## How to test Weinstein's provocative theory of everything

发布时间：2017-12-19 01:01:05来源：未知点击：

By Jacob Aron PHYSICISTS have a problem, and they will be first to admit it. The two mathematical frameworks that govern modern physics, quantum mechanics and general relativity, just don’t play nicely together. Eric Weinstein, a consultant at a New York City hedge fund, says the way to unify them is to find beauty before seeking truth. Weinstein hit the headlines last month after mathematician Marcus du Sautoy at the University of Oxford invited him to give a lecture detailing his new theory of the universe, dubbed Geometric Unity. Du Sautoy also provided an overview of Weinstein’s theory on the The Guardian newspaper website on 23 May (bit.ly/11RKPff). Few physicists attended Weinstein’s initial lecture, and with no published equations to review, the public airing of his theory has generated heated controversy. When Weinstein repeated his lecture at Oxford last week, a number of physicists were in the hall. Most remain doubtful. Physicists working on unification are usually trying to create a quantum version of general relativity. Weinstein believes we should instead start with the basic geometric tools of general relativity and extend the equations in mathematically beautiful ways. Then you can try to match the equations with reality. At the heart of Weinstein’s theory is the “observerse”, a 14-dimensional space that contains our familiar four-dimensional world, with its three of space and one of time. The extra dimensions arise by extending the mathematics of the original four. The mathematical symmetries of the resulting equations predict three families of particles, as described by the standard model of physics, though the third family would behave a bit differently. His theory also predicts new, as-yet-undiscovered particles along with their mirror particles, which could account for dark matter. But we should already have seen some of Weinstein’s new particles, if they exist, says Oxford physicist Joseph Conlon. Some should be linked to the strong force, one of the four fundamental forces in the standard model. The Large Hadron Collider at CERN near Geneva, Switzerland, has been smashing particles together at high enough energies to overcome the strong force, creating showers of more elusive particles, including the Higgs boson. Weinstein’s particles should have been in such showers. Also, any update to the central equations of physics should give results that are only slight corrections, says John March-Russell, also at Oxford. Right now, equations and experiments agree to 1 part in 10 billion, so the new theory would have to be a very small tweak. The size is yet to be revealed. What’s more, it should be possible to perform a calculation called anomaly cancellation on Weinstein’s equations, says Conlon. This checks whether a list of particles is a consistent extension of the standard model. If his particles fail the test, the theory is wrong. Weinstein admitted that he did not yet have answers to these and other questions raised by his talk, and he has remained vague about when and where his equations will appear in print. In some sense, though, it is a happy resolution to the media storm: Weinstein has found physicists who are willing to listen to and guide him,