I think it’s too sweeping a term, Ed. But I had my arm twisted to use it because “the general public don’t know what a unified model is”. Note that it isn’t quite a unified field theory, because when you unify them, the fields lose prominence.

See Unified Field Theory and Einstein by S C Tiwari at arxiv.org/ftp/physics/papers/0602/0602112.pdf and note the quote: “Einstein, in his last paper on the subject, admitted that perhaps the concept of field was inadequate for the unified theory which he was seeking”.

just listen to Hawking, it will be within 10 years that we discover the theory of everything… oops, wait sorry my bad, that was 20 years… oh, ahem, um (20 years later), what i meant to say was, 20 years starting now…

Quite seriously chaps does not String Theory postulate eleven dimensions, of which we know about three, and does not Cosmology state that 95% of the universe is missing, as far as we are concerned. Hence would not this theory be a theory of our 5% or our 3 dimensions? This being the case surely both titles seem a bit overstated.

Avocet: not if it only involves 3+1 dimensions and explains clearly and simply how all the “missing stuff” was right there under your nose all along. It’s easy when you know how.

It only really applies to philosophy, its certainly not anything sciencey. That would be like claiming Laplace’s Demon is science. Science has a different language, for example all logical fallacies are worthless, evidence is king. Lokis wager, resort to authority, all perfectly valid in science provided you have at the very least a testable hypothesis or idea.

In physics the ToE is a sort of dream, which is really currently summed up by the grand unified theory. The holy grail of physics. The idea that we can know everything is somewhat silly with where we are now, but I don’t think its impossible given infinity, and assuming we last to the end of time.

Its’ particularly nice to see Avocet back at the forums. Additionally, I have not conversed with Three Times Great before, so a special Hi to you.

Sidhe is right to question my reference to the Godel Theorems.

When I made the post, I simply was thinking about the arrogance of the Mathematicians prior to Godel’s Theorems (lead particularly by Hilbert and Russell). Oh, how the mighty have fallen. The arrogance of the Physicists, simply seemed analogous.

However, I think that one could construct a mathematical Model Theory Structure based on a given Physical Model (such as a conventional field theory). Then mimic Model Theory, using atomistic words and permitted grammar, to form a permitted statement which may or may not be true within that structure.

Assuming that basic Arithmetic is embedded in those words and grammar, then it follows from the Godel theorems, that we can form a statement which, though true, can not be proved to be true with respect to that Structure/Physical Model.

Anyway, just more random thoughts from a senile old man.

That’s true Ed. A “theory of everything” won’t be a theory of everything. That’s just the phrase they use when they talk about a theory that unifies the forces. A better name is unified field theory. Only like Einstein said, the concept of field is no longer appropriate. When you unify the fields, you see the underlying geometry, and then the fields kind of slip out between your fingers. Anyhow, here’s the popular science book version. I’m told it’s a really good read:

Technically it will be a theory for everything. There are 4 fundamental forces governing the universe, that’s layman’s knowledge. However, simply because string theory postulates the existence of a total of 11 dimensions doesn’t surmise that those forces are irrelevant. Once we have established a model explaining quantum phenomenon (since neither Einsteinium mechanics, nor Newtonian mechanics are capable of doing it), we have essentially set the foundations for completing the theory.

All we need now are some gravitons and Higg’s bosons.

And that layman’s knowledge is secondhand, Vetruvian, and wrong. Those forces aren’t fundamental. Think about a proton. We talk about the strong force keeping the quarks together. But annihilate that proton with an antiproton, and the result might be mesons which decay rapidly, or the intervening steps can be bypassed and the result can can be two gamma photons. Where’s the strong force now? It’s through simple things like this that you realise that it was never really fundamental at all.

And we do have a model for quantum phenomena, it’s simple. The quantum of quantum mechanics refers to Planck’s constant, the h in E=hf. See en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Planck_constant. It’s a constant of action. Action has the dimensionality of momentum x distance, and there’s something constant about this action when it comes to light. As to what, you can see it right there in every picture of the electromagnetic spectrum you ever did see:

Look at the wave height. Regardless of wavelength, it’s always the same. The amplitude of all photons is always the same. That’s why we have the h in E=hf. You don’t need 11 dimensions or gravitons or Higgs bosons. The photon is boson enough.