Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

What areas in physics would you like the Theory of Everything to explain?

  1. Jul 22, 2012 #1
    What areas in physics would you like the "Theory of Everything" to explain?

    What are some of the mysteries in general physics, astrophysics, partical physics, etc would you like to see addressed when a theory of everything is finally forged?

    For me it would have to be what is dark matter/energy, why virtual particals exist, ties general relativity and quantum mechanics together, what determines half-life's of particals, the nature of back holes, and finally how does quantum entanglement exist.

    There is a lot to our universe, what do you see as a fundamental mystery or process that should be included in a hypothetical 'Theory of Everything'.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 22, 2012 #2

    Dale

    Staff: Mentor

    Re: What areas in physics would you like the "Theory of Everything" to explain?

    A good theory of everything should explain everything.
     
  4. Jul 22, 2012 #3
    Re: What areas in physics would you like the "Theory of Everything" to explain?

    Ok ok you got me. Touche. But let me be entertained by life's greatest puzzles one by one
     
  5. Jul 22, 2012 #4

    Drakkith

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Re: What areas in physics would you like the "Theory of Everything" to explain?

    This depends on what you mean by a "Theory of Everything". I've seen at least one definition that just unifies the fundamental forces. Then there's the theory that actually describes or explains EVERYTHING imaginable. That latter one seems impossible. I can't see a day where we run out of questions.
     
  6. Jul 22, 2012 #5
    Re: What areas in physics would you like the "Theory of Everything" to explain?

    If it does not explain consciousness it is just another theory of not everything.
     
  7. Jul 23, 2012 #6
    Re: What areas in physics would you like the "Theory of Everything" to explain?

    That sounds more of a medical/philosophical question then a creation theory criteria. Personally, I believe once you get enough nerve paths together that transmit information (threw lots of evolution) you will naturally end up with something that is self aware. Even what it means to be self aware can be debated.

    I think there will be a time the not to distant future where a computer surpasses the number of circuits and processing capacity then a human brain and will give rise to self aware machine.
     
  8. Jul 23, 2012 #7
    Re: What areas in physics would you like the "Theory of Everything" to explain?

    The Theory of Everything, at this point, is unknown and very little is out their, other then string theory, that attempts to pull everything together, and string theory has many skeptics (including myself). One day something will turn up that offers some pretty good explanations.

    One way of looking at my question is that I am wondering what matters and phenomenon in nature would give credibility to an everything theory if it was able to explain them in a simple and logical way in addition to explaining the relationship of General Relativity to Quantum Mechanics
     
  9. Jul 23, 2012 #8
    Re: What areas in physics would you like the "Theory of Everything" to explain?

    Well, if you accept as a sufficient explanation of consciousness that it just emerges "naturally" then there is no need to look any further. I can present the final formal theory of everything right now...

    TOE: Everything happens naturally. Q.E.D.
     
  10. Jul 23, 2012 #9
    Re: What areas in physics would you like the "Theory of Everything" to explain?


    Next week's lottery numbers.

    :rofl:
     
  11. Jul 23, 2012 #10

    Ryan_m_b

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Re: What areas in physics would you like the "Theory of Everything" to explain?

    As I understand it a theory of everything would not explain everything but will explain the underlying physical laws behind everything. So it would be able to tell you all the processes going on in a dice role but it's not going to tell you what the role will be. Unless you somehow can observe what's going on at a fundamental level and plug this into a TOE calculator.

    Wrt consciousness it's the same. A TOE might come out tomorrow and it still wouldn't help us much. We'd still have to study the brain further and understand what generates consciousness, the only advantage would be there would be no processes that couldn't in theory be explained by the TOE.
     
  12. Jul 23, 2012 #11

    ZapperZ

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor
    2016 Award

  13. Jul 23, 2012 #12

    PhanthomJay

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

    Re: What areas in physics would you like the "Theory of Everything" to explain?

    The Theory of Everything must shed light on what is Nothing, if such a concept exists, and give some explanation , other than "meaningless", as to what was happening before the Big Bang.
     
  14. Jul 24, 2012 #13
    Re: What areas in physics would you like the "Theory of Everything" to explain?

    1. Inertia

    2. The nature of electric and magnetic fields.
     
  15. Jul 25, 2012 #14
    Re: What areas in physics would you like the "Theory of Everything" to explain?

    I'm very interested in what you're implying, but at the moment I don't have the time to go through those articles. Could you sketch the idea? I wonder if it's not a semantical issue. How would a theory of everything not be able to predict superconductivity yet be able to be a theory of everything? Isn't that a contradictio in terminis?
     
  16. Jul 25, 2012 #15

    ZapperZ

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor
    2016 Award

    Re: What areas in physics would you like the "Theory of Everything" to explain?

    Consider the possibility that TOE is the theory of everything for REDUCTIONISM! All those references are pointing to emergent phenomena that defy derivation when they are broken apart to their basic constituents.

    I do not buy the concept of TOE. And I have many prominent physicists who also do not buy such a thing.

    Zz.
     
  17. Jul 25, 2012 #16
    Re: What areas in physics would you like the "Theory of Everything" to explain?

    I see. But aren't you building a strawman then? I'm pretty sure the whole idea of reductionism is to reduce to the simplest without leaving anything out as an emergent phenomenon (a bit like Einstein's quote: make it as simple as possible, but not any simpler). Reworded: are there any reductionists who could regard a theory that cannot (in principle) derive superconducitivity as correct?
     
  18. Jul 25, 2012 #17

    ZapperZ

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor
    2016 Award

    Re: What areas in physics would you like the "Theory of Everything" to explain?

    I've already given you the gist of the arguments in those papers I cited. If you wish to learn more, or question the idea, then you have to do your own effort in learning those arguments by reading those links.

    Zz.
     
  19. Jul 25, 2012 #18
    Re: What areas in physics would you like the "Theory of Everything" to explain?

    I'd hope that a TEO would shed light on the interpretation of quantum mechanics, what wavefunction collapse means, and how entanglement works.
     
  20. Jul 25, 2012 #19
    Re: What areas in physics would you like the "Theory of Everything" to explain?

    Fair enough.

    On topic: Concerning the TOE, I'd like to see if it describes the universe as constituting of particles or fields (or... ?)
     
  21. Jul 26, 2012 #20
    Re: What areas in physics would you like the "Theory of Everything" to explain?

    New question for those who see it: What is the most intriguing mystery of our universe?
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook




Similar Discussions: What areas in physics would you like the Theory of Everything to explain?
Loading...