Since 1930, efforts have been made to get our best theory for gravity - general relativity (GR) - to work with our best theory for atoms - quantum field theory (QFT) in the forms quantum electrodynamics (QED) and quantum chromodynamics (QCD). In this comparatively short blog, I will frame the struggle and let people provide their own speculations in the comments (mine will reside there too, so it will be easy to skip if you would like :-)
Consider three physicists: Feynman, Weinberg, and Hawking.
All are so far better in depth and breadth of their understanding of general relativity and quantum field theory than you are I (in particular) will ever be. They devoted much effort toward this goal but have yet to resolve the gap.
Here are five possibilities for the chasm that remains despite diligent work on the subject:
1. GR and QFT are right. A new bridge must be constructed between the two.
2. GR is wrong or incomplete and QFT is right. A new theory for gravity is needed that shares a long list of properties with GR.
3. GR is correct and QFT is wrong or incomplete. A new theory for atomic processes is needed that shares a considerably longer list of constraints put in place by QED and QCD.
4. GR and QFT are wrong or incomplete in the scientific sense of needing to be replaced by proposals that are only ever so slightly better in specific technical situations than GR or QFT.
5. Other than the above, because right or wrong does not feel like the right way to characterize the issues between GR and QFT.
Please feel free to cite the numbers in the comments. Where would one place work on strings? Loop quantum gravity? Non-commutative geometry?
A two strike rule is in place for those who wish to claim they have figured out everything already. I would prefer that if you are of that opinion of your work, you should sign up and start blogging at Science20.com. That's what I did and now I don't have a theory on the table, which is better than selling t-shirts that are wrong.
Next Monday/Tuesday: 4-Parameter Analytic Animations, Solid Man
- PHYSICAL SCIENCES
- EARTH SCIENCES
- LIFE SCIENCES
- SOCIAL SCIENCES
Subscribe to the newsletter
Stay in touch with the scientific world!
Know Science And Want To Write?
- Kudos To "The Independent" Newspaper For Debunking Nibiru "Blood Moon" Hoax
- USDA Microbiologist Warns Bacteria In Vaping Products May Be A Health Concern
- Control Cancer By Making The Tumor Cell Environment Hostile
- 20 Cent School Intervention Stops Unhealthy Weight Gain In Children
- Gödel,Frenkel, Kurzweil, and Hawkins on AI
- Your Microbiome Did Not Cause Your Weight Problem
- A Great Blitz Game
- "Stacey, I already have. But sometimes I find new ways to explain these things which seem to help..."
- "Mr walker please would you be able to demonstrate how this cant be real or at least show hard evidence..."
- "germs, microbes, bacteria, etc.apparently cannot feed on pg, vg, or nicotine. The flavorings commonly..."
- "Oh, I wonder if you were lucky enough to see a rare sun mirage? Actually every time you see..."
- "I dont know much about this topic, however, I am certain of what I saw yesterday at sunset and..."
- Breast Cancer: Genomics May Show Where Chemo Might Not Be Needed
- Gallup Poll: Great Example of How to Bias a Social Science Study
- Another Kardashian Craze Debunked
- Fad Friday: Ditch The Body Wrap!
- Commonly Cited Stat of 10 Bacteria for Every 1 Human Cell Is Wrong
- Why The EpiPen And Other Generic Drugs Are So Expensive
- Activity tracker uses heart rate to personalize amount of exercise needed to prevent death
- Moderate physical activity linked with 50 percent reduction in cardiovascular death in over-65s
- 20 cent school intervention stops unhealthy weight gain in children
- Low socioeconomic status associated with higher risk of second heart attack or stroke
- Smartphone detects atrial fibrillation with existing hardware