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The (Elusive) Theory of Everything

Hawking, Stephen and Mlodinow, Leonard (2010) The (Elusive) Theory of Everything. Scientific American, 303 (4). pp. 68-71. ISSN 0036-8733.

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Stephen Hawking's work on black holes and the origin of the universe is arguably the most concrete progress theoretical physicists have made toward reconciling Einstein's gravitation and quantum physics into one final theory of everything. Physicists have a favorite candidate for such a theory, string theory, but it comes in five different formulations, each covering a restricted range of situations. A network of mathematical connections, however, links the different string theories into one overarching system, enigmatically called M-theory: perhaps the network is itself the final theory. In a new book, The Grand Design, Hawking and Caltech physicist Leonard Mlodinow argue that the quest to discover a final theory may in fact never lead to a unique set of equations. Every scientific theory, they write, comes with its own model of reality, and it may not make sense to talk of what reality actually is. This essay is based on that book.

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Additional Information:© 2010 Nature Publishing Group.
Issue or Number:4
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20101013-091420691
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:20414
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:30 Nov 2010 17:54
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 02:09

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