July 31, 2020 0 Comments

The Big Idea: Roger Highfield explains why Garrett Lisi, the surfer who drew up a ‘theory of everything’ to explain the universe, is a great role. In November of , physicist Garrett Lisi published an online paper entitled “An Exceptionally Simple Theory of Everything.” Lisi spent much. Garrett Lisi has a new paper, “An Exceptionally Simple Theory of Everything.” Many people seem to think that I should have an opinion about it.

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Of all the stories I’ve written in recent years, the most popular by far bore the intriguing headline: Gartett first picked up on the waves this unlikely figure was making in the scientific community when I read an article in New Scientist by Zeeya Merali.

My take on the story broke in The Daily Telegraph in Novemberand has since been viewed more than a million times on telegraph. Only a few weeks ago, it was back at the fheory of the website’s chart. So why all the interest? Partly, because Lisi claimed to have found the answer to probably the most important question in science: His take on it rested on an extraordinary mathematical object called E8, a complex shape described by a pattern of points in eight dimensions, with a structure that, if written out as an equation in tiny print, would cover an area the size theoy Manhattan.

It filled 20 gaps in the conventional theories with new particles, which seemed to arise naturally garfett the geometry of E8. As soon as he spotted this, he declared: David Ritz Finkelstein, of the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, added that “some incredibly beautiful stuff falls out of Lisi’s theory”.


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Much of the excitement was because Lisi’s theory seemed to challenge string theory — the dominant contender for a “theory of everything”, over which there has been a bitter intellectual war. Its proponents llisi superstar theorists argue that the theory, which relies on tiny, subatomic “strings” vibrating across multiple dimensions, is too beautiful to be ignored.

But there are detractors, from Smolin, who launched a scathing attack in a book called The Trouble with Physicsto doubters, such as Steven Weinberg, a Nobel prizewinner.

An Exceptionally Simple Theory of Everything – Wikipedia

However, the dude had his critics, too. Prof Marcus du Sautoy, of Oxford University, said it was time to knock Lisi off his board, pointing out the ways physics blogs dissected his work.

He, and many others, remain unconvinced. Yet even if Lisi is wrong — as is usually the or with attempts to erect such all-encompassing theories — the world needs more surfer dudes.

Lisi’s effort captured the public imagination because, though the then year-old had a doctorate, he did not work in the establishment, but was backed by a little money from a privately funded research institute called FQXi. We need more independent spirits like him, and others outside the mainstream, such as James Lovelock, the maverick environmentalist. Lisi is also a great role model for science, in that he shatters the stereotype of a nerd.

While he worked on his theory, he spent most of the year surfing in Hawaii, where he lived in a yurt. In winter, he headed to the mountains near Lake Tahoe, Nevada, where he would snowboard. He was so attractive a figure that TV companies lined up to film him and literary agents scrambled to sell the story of his struggle to comprehend the cosmos.


An Exceptionally Simple Theory of Everything

A Hollywood executive said there was “great potential for a feature film”. No wonder that today, Lisi says things are going “more or less fantastically well”. He is now trying to use axions everyhhing particles og by the Nobel laureate Frank Wilczek to describe how particles get their masses. And he is organising an E8 Theory conference with the backing of the American Institute of Mathematics.

He feels like he, and others, are on “the right track”, and hopes that some of the particles he predicts might be detected by the Large Hadron Collider, the vast atom-smasher that is about to go into action in Geneva.

Cosmic Variance

And, as well as pursuing his theory, Lisi is working on a film about young scientists who combine cutting-edge research with adventure sports. He maintains his appetite for both physical and intellectual adrenalin, and tells me: Accessibility links Skip to article Skip to navigation.

Monday 31 December gadrett Surfer dude’s theory of everything: Roger Highfield explains why Garrett Lisi, the surfer who drew up a ‘theory of everything’ to explain the universe, is a great role model for science. Link to this video. Roger Highfield is the Editor of ‘New Scientist’. More from the web.