I find myself greatly fascinated by physics and astronomy, though I really do not understand most of it. For example, I avidly watch programs and read books that discuss our current search for a Unified Theory which will unite the major forces (Strong Interactive, Weak Interactive, Electromagnetism on the one side, with Gravitation on the other). I also try to understand a little bit about our work with subatomic particles, the search for the Higgs particle, and our use of tools like the Large Hadron Collider.
Despite this enthusiasm, I find myself asking one major question: What might come of definitively finding a Unified Theory (Theory of Everything)? Most of the material I absorb seem to imply that there are major technological advances from such an accomplishment, but rarely provide examples.
Obviously we cannot predict accurately all of the potential for the outcome of this scientific progression, but I get the impression that physicists and astronomers have a great deal of pending problems that await the solution.
For a layperson, what kinds of advancements and breakthroughs might one realistically expect?