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Unified theory (Are we close?)

  1. May 26, 2008 #1
    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?!
     
  2. jcsd
  3. May 26, 2008 #2
    I don't think anyone can tell really, hopefully something will come out of the LHC.
     
  4. May 26, 2008 #3

    Nabeshin

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    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.
     
  5. May 26, 2008 #4

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

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/15_minutes_of_fame
     
  6. May 26, 2008 #5

    Nabeshin

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    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.
     
  7. May 26, 2008 #6

    cristo

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    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.
     
  8. May 26, 2008 #7
    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



    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: Sep 25, 2014
  9. May 26, 2008 #8

    Mapes

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    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.
     
  10. May 26, 2008 #9
    "“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?
     
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