Fundamental Physics

Right, so this one has nothing to do with gaming or social stuff.  It’s pure science. Two step background.

Stephen Wolfram is hopefully a familiar name since he’s the brains behind Wolfram Alpha.  Google gets you clicks.  Alpha gets you answers.  He also developed a natural programming language (Wolfram Language) which is not what most programmers are accustomed.  He’s also a trained physicist, with a focus on theory.

Next, physics has two main branches – relativistic and quantum.  The first works well for things we can see with our eyes, the latter with things we can’t see.  We know they are related, but we’re not able to say how.  There’s been work for many years on a unified theory.  It’s been the holy grail if you will, and so far tremendously out of reach.

He recently put up a very long post on progress on reconciling physics using his own toolsets.  I am amazed at both the material and the simplified explanations provided.  Theoretical physics is a different language that only a few people understand.  The explanation provided in his writings is simple enough that someone with a high school education should be able to follow most of it.

The real kicker here is the approach.  He’s starting with a near blank page and applying a single rule to modify a starting point.  Then he repeats that single rule multiple times and checks the results.  He’s found dimensions, gravity, black holes, quantum bits through the patterns.  He hasn’t found the right rule for our 3D space, even after 1000 rules.  He also realizes that simulating our model would need run through 10^500 times.  Some of that can be compressed, some cannot.  That means that there’s still tons of work left to do, but the signs here are just mind blowing.

Does this have a practical impact on day to day life?  Right now, no.  Even if we found the answer today, it wouldn’t impact us for 20 years.  Yet that development would change the foundation of other research, and most likely change the direction of science as we know it.  Quantum Computing was a pipe dream 10 years ago.  It’s here now in the trial stages and still has a while to go, but if it works at scale… holy shit.  A unified theory could finally help us breach the media-based propulsion challenges (e.g. you need fuel and can only go so fast).  It could change communications to be instantaneous across the globe.

Still no definitive answers, but this is the closest I’ve ever seen for a unified theory.  Wowza

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