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Statements about TOEs, Theory of TOEs

  1. Jul 23, 2011 #1
    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?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 23, 2011 #2
    If we do find a TOE, then I hope it can be verified through experimentation and not just through equations on a blackboard.
  4. Jul 23, 2011 #3
    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.
  5. Jul 25, 2011 #4
    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?

    Attached Files:

  6. Jul 25, 2011 #5
    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?
  7. Jul 25, 2011 #6
    Where can i find one inch equations? is not on goggle?
  8. Jul 25, 2011 #7
    It's a term coined (afaik) by Michio Kaku.
  9. Jul 25, 2011 #8
    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
  10. Jul 25, 2011 #9
    Thanks for posting :smile:
  11. Jul 25, 2011 #10
    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?
  12. Jul 25, 2011 #11
    What about other, abstract, types of things like equality, identity, numbers, triangles, etc.. They are a part of everything, no?
  13. Jul 25, 2011 #12
    See if you have access to http://physics.aps.org/articles/v4/55" [Broken].
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2017
  14. Jul 25, 2011 #13
    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.
  15. Jul 26, 2011 #14
    If we solves theory of everythings, what does this mean for human?
  16. Jul 26, 2011 #15
    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.
  17. Jul 26, 2011 #16
    What are non-physical phenomena?
  18. Jul 27, 2011 #17
    Mathematical phenomena such as the distribution of primes or commutativity of integers.
  19. Jul 27, 2011 #18
    Hmm, I wonder if a ToE would explain things like that as well as the properties of the physical universe.
  20. Jul 27, 2011 #19
    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.
  21. Jul 27, 2011 #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.

  22. Jul 27, 2011 #21
    What are your thoughts on this?

    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.
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2011
  23. Mar 8, 2012 #22
    Can it predict the outcome of our next experiment?

    Then we need not do the next experiment...

    Seems like there is a contradiction somewhere.
  24. Mar 8, 2012 #23
    It's not enough to predict. You must predict correctly. Only by experiment can you judge whether the predictions are correct.
  25. Mar 8, 2012 #24
    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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