Beyond the Core
Is Nature an artist? The Core, though powerful and accurate, is not a polished work. It employs four separate forces - strong, weak electromagnetic, gravitational. Its symmetries connect some of the elementary particles, but not all. Can we establish deeper patterns, to bring everything together?
We have some promising ideas for doing that. There's some tantalizing numerical evidence that these ideas are on the right track. (I've done some foundational work on this.)
Now's an especially exciting time, because these theories make dramatic predictions which will soon be tested, at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC).
Five Easy Pieces
Just a few of my (non-technical) thoughts on unification. You can also find most, but not all of these, in Fantastic Realities.
- Unification of Couplings
- Einstein hoped to construct a unified field theory, but didn't get very far. Now we've got a promising candidate, with some real success and exciting prospects.
- Anticipating a New Golden Age
- The LHC, due to begin operating in summer 2008 and approach full steam in 2009, we'll take fundamental physics to a new level, I think. Here I document why and how.
- Four Big Questions With Pretty Good Answers
- Philosophy is too important to be left to the philosophers. Here, in celebration of Heisenberg's 100th birthday, I do some natural philosophy.
- Fundamental Constants
- Modern physics provides a new, powerful and concrete notion of what quantities are fundamental. Then we can ask: Are they related? Might they change?
- Disaster Scenarios
- Modern physics suggests that surprising and fantastic things can happen in extreme conditions. Might we unwittingly trigger a disaster if we prod Nature too hard?
More About This
The internet is an amazing source of information (and misinformation) about almost any topic. Here are a few URLs if you want to learn more about the connections between particle physics and cosmology.
- Unified field theory
- Here's a short but clear discussion from the online Encyclopedia Britannica.