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38
votes
8answers
4k views

Does Gödel preclude a workable ToE?

Gödel's incompleteness theorem prevents a universal axiomatic system for math. Is there any reason to believe that it also prevents a theory of everything for physics? Edit: I haven't before seen ...
31
votes
5answers
4k views

Is Stephen Wolfram's NKS, an attempt to explain the universe with cellular automata, in conflict with Bell's Theorem?

Stephen Wolfram's A New Kind of Science (NKS) hit the bookstores in 2002 with maximum hype. His thesis is that the laws of physics can be generated by various cellular automata--simple programs ...
24
votes
4answers
5k views

Why is gravity so hard to unify with the other 3 fundamental forces?

Electricity and magnetism was unified in the 19th century, and unification of electromagnetism with the weak force followed suit, bringing into play the electroweak force. I've been told that ...
23
votes
3answers
25k views

What is the current status of string theory (2013)?

I've seen a bunch of articles talking about how new findings from the LHC seem to disprove (super)string theory and/or supersymmetry, or at least force physicists to reformulate them and change ...
19
votes
5answers
2k views

Why don't we have a theory of everything?

What is currently stopping us from having a theory of everything? i.e. what mathematical barriers, or others, are stopping us from unifying GR and QM? I have read that string theory is a means to ...
17
votes
5answers
1k views

String Theory and Standard Model in CERN

I don't know how to say it, but in the TV dominatrices and the popular science books we see the string theory as "the best theory to explain everything", and as "the only game in town"... etc. And ...
17
votes
4answers
880 views

Hilbert, Gödel, and “God equations” - a 19th century lesson for 21st century physicists?

It seems there are a lot of respected physicists appearing on pop-sci programs (discovery channel, science channel, etc.) these days spreading the gospel of "we can know, we must know." Three ...
15
votes
1answer
1k views

Why is Standard Model + Loop Quantum Gravity usually not listed as a theory of everything

I have often seeen statements on physics.SE such as, The only consistent theory of everything which we know of to date (2013) is string theory. Why exactly is this so? Adding the Loop Quantum ...
14
votes
6answers
1k views

Is there a general law for physics?

Here is why I pose this question, as I advance in physics more and more this idea haunts me and in fact helped me figure out and memorize many physical laws. It seems to me that there is a relation ...
11
votes
4answers
667 views

Why is the relative weakness of gravity a problem?

In my physics classes, I remember it being repeated a few times that gravity is a much weaker force than the other three fundamental forces, and being told this is an open problem in physics. However, ...
10
votes
3answers
517 views

If a theory of everything exists, is it necessarily unique?

There is a lot of interesting debate over whether a "theory of everything" (ToE) is allowed to exist in the mathematical sense, see Does Gödel preclude a workable ToE?, Final Theory in Physics: a ...
9
votes
3answers
2k views

Other possible theories (other than string theory) which are generalizations of the standard model with incorporation of gravity

The only finite mathematical framework that incorporates both the standard model of particle physics and gravity under one umbrella that I am aware of is string theory. I would like to know whether ...
8
votes
1answer
223 views

What object is quantized in quantum gravity?

In theories of quantum gravity, which object is it that is quantized? Working on field theories, I expect the quantization to mean the promotion of a classical field to an operator valued field that ...
7
votes
1answer
1k views

Is Poincare recurrence relevant to our universe?

If the theory of everything indicates a singularity-free and finite universe, will Poincare recurrence be relevant to the universe? If so, is there any interesting physical consequence, e.g. in ...
7
votes
3answers
9k views

Is imagining 10 dimension video by Rob Bryanton has any invalid/wrong information? [closed]

I just watched this youtube video by Rob Bryanton and am wondering that is there anything invalid/wrong in term of real physics. I search for Rob Bryanton and it look like he has not-so-good ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

What is the likelihood of ever discovering the graviton?

How would one look for and confirm existence of a graviton? Someone was speaking to me about perhaps one day discovering the graviton, but to me it seems unlikely, although I'm young and essentially ...
6
votes
2answers
261 views

How to check Einstein-like equations on their correspondence with the real world?

Physicists studying the grounds of physics and some mathematicians often come to a theories which are like a general-relativity, but do not coincide with it. Often these theories contradict the real ...
6
votes
2answers
174 views

What are fundamental dimensions used to describe the physical universe? [closed]

I have heard that the universe can be explained in terms of the four fundamental forces. I have also heard it can be explained in terms such as space, time, energy, mass or even motion. To further ...
6
votes
1answer
126 views

Can all laws of physics derived by a single or lists of more general laws?

(This is actually my first question - please understand my lack of knowledge and bad English..) I have always been curious about deriving thousands of laws from more general ones.. Can general laws ...
5
votes
1answer
434 views

Do all the forces become one?

Were the forces of nature combined in one unifying force at the time of the Big Bang? By which symmetry is this unification governed? Are there any evidence for such unification of forces? Has ever ...
5
votes
3answers
534 views

What is a Theory of Everything (TOE)?

I see many learned contribution about the role of a Theory of Everything (TOE), what it might do or not do, what kind of answer it might provide, and what not. But I do not know what a TOE is, how I ...
5
votes
2answers
125 views

Does String Theory Predict more than Four Forces?

String theory literature tells us that ST predicts the four forces: weak, strong, EM, and gravity. What it fails to tell us is if that's all the forces it predicts. Might there be a fifth force that ...
5
votes
2answers
106 views

What is it exactly that conflicts when trying to unify all 4 fundamental forces?

Everyone knows that there are 4 fundamental forces: Gravity Electromagnetic Weak Strong At school and university you're taught that no one has been able to unify these 4 fources. However, not a ...
5
votes
1answer
2k views

Is the universe finite and discrete?

Is the universe finite, both in the sense of being a closed spacetime manifold, as viewed from the macro level, but also in the sense of being fully discrete and finite in all of its intricate quantum ...
4
votes
4answers
1k views

Can we know if “all” physical laws are discovered? [closed]

Before Einstein, scientists believed that all physical laws to be discovered were already discovered. Of course, that was proven wrong. If we somehow manage to come up with the Theory Of Everything ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

Equation of everything

Is this equation in the image true? Can you give some topics that I can cover the equation? Similar equation from http://www.preposterousuniverse.com:
4
votes
1answer
7k views

How to debunk 'The Electric Universe'? [closed]

My father is a generally intelligent person, however he has latched onto a theory which I believe to be completely incorrect. He doesn't believe in gravity, but rather subscribes to an 'Electrical ...
4
votes
3answers
295 views

What are the technical obstructions that prevent scale relativity from being a viable theory of quantum-gravity? [closed]

This post has been imported on physicsoverflow, see here. The astrophysicist Laurent Nottale develops since 1984 the scale relativity, which aims to unify quantum physics and relativity theory, ...
4
votes
2answers
270 views

Fundamental Constants in a theory of everything (TOE)

Do physicists ever expect to be able to derive the fundamental constants of nature from theory? For example, if string theory or some other theory unites the four forces, would the theory be ...
4
votes
1answer
108 views

Theories that predict the number of space-time dimensions

My impression in that most theories assume three spatial dimensions and one temporal dimension, though could in principle be formulated in others numbers of dimensions without inconsistencies. I know, ...
4
votes
4answers
712 views

Final theory in Physics: a mathematical existence proof?

Some time ago, I read something like this about the issue of "a final theory" in Physics: "Concerning the physical laws, we have several positions as scientists There are no fundamental physical ...
4
votes
1answer
182 views

Can we derive most fundamental laws from the Action Principle? [duplicate]

It is said in the book Fearful Symmetry - The Search for Beauty in Modern Physics that we can derive all basic laws in physics from a simple principle called Least Action Principle (although it may be ...
3
votes
4answers
637 views

Help understanding the potential outcome of solving the Unified Theory in modern physics

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 ...
3
votes
1answer
176 views

What does Lee Smolin mean when he says that the most fundamental theory can have no symmetries?

Quote from Lee Smolin in Scientific American: There are some lazy ideas about unification that reflect uncritical thinking, such as the idea that the more fundamental a phenomena [sic] is the more ...
3
votes
1answer
121 views

All of Physics! [duplicate]

In several of Neil Turok's talks, he talks about this equation that encompasses all of physics. Here it is: How much of it is true? If it isn't, then is it possible to put all of our knowledge of ...
3
votes
2answers
203 views

What is the experimental reason to believe in a Unified Theory?

Is there any experimental findings on behalf of the belief that all forces can be unified to a single force? Or the idea has it's inspiration from kind of thought experiment or philosophical belief.
3
votes
2answers
466 views

Hilbert's sixth problem (current answers neglect the fact that $C_{U} \subseteq U $ ) [duplicate]

(current answers neglect the fact that the set of all concepts( $C_{U}$) is a subset of U as all of them are physically encoded( symbolically represented by the physical events themselves(brains, ...
3
votes
1answer
70 views

Would a Theory of Everything allow us to calculate the constants of physics?

I have heard several times in the past that a Theory of Everything would allow us to calculate (as opposed to measure) the fundamental dimensionless physical constants. What I mean is, e.g., the fine ...
3
votes
3answers
216 views

Evolution principle of the physical laws

I wanted to know if there is a physical theory that considers that the laws of physics undergo an evolutionary process. That see the law of physics or the absence of them, as something dynamic, and ...
3
votes
1answer
626 views

Is it possible for one side of the universe to “meet” the other?

I've variously heard the shape of the universe being described as multi-dimensional, like a helix or mobius strip, and super string theorem seems to say there are lots of universes all piled up next ...
3
votes
0answers
167 views

Is everything made of space? [closed]

I had been studying quantum field theory for a while now, and how there had been many efforts in physics to finally create a "Theory of Everything" (TOE). But while I was learning about all this, I ...
3
votes
1answer
270 views

Can universal continuity be experimentally falsified?

It is an unresolved question whether the universe is discrete or continuous in its intricate quantum level structure. See for example: Is the universe finite and discrete? How could spacetime become ...
2
votes
2answers
895 views

Why do we need a Theory-Of-Everything (TOE)?

On the heels of some of the discussion about the recent TOE article by New Scientist, what are the key reasons why we need a TOE? The obvious immediate response is that a TOE should give us a means ...
2
votes
2answers
98 views

What is high energy physics?

Is high energy physics the same as particle physics? Does research in high-energy physics include things like quantum gravity, string theory and quantum field theory? Is unifying the four ...
2
votes
4answers
860 views

What is fundamentally physically impossible?

Mathematical logic defines quite clearly what is true or false in math, and also that some theorems are impossible to prove. This resulted in some clear definitions of axioms set like Peano, ZF or ...
2
votes
3answers
679 views

What is a good non-technical introduction to theories of everything?

I'm not a physicist but I'm interested in unified theories, and I do not know how to start learning about it. What would be a good book to read to start learning about this topic?
2
votes
1answer
361 views

Advantage of string theory over other theory-of-everything candidates

I am getting curious over why string theory, especially M-theory, is the most popular candidate for the theory of everything. It seems that all candidates of the theory of everything lack substantial ...
2
votes
1answer
49 views

Can anyone explain to a novice physicist whether there is a gravitational-electromagnetic symmetry?

I am trying to understand how the four fundamental forces relate to one another and to a theory of everything. As I understand it the unified force that is thought to exist at very high energies gets ...
2
votes
1answer
584 views

Philosophical Interpretation of String Theory [closed]

I want to know whether string theory is supposed to describe the world exactly, or whether it's just an approximation of some more fundamental theory. Is it similar to how the wave-equation ...
2
votes
1answer
309 views

What comes after string theory/M-theory?

Classical mechanics is a good approximation to special relativity, which is a good approximation to general relativity etc. I have heard that if string theory/M-theory is right, then it is not just an ...