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-   -   Look out Einstein, here come Weinstein (http://www.trekbbs.com/showthread.php?t=214276)

Asbo Zaprudder May 24 2013 11:10 AM

Look out Einstein, here comes Weinstein
 
http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/20...ysics-problems

Quote:

Eric Weinstein may have found the answer to physics' biggest problems

A physicist has formulated a mathematical theory that purports to explain why the universe works the way it does and it feels like 'the answer'
I'd like to see a lot more details, but if Weinstein's theory makes testable predictions (which String Theory struggles to do), it seems worthy of consideration. From what I gather, the theory relies on symmetry breaking of a 14-dimensional space into our 4-D space-time and a 10-D realm that is largely hidden from our view. According to Marcus du Sautoy, lots of stuff drops out naturally from the theory -- three generations of particles in the standard model, dark energy, and an explanation of why particles have mass that doesn't seem like an arbitrary add-on like the Higgs field does. Now, if only, it could predict the particle masses, that would indeed be a coup.

ETA: I've seen some comments online denigrating Weinstein because he's currently a quant for a hedge fund rather than an established academic. It could be worse -- he could have been a patent examiner.

Shatnertage May 24 2013 03:44 PM

Re: Look out Einstein, here comes Weinstein
 
Quote:

Asbo Zaprudder wrote: (Post 8145490)

ETA: I've seen some comments online denigrating Weinstein because he's currently a quant for a hedge fund rather than an established academic. It could be worse -- he could have been a patent examiner.

:lol:

YellowSubmarine May 24 2013 04:24 PM

Re: Look out Einstein, here come Weinstein
 
A general note not regarding this mathematical theory in particular: It should be impossible to discover why the universe works the way it does. There should be some fundamental laws that are not caused by other laws, and therefore unexplainable by definition (or rather, they are probably explainable but the explanations would be untestable and not unique). It is possible that the complicated jumble that we have discovered so far are these fundamental laws and we can't dig deeper. This new theory would work if it explains more, or it explains the same with a simpler set of laws – the problem with string theory is that it is both more complicated and doesn't predict anything additional to what we already know.

On the other hand, even things like string theory that would appear to be completely futile in the scientific sense they might contain the key to why the universe works the way it does, only the results they give would remain untestable, so this is interesting even if it goes nowhere.

Edit_XYZ May 24 2013 04:35 PM

Re: Look out Einstein, here come Weinstein
 
Any arxiv paper yet - or summary of the presentation, at least?

We will find out soon enough if this geometric unity conjecture is worth something.

Asbo Zaprudder May 25 2013 12:35 PM

Re: Look out Einstein, here come Weinstein
 
Weinstein gave his presentation in Oxford the other day -- unfortunately, they didn't seem to have invited any physicists.

http://www.newscientist.com/article/...y-nothing.html

Metryq May 25 2013 05:42 PM

Re: Look out Einstein, here come Weinstein
 
https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-l...00/witches.jpg

Asbo Zaprudder May 31 2013 02:45 PM

Re: Look out Einstein, here come Weinstein
 
Nothing on arXiv yet -- that is the main criticism, not that he isn't an established academic.

http://blog.richmond.edu/physicsbunn/2013/05/27/728/

All we have so far are vague descriptions.

PurpleBuddha June 8 2013 09:58 PM

Re: Look out Einstein, here come Weinstein
 
Quote:

YellowSubmarine wrote: (Post 8146531)
...It should be impossible to discover why... There should be some...

How could you possibly know this? Nice conjecture, but that is all it is.

Pavonis June 8 2013 10:08 PM

Re: Look out Einstein, here come Weinstein
 
It's bad form to make announcements of scientific importance directly to the media.

Asbo Zaprudder June 9 2013 09:09 AM

Re: Look out Einstein, here come Weinstein
 
Yes, remember Cold Fusion.

YellowSubmarine June 9 2013 11:01 AM

Re: Look out Einstein, here come Weinstein
 
Quote:

PurpleBuddha wrote: (Post 8220361)
Quote:

YellowSubmarine wrote: (Post 8146531)
...It should be impossible to discover why... There should be some...

How could you possibly know this? Nice conjecture, but that is all it is.

My reasoning was in the next sentence. It follows from the definition of fundamental. To avoid infinite regress, you need something, some foundation, that's not caused by anything else, and by definition that something will be impossible to explain because it is not a result of something to be explained. You would no doubt have some kind of explanation for it, but it would be an unprovable conjecture at best. You can't prove the axioms.

We presently have a set of fundamental laws in physics. If any of them are really fundamental for the universe, you wouldn't be able to break them or combine them into simpler and/or fewer components that they step on. There would still be one obvious explanation that's quite popular nowadays – there are an infinite set of universes, and each set of fundamental laws you can imagine exists somewhere, and our laws are a result of some sort of cosmic darwinism (universes without sentient lifeforms would not observe themselves into existence). If you can't travel between these purely hypothetical universes though, you'd be stuck with exactly this kind of unprovable conjecture. If you can, you'd end up with a new set of fundamental laws of the multiverse that govern your ability to travel between them and the same problem, and a different kind of unprovable conjecture.

There's one more option though: All roads lead to us. That is, any possible universe would develop sentient life that's comparable to us at some stage, and whatever fundamentals there are, they would be just randomness that does not need an explanation. Which would be another conjecture that you can't prove without an exhaustive search in all possible universes.

JarodRussell June 9 2013 05:10 PM

Re: Look out Einstein, here comes Weinstein
 
Quote:

Asbo Zaprudder wrote: (Post 8145490)
and an explanation of why particles have mass that doesn't seem like an arbitrary add-on like the Higgs field does.

Only problem is, Higgs field is there, they already highly likely found the Higgs boson (and even if they didn't, they did FIND something, that - whatever you may call it - gives the particles their mass). So it's not an arbitrary add-on.

Edit_XYZ June 9 2013 06:54 PM

Re: Look out Einstein, here come Weinstein
 
The Higgs is an arbitrary add-on, much like dark matter or dark energy.
It's put there not because a theory predicted it, but because it's something that must be added to theory in order to conform to experiment.

YellowSubmarine June 9 2013 07:33 PM

Re: Look out Einstein, here come Weinstein
 
Quote:

Edit_XYZ wrote: (Post 8223298)
The Higgs is an arbitrary add-on, much like dark matter or dark energy.
It's put there not because a theory predicted it, but because it's something that must be added to theory in order to conform to experiment.

Those are two are different ways to say the same thing.

Pavonis June 9 2013 07:43 PM

Re: Look out Einstein, here come Weinstein
 
What good is a theory that doesn't conform to experimental results? That's a rhetorical question, by the way.


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