The Big Questions: Will we ever have a theory of everything?
点击量： 时间：2019-03-15 04:10:00
By Michio Kaku New Scientist tackles eight of the deepest challenges faced by science – from reality and consciousness, to free will and death, in The Big Questions special features. It’s all-out war. The hostilities have begun. With guns blazing, daily salvos are being fired by both sides. Welcome to the conflict raging within the rarefied world of theoretical physics, where a civil war has erupted over string theory and a theory of everything. The stakes are high. A genuine unified field theory that can unite all the physical laws of the universe into a single theory would be the crowning achievement of 2000 years of investigation into the nature of the matter. This is the holy grail of physics, and would be a landmark in human intellectual thought. It would, in the words of Einstein, allow us to “read the mind of God”. The focus of the ongoing civil war is string theory, which claims to be able to unify all the physical forces into a single coherent picture. It says that all the blizzard of particles we see in nature – the quarks, electrons, neutrinos and the rest – are nothing but vibrations of tiny pieces of superstring, like musical notes on a violin string. On one side, leading the charge, are the cynics. They claim that no matter how many glossy, slick TV documentaries or breathless articles appear on string theory, the fact is that a direct test is impossible, period. Definitive proof would require an atom smasher the size of the Milky Way. Furthermore,