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12
votes
8answers
3k views

Why are extra dimensions necessary?

Some theories have more than 4 dimensions of spacetime. But we only observe 4 spacetime dimensions in the real world, cf. e.g. this Phys.SE post. Why are the theories (e.g. string theory) that ...
33
votes
2answers
3k views

Why is gravity such a unique force?

My knowledge on this particular field of physics is very sketchy, but I frequently hear of a theoretical "graviton", the quantum of the gravitational field. So I guess most physicists' assumption is ...
9
votes
3answers
1k views

Can all fundamental forces be fictitious forces?

After reading many questions, like this and this, I wonder: is it possible to consider also the other fundamental forces, the electroweak interaction and the strong interaction or ultimately the ...
2
votes
3answers
620 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?
21
votes
3answers
4k 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
670 views

Spontaneous symmetry breaking in SU(5) GUT?

At the end of this video lecture about grand unified theories, Prof. Susskind explains that there should be some kind of an additional Higgs mechanism at work, to break the symmetry between the ...
6
votes
3answers
397 views

GUT that includes all 3 particle families into a large group?

Explaining SU(5) GUTs (using the first particle family as an example) in the last SUSY lecture 10, Lenny Susskind mentioned that there are at present no ideas how to combine simultaneously all 3 ...
4
votes
2answers
866 views

Does string theory and preons exclude each other?

Does string theory contradict the theory of preons, especially the Harari-Shupe one?
2
votes
2answers
391 views

Quantum mechanics + General relativity =?

I have learned (the basics) of how one can incorporate the principles of special relativity to quantum mechanics to obtain quantum field theory. Can the same be done with GR and QM to obtain a new ...