**“Holy crap, that’s it!”**

Surfer dude stuns physicists with theory of everythingAn impoverished surfer has drawn up a new theory of the universe, seen by some as the Holy Grail of physics, which as received rave reviews from scientists.

Garrett Lisi, 39, has a doctorate but no university affiliation and spends most of the year surfing in Hawaii, where he has also been a hiking guide and bridge builder (when he slept in a jungle yurt).

Lisi’s inspiration lies in the most elegant and intricate shape known to mathematics, called E8 – a complex, eight-dimensional mathematical pattern with 248 points first found in 1887, but only fully understood by mathematicians this year after workings, that, if written out in tiny print, would cover an area the size of Manhattan.

E8 encapsulates the symmetries of a geometric object that is 57-dimensional and is itself is 248-dimensional. Lisi says “I think our universe is this beautiful shape.”

What makes E8 so exciting is that Nature also seems to have embedded it at the heart of many bits of physics. One interpretation of why we have such a quirky list of fundamental particles is because they all result from different facets of the strange symmetries of E8.

I have always thought surfing brings you closer to nature/god.

E8 encapsulates the symmetries of a geometric object that is 57-dimensional and is itself is 248-dimensional.It’s so simple… why did this take so long to figure out? If the math doesn’t add up, just make up other dimensions until it does.

Kinda like Republicans and budget management.

Dude, where’s my spirograph?

Here is a link to the actual paper: http://www.arxiv.org

It’s Black Mesa all over again…

Occam’s Razor would point that the simplicity of this theory to be correct.

#2 it’s a combination of a huge number of simple equations inter-related. Lisi simply broke up a complex problem into a series of simple ones.

I like the comments talking about 2012 too, I can’t for Jan 2013, so we can look forward to the passing of the asteroid Apophis, twice, in the coming years…

So where are the comments from the Dvorak boffins?

I can see that all that hard thinking burned his hair off.

Here it is in a nutshell:

“All fields of the standard model and gravity are unifed as an E8 principal bundle connection. A non-compact real form of the E8 Lie algebra has G2 and F4 subalgebras which break down to strong su(3), electroweak su(2) x u(1), gravitational so(3,1), the frame-Higgs, and three generations of fermions related by triality. The interactions and dynamics of these 1-form and Grassmann valued parts of an E8 superconnection are described by the curvature and action over a four dimensional base manifold.”Now I think I’ll go lie down.

#7 Excellent observation there hopper, but I’m gonna split “hairs” and say E-8 got no hair! :-)~

Cool.

I’m almost as bald as he is but it didn’t help with my attempt to read it. Wish I wasn’t at work because I could use a beer after that.

So does this mean we can go home now?

Cool…. I am going to build a shrine to E8, worship it and make it into a surfing based religion, just to piss off the scientists and the religious alike (except possibly the Buddhists, animists and Hindu’s).

More E8:

http://aimath.org/E8/

“The magnitude of the calculation is staggering: the answer, if written out in tiny print, would cover an area the size of Manhattan. Mathematicians are known for their solitary work style, but the assault on E8 is part of a large project bringing together 18 mathematicians from the U.S. and Europe for an intensive four-year collaboration.”

“While mathematicians have known for a long time about the beauty and the uniqueness of E8, we physicists have come to appreciate its exceptional role only more recently — yet, in our attempts to unify gravity with the other fundamental forces into a consistent theory of quantum gravity, we now encounter it at almost every corner! Thus, understanding the inner workings of E8 is not only a great advance for pure mathematics, but may also help physicists in their quest for a unified theory.”

#5 lol

Maybe he’s discovered that with the help of Maui Wowie.

the real story behind the guy is that he is a phd in physics that was tired being pressured to toe the string theory line and left acadamia to go be a surfer

which is even more cool, imo

teaser article only if not subscribed to new scientist article

I thought the answer was 42?

Maybe I was asking the wrong question!

#15. Now we need to find the question.

Wow, and there’s no Ivy league scholars ridiculing, questioning him, denigrating him, defaming him at all? Oh wait, he’s not hispanic so it’s cool with them.

#4, Improbus, thanks for the link to the .pdf !!

Too much specialized math for me — I thought the proof of Fermat’s last theorem was darn near undecipherable.

I’ll bet the boys at Cern are happy. The new Large Hadron Collider should be able to detect the Higgs boson and if its mass is within theoretical limits of the Standard Model, this will verify one prediction of this new theory and perhaps explain why particles have mass (the Higgs field).

Unfortunately, there is still no theory to explain why the fundamental constants have the values they do, such as mass of the electron, Planck’s constant, speed of light, etc.

#5, KagatoAMV;

“Prepare for Unforeseen Consequences, Dr. Lisi…”

17. AHW

Then how about from a physicist named Luboš Motl?

“a huge joke”

“Every high school senior excited about physics should be able to see that the paper is just a long sequence of childish misunderstandings. I understood these things when I was 14.”

“not a glimpse of physics in that paper”

“crackpot”

“a completely childish and trivial sequence of mistakes and meaningless mathematical masturbation”

http://tinyurl.com/2y64by

You want Lisi to be right if for no reason other than to see this SOB eat his words.

Now from my small bit of reading on a subject that may be history unfolding before our eyes (or not), Lisi says he’s taken the idea as far as his creativity allows for the time being and he wished to open the subject for others to advance. He acknowledges that his theory will be found completely wrong… or completely right, with nothing in the middle. At the moment E8 is being savaged by the (jealous?) string theory crowd including Motl above. The E8-backers are holding their own by explaining that they are being attacked with string concepts that are irrelevant to E8. The interesting thing about E8 is that, unlike string, apparently E8 has some very testable and predictive aspects to it.

RBG

20 – RBG

Like I implied earlier, to be a notorious physicist, just make shit up and make is sound plausible. If the shit doesn’t add up, just pile on more shit to make it sound more plausible, and loudly state that you would certainly see the truth if your puny little mind could just comprehend it. The other physicists will spend years getting paid to prove you wrong, and everyone is happy. Continue forever because “if we could just get a little closer to the Big Bang, everything will come together” Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.

Or just make up some theory that adds up yet can not be proven.

Call me when something practical comes of this, like a “Mr Fusion” device for recharging my car.

” but only fully understood by mathematicians this year after workings, that, if written out in tiny print, would cover an area the size of Manhattan.”

So much for fitting the theory of everything on a t-shirt

surfer dudes are so deep…..and high

Though Awake has a good point about the masturbatory nature of much of modern physics, the symmetries revealed within E8 would be a lovely answer to the mysterious relationships between the elemental particles. And for those expecting answers to everything in a ToE, might I remind you that this is an attempt at answering what there is, not why it is. And the nice thing about those sort of theories is that they are somewhat testable.

Thing about understanding EVERYTHING is that some asshole would assure you that you are absolutley WRONG about EVERYTHING.

WOOT!! Mr. Clean look-a-like to the rescue!!

21 Awake. Yeah, I guess so, as long as the results from any predictions are repeatable & reproducable and form the basis of medicine and engineering. E8 will be confirmed or discredited when predictions of numerous new new particles are either found, or not found, at the new Large Hadron Collider coming online next year in Switzerland.

Or we can look at tossed chicken bones and tea leaves if you think that works better. Isn’t that how they discovered nuclear energy?

RBG

Garrett Lisi and his E8 geometry solution to “the theory of everything” is currently undergoing world-wide scrutiny to say the least.

For those of you who just can’t get enough of particle physics, here’s an almost-understandable outline on slashdot to the controversy that Garrett himself has commented: “Thank you for this summary, it’s completely accurate.”

http://tinyurl.com/29eqpd

RBG

Well, actually, I’m, eh, goin’ to an E8 conference this year.

Yea, we’re, we’re going to erase African debt. (heh-heh).