (1972).

And since people might not get it, note that the challenge isn't the idea of "unification" of gravity with quantum field theory, but rather the whole concept of it being a theory that can describe everything. Laughlin's Nobel prize speech about deriving superconductivity from knowledge at the single particle scale is a sufficient example.

Zz.
 
  • #21
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What are your thoughts on this?
http://arxiv.org/abs/0905.1283

It would appear, and please correct me if I am wrong, that the "most general possible" multiverse would be what Tegmark calls Level IV. In that event, describing reality (to leap a bit from 'multiverse') would be equivalent to describing a mathematical structure with the property that all structures can be embedded within it, an "all inclusive" structure.

It's plausible (have yet to prove) that a product, the reduced product, of all structures gives this ultimate structure in which all structures can be embedded.

So the punchline would be that if Tegmark is accurate here, then the complete description of the Level IV 'multiverse' is that it is the reduced product of all structures. The main importance of that structure is its universal embedability with respect to all structures.
 
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  • #22
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According to Wikipedia, a theory of everything is a theory that models physical reality in a way that would, in principle, predict what would happen in any given experiment.
Can it predict the outcome of our next experiment?

Then we need not do the next experiment...

Seems like there is a contradiction somewhere.
 
  • #23
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Can it predict the outcome of our next experiment?

Then we need not do the next experiment...

Seems like there is a contradiction somewhere.
It's not enough to predict. You must predict correctly. Only by experiment can you judge whether the predictions are correct.
 
  • #24
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It's not enough to predict. You must predict correctly. Only by experiment can you judge whether the predictions are correct.
Yes! My experiment consists in predicting the outcome of next prediction!

It seems to me that whatever the outcome of the first prediction is we can CONTRADICT it!

Therefore a ToE will not exist.
 

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