×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Physicists Discover Geometry Underlying Particle Physics

Soulskill posted about 7 months ago | from the amplituhedron-is-the-word-of-the-day dept.

Science 600

New submitter Lee_Dailey sends this news from Quanta Magazine: "Physicists have discovered a jewel-like geometric object that dramatically simplifies calculations of particle interactions and challenges the notion that space and time are fundamental components of reality. 'This is completely new and very much simpler than anything that has been done before,' said Andrew Hodges, a mathematical physicist at Oxford University who has been following the work. The revelation that particle interactions, the most basic events in nature, may be consequences of geometry significantly advances a decades-long effort to reformulate quantum field theory, the body of laws describing elementary particles and their interactions. Interactions that were previously calculated with mathematical formulas thousands of terms long can now be described by computing the volume of the corresponding jewel-like "amplituhedron," which yields an equivalent one-term expression."

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

600 comments

42 (5, Funny)

syntheticmemory (1232092) | about 7 months ago | (#44885971)

Almost there....

Re:42 (4, Insightful)

RDW (41497) | about 7 months ago | (#44886159)

"They also claim to have found a "master amplituhedron" with infinitely many faces in infinitely many dimensions which should now be as important as the circle in two dimensions. ;-) Its volume counts the "total amplitude" (?) of all processes; faces of this master jewel harbor the amplitudes for processes with finite collections of particles."

http://motls.blogspot.co.uk/2013/09/amplituhedron-wonderful-pr-on-new.html [blogspot.co.uk]

No idea what that means, but doesn't it sound cool?

Re:42 (2, Insightful)

alexgieg (948359) | about 7 months ago | (#44886589)

No idea what that means, but doesn't it sound cool?

I wonder how much this math simplification (?) will allow us to accelerate physical systems emulation, not to mention approaching general AI. The upper bound for emulation of the human brain in the absolute worst case scenario, the one that supposes consciousness arises from individual particles interacting rather than from a higher level of organization such as synapses signaling, was thought to become computable by the old method in about 100 years (if Moore's law holds until then). I'd love to know how many performance doublings this one will allow us to cut from that. The Singularity is one step closer! :-)

Also, computing proteins folding is probably going to get a serious performance boost too. If this proves to really work genetic engineering is going to enter a new phase.

Re:42 (1)

Megane (129182) | about 7 months ago | (#44886659)

You know what it reminds me of? I think it was in one of the Rick Cook Wizardry novels where they tried to converge the shape of a dimensional key by successive approximation. That being a magical universe, as it started to approach the solution, it caused everything around it to go weird (think of Salvador Dali [wikipedia.org]) and they had to abort it.

Bejeweled... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44886029)

Is secretly a complex distributed particle physics computation!

Re:Bejeweled... (4, Funny)

Teresita (982888) | about 7 months ago | (#44886273)

...formulas thousands of terms long can now be described by computing the volume of the corresponding jewel-like "amplituhedron"...

LaForge: "Captain, the amplituhedron flux is below seventy percent, we risk a core breach!"

Picard: "Initiate technobabbatron purge! Engage!"

Re:Bejeweled... (5, Funny)

gstoddart (321705) | about 7 months ago | (#44886475)

Troi: Captain, I can 'feel' the amplituhedron.

Data: It's become sentient

Q: Foolish humans ... you could never hope to understand this.

Wesley: Oh sure, I made one in science class last week.

ALL: Wesley, STFU.

hmmm.... (3, Interesting)

P-niiice (1703362) | about 7 months ago | (#44886035)

Isn't this similar to the geometric structure that the 'surfing physicist' came up with - the one that predicts a bunch of undiscovered particles? Or is this completely different?

Re:hmmm.... (4, Informative)

quantumghost (1052586) | about 7 months ago | (#44886093)

Had the same thought. His name is Garrett Lisi [ted.com]

Re:hmmm.... (5, Informative)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | about 7 months ago | (#44886551)

Lisi's E_8 conjecture [wikipedia.org] is somewhat more complicated than this one. For a start, the geometry of the E_8 group is richer than that of a mere amplituhedron. Others may note that Lisi's conjecture also includes gravitation in its unification, while TFA appears to be only about particle families.

Re:hmmm.... (2)

interval1066 (668936) | about 7 months ago | (#44886439)

This isn't a particle so much as methodology; physicists have discovered that certain particles fit together in a certain way. Apparently before this it was a huge clusterfuck. Its like the mandelbrot set; its not a physical "thing", but its damn useful. To physicists only, I think, but we'll see.

Re:hmmm.... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44886453)

Completely different. Lisi's idea had to do with a group called E8, if I recall correctly, and purported to describe the standard model, while this work describes a supersymmetric extension of the standard model and isn't related to E8 in any way I am aware of. (I'm a PhD student in physics, but not particle physics. Nima spoke at my University a year ago.)

Wolfram's A New Kind of Science (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44886039)

It looks like Wolfram was onto something in A New Kind of Science with his approach to replacing complex equations with simple rules.

Re:Wolfram's A New Kind of Science (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44886315)

It looks like Wolfram was onto something in A New Kind of Science with his approach to replacing complex equations with simple rules.

Even a layman follower of the history of science could have come up with speculation like that.

Re:Wolfram's A New Kind of Science (4, Insightful)

alexgieg (948359) | about 7 months ago | (#44886469)

It looks like Wolfram was onto something in A New Kind of Science with his approach to replacing complex equations with simple rules.

I'd say Plato (perhaps Pythagoras) was onto something when he basically said that math is the fundamental everything of everything. Yep, the guy was wrong on the details, but what damn fine intuitions he managed to have 2400 years ago. No matter what we do we always end up referring back to him...

so... (3, Funny)

BenSchuarmer (922752) | about 7 months ago | (#44886061)

God is playing dice with the universe

Re:so... (2)

WarlockSquire (212901) | about 7 months ago | (#44886559)

“God does not play dice with the universe; He plays an ineffable game of His own devising, which might be compared, from the perspective of any of the other players [i.e. everybody], to being involved in an obscure and complex variant of poker in a pitch-dark room, with blank cards, for infinite stakes, with a Dealer who won't tell you the rules, and who smiles all the time.”
  Terry Pratchett/Neil Gaiman, Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch

Hold up. (5, Interesting)

girlintraining (1395911) | about 7 months ago | (#44886077)

Guys, we've been down this road about a million times in physics. Just because a mathematical model simplifies certain calculations, does not mean that the actual underlying physical geometry matches the theoretical model. Mathematicians have been adding extra dimensions to equations and finding they simplify things for years. It doesn't mean we live in a 27 dimension manifold. All direct observations to date point to a 3D universe.

Re:Hold up. (3, Insightful)

benjfowler (239527) | about 7 months ago | (#44886125)

To elaborate, models are only as good as their power to explain and predict. So if those models improve (explain/predict more, get simpler) over time, so much the better.

Re:Hold up. (5, Interesting)

gstoddart (321705) | about 7 months ago | (#44886131)

It doesn't mean we live in a 27 dimension manifold.

Doesn't mean we don't. ;-)

All direct observations to date point to a 3D universe.

Ummm ... hang on a second. Won't any direct observation we make as 3D critters point to a 3D universe? Isn't that sort of inherent to us being only able to perceive 3D?

I'm not sure how we'd do any direct observations in any other dimensions. (Honestly, not a flame, I'm genuinely puzzled by how we could see anything else and every now and then something like this hurts my head)

Re:Hold up. (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44886357)

I'm not sure how we'd do any direct observations in any other dimensions. (Honestly, not a flame, I'm genuinely puzzled by how we could see anything else and every now and then something like this hurts my head)

First, we assume a spherical cow, now that we have a more efficient source of steak and cheese, we get to the real work. The real work involves creating an infinitely large perfectly flat mirror. Since we don't know of any way to push or pull something into dimensions that we cannot directly observe, we anchor the infinite mirror to the earth (or a designated extraplanetary observatory) and wait. The odds that a 14-dimensional object/creature/other would not accidentally bump into an infinite functionally 2 dimensional surface approach zero as your timescale expands. Therefore, we just wait until the mirror rotates in a way we cannot intuitively describe and effectively ceases to exist in our 3 dimensional space (or drags the earth with it into some other 3 dimensional subset of realities).

Unless some of the dimensions are curved, then you need a hypercubic pig.

Re:Hold up. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44886369)

This is basically what particle colliders do. Imagine that We lived in a 2D universe like a sheet of paper. The particle collider smashes atoms and we observe the splash it makes. From the splashes around the collision, we see that things seem to have appeared out of nowhere, but if We assume that there is actually a 3rd dimension, we can perceive that the particles/energy didnt just appear, but traveled on an unseen dimension. That is what a particle collider does, if You can wrap Your head around it, but in our 4D length/width/height/moment range of observation.

Re:Hold up. (2)

s.petry (762400) | about 7 months ago | (#44886521)

From the splashes around the collision, we see that things seem to have appeared out of nowhere, but if We assume that there is actually a 3rd dimension, we can perceive that the particles/energy didnt just appear, but traveled on an unseen dimension. That is what a particle collider does, if You can wrap Your head around it, but in our 4D length/width/height/moment range of observation.

You could take the more rational approach and believe that we simply lack the technology to detect and measure what really happened. Naw, you would rather claim that the particle visited an invisible magical world! Was it Charon pulling the particle across the river Styx for a visit perhaps?

Wholly fuck we never left the dark ages did we?

Re:Hold up. (-1, Flamebait)

s.petry (762400) | about 7 months ago | (#44886443)

I honestly hope that you never ever tell a Religious person that they are foolish for believing in something they can't see since you hold the same belief. Even if we could model something, that does not make it magically "real". We do model things all the time in cartoons in addition to Engineering, Physics, and Math. We try to find answers to the Universe through those models, we don't make the Universe exist because we built a model.

Re:Hold up. (1)

TechyImmigrant (175943) | about 7 months ago | (#44886509)

>We try to find answers to the Universe through those models, we don't make the Universe exist because we built a model.

You make more universe exist all the time as you make choices that drive entropy ever upwards.

Re:Hold up. (4, Interesting)

gstoddart (321705) | about 7 months ago | (#44886533)

I honestly hope that you never ever tell a Religious person that they are foolish for believing in something they can't see since you hold the same belief

Dude, seriously, WTF?

I said I have no idea what this even means, and you are suddenly talking theology. So, I don't know one thing and therefore something else exists or doesn't exist? What is this, quantum bullshit?

we don't make the Universe exist because we built a model

Well, no shit. Did I make any assertions we're creating universes anywhere in my post? I asked how we could see anything outside of 3 dimensions through direct observation.

Again I say, WTF are you on about? Your entire most makes no sense to me.

Re:Hold up. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44886473)

Read "Flatland" for a fun exercise in thinking in terms of limitations of dimensions

Re:Hold up. (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44886561)

You know how neutrinos have this tendency to change flavors as they pass through time (i.e. neutrino oscillation)? One nifty way of viewing it is that they're 4D objects simply with a spin in the fourth dimension. If you're into the physics, you'll note the same sort of calculations are used in the Pontecorvo–Maki–Nakagawa–Sakata matrix as are used by game engines when calculating the 2D representations of 3D virtual objects: You just then need to do basic matrix transformations to derive the result.

Re:Hold up. (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44886137)

Just because a mathematical model simplifies certain calculations, does not mean that the actual underlying physical geometry matches the theoretical model.

That's not really a problem if all you want to do is simplify the mathematics. Besides which, that was pretty much the reason that early astronomers weren't branded as heretics; they just said that a heliocentric model made the calculations easier, and that they weren't suggesting that they reflected reality (although they did).

All direct observations to date point to a 3D universe.

Well no shit Sherlock. It's rather hard to observe dimensions that your eyes can't see and your mind can't design instruments to detect. Oh... and, you know, time?

*sigh* With your track record of getting +4 for talking out of your backside, what's the point?

Re:Hold up. (1)

Anon-Admin (443764) | about 7 months ago | (#44886167)

But we live in a 4D universe, or I do. I dont know about you.

Re:Hold up. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44886359)

General relativity, as reliable a theory as ever after decades of testing, says we live in a 4D non-Euclidean space.

Perhaps it's embedded in a 5+-dimensional Euclidean manifold (often, such a model is used to help understand parallel transport in non-Euclidean space).

Re:Hold up. (0)

HiThere (15173) | about 7 months ago | (#44886427)

If I remember correctly, General Relativity used tensors over a 10 dimensional simplificaiton of a 16 dimensional field.

Perhaps your assertion should be reconsidered. Also we know that both General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics are wrong, or at least incomplete, because they both make testable (and tested) predictions that they other can't generate.

Re:Hold up. (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44886601)

>If I remember correctly, General Relativity used tensors over a 10 dimensional simplificaiton of a 16 dimensional field.

The metric tensor, a second-order tensor, has 16 components (something like a 4x4 matrix), but it is symmetrical so it is completely determined by only 10 of the components.

A third-order tensor would have 64 components. These have nothing to do with the number of spacetime dimensions (4).

Re:Hold up. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44886481)

To prove it please post a picture of your hand with 4 fingers mutually at right angles.

Re:Hold up. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44886613)

stopped by the slashdot comments to see if i could find a better synopsis or explanation then the long confusing article. Right around here I finally knew it was time to give up.

Re:Hold up. (1)

LaminatorX (410794) | about 7 months ago | (#44886181)

Well, locality violations/exceptions are one thing that we've observed which might be construed as an indicator of additional dimensions, i.e. the events might local on an axis we cant see.

Re:Hold up. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44886397)

Surprisingly, it's not clear that we've observed a SINGLE locality violation, after decades of testing.

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loopholes_in_Bell_test_experiments

"To date, no test has simultaneously closed all loopholes."

Re:Hold up. (4, Interesting)

sandytaru (1158959) | about 7 months ago | (#44886187)

It seems like their math is like good code. You can get a program to do the same thing in 10 lines what someone else tried to do in 1,000 lines. They're both describing the same basic function, but one is doing it via a brute force in a roundabout way and the other is doing it much more directly.

Then again, mathematicians tend to be a bit crazy. I remember reading one bio-mathematics person determining that bees do their little waggle dances in nine dimensions projected onto two, and I thought she was insane.

Re:Hold up. (4, Funny)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | about 7 months ago | (#44886485)

I remember reading one bio-mathematics person determining that bees do their little waggle dances in nine dimensions projected onto two, and I thought she was insane.

Not insane, just high.

Re:Hold up. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44886591)

My experience has been that the time-consuming brute-force method is usually the more physically accurate. e.g. It's vaguely more accurate to say bullets march than it is to say they test a ray. But for all I know, in amplituhedronal-quantum-physics-land, you may find out the bullet tests a ray, after all.

Re:Hold up. (2)

ultranova (717540) | about 7 months ago | (#44886455)

Mathematicians have been adding extra dimensions to equations and finding they simplify things for years. It doesn't mean we live in a 27 dimension manifold. All direct observations to date point to a 3D universe.

What observations would those be? If assuming 27 dimensions gets the same results as assuming 3 dimensions, then you can't tell which one the universe is through observation. And if 27 dimensions is a simpler model, then Occam's razor suggests we should indeed consider our home to be a 27D manifold.

Re:Hold up. (1)

interval1066 (668936) | about 7 months ago | (#44886467)

Correction; 4D, and we have direct observational evidence that the universe is infact a larger reality known as "spacetime".

Re:Hold up. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44886577)

Correction to your correction, 3D. Time is not a spatial dimension. It was added to simplify calculations.

Re:Hold up. (1)

Nadaka (224565) | about 7 months ago | (#44886661)

not exactly...
The time dimension doesn't behave in the same way as the others. If it did, then the past would be just as accessible as the future.

Re:Hold up. (4, Funny)

Sponge Bath (413667) | about 7 months ago | (#44886539)

All direct observations to date point to a 3D universe.

Ignignokt: You and your third dimension.
Frylock: What about it?
Ignignokt: Oh, nothing, it's cute. We have five.
[pause]
Err: Thousand.
Ignignokt: Yes, five thousand.
Err: Don't question it.
Frylock: Oh, yeah? Well, I only see two.
Ignignokt: Well, that sounds like a personal problem.

Re:Hold up. (4, Insightful)

Anubis IV (1279820) | about 7 months ago | (#44886547)

IANAPOM (I am not a physicist or mathematician), but from what I could gather from the article, it sounds like this isn't a new model that approximates the old, more complicated one, but rather a massive simplification of the existing one that produces provably identical results in all cases. To drastically oversimplify using my extremely limited understanding while putting it in terms I can wrap my brain around, it sounds like when you first learn about the arithmetic series in calculus (e.g. the summation of i from 0 to n). At first, the only way you can approach it is by actually adding 0 + 1 + ... + (n-1) + n, but eventually you learn that you can skip that whole process if i starts at 0 and use n*(n+1)/2 to reach the result with far less work, and then you're shown how to derive that formula yourself.

It sounds like something similar here. They previously had to calculate the results of every single Feynman diagram and then sum them together to reach a final result, which would involve billions upon billions of calculations for even a very simple particle interaction. Now, however, rather than having to calculate all of the component parts and summing them, they've derived a formula that produces the same answers with far less work.

Again, I may be way off, but that's the takeaway I had from the article.

Nobel... (1)

calmond (1284812) | about 7 months ago | (#44886097)

If this can be independently verified, I think they have just earned a trip to Europe! I wonder how it calculates the Higgs field vs. what the LHC discovered this year.

question: (1)

etash (1907284) | about 7 months ago | (#44886099)

does the simplification that it mentions, mean that simulations will be way faster? does it in any way affect the n-body problem simulations ?

Re:question: (2)

khellendros1984 (792761) | about 7 months ago | (#44886361)

My impression after reading the article is that this allows for easier predictions of the outcomes of particle interactions, like you might show with Feynman diagrams [wikipedia.org] (particle decay, collisions that produce different particles, etc). Basically, the kinds of things that we'd study in a particle accelerator (so, quantum interactions, rather than classical ones).

Re:question: (2)

arisvega (1414195) | about 7 months ago | (#44886419)

does the simplification that it mentions, mean that simulations will be way faster? does it in any way affect the n-body problem simulations ?

An awesome question. And, basically, an awesome idea. I would think that if you can set up a numeric experiment that virtually represents fundamental particles and their interactions, and you already know more or less the trajectories in some n-dimensional space (through this new discovery), then you can probably greatly optimize your algorithms since you will a priori know whereabouts to look for solutions: you would not need to sweep everything.

Or, you can accept this manifold as truth, and further constrain your experiment: interactions will only be "allowed" on this manifold, and many of the previously free parameters will not be free anymore. And of course, once done, one can compare to observations.

Forgive me if I made a serious error here, my QCD is a bit rusty.

2D Universe (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44886111)

Time and Space are illusions, just like solid matter is an illusion. The Universe is really two dimensions.

And the Higgs Boson (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44886127)

is outraged at this impuning of its importance!

Nobody reads the classics (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44886169)

Physicists have discovered a jewel-like geometric object that dramatically simplifies calculations of particle interactions and challenges the notion that space and time are fundamental components of reality.

These things come up every so often and it always makes me facepalm in a RTFM moment. It is as if none of these advanced physics and mathematics people have ever read or understood why mathematics and physics was invented in the first place. The Greeks invented it to study forms, geometric at first, learning quickly that so much of our human perception is illusion based on these forms. Only later did abstraction of these forms come to be through a great many expressive number systems that have never stopped increasing in complexity to think that analytical quantitative thought has become bloated and inefficient compared to its forgotten origins.

Another excellent example is ignorance on Descartes. Mathematicians and physicists use Cartesian coordinate systems so frequently but have completely neglected the rest of the work by the man that invented it. Temporal relativity, the atomic idea of time later 'pioneered' by Planck, and time itself as merely a manifestation of the flow of consciousness within it can all be attributed to Descartes, but all that Oxford cares of him is his pretty graphs.

If people so high would have taken the time to learn why these thoughts and tools came to be instead merely how to use them, human understanding could be centuries more advanced. Instead we have to reinvent and rediscover ancient issues over and over with new tools designed to solve different problems in ways that require different efficiencies.

Re:Nobody reads the classics (1)

etash (1907284) | about 7 months ago | (#44886211)

oh really? then why don't you - who obviously are not as deluded as the rest of the scientists - enlighten them and us about your centuries forward way of thinking by actually putting your claims to work ?

Re:Nobody reads the classics (1)

angel'o'sphere (80593) | about 7 months ago | (#44886383)

What do you mean with "centuries forward"?
Your parent correctly pointed out that we have centuries (and millenia) OLD knowledge, which most modern scientist lack.
And he dis not claim anything ... he only pointed out facts.

Re:Nobody reads the classics (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44886249)

Get over yourself. Bejewel me hipster.

Re:Nobody reads the classics (1)

Jmc23 (2353706) | about 7 months ago | (#44886349)

What's ironic about your post is you've only stuck to western science, neglecting to point out how those things were known even millenia before the greeks. Don't be too harsh on people ignorant of history, we all, like you have demonstrated, have blind spots.

Wrong on all points (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44886393)

Modern physicists have studied all of that, and more.

In fact the physicists I know are also the best read on the classics and have a tremendous breadth of knowledge about many subjects other than physics. Perhaps you should actually get to know them.

And incidentally, most Physicists don't use Cartesian corrdinats. Physicists use whatever coordinate system they need to use depending on the geometry, and the real world is far from Euclidian.

Re:Nobody reads the classics (2)

interval1066 (668936) | about 7 months ago | (#44886513)

...and none of these points you raise are very accurate or relevant to the article. Becuase Descartes questioned reality deosn't mean he disproved it.

the wall of fundamental laws (4, Funny)

Max_W (812974) | about 7 months ago | (#44886171)

I have an impressions that the wall of fundamental laws is reached and further research of particles is useless. This is it. No way further. The impasse.

Re:the wall of fundamental laws (1)

meta-monkey (321000) | about 7 months ago | (#44886257)

Well, if this concept pans out, we'd be able to calculate all kinds of particle interactions we'd never be able to observe otherwise because those interaction would just be different facets of The One True Gem. Who knows what kind of amazing things we'd find a facet or two over from our current understanding?

Re:the wall of fundamental laws (4, Funny)

gstoddart (321705) | about 7 months ago | (#44886297)

Well, if this concept pans out, we'd be able to calculate all kinds of particle interactions we'd never be able to observe otherwise because those interaction would just be different facets of The One True Gem

Crap, so the "Time Cube" guy was right all along? ;-)

Re:the wall of fundamental laws (5, Funny)

meta-monkey (321000) | about 7 months ago | (#44886461)

Given how many insane conspiracy theories are lately turning out to be not completely insane, I'm just waiting for Congress to rip off their masks and reveal their true identities: Lizard Men from the Hollow Earth.

Re:the wall of fundamental laws (2)

Plazmid (1132467) | about 7 months ago | (#44886409)

Well, we still don't have a good theory of quantum gravity.

Re:the wall of fundamental laws (1)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | about 7 months ago | (#44886531)

Well, we still don't have a good theory of quantum gravity.

QG = x + y (for sufficiently appropriate values of x and y)

Re:the wall of fundamental laws (1)

interval1066 (668936) | about 7 months ago | (#44886543)

I have an impressions that the wall of fundamental laws is reached and further research of particles is useless.

(To quote from the Mikado) ~Your impressions, though many, are not worth a penny.~ Physics has a long way left to go, just becuase you don't understand what researchers & theorists do doesn't mean they've exausted the field.

Re:the wall of fundamental laws (2)

ganv (881057) | about 7 months ago | (#44886555)

We can be pretty sure that there are new fundamental laws that we don't yet know. The phenomena ascribed to dark matter for example are clearly physical phenomena and there must be fundamental laws that describe them. It is not at all clear that we have exhausted possible means to learn about new fundamental laws. There are improved dark matter searches going on all the time. Gravity wave detectors are likely to find something in the next few decades opening a new window on the universe, and there is a reasonable chance that LHC will show new physics beyond the standard model. It has been slow going compared with the first half of the 20th century, but progress on fundamental laws has not ground to a halt.

You may be hinting that discovery of new fundamental laws may not be very useful for building new technology. There I would probably agree, at least in the next century of two. But that is very different than the claim that we will not discover any new fundamental laws. The deep claim that many people seem not to have accepted yet is the one made by Sean Carroll in his series of blog posts explaining that the physics of everyday life is already understood. 'http://www.preposterousuniverse.com/blog/2010/09/23/the-laws-underlying-the-physics-of-everyday-life-are-completely-understood/' In his sense, you are right. This is it. We will always be describing our world using concepts of electrons, photons, neutrons, and protons etc. interacting by the four known forces. However, simpler calculating methods may well be possible, like the ones proposed in the original post, which can dramatically change our abilities to predict the outcomes of known fundamental principles.

Relevance of theory to the real world is unknown (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44886205)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amplituhedron

Since the N=4 supersymmetric Yang-Mills theory is a toy theory that does not describe the real world, the relevance of this theory to the real world is currently unknown, but it provides promising directions for research into theories about the real world.

Re:Relevance of theory to the real world is unknow (2)

mrsquid0 (1335303) | about 7 months ago | (#44886647)

If one assumes that Special Relativity and Quantum Mechanics are correct, and there is no observational evidence that they are not, then Yang-Mills theory, or something very much like it, is inevitable. It arises from the need for conservation of the various charges each force.

Oblig (4, Interesting)

gmuslera (3436) | about 7 months ago | (#44886269)

xkcd's Purity [xkcd.com]. In the other hand, can't take out of my head that Kepler [wikipedia.org] originally tried to match that the orbits of the 6 known planets at that time with the shapes of the platonic solids, and this could face the same risk.

Garrett Lisi's Magical Technicolor Balls (2)

FilmedInNoir (1392323) | about 7 months ago | (#44886271)

I know some of you are thinking this, but it's not, ok.
It's not some complicated mess of geometrical shapes to describe the universe in kaleidoscopic glory as envisioned by a lunatic with a Spirograph.

It's a time cube (4, Informative)

Russ1642 (1087959) | about 7 months ago | (#44886301)

EARTH HAS 4 CORNER
SIMULTANEOUS 4-DAY
TIME CUBE
WITHIN SINGLE ROTATION.
  4 CORNER DAYS PROVES 1
DAY 1 GOD IS TAUGHT EVIL.
IGNORANCE OF TIMECUBE4
SIMPLE MATH IS RETARDATION
AND EVIL EDUCATION DAMNATION.
CUBELESS AMERICANS DESERVE -
AND SHALL BE EXTERMINATED

Re:It's a time cube (1)

Megane (129182) | about 7 months ago | (#44886529)

Holy crap, how did you post that without the lameness filter getting you? OH NO, THE TIME CUBE IS REAL!

Simple Elegant (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44886313)

There is no good reason to assume the universe is simple or elegant. Simple and elegant models can be usefull though. They can make calculations in special cases easier.

Re:Simple Elegant (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44886365)

There is no good reason to assume it's not.

Re:Simple Elegant (1)

interval1066 (668936) | about 7 months ago | (#44886609)

You're making an incorrect assumption. No one is claiming that the universe is simple. The laws that govern its interactions however, its essence, with some exceptions, have shown to be, over and over again.

Mystics 9, Egg heads 0 (1)

b4upoo (166390) | about 7 months ago | (#44886391)

Just as alchemy eventually led to chemistry the mystics win again. The logic in theology is that God by definition would be the ultimate craftsman. That means no errors and no waste and no undue use of effort or energy.
                So just how God make a creation? Obviously endless universes could be set in motion by a science that resembles computer programs. Yes, humanity is nothing but the gorilla with a sledge hammer playing whack-a-mole on a monitor. We do be cyber bro!

...in other words (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44886413)

DUH!
I knew this my whole life.

Breakthrough or bullshit? (3, Interesting)

Animats (122034) | about 7 months ago | (#44886457)

This is either a major breakthrough or utter bullshit. It's too early to tell which. If it's real, it's a Nobel Prize in physics.

The publisher, the Simmons Foundation, is a project of a rich weirdo from Texas.

Oops! And yay! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44886487)

And now all the textbooks will need to be rewritten. Should make theoretical chemistry, and particle simulations faster and easier, shouldn't it? Can this also be applied in some way to game rendering?

On a side note, I've been wondering when exactly this discovery was going to come.

how can you have a 1 term expression? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44886557)

Isn't an expression required to have two or more terms by defintion?

Flower of life? (1)

erroneus (253617) | about 7 months ago | (#44886611)

Lately, for whatever reason, I have been hearing about "sacred geometry" and especially about this "flower of life" figure that appears all over ancient human sites. To me it just looks like bits from the Led Zeppelin 4 album cover...

Sheldon Weeps (2, Funny)

IgnacioB (687913) | about 7 months ago | (#44886629)

Sheldon Cooper is going to cry over this..a bright young mind has been wasting his career on string theory with all those superfluous dimensions. And Penny will get the Nobel prize because she's been wearing homemade amplituhedron earrings she created one night over too much Jägermeister with Raj. He'll get "honorable mention" at the ceremony in Norway and start talking to girls as a by product. Howard will be tremendously proud of his girlfriend and screw up the relationship again......and Howard will still not be a Doctor. The big question is whether Amy Farrah Fowler will ditch her now disgraced boy toy and fully come out to Penny or make a play for Raj.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...