Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Garrett Lisi in Real Time

Garrett Lisi in 10 Years:

Garrett Lisi is responding to criticism and his critics over at Peter Woit's Not Even Wrong weblog, which means we get a double-dose of Lisi this month, as his article with Harvard-educated physicist Jim Weatherall is featured prominently in this month's issue of Scientific American.

Click here for the Not Even Wrong post and discussion (84 replies so far).

Lisi's version of E8 Lie Algebra, as far as I can tell, is an attempt to build a background upon which, with further development, the fundamental particles that we know exist today, with their exact masses, charges, and chiral behavior for those particles that behave so, will emerge. It has not accomplished its goal as of yet, but it is early and needs more work, as Lisi himself has stated right from the beginning.

Click here for Garrett Lisi's Homepage

C;ick here for Lisi's Elementary Particle Explorer and have some fun in Physics for a change.

I personally as a lifelong professional student have no idea where this theory is going. If it goes the way of Epicycles as its critics claim it is, then so be it. A great day will then come when the theory is disproven, as disproofs aka "falsifications" are often as famous as proven theories, as Michelson-Morley and Stern-Gerlach attest.

But if true, we are at the dawn of a really good thing.

I wish to see more people explore this theory. Its recent interest into triality is particularly exciting to me personally. The number 3, I have always felt, occurs with a bit more regularity in nature than it should. Is there something there? It will always occur more than 4 and less than 2, its neighboring integers, but seems to express itself moreso than that which would nicely fit its place in a first quadrant hyperbola bar graph of integer occurrence, regardless.

We'll see. Mathematics is beyond exciting once its frontiers are studied, and its seemingly limitless applications to Physics seem beyond the surreal. It is truly a beautiful world and E8 symmetry is likewise lovely. So let it be written, so let it be done.

Which reminds me, the picture above is not of Lisi but of the great actor Yul Brynner in "The King and I." "Men of a certain age" such as myself know this, I just remind us that young people exist who never knew of him. Youth is noone's fault, but that doesn't mean it is nevertheless an affliction. Father Time has the cure, be patient, like we all have to be as we await the further development of Lisi-Lie E8.

For Edgers, everywhere:


Garrett said...


Steven Colyer said...

I'm glad you liked it, Garrett. My point is that first its wonderful you're having an intelligent discussion with those that criticize your theory, but mostly that the theory is very much a work in development, and needs more exploration which means more money.

If Verlinde Entropic Gravity is worth $3 million, why isn't Lisi-Lie E8 financed similarly?

I have since added quite a bit beginning with the link to your webpage, since you replied.

Phil Warnell said...

Hi Steven,

Thanks for the heads up regarding Woit’s featuring of Garret in respect to the current status of his theory. However to be honest, and although it primarily my fault, I’ve never been able to get into it. That being in part as the mathematics is beyond me and yet mostly as nature as it presents to me as not so straight forward as having everything being able to be tied up in such a neat package as Lei E8. This coupled as from my own point of view it not being fundamental enough from the physical side of things, as to at best as able to better predict action and yet less able to give substance as to where it originate(s). Then of course I would admit my bias is in finding the philosophy of theory needing closer examination, which is to include both the ontological and metaphysical aspects.

Currently I’m more intrigued by Penrose’s ongoing endeavours in respect to cosmological theory. I attempted to post some links respective to what this entails on Bee and Stefan blog earlier, only to have the blogger gods thwart me. This has me wish sometimes that you, I and some others were in closer proximity as to be able from time to time have a nice discussion at a pub over a pint or two or have someone join me at odd PI lecture I attend. I’m grateful of course that the internet has the world opened up so like minded people can communicate, yet wished technology and resource permitted this to be more real than virtual.



Phil Warnell said...

Hi Steven,

I forgot to mention that every time I see photos of surfers as the ones you have provided it conjures up images for me of Bohmian Mechanics; however having its surfers not having any level of control regarding their destinies respective of the wave as the surfers enjoy:-) This also has me to wonder why Garret not being a pilot wave dude, instead of a E8 guy, as one would think him having a natural affinity for it. Then again perhaps it’s lent him insights as to why it not being the right way to approach things.



Steven Colyer said...

Thanks, Phil, meeting you is definitely on my Bucket List as well. Toronto isn't that far from NJ, it'll happen.

Bohmian mechanics? I like it, but just like 100% of these theories, I haven't a clue as to which comes closest to being right. They might ALL be wrong! Damn you, Gleiser, for making me question the existence of a T.O.E. in the first place! :-)

Btw, Bohmian has found at least one home, in quantum hydrodynamics, at least as a teaching tool.

And string theory maths, particularly Calibi-Yau manifolds, are very useful even if strings themselves are proven wrong someday. Strings began as a physics idea, which then helped math, with helped physics, and back again. Yau and Nadis present the details beautifully in laymen's terms in The Shape of Things. I strongly recommend it, whether one loves String Theory or hates it.

And Math isn't THAT hard, Phil. It's the notation that is the bitch. Just think of it as learning a new language, and as a bonus, it is the ONE TRUE Esperanto.

Steven Colyer said...

Phil Warnell is having problems with spam filterage for some reason, and writes:

What I find as most evident in such discussions, being the need to be right as often mistaken for what represents as the best solution or the accommodation for only one voice seen as the being equivalent to finding consensus. It is as if Socrates had never existed or perhaps it’s as most still so lost in the forest as to have never been able to hear.

“Know Thyself”, “The unexamined life is not worth living”