Unified theory (Are we close?)

  • Thread starter hadeka
  • Start date
  • #1
32
0

Main Question or Discussion Point

Einstein was dreaming about theory of everything that unify all the known physical forces in just one theory ... Unfortunately, he died before his dream comes true ...

But nowadays, are we close to a real unified theory that explains the universe?
Or is it just a wishfull stupid metaphysical thinking?!
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
199
0
I don't think anyone can tell really, hopefully something will come out of the LHC.
 
  • #3
Nabeshin
Science Advisor
2,205
16
Well, having read a bit about the general trends of physics and science in general over the past few centuries, I'm inclined to say no. First off, it seems that whenever we think we've got everything figured out, something big happens that no one can predict. Second, I'm not sure how much it matters. Unifying the physical forces is pretty nice to see an underlying simplicity and symmetry to the universe, but the event would likely pass unnoticed by anyone not in the field.
 
  • #4
794
1
Well, having read a bit about the general trends of physics and science in general over the past few centuries, I'm inclined to say no. First off, it seems that whenever we think we've got everything figured out, something big happens that no one can predict. Second, I'm not sure how much it matters. Unifying the physical forces is pretty nice to see an underlying simplicity and symmetry to the universe, but the event would likely pass unnoticed by anyone not in the field.

That person would or should get, at least, their 15 minutes of fame.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/15_minutes_of_fame
 
  • #5
Nabeshin
Science Advisor
2,205
16
That person would or should get, at least, their 15 minutes of fame.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/15_minutes_of_fame
Agreed, but the general public would likely not understand the significance of the work. I find it difficult to imagine someone going on Jay Leno and discussing the finer points of string theory with him.
 
  • #6
cristo
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
8,107
72
Agreed, but the general public would likely not understand the significance of the work. I find it difficult to imagine someone going on Jay Leno and discussing the finer points of string theory with him.
It would surely be on the front page of the newspaper, though, with some snazzy headline that doesn't really have all that much to do with the theory, but will get people's attention.

To answer the OP: are we close? I don't know, and I don't think anyone does.
 
  • #7
794
1
Agreed, but the general public would likely not understand the significance of the work. I find it difficult to imagine someone going on Jay Leno and discussing the finer points of string theory with him.
Agree with you--

I think Charlie Rose is one of the most intuitive, well rounded interviewers on the tube, but when it came, even, to his interview with Lisa Randall, the look on his face during most of the interview was one of "what the hell is she talking about?"

http://www.charlierose.com/shows/2006/12/12/1/a-conversation-about-physics-with-lisa-randall [Broken]


I was laughing through most of it --just from the expressions on HIS face (and some of the statements about ST/MWI/whatever)
 
Last edited by a moderator:
  • #8
Mapes
Science Advisor
Homework Helper
Gold Member
2,593
17
But nowadays, are we close to a real unified theory that explains the universe?
Or is it just a wishfull stupid metaphysical thinking?!
I'm compelled to quote James Gleick on Feynman:

“So we aren't any closer to unification than we were in Einstein's time?” the historian asked. Feynman grew angry. “It's a crazy question!...We're certainly closer. We know more. And if there's a finite amount to be known, we obviously must be closer to having the knowledge, okay? I don't know how to make this into a sensible question... It's all so stupid. All these interviews are always so damned useless.”

He rose from his desk and walked out the door and down the corridor, drumming his knuckles along the wall. The writer heard him shout, just before he disappeared: “It's goddamned useless to talk about these things! It's a complete waste of time! The history of these things is nonsense! You're trying to make something difficult and complicated out of something that's simple and beautiful.”

Across the hall Murray Gell-Mann looked out of his office. “I see you've met Dick,” he said.
 
  • #9
343
1
"“So we aren't any closer to unification than we were in Einstein's time?” the historian asked. Feynman grew angry. “It's a crazy question!...We're certainly closer. We know more. And if there's a finite amount to be known, we obviously must be closer to having the knowledge, okay? I don't know how to make this into a sensible question... It's all so stupid. All these interviews are always so damned useless.”

He rose from his desk and walked out the door and down the corridor, drumming his knuckles along the wall. The writer heard him shout, just before he disappeared: “It's goddamned useless to talk about these things! It's a complete waste of time! The history of these things is nonsense! You're trying to make something difficult and complicated out of something that's simple and beautiful.”

Across the hall Murray Gell-Mann looked out of his office. “I see you've met Dick,” he said."

Haha who could not love him?
 

Related Threads for: Unified theory (Are we close?)

  • Last Post
Replies
10
Views
2K
  • Last Post
Replies
9
Views
3K
  • Last Post
Replies
14
Views
2K
  • Last Post
Replies
4
Views
2K
  • Last Post
Replies
5
Views
2K
Replies
2
Views
8K
  • Last Post
Replies
3
Views
558
  • Last Post
Replies
3
Views
2K
Top