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Theory of Everything Project: Wikis

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Study guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiversity

CERN LHC tunnel

Welcome to the Theory of Everything Project, a learning project of the Institute of Particle Physics.

Contents

Project summary

Participants of the Theory of Everything Project develop collaborative research projects intended to produce unified descriptions of different physical phenomena.

This search for unification may take various paths, like study of data for cosmological and particle physics experiments involving public databases, survey of grand unification theories, comparison of different interpretations of physical concepts... The content of this project is organized according to these different paths.

The purpose of this project is manyfold:

  1. gain insight and understanding of natural phenomena,
  2. facilitate research related to this highly specialized topic in a wiki way.
  3. produce and organize learning ressources on fundamental issues of Physics
  4. provide background reading material

Subprojects of the Theory of Everything Project

Choose or add a research subject. Organize it in order to facilitate learning and collaboration.

Learning materials and learning projects are located in the main Wikiversity namespace. Simply make a link to the name of the lesson (lessons are independent pages in the main namespace) and start writing!

You should also read about the Wikiversity:Learning model. Lessons should center on learning activities for Wikiversity participants. Learning materials and learning projects can be used by multiple projects. Cooperate with other departments that use the same learning resource.

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Experimental data interpretation

Experimental cosmology and particle physics may provide data that will help guide these efforts in theoretical physics.

Grand Unification theories

Grand unification theories explore the idea that at very high energies, the electromagnetic, weak nuclear, and strong nuclear forces might share a single physical description. In addition to those three forces, a theory of everything would also be able to account for gravity within a single coherent physical theory.

Problem solving

There are currently some problems that hinder a unified comprehension of Physics. Lee Smolin (in The Trouble with Physics, 2006) has listed 5 major problems:

  1. Combine general relativity and quantum theory into a single theory.
  2. Resolve the problems in the foundations of quantum mechanics.
  3. Determine whether or not the various particles and forces can be unified in a theory that explains them all as manifestations of a single, fundamental entity.
  4. Explain how the values of the free constants in the standard model of particle physics are chosen in nature.
  5. Explain dark matter and dark energy.

Exploring anomalous effects

There exist some experimental behaviors which have not a clearcut explanation or on which there is not a widely accepted consensus. Exploring them may open or close paths towards TOE.

Learning material related to the Theory of Everything Project

Texts

Lessons

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Assignments

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Activities

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Readings

Each activity has a suggested associated background reading selection.

  • Paul Davies, The New Physics
  • Lee Smolin, The Trouble with Physics, 2006
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Active participants

Active participants in this Learning Group

  • Arjen Dijksman
  • ...

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