Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Garrett Lisi: Unification Theorist

Garrett Lisi is a particle/theoretic physicist who has come up with a very intriguing theory, one that mathematically unifies the quantum and relativistic branches of physics. The theory is fascinating and attractive, despite being essentially beyond comprehension. I had read about his theory at some point a while back and found it of general interest and know I've brought it up in discussion many times. Those times though my recollection was poor and didn't communicate the very important bit that is the author's name, but now I don't think I'll forget.

Unification is of course the holy grail of modern physics, an achievement similar in magnitude to curing cancer. A great thing about Lisi's theory is that it makes predictions which should be answered when the LHC makes it to full power. I have mentioned already that the theory is naturally appealing, and I wasn't lying: his paper is the most downloaded of all on, which is probably the largest online collection of pre-print scientific articles.

At the 2008 TED Lisi gave a presentation, his attempt at a lay explanation of the theory. You might want to take a moment to breathe deep and clear your mind before you watch...

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