New Unified Field Theory, no strings needed. Adds gravity to standard model? (Updated)

Slashdot has the best write-up of this news:

“‘The Telegraph is running a story about a new Unified Theory of Physics. Garrett Lisi has presented a paper called ‘An Exceptionally Simple Theory of Everything’ which unifies the Standard Model with gravity — without using string theory. The trick was to use E8 geometry which you may remember from an earlier Slashdot article. Lisi’s theory predicts 20 new particles which he hopes might turn up in the Large Hadron Collider.'”

Read the rest here.

Their are a number of live links to the concepts mentioned in the quote above that you have access to by following the link to Slashdot.

No idea if this is going to verify or not, but it’s: 1. a reminder that string theory may not be the be-all-end-all of particle physics, and 2. real science lets folks make testable claims which can verify their ideas.

Update: This paper has been panned by a number of people already – and may have been put into the “crank” bin by the publisher of Physics Journal to which it was submitted. (Thanks Ruidh)

Author: Nicholas Knisely

Episcopal bishop, dad, astronomer, erstwhile dancer...

6 thoughts on “New Unified Field Theory, no strings needed. Adds gravity to standard model? (Updated)”

  1. This is far beyond my pay grade (in the sense that I vaguely remember some of the operators used), so I fall back on sociological clues. On one hand, if I were to receive a paper with an introduction of this type in my own field, I would tick it for having a poor and directionless review of previous work on the subject. On the other hand, if he’s a crank, these extremely respectable scientists (see http://fqxi.org/who.html) are parties to wasting quite a bit of someone’s money.

  2. And though I neither consider Arxiv a journal per se nor understand its manifold subtleties, the paper is now out of the crank pile and classified as: High Energy Physics – Theory (hep-th); General Relativity and Quantum Cosmology (gr-qc).

  3. Thanks Caelius. For those who are checking the comments – do read the responses at Slashdot. The leading voice of the “panners” of this paper is someone who’s being panned himself.

  4. I have to say I’m enjoying reading all of the back and forth over this. With science, the proof is in the pudding. This theory seems to make some concrete predictions about new particles. When and if they are found, this theory will get a huge boost. I understand that it’s difficult to do a calculation with string theory that makes a testable prediction. I seem to recall some ballpark predictions on the lifetime of the proton which ruled out some forms of string theory.

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