Physicist Garrett Lisi has proposed a new "theory of everything" — a grand unified theory that explains all the elementary particles, as well as gravity.

Why you should listen

Working from principles of differential geometry, physicist Garrett Lisi is developing a new unified theory that purports to explain all the elementary particles, and gravity, in one elegant model. His theory is based on a mathematical shape called E8. With 248 symmetries, E8 is large, complex and beautiful -- and Lisi believes the relationships of its symmetries correspond to known particles and forces, including gravity.

His work, explained in his paper "An Exceptionally Simple Theory of Everything," and in an ongoing discussion on FQXi, is still on science's speculative fringe. But some physicists believe he could be pointing the way toward a truly unified theory.

What others say

"This is an 'all or nothing' kind of theory -- meaning it's going to end up agreeing with and predicting damn near everything, or it's wrong. At this stage of development, it could go either way." — Garrett Lisi on physicsforums.com

Garrett Lisi’s TED talks

Garrett Lisi on the TED Blog

A beautiful new theory of everything: Garrett Lisi on TED.com

October 14, 2008

Physicist and surfer Garrett Lisi presents a controversial new model of the universe that — just maybe — answers all the big questions. If nothing else, it’s the most beautiful 8-dimensional model of elementary particles and forces you’ve ever seen. (Recorded February 2008 in Monterey, California. Duration: 21:26.) Watch Garrett Lisi’s 2008 talk on TED.com, […]

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TED2008: Is beauty truth?

February 28, 2008

(Unedited running notes from the TED2008 conference in Monterey, California. Fourth session.) After music by Jill Sobule live from Aspen, and by Thomas Dolby‘s band in Monterey, the TED’s fourth session, hosted by Director of TED MediaJune Cohen, is on "What is beauty?", on the existence and the hidden meanings of beauty. Anchor speaker Nancy […]

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Quotes from Garrett Lisi

The mathematics of quantum mechanics very accurately describes how our universe works. And it tells us our reality is continually branching into different possibilities, just like a coral.
Garrett Lisi
TED2008 • 1.2M views Oct 2008
Fascinating, Beautiful
Everything that can happen, does. That’s quantum mechanics. But this does not mean everything happens. The rest of physics is about describing what can happen and what can’t.
Garrett Lisi
TED2008 • 1.2M views Oct 2008
Fascinating, Beautiful