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Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Hawking 28 February Phoenix Books; Special Anniv. Reports on Progress in Physics. Bibcode : RPPh Encyclopedia of Science and Technology Communication. SAGE Publications.

Theory of everything

Bibcode : Natur. Burns 1 January The Scientific Revolution: An Encyclopedia. The Scientific Revolution. University of Chicago Press. The Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy. Penguin Group US. Twenty-Fourth Series. On the Possible Relation of Gravity to Electricity". Bulletin of the American Mathematical Society. Bibcode : arXiv Proceedings of the Royal Society of London A. Einstein Studies. Bibcode : ugr.. Oxford University Press. Scientific American. Bibcode : SciAm. Retrieved August 13, The European Physical Journal C.

Bibcode : EPJC Journal of High Energy Physics. Bibcode : JHEP Nuclear Physics B. Bibcode : NuPhB. Physics Letters B. Bibcode : PhLB.. Houghton Mifflin. Foundations of Physics. Bibcode : FoPh Symmetry Magazine. Retrieved Frank Potter's Science Gems. Classical and Quantum Gravity.

Bibcode : CQGra.. New Scientist Finster; J. Kleiner Journal of Physics: Conference Series. Bibcode : JPhCS. Lisi Retrieved May 19, The Relevance of Physics. Chicago Press. Lecture Notes in Computer Science. International Journal of Foundations of Computer Science. Bibcode : quant. Institute for Advanced Study. Bibcode : Cmplx On determinism and approximations.

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Another is to sustain the existence of the universe.

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Along similar lines, God is sometimes credited with maintaining the regularities observed in nature, which would otherwise simply be a coincidence. The same laws of nature govern the most distant galaxies we can observe through our telescopes as operate on earth, and the same laws govern the earliest events in time to which we can infer as operate today… If there is no cause of this, it would be a most extraordinary coincidence — too extraordinary for any rational person to believe.

For convenience I am brutally lumping together quite different arguments, but hopefully the underlying point of similarity is clear. It can be difficult to respond to this kind of argument. Granted, it is always nice to be able to provide reasons why something is the case. Why are some people so convinced of the need for a meta-explanatory account, while others are perfectly happy without one?

I would suggest that the impetus to provide such an account comes from our experiences within the world, while the suspicion that there is no need comes from treating the entire universe as something unique, something for which a different set of standards is appropriate. For example, we could imagine arguing that there is no puzzle associated with the value of the vacuum energy. Some physicists, although a minority, do hold this view, and similarly for other fine-tuning problems. Even though there is only one universe, there are many effective field theories, and many parameters in the theories relevant to low-energy physics.

So the vacuum energy is not a unique object; we have expectations for it based on our experience with other parameters in effective field theories, and can sensibly compare its measured value to those expectations. It is in terms of that comparison that we can legitimately call the vacuum energy finely-tuned. States of affairs only require an explanation if we have some contrary expectation, some reason to be surprised that they hold.

Is there any reason to be surprised that the universe exists, continues to exist, or exhibits regularities? As far as we know, it may simply exist and evolve according to the laws of physics. How, then, to account for all the motion we find everywhere around us? Now we know that objects that are moving freely continue to move along a uniform trajectory, without anything moving them.

Likewise for the universe. There is no reason, within anything we currently understand about the ultimate structure of reality, to think of the existence and persistence and regularity of the universe as things that require external explanation. Indeed, for most scientists, adding on another layer of metaphysical structure in order to purportedly explain these nomological facts is an unnecessary complication.

This brings us to the status of God as a scientific hypothesis. Religion serves many purposes other than explaining the natural world. Someone who grew up as an altar server, volunteers for their church charity, and has witnessed dozens of weddings and funerals of friends and family might not be overly interested in whether God is the best explanation for the value of the mass of the electron.

The idea of God has functions other than those of a scientific hypothesis. However, accounting for the natural world is certainly a traditional role for God, and arguably a foundational one. How we think about other religious practices depends upon whether our understanding of the world around us gives us a reason to believe in God. And insofar as it attempts to provide an explanation for empirical phenomena, the God hypothesis should be judged by the standards of any other scientific theory. Consider a hypothetical world in which science had developed to something like its current state of progress, but nobody had yet thought of God.

It seems unlikely that an imaginative thinker in this world, upon proposing God as a solution to various cosmological puzzles, would be met with enthusiasm. All else being equal, science prefers its theories to be precise, predictive, and minimal — requiring the smallest possible amount of theoretical overhead. The God hypothesis is none of these. Indeed, in our actual world, God is essentially never invoked in scientific discussions.

You can scour the tables of contents in major physics journals, or titles of seminars and colloquia in physics departments and conferences, looking in vain for any mention of possible supernatural intervention into the workings of the world. At first glance, the God hypothesis seems simple and precise — an omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent being.

There are other definitions, but they are usually comparably terse. The apparent simplicity is somewhat misleading, however. There is an inevitable tension between any attempt to invoke God as a scientifically effective explanation of the workings of the universe, and the religious presumption that God is a kind of person , not just an abstract principle. These are not qualities that one looks for in a good scientific theory. On the contrary, successful theories are characterized by clear foundations and unambiguous consequences.

But is what remains recognizable as God? Similarly, the apparent precision of the God hypothesis evaporates when it comes to connecting to the messy workings of reality. To put it crudely, God is not described in equations, as are other theories of fundamental physics. Consequently, it is difficult or impossible to make predictions. Ambitious approaches to contemporary cosmological questions, such as quantum cosmology, the multiverse, and the anthropic principle, have not yet been developed into mature scientific theories.


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But the advocates of these schemes are working hard to derive testable predictions on the basis of their ideas: for the amplitude of cosmological perturbations, [29] signals of colliding pocket universes in the cosmic microwave background, [30] and the mass of the Higgs boson and other particles. Why does God favor three generations of elementary particles, with a wide spectrum of masses? Would God use supersymmetry or strong dynamics to stabilize the hierarchy between the weak scale and the Planck scale, or simply set it that way by hand?

This is a venerable problem, reaching far beyond natural theology. In numerous ways, the world around us is more like what we would expect from a dysteleological set of uncaring laws of nature than from a higher power with an interest in our welfare. As another thought experiment, imagine a hypothetical world in which there was no evil, people were invariably kind, fewer natural disasters occurred, and virtue was always rewarded.

Would inhabitants of that world consider these features to be evidence against the existence of God? Perhaps the greatest triumph of the scientific revolution has been in the realm of methodology. There is no control group for the universe, but in our attempts to explain it we should aim for a similar level of rigor.

If and when cosmologists develop a successful scientific understanding of the origin of the universe, we will be left with a picture in which there is no place for God to act — if he does e. Two thousand years ago, it was perfectly reasonable to invoke God as an explanation for natural phenomena; now, we can do much better. Rather, science judges the merits of competing models in terms of their simplicity, clarity, comprehensiveness, and fit to the data.

Unsuccessful theories are never disproven, as we can always concoct elaborate schemes to save the phenomena; they just fade away as better theories gain acceptance. Attempting to explain the natural world by appealing to God is, by scientific standards, not a very successful theory.

The fact that we humans have been able to understand so much about how the natural world works, in our incredibly limited region of space over a remarkably short period of time, is a triumph of the human spirit, one in which we can all be justifiably proud. Regardless of the original meaning of Genesis, I will proceed under the assumption that creating the universe is one of those things that God is supposed to do.

For a different view, see D. Komatsu et al. Riess et al. Perlmutter et al.

Knowing the mind of God: Seven theories of everything

Hartle and S. Hawking , Physical Review D 28 , ; A. Vilenkin , Physical Review D 30 , Gasperini and G. Veneziano , Astroparticle Physics 1 , ; M. Bojowald , Physical Review Letters 86 , ; J. Khoury et al. Steinhardt and N. Turok , Physical Review D 65 , ; R. Farhi, A. Guth, and J. If we go down to one dimension, things become very simple. The only possible one-dimensional surfaces are an open string, where there are two separate, unattached ends, or a closed string, where the two ends are attached to form a loop.

In addition, the spatial curvature — so complicated in three dimensions — becomes trivial. So what we're left with, if we want to add in matter, is a set of scalar fields just like certain types of particles and the cosmological constant which acts just like a mass term : a beautiful analogy. The extra degrees of freedom a particle gains from being in multiple dimensions don't play much of a role; so long as you can define a momentum vector, that's the main dimension that matters.

In one dimension, therefore, quantum gravity looks just like a free quantum particle in any arbitrary number of dimensions. A graph with trivalent vertices is a key component of constructing the path integral relevant for 1-D quantum gravity. Today 68, 11, 38 The next step is to incorporate interactions, and to go from a free particle with no scattering amplitudes or cross-sections to one that can play a physical role, coupled to the Universe.

Graphs, like the one above, allow us to describe the physical concept of action in quantum gravity. If we write down all the possible combinations of such graphs and sum over them — applying the same laws like conservation of momentum that we always enforce — we can complete the analogy.

Stephen Hawking Leaves Behind His Legacy In The Form Of Books

Quantum gravity in one dimension is very much like a single particle interacting in any number of dimensions. Wikimedia Commons user Maschen. Instead, there might be a better approach, if we chose to work in the opposite direction. Instead of calculating how a single particle a zero-dimensional entity behaves in any number of dimensions, maybe we could calculate how a string, whether open or closed a one-dimensional entity behaves. And then, from that, we can look for analogies to a more complete theory of quantum gravity in a more realistic number of dimensions.

Feynman diagrams top are based off of point particles and their interactions. Converting them into their string theory analogues bottom gives rise to surfaces which can have non-trivial curvature. Instead of points and interactions, we'd immediately start working with surfaces, membranes, etc. Once you have a true, multi-dimensional surface, that surface can be curved in non-trivial ways. You start getting very interesting behavior out; behavior that just might be at the root of the spacetime curvature we experience in our Universe as General Relativity.

While 1D quantum gravity gave us quantum field theory for particles in a possibly curved spacetime, it didn't describe gravitation itself. The subtle piece of the puzzle that was missing? There was no correspondence between operators, or the functions that represent quantum mechanical forces and properties, and states, or how the particles and their properties evolve over time.