Tuesday, 7 August 2012

The magic of TOEs

The discovery the past few weeks of evidence of a relatively light mass for the much-hunted Higgs boson shouldn't just be thrilling to the techno-geeks around the world, it should be giving everyone a chill and a smile. Stuff like this is the grand exploration of our age - we're not sending people on expeditions to Antarctica or deepest darkest Africa, but we're looking further and further into the very nature of reality - which is what the great explorers were all trying to do if you really think about it.

The magic of TOEs (or the Theory of Everythings) is that we are just on the cusp (and may be cusping for the next twenty years, who knows) of finally wrapping together all branches on physics into one connected whole. And for those of you who don't think that's useful, try imagining the Middle Ages maps of the world with their patches of sea and islands and "off the end of the world" bits where the dragons and monsters lurked and try comparing this to the globe sitting on your desk...right now we are in the Middle Ages, but soon, we may see the light.

On PhutureNews, nearly 90% of people voted that they thought that we would find a complete Theory of Everything by 2040...see the article here http://phuturenews.com/2011/11/indian-discovers-toes/

Why is this interesting? Well, it can have implications on everything from the nature of reality (whether searching out the cosmos or probing the subatomic, almost all theories now point to the reality of an almost endless multiverse of parallel universes) to the ultimate free lunch (inflationary theories point to an unlimited source of energy sitting in perfectly empty space, which, really, isn't empty)...

If the faint glimmering of a lighter than expected Higgs turns out to be true, then this is a major confirmation of the Standard Model of quantum physics, and should help turn the light onto the next step in our quest for truly beautiful TOEs. Stay tuned.

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