Tuesday, September 15, 2020

A Theoretical Physicist Produces a Music Video on Theories of Everything (TOE)

Environmental & Science Education, STEM, Astronomy, Cosmology, Nature of Science, History of Science

Ed Hessler

Theoretical physicist, Sabine Hossenfelder has posted an irresistibly delightful music video on theories of everything (TOE).

A TOE, according to the Wiki entry, "is a hypothetical single, all-encompassing, coherent theoretical framework of physics that fully explains and links together all physical aspects of the universe." It is routinely described as a major unsolved problems in physics. One day the idea is that we will be able to wear the equation on a T-shirt.

The idea of unification has a long history in physics. And three of the fundamental interactions have been merged into a single force (not directly observed yet). These are the electromagnetic (electricity, magnetism, and light), weak (radioactive decay) and strong force (holds nucleus of the atom together).  It is pesky gravitation that so far eludes physicists in their search for a TOE. It is the most intuitive of the four forces and is long in its range, from falling apples to the solar system and beyond. One simple way to think of all four forces is that they govern how objects or particles interact and how certain particles interact.

But this is not a post on the forces or their unification but an occasion to view a video about several proposed theories. A Google search will lead you to more details than perhaps you care to know. Dr. Hossefelder's posts usually generate many responses and while some of them are technical you may still want to scroll through them to see whether any of the physicists whose theories she mentions responded to the video.

Here it is (3 m 24 s).

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