Wednesday, August 06, 2008

An Exceptionally Simple Theory of Everything

This preprint by Garrett Lisi has been getting a lot of press in the popular media, in part because the author is a "surfer dude". Here's an article at the New Yorker: Surfing the Universe An academic dropout and the search for a Theory of Everything. Here's the discussion (some of it heated) at the backreaction physics blog and also at Woit's Not Even Wrong blog. Lisi himself comes off as an unassuming, pleasant, amiable fellow, much in contrast to many of the other commenters.
How can a "Theory of Everything" be "Exceptionally Simple"? Sorry, it's a pun, 'Exceptional' and 'Simple' are technical terms from mathematical Group Theory, the new theory relies on very advanced mathematics and theoretical physics.

Here's a pretty graphical illustration of the theory, but don't expect to watch it and actually understand anything.

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