Saturday, November 27, 2010

E8-based Theory of Everything: "Our universe is this beautiful shape"

Think of this a sort of an eight dimensional periodic table upon which all the subatomic particles in the universe (Quarks, Glueons, Leptons, etc.) are displayed in their proper place. Then consider that when all of the particles are where they should be that their interactions cause all of the forces of the Universe such a Gravity, Atomic, Strong Electromagnetic, Weak Electromagnetic etc. etc. etc. For all of its complexity, if true, it will a simple explanation of everything.

"On November 6, 2007, Antony Garrett Lisi, an American-born theoretical physicist, published the paper called "An Exceptionally Simple Theory of Everything", describing a new unified field theory that connects the theories of quantum physics and gravitation using the mathematical shape E8. Lisi's inspiration lies in this elegant and intricate shape known to mathematics, called E8 - a complex, eight-dimensional mathematical pattern with 248 points first found in 1887, but only fully understood by mathematicians this year after workings, that, if written out in tiny print, would cover an area the size of Manhattan. E8 encapsulates the symmetries of a geometric object that is 57-dimensional and is itself is 248-dimensional. Lisi says "I think our universe is this beautiful shape." What makes E8 so exciting is that Nature also seems to have embedded it at the heart of many bits of physics. One interpretation of why we have such a quirky list of fundamental particles is because they all result from different facets of the strange symmetries of E8. Lisi's breakthrough came when he noticed that some of the equations describing E8's structure matched his own. What Lisi had realised was that he could find a way to place the various elementary particles and forces on E8's 248 points. What remained was 20 gaps which he filled with notional particles, for example those that some physicists predict to be associated with gravity. Physicists have long puzzled over why elementary particles appear to belong to families, but this arises naturally from the geometry of E8, he says. So far, all the interactions predicted by the complex geometrical relationships inside E8 match with observations in the real world. The crucial test of Lisi's work will come only when he has made testable predictions. Lisi is now calculating the masses that the 20 new particles should have, in the hope that they may be spotted when the Large Hadron Collider starts up. "The theory is very young, and still in development," he says. "Right now, I'd assign a low (but not tiny) likelyhood to this prediction. For comparison, I think the chances are higher that LHC will see some of these particles than it is that the LHC will see superparticles, extra dimensions, or micro black holes as predicted by string theory. I hope to get more (and different) predictions, with more confidence, out of this E8 Theory over the next year, before the LHC comes online."

Below is a video that introduces the man who envisioned this geometric form.

And to dig deeper here is another site:
Pythagoras was correct.


Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

Pythagoras hyped the dodecahedron, and E8 is kind of a multidimensional version of that.

I linked to this on FB, and noted that it resembles a Spirograph drawing, which is truly cool.

drlobojo said...

Surfer Dude started out with dodecahedron math for his early work. Indeed that shape is inside the E8 many times over. It is also incredable how many times the Star of David shows up.

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