Saturday, November 17, 2007

Grand Unified Theory—Great Progress?!?

The still-theoretical "Grand Unified Theory" (a.k.a. "the holy grail of physics") is a hoped-for development by physicists to unify all four of the fundamental forces of nature (gravity, electromagnetism, and the strong and weak nuclear forces), thus extending Einstein's General Relativity Theory. Many are working on it, but no definitive theory has yet emerged...yet.

A "surfer dude" with a Ph.D. in physics, who divides his time between surfing in Maui and teaching snowboarding in Lake Tahoe (no, really—I'm not making this up; the story can be read here) and has no permanent university affiliation, has offered up a theory that may have some potential. Furthermore, it is significantly simpler than most of the theories proffered earlier (I assure you, most normal humans would go numb trying to figure some of them out).

The article concludes with these paragraphs:

For his part, Lisi self-mockingly calls his finding "An Exceptionally Simple Theory of Everything," and downplays the suggestion that it may be the Grand Unified Theory.

"The theory is very young, and still in development," he tells the Daily Telegraph. "Right now, I'd assign a low (but not tiny) likelihood to this prediction."

He hopes the Large Hadron Collider, or LHC, currently being built on the Swiss-French border will find some of his 20 imaginary gravity-related particles.

"This is an all-or-nothing kind of theory — it's either going to be exactly right, or spectacularly wrong," Lisi tells New Scientist. "I'm the first to admit this is a long shot. But it ain't over till the LHC sings."

No comments: