• Question: Do you think we will ever have a single theory to cover quantum, Newtonian and special relativistic physics?

    Asked by bolzanoweierstrass to Martin, Rob on 23 Mar 2012.
    • Photo: Martin Zaltz Austwick

      Martin Zaltz Austwick answered on 23 Mar 2012:

      Physicists are trying very hard to unify these areas. I see three possibilities: 1) they succeed (which would be amazing). 2) they create an amazing theory which can’t be tested (this is easier but not very scientific), or 3) they realise these different branches of physics cannot be combined. That would also be very interesting – either we would need a completely new theory of physics, or we would have to admit that these theories were all just models to help us understand a very complicated and mysterious universe…

    • Photo: Robert Thompson

      Robert Thompson answered on 23 Mar 2012:

      Ooops, I missed this question, possibly the last question of the event……. Very apt forward looking final question.

      My thinking of Physics lies most inline with Martins final comment…. We model our Universe, at the moment we use slightly different models depending on the situation. It works well. For us to have a single theory I think we will have to tweak or change slightly the models already in place. This though isn’t something people are willing to do lightly. I think it will take some very forward thinking scientists to jump forward to a unifying theory….. A toast to that occurring.