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Theories of Everything: The Quest for Ultimate Explanation

1 rating: 3.0
A book by John D. Barrow

Modern physicists believe they are getting closer to a Theory of Everything (TOE), a single, all-embracing picture of the laws of nature. Astronomer Barrow ( The World Within the World ) explores the topsy-turvy implications of current research and speculation. … see full wiki

Author: John D. Barrow
Genre: Science
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
1 review about Theories of Everything: The Quest for Ultimate...

Is everything reducible to one theory?

  • Mar 24, 2008
Rating:
+3
Barrow opened my eyes to some interesting ideas about the Theories of Everything physicists have been pursuing throughout the 20th century. What if there is no Theory of everything because

1). Instead of multiple scientific theories converging as they drill down to a single root at lower levels, what if they continue branching apart?

2). What if physicists aren't discovering how the universe really is (discovering platonic universals as they claim or assume), but are only describing the universe the best way that they have yet found. The description may be no better than a very detailed "just-so" story.

Problems arise in discovering the laws, forces, and constants of nature, especially in defining the initial conditions which may have existed at the creation of the universe. The laws, forces, and constants break down at the extremes of infinity past and future, and very minute differences in initial conditions make huge differences in potential outcomes.

Another problem point for the physicists is time. Unable to account for it in their equations, or to explain why it appears to move forward inexorably when in fact they find it can appear to move backward for some subatomic particles.

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