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December 13, 2017

CATEGORY: Blog [back]
TOPIC: An Exceptionally Simple Personal FAQ [refresh]
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Blogger Antony Garrett Lisi wrote on Nov. 20, 2007 @ 04:34 GMT
Over the past month I have been asked many questions about my personal history and opinions on life, the universe, and everything. I have also received many emails of encouragement from the general public, which have been wonderful and completely overwhelming. This blog comment thread will collect my responses to questions about my history and opinions, in chronological order. If you would like to offer your own opinions, encouragement, or discouragement, feel free.

There is a separate, Exceptionally Simple FAQ that has descriptions of E8 Theory suitable for the interested reader.

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Blogger Antony Garrett Lisi wrote on Nov. 20, 2007 @ 04:37 GMT
--You're listed at FQXi as being affiliated with something called "Fractured Atlas," and your CV says that you've been doing independent research since 1999. How do you manage to make a living as a physicist without being associated with some sort of academic institution? Was that a personal choice on your part to provide greater independence for your work, or is there some other story there? Has...

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Blogger Antony Garrett Lisi wrote on Nov. 20, 2007 @ 04:50 GMT
--You have some exciting ideas about the E8 structure that we might be able to cover?

Well, what I'm actually working on is unification. Structurally, the Standard Model describing all known particles is kind of a mess. The unification problem is to make sense of it -- to describe where this odd assortment of electrons, quarks, etc. comes from. What I've managed to do is describe all these particles, including gravity, as parts of a single field, with a single gauge group. And, just two months ago, I discovered that this gauge group is E8, perhaps the most beautiful structure in mathematics.

I haven't had time to write this up as a paper yet (working on that now). But I presented at the Loops '07 conference last month (the annual conference in Loop Quantum Gravity) and at the FQXi conference. The work captured the attention of John Baez, who discussed my work in a recent This Week's Finds. I've also been invited out to visit the Perimeter Institute next month (by Lee Smolin and Sabine Hossenfelder). All the attention is a bit much for me, as I'm kind of a hermit. But it's been great to meet so many other physicists.

You see, I left academia ten years ago because I wanted to do theoretical physics but I didn't think string theory was how nature worked -- and it was the only game in town at the time. So I've been working on the puzzle on my own, and it looks like I may have just struck gold.

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Blogger Antony Garrett Lisi wrote on Nov. 20, 2007 @ 04:55 GMT
--When and why did you begin looking into this issue in general, and at E8 in particular?

For the past ten years I've been playing with the equations of general relativity and the standard model, investigating their structural symmetry. About two years ago, I managed to get everything together in a nice, unified mathematical description called a principal bundle. But it wasn't perfect, and there was a really weird pattern in the interactions between fields. Just three months ago, while trying to figure out what the heck this pattern was, I discovered it was a symmetry of the most beautiful group there is: E8. I had been working with the first kind of mathematical symmetry, and it led me to the second. When this happened, the moment I realized how it all could work... my brain exploded with the implications, and the beauty of the thing. I stood up and walked around with my brain tingling. I think that was the happiest I've ever been with my clothes on.

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Blogger Antony Garrett Lisi wrote on Nov. 20, 2007 @ 05:41 GMT
--Why describe E8 as beautiful?

The austere beauty of geometry has been appreciated for eons -- Plato's geometric forms, its appearance in art... and it's all around us in nature. Geometry also plays the central role in many branches of mathematics. The field in which this is most fully developed is in group theory. All the beautiful geometric shapes we know of -- in two, three, and higher...

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Blogger Antony Garrett Lisi wrote on Nov. 20, 2007 @ 05:50 GMT
--Some are a little similar to topics you discussed in the New Scientist article, I'm asking them because I feel better about information that comes directly from you than information from a secondary source that I might misinterpret.

Yes, I agree. It's been fascinating (and a little disturbing) to watch inaccuracies sneak in, and then propagate and grow as the next journalist picks them up...

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Blogger Antony Garrett Lisi wrote on Nov. 20, 2007 @ 05:58 GMT
--1. Are you funded for what you do in theoritical physics? If yes by who ? Since when ? What is your current job ?

I received my PhD ten years ago, and left academia to work on my own physics ideas while surfing in Maui. I worked for money as little as I had to, devoting most of my time to equations and enjoying the outdoors. Then, one year ago, I applied for a grant from a new, privately...

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Blogger Antony Garrett Lisi wrote on Nov. 20, 2007 @ 06:05 GMT
Cosmic Variance readers like the straight, inside story; so this seems a good opportunity to tell mine. Ten years ago, I got my PhD and looked at my options. I love differential geometry, general relativity, and particle physics. But the only options available then for a postdoc in those combined areas were in string theory, and I thought string theory was overly speculative. There are many really...

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Al Van Vliet wrote on Nov. 20, 2007 @ 13:47 GMT
When did you know you wanted to be a physicist? What brought you to physics originally? Historicaly, was there any one particular physicist to whom you related to or whose work or methods inspired you to follow physics?

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Anonymous wrote on Nov. 20, 2007 @ 16:52 GMT
Hello Al Van Viet. One of the reasons I posted all the information above is because I didn't want to answer exactly these questions again. If anyone has a question they're dying to ask that I somehow managed to not address so far, I'd still rather not answer it right away, just because I'm getting a bit worn out. But I'll surely come back and look at this discussion.

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patfla wrote on Nov. 21, 2007 @ 01:16 GMT
Hi Garrett,

I read all of the Backreaction discussion or blog or whatever. Lubos Motl was true-to-form and simply wonderful. And I’m sure Sabine (sp?) is an excellent physicist and a lovely woman but after she’d asked the same question several times, I was reminded of various Germans I knew when I lived in Europe some yrs ago. (oops).

I just listened to the mp3 of one...

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Pam Crane wrote on Nov. 21, 2007 @ 17:40 GMT
Hi, Garrett! I am delighted to come across someone who also sees the sheer beauty in mathematical forms, and is open enough to 'try anything'. I wonder, though, if you would be willing to take on board the kind of experience I have had all my thinking life with geometries in space and time, and the experiments I have made with certain of these, specifically relating to the circle. When I look at E8, I see home as well - but it is my astrological home, not only full of complex, elegant beauty, but also charged with meaning and purpose in a multiverse that many consider to be devoid of these things. Where do you stand? Am I, with all my experience, beyond the pale, I wonder?

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Tony C. wrote on Nov. 21, 2007 @ 18:26 GMT
Wow, dude, sounds great and good luck with the crazies. You're going to have to go back to the well with FQXi so you can hire secretaries just to screen and classify your emails!

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Tony C. wrote on Nov. 21, 2007 @ 19:06 GMT
I'm not a physicist, but let me ask: How does Lisi theory address quantum superposition of states? Does it say anything about collapsing waveforms? Does it rely upon an observer, permit a different mechanism, or just not address this issue at all?

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Blogger Antony Garrett Lisi wrote on Nov. 21, 2007 @ 21:59 GMT
Hi patfla:

I'm looking forward to how this all develops too.

Hi Pam:

It's great you find the aesthetic aspect inspiring, but personally I don't buy into astrology, Kabbalah, etc. I'm sure you can find plenty of others to talk about it with though. (not here though please)

Hi Tony:

Thanks. At my current rate, I should finish replying to emails by 2042, as long as no more come in. (Damn, there's another one.)

Ack, please don't call it "Lisi theory," or no one else will want to work on it. I'm fine with calling it E8 theory. And I'm afraid it doesn't yet have anything to say about quantum mechanics. There are other FQXi threads about this though.

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vinouz wrote on Nov. 22, 2007 @ 02:55 GMT
So do you plan on having mass predictions for the new particles ?

(if yes then do you have an idea of the work to do)

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Gannon Burleigh wrote on Nov. 22, 2007 @ 07:18 GMT
it appears now the living room will have to pedal faster to keep up with you. cheers.

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TonyC wrote on Nov. 22, 2007 @ 13:13 GMT
Do the particles representing gravity interact with the rest of the system, or are they a closed loop of their own? In electromagnetism we can use electricity to generate magnetism and vice versa. Is there an analogous partner to gravity, or no?

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Jean-Marc "JM La Galette" wrote on Nov. 22, 2007 @ 21:38 GMT
First it's good to have found "something" at least apparently really mathematically beautiful. Let wait for a while before saying "congratulations"...

Do you think your theory, through new particles it describes, could tell us how Universe behaves, why galaxies acceleration seem not to be what current theories predict?

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Oliver wrote on Nov. 23, 2007 @ 05:34 GMT
mother void

mother void burps up lots of bubbles

all over the placeless. then they align

into building blocks and then they combine

taking bubbles, by singles and doubles,

from 'cycled stardust (stars have their troubles)

arranging, connecting objects so fine

we might call them quarks, following the line

shown in a vision clearer than Hubble's

outside in never works ... never will

you can push all you want, have all your plans laid

all you will get is the turn of their backs

inside out always works, an endless thrill

'cause that's how the whole universe was made

only one thing to do - nothing - relax!

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Dice wrote on Nov. 23, 2007 @ 22:11 GMT
This is fascinating - I speak as a non-scientist.

Has it made you more or less of a philosophical materialist?

(I read between the lines - I might be mistaken).

I have always been intrigued by where Mathematical values exist in a Physical universe - and, beyond Mathematics, all our universal concepts.

Philosophy of Physics is not your domain, of course, I appreciate that. All the same - if you ARE proved right by experimental evidence - what are the philosophical implications? I can just about accept that you might not have given that much thought to the implications qua physicist - but I'd be surprised if you hadn't given any thought to that whatsoever qua human being.

This isn't a request for some kind of existential Apologia - just gently asking whether a Theory of Everything might not be, well, overstating things a little. E8 is beautiful - it truly is - even a layman like myself can glimpse that it is aesthetically and intellectually satisfying. For those who understand its mathematics - contemplating that, grasping that, "seeing" and understanding that - must be truly astonishing - the more so because it might just describe how nature is - it might just be the long awaited discovery. Therefore I do not mean to disparage its importance in any way. But it is not everything - it is only a part of everything. Why, it's not even YOUR everything, is it? Or else why do you freely choose to go up mountains and why do you love another human being? Some things are beyond everything, no? There will necessarily be, curiously enough, an After Everything.

Allow me to wish you all the very best in discovering the different parts that come under your care.

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Caz wrote on Nov. 24, 2007 @ 17:44 GMT
Garrett, Congratulations! When a friend of mine sent me a link to your paper I scanned it and said "Holy $&)^, this is IT! Everything I've seen in life says that symetry and inherent beauty mean something. You talk about maybe needing to "fix" this. If you do, then it is wrong. But I can't imagine such a need. I've been interested in this stuff for most of my life (Einstein has been my hero since I was 5 - yup, I was a wierd kid and have only grown older), so this is very exciting news. Best wishes for luck and success!

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Andreas wrote on Nov. 25, 2007 @ 01:32 GMT
I congratulate Dr Lisi to his achievements.

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Ike Hall wrote on Nov. 25, 2007 @ 02:47 GMT
Dr. Lisi,

Congratulations on the paper. I know just enough physics to be astounded as to how this model perfectly describes a framework for what we know. I'm very much looking forward to seeing more work and experimentation. As I was reading it, I kept thinking about an old science fiction story about a group of mathematicians who discovered a way to travel into and through a purely mathematical space that predated the universe. I believe the story is "The Mathenauts" by Norman Kagan, and appears in an anthology by the same name. Might be some nice leisure-time reading material.

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Discrete Mathematician wrote on Nov. 25, 2007 @ 03:40 GMT
Why should a fundamental theory of physics involve the real numbers at all?

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Mike wrote on Nov. 25, 2007 @ 06:59 GMT
Congrats Garret!

I wanted to ask you if Mach's principle of inertia could emerge from this theory?


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an LJ turbosurfer wrote on Nov. 25, 2007 @ 17:49 GMT
Dammit, Garrett. You know you've just blown the image of surfers all to hell. I don't know if Windan will ever forgive you. ;-)

Brad Hamilton: Why don't you get a job Spicoli?

Jeff Spicoli: What for?

Brad Hamilton: You need money.

Jeff Spicoli: All I need are some tasty waves, a cool buzz, and I'm fine.

I think you found a cool buzz.

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Paul Le Bourdais wrote on Nov. 26, 2007 @ 09:00 GMT
Garrett told :

"Thanks. At my current rate, I should finish replying to emails by 2042, as long as no more come in. (Damn, there's another one.)"

Hi Garrett, I guess that the fate of a hero is to become the slave of his fans.

Thank you for bringing fresh air in the world of physics.

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bob kambic wrote on Nov. 26, 2007 @ 19:04 GMT
I have thought for some time that the expansion of our universe caused by "dark matter" might be a gravitational force exerted by other, exterior to our own, universe. This thought has been poopooded by academic physicists. Thoughts?

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David B wrote on Nov. 26, 2007 @ 21:15 GMT
Garret wondering if you knew Mark E. at UCSD through surf house or Black's. If so and still in touch contact him as I have an apartment for you in S. Tahoe for free as long as you desire. Have him call his step dad.

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Jeffy wrote on Nov. 27, 2007 @ 02:50 GMT
I made up a quick blog to try to capture and list the most interesting links and related tidbits regarding this exciting theory.

Link= My blog of links

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A. Guy (on the street) wrote on Nov. 28, 2007 @ 14:09 GMT

I once solved a complex physics problem and won a prize for it--sort of a microcosm of what you might be experiencing now (actually, when you finally get time to read this, "now" might not be the appropriate word).

Can you speculate on what sorts of magic--should your theory stand up to the rigors of experimentation--might become possible/commonplace for humanity via application of your principle?

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Anonymous wrote on Nov. 29, 2007 @ 22:06 GMT

I don't "plan" on it, but that's what I'm shooting for. It's contingent upon figuring out how to get the second and third generation fermions to work properly.


It's more fun to playa-ski behind it on a land board.


The gravitational spin connection interacts with the fermions and with the gravitational frame. The frame, with the Higgs, interacts with the fermions. And the Higgs interacts with the electroweak gauge fields. So it's all interconnected, and in agreement with the Dirac and Yang-Mills action in curved spacetime.


I agree that congratulations are premature. I consider it an interesting new theory, with some problems that need to be solved. Galactic rotation curves are in agreement with the existence of some kind of dark matter.


Inside outside in.


Am I still a materialist if I think the material is geometry?

For the paper, I used "Theory of Everything" as a technical term for a theory combinining general relativity and the standard model in a unified framework. That doesn't mean it explains love or where all the ball point pens go -- so don't read too much into it. If this theory does work out, it means the most complex and beautiful structure in mathematics is at the heart of our physical universe -- to me, that's philosophically satisfying.


E8 is a beautiful symmetry, and it's a shame to have to break it, but we do.




I've always considered myself more of a mathlete than a mathenaut, but thanks for the suggestion, and the encouragement.

Discrete Mathematician:

It seems a rational, if indiscrete, choice.


Hmm, since this theory describes gravity with a connection, it might.


I doubt anything will change -- Scott Cherry is still going to smile and snake me.


Yes, if anyone envies the (in)famous, realize that for me the publicity has mostly meant being chained to my computer, answering emails. But I'm happy if some of these new ideas are useful and interesting for others.


The expansion is probably mostly caused by a cosmological constant. In my opinion, if something is considered "exterior to our universe," that's synonymous with not existing.


I don't remember Mark, but I mostly surfed the reefs around La Jolla and not Black's much.


Thanks for aggregating the links.


It's still "now." I think the standard model and general relativity are all the magic we need for describing everything we're likely to be able to engineer in our lifetimes. But, I guess that thought has been wrong before, so who knows.

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Blogger Antony Garrett Lisi wrote on Nov. 29, 2007 @ 22:07 GMT
(the FQXi timer logs one out rather quickly)

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Dice wrote on Nov. 30, 2007 @ 00:36 GMT
A. Garrett Lisi anonymously wrote:

"Am I still a materialist if I think the material is geometry?"

Now that's a really interesting question! I was talking about your theory to a very bright French Thomist (using the Aristotelian language he speaks - distinction of form and matter - where the form is that which determines the matter i.e. gives the matter a particular intelligibility) and I said to him: (sorry the translation is from French and doesn't quite have the same pzazz as in French):

"one would almost be tempted to say that matter itself seems to be constituted by or composed of intelligibility - and of a mesmerising beauty at that! What a mystery!"

But how matter - "stuff" - could be composed of immaterial intelligibility is beyond me....

Here you are saying the material is geometry.

But its pesky universal values like all mathematical values and like all abstract concepts seem most certainly to go beyond just particular instantiations. And either (on a quantum level) everything really is just everything - which seems profoundly counter-intuitive - a kind of mother of all reductionism that makes the selfish gene biological reductionism look like a quaint local story we living beings tell each other - or Aristotle was on the right track with his Matter and Form making the substantial unity of a thing (so much so that he claimed that the logically inferred Prime Matter - a stuff without intellibility that was capable of receiving the intelligible form could NOT exist per se. He was quite clear: matter can exist only in so far as it is in-formed by intelligibility - a Hylemorphic union.)

You might find that E8 is philosophically satisfying - although I think you mean that in an existential sense - but for me it's philosophically intriguing - as I suspect these few lines betray.

Still, I'm glad to learn that the mountains and the waves and the beautiful girl have their space beyond Everything - and I do not want to take up any more of your time. You have science to do!

Thanks for taking the time to reply. Appreciate it.

With every best wish.


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patfla wrote on Nov. 30, 2007 @ 21:01 GMT
Listened again to, well maybe 20 minutes of, Garrett’s ILQGS talk (mp3 as found, for one, from
I should really add the slides to my ‘mulitmedia experience’ – I’m sure they’ll help. 20 minutes is ‘maybe’ OK because it’s an hr long, except that I think he leaves the last 30 minutes (1/2 the talk) for questions.

Let me correct my earlier post (of which there’s only one). It seems Garrett gets the majority (all) of the standard forces and particles (slightly redundant) from G2 (I got that one right) but the other was F4, not E6. All exceptional, simple Lie algebras of course. Silly me. In particular (what sticks in my memory the next morning) gravo-weak is in F4 but the electro-strong (the force that holds nuclei together) is in G2.

And you don’t _fit these into_ E8. They’re already a part of its structure. Garrett sort of walks people around E8 (which he’s built up at to that point) identifying these structures inside it. “hey look over here – see what we’ve just found”. I’d understood this originally, but simply put it wrong. Slides will probably be particularly useful.

On a second listening you get (of course) more info. It seems that in the very pretty circular (projection) of E8 that’s seen so often these days (the graphic) one should find 8 concentric circles. These correspond to the eight-vectors that are somehow a part of E8’s structure. I ‘think’ I see them. Will work harder at this.

But I’ve also been backing up trying to put together (for myself) some of the underlying machinery. Well for one, symmetry (in this case) = particle. It was Woit’s (a name I miss-spelled in my first post) book I think (I’ve been trying to find the particular passage again [in my copious spare time]). There's something about ‘special’, ‘unitary’ groups (as in SU(x)) that will _completely_ determine an object (assumption here is that an object is a particle). A wonderful fact arising out of some combination of mathematics and physics. Tracing back to the work of Hermann Weyl I think. So this is why one see all these SOs and SUs flying around. (a bit of hand-waving on the ‘O’ in SO).

Well anyway, there’s much more that I’ve put back together or that's been illuminated by Garrett’s new work, but I think that’s about enough for one post. Basta.

Back to programming and spinning large, complicated data objects in the air (actually not wholly unlike the physics going on here). My holy grail is that the objects eventually become holographic (and do indeed hang in the air) and one can then manipulate them (for the benefit of colleagues, clients, etc) with a virtual reality glove. Or something like that (I’m open to alternatives).

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patfla wrote on Nov. 30, 2007 @ 22:21 GMT
Ah. It was but a Wikipedia page away. SO = special orthogonal (group). Seems this are often (always?) rotation groups.

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Discrete Mathematician wrote on Dec. 1, 2007 @ 09:52 GMT
Why start with E8 and invoke symmetry breaking?

Why not start with the trivial group and invoke symmetry making?

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A. Guy (on the street) wrote on Dec. 2, 2007 @ 16:59 GMT
"I think the standard model and general relativity are all the magic we need for describing everything we're likely to be able to engineer in our lifetimes."

Hi Garrett,

I was referring to the idea that electromagnetism gave us levitating trains, so what can "electrogravity" (note: Google gives ~12,000 hits for "electrogravity" and ~3000 hits for "electrogravity AND ufo") give us? Does it--the relationship you have outlined--work this way? My math is limited to a Master's Degree in computer science so it's possible I'm missing something. In any case, congratulations on your profound contribution, and I wish you well, my friend.

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Hippie wrote on Dec. 2, 2007 @ 17:11 GMT
Dude. Do black holes have hair?

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anon wrote on Dec. 4, 2007 @ 07:40 GMT
I have found myself so often disappointed in the people of science and here I am again. It is rude of someone to ask a scientist to consider their ideas? Isn't that somewhat arrogant, somewhat non-imaginative? I guess everyone without an education in mathematics should know their place, realize it as an indicator of intelligence, and not bother the people who are leading us to the promised land. Time constraints are a reality for scientists, but having an education is a incredible privilege in this life, as is fitting in to an educational system. Is it so hard to imagine there might be truly simple ideas undiscovered, and impossible to imagine someone might happen on something profoundly important, something about nature, maybe something even obvious yet as yet unseen. Imagine knowing something that would change how people see reality entirely, something that would advance humanity, bring people together. Imagine feeling responsible to others, to all of humanity, a planet teetering on self destruction. Oh, I am sorry for trying to explain to you this idea I have in my head that would change everything, sorry for being so rude.

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ravenglen wrote on Dec. 5, 2007 @ 01:33 GMT
Hello Garrett

I am the publisher for author/researcher/scholar 'Robert Bruce Baird' who is most interested in your theory. He has a research group community at MSN Groups called Forbidden Past, and a website is currently under construction. He is the author of many books and articles on the net covering a wide range of subjects including science and metaphysics. I am not good at...

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ravenglen wrote on Dec. 5, 2007 @ 01:47 GMT
I should have mentioned he wrote this article several years ago.

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Casuistry Disciple wrote on Dec. 5, 2007 @ 02:05 GMT
I read about E8 in the Economist.

I'll try to read through the E8, but in the meantime I'm getting a kick from this forum! Hope this exposure brings benefits.


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anand srivastava wrote on Dec. 5, 2007 @ 11:28 GMT
Responding to the Discrete Mathematician.

Reason is the second law. Symmetry means highly ordered state, meaning low entropy. Breaking would increase entropy which is OK. Going the other way is not. Actually Entropy may be the reason that the universe could be based on a symmetric mathematical object.

Dr.Garrett a question for you. What do you think about Dr. Charles H.T. Wang's conformal LQG. Can it affect your theory if it has a grain of truth. I guess you are using equations from LQG. Will you need to use them to predict particle masses for gravity related fields.

Thanks for giving us something with exceptionally simple beauty.

Disclaimer: I am not a physicist.

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Josechu wrote on Dec. 6, 2007 @ 22:27 GMT
I would like to ask if E8 is the biggest multidimensional regular "polihedra".

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Blogger Antony Garrett Lisi wrote on Dec. 7, 2007 @ 23:13 GMT

Have fun with the philosophy, and thanks for the encouragement.


Thanks for helping out with the description. Each of the eight concentric circles in the Gosset projection of E8 corresponds to a simple root of the system. Symmetry=particle is exactly right. In my opinion, this is a very beautiful possibility. Good luck with the holographs, I look forward to seeing and working with them.


Because nature seems to work by symmetry breaking.


Even if this theory turns out to be right, I can't conceive of how electrogravity could be practically achieved and applied to technology within our lifetime -- the necessary energies would be too high. But my imagination is limited.


Not where you can see it.


Yes, it's rude and arrogant to approach someone uninvited and present them with your ideas. It's called being pushy. Look for times and places where your ideas are invited.


That post was too long for me to read, sorry.


I've always liked the Economist. It was kind of odd that they wrote that without contacting me though. And it has brought benefits -- Lars from 42 surfboards is shaping me a new board. :)


His work looks very interesting, and there may be connections. LQG will be necessary to develop a background independent description of E8 Theory.


No, but it's the prettiest.

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Blogger Antony Garrett Lisi wrote on Dec. 7, 2007 @ 23:15 GMT
There was a new question from a reporter:

--What were the differences between the reception of your work by the public and the popular press versus the scientific community?

It has been an interesting progression. These ideas were first presented to the scientific community at the Loops '07 quantum gravity conference in June. There was an unusually large amount of interest, and I was...

view entire post

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doranj wrote on Dec. 7, 2007 @ 23:15 GMT
Hi Garrett,

Keep on going man, it looks cool. Stay you.

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anon wrote on Dec. 9, 2007 @ 14:46 GMT
Lisi wrote:

"Yes, it's rude and arrogant to approach someone uninvited and present them with your ideas. It's called being pushy. Look for times and places where your ideas are invited."

Physicists that are active in constructing and maintaining the scientific paradigm assume an innate responsibility that comes with having that power, similar I suppose to politicians who have a responsibility to listen to the society they represent. For physicists that responsibility is to adhere to evidence, reasoning, logic, just conclusion. You rightfully expect others to judge your work according to certain scientific principles, and not politics or ego. However, you expect that just evaluation and are receiving it to a measure based on your status as a member of the scientific community. You received a grant, your accomplishments are accepted, you are a member, because you have an educational degree. Doors are open for you that aren't open for other people, and apparently you think that is how it should be. The problem is that there are exceptions to the rules. There are people who don't fit into the mold at all. There are people discover something unexpected or see things in a new way, things even relevant to science. Such cases are exceptionally rare, but they naturally exist. Amongst all the people who erroneously think they have something important to contribute occasionally there is someone who does. Consequently, it cannot be rude or arrogant to approach a physicist uninvited attempting to communicate to them. It is foolish and confused and misled for the majority who try, but on rare occasions it is a just appeal, based on someones genuine knowledge that they understand something important. The flash of insight that went through your head when you first realized E8 as a model of nature. The way it is piecing together. That is not going to ever go away. No, you are wrong to make a blanket statement that sharing uninvited ideas is wrong. Sometimes it is someone doing the responsible thing. Education does not make a genius and genuine understanding is thorough and different from the misguided souls out pedaling short sighted ideas. There are people who are not sharing their ideas to get approval, they are sharing them to educate others.

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inaki wrote on Dec. 9, 2007 @ 19:04 GMT
hi from spain

like you i am also surfer, snowboarder (hard and soft bindings),ex-hanglider(i have two kids) skater and taichi practician and profesionaly an architect and in my case and suposse in yours too, gliding helps me to feel-understand universe and exprese it through architecture.keep surfing life, for sure it´s key to let us understand it and to you exprese it through phisics

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ed wrote on Dec. 10, 2007 @ 01:04 GMT
It seems reasonable, warranted speculation, to this pedestrian, that the twenty unassigned symmetries might offer the coordinates serving to define dark matter. But is it? Your dynamic balance befits a surfer.Hope you catch a wonderful ride; it's shaping up as iconic.Wonderfully graceful.

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patfla wrote on Dec. 10, 2007 @ 21:46 GMT
Downloaded (the pdf of) the slides, from the ILQGS talk. Should have done so sooner – very useful.

You have freeze frames of The Video (as in New Scientist, youtube) etc. Garrett: it’s probably written down somewhere on the web, but did you do The Video yourself? Guess you must have if we have these 19 snapshots in the slides. #1 = #19 bringing one back to the beginning. ...

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Don wrote on Dec. 12, 2007 @ 18:16 GMT

Congratulations and thanks for being willing to humbly share your story along with your ideas.

I created a Facebook Group "E(8) Rules!" where anyone is welcome to come and celebrate, speculate or pontificate.

Maybe if we all would entertain one another someplace else, you can get back to your fruitful life.

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Jonas Pate wrote on Dec. 14, 2007 @ 09:12 GMT
I'm a complete non-scientist, but in trying to understand your theory, I was reminded of Carl Jung, who believed that mankind often created symbols in an attempt to reconnect with the unconscious " archetypes" that he believed formed the essence of the universe.

Jung was convinced that these archetypes were psychoid, that is, "they shape matter (nature) as well as mind (psyche)" That archetypes are elemental forces which play a vital role in the creation of the world and of the human mind itself.

so when I saw your youtube video of E8-- it looks so much like so many primal man-made symbols that Jung would flip over-- suddenly your theory had a real power for me, even if I couldn't understand the details of the science. so for that -- thanks, dude. you're my official new hero.

I don't know if the theory is "factually" correct, but I'm sure it's instinctually correct

as a soul surfer my bet is you've had some of these same thoughts. care to comment?

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ann wrote on Dec. 14, 2007 @ 19:48 GMT

could/will you pursue Anand's comment about conformal LQG?

it's what i did in graduate school (math, but didn't finish)

AND at work for conformal mappings of data.

conformal LQG possibly a very interesting connection for you?

have read all the math/phys hysterical professional crowd. this is all so amusing and amazing...good luck, love the beauty of your take on E8. PLEASE keep us all posted.

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Blogger Antony Garrett Lisi wrote on Dec. 15, 2007 @ 22:12 GMT

Thanks for the encouragement.


If you are clever, you will be able to attract interest in your ideas without being pushy.


Right on.


This dark matter is still a dark matter.


Yes, I made the original movie. And took a few snapshots to make a flipbook pdf movie for the talk -- there's no special significance to how I chopped it up. For the technical questions you're asking: you're sort of on the right track, but you should ask these questions over at Physics Forums, where there's a technical discussion.


Thanks, I'll check it out.


I believe... the truth is out there. I did pick the symbols, but I'm trying to describe the universe that I believe exists independently of my or anyones conscious or unconscious. It may end up to be a good description, or not, but I feel I'm discovering it rather than creating it.


I'm open to the idea of incorporating conformal LQG, but I haven't yet worked with it enough to say anything about it. The hysteria has been stressful, but certainly interesting.

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anon wrote on Dec. 17, 2007 @ 09:36 GMT
Lisi Wrote:

"Anon, If you are clever, you will be able to attract interest in your ideas without being pushy."

Garrett, that has not been my experience, and historically I think we know cleverness has sometimes attracted fierce opposition, Thomas Young as the best example. But still, my central point is that it is sometimes necessary for someone without status to rely on those with status. You said it is rude to ask a physicist to read your work. I just think there is an innate responsibility for any scientist to acknowledge a valid scientific work regardless of its source. We all have time constraints, I don't mean anyone is required to read unsolicited material, but no one should close themselves off. Just as you expect others to acknowledge your model if it is logically consistent in describing so much of nature, I can reasonably expect scientists to acknowledge my work for the same reason. But that has not happened, and not for lack of cleverness, quite the contrary. I haven't been pushy, I have always made simple clear statements which deserve recognition. I wrote three full sized books arguing as my theme that expansion will stretch the universe perfectly flat and time will end at absolute zero, in 1994, 96, 97, all prior to the discovery of accelerating expansion in 98. I have greatly extended David Bohm's work. I have created the first complete modeling of all possible states. I explain very simply why the universe is ordered, why the universe exists, why time has a direction. My work could not be more logically consistent. FQXi has awarded large grants to people researching questions which I already have provided the most comprehensive answers to date. I asked to talk to you about symmetry. I may know more about symmetry than anyone on this planet. No, the problem is rejecting someone that isn't a member of the club, and that is where the community is today, and that isn't science, that is more like religion. Looking back, wouldn't you say Thomas Young was the real scientist, and those of the Royal Society were of something else. I will break through, my fourth book is my compiled masterpiece, but apparently it will have to be through the mainstream public, because of an arrogance and short sightedness that unfortunately comes with status.

Everything Forever: Learning To See Timelessness

by Gevin Giorbran

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A. Guy (on the street) wrote on Dec. 17, 2007 @ 18:14 GMT
"I can't conceive of how electrogravity could be practically achieved and applied to technology within our lifetime -- the necessary energies would be too high. But my imagination is limited."

How ironic coming from a person who may have just made the biggest intuitive leap in the history of mankind. I've been watching the media since your paper came out, and in Google terms, you have 83,000 hits and are already 1/1000 as popular as Madonna and 4/1000 as popular as Albert Einstein. YET, my friend, you have only 13 hits on Google News. What gives? Also, please tell me where you get the high energy requirement for the magic stuff.

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anand srivastava wrote on Dec. 18, 2007 @ 09:43 GMT
I just had a thought could it be that conformal LQG may define an E8. Currently I believe LQG doesn't admit any high level structure to the loops. But could it be possible that due to the conformal invariance a structure is imposed on the loops and it actually is an E8.

If that happens it will be very beautiful and natural indeed.

On the other hand I could be just talking nonsense.

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Rafael wrote on Dec. 21, 2007 @ 13:44 GMT
Isn´t your theory very similar to:

How do you predict SM parameters?


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Manny wrote on Dec. 29, 2007 @ 06:50 GMT
Hi Garett,

First of all I am in no way a physicist, I'm just a average Joe interested in this kind of stuff (not sure why, just am LOL). Anyway I didn't see the question I had in mind posted earlier unless I missed it. Ok so my question is, if your theory turns out to be right, do you know if it would prove or disprove the big bang? Or are you soley focused on working out the mathematics of unification that the implications for cosmology would be more of an after thought? Hopefully that's not a stupid question.


Perhaps my interest in science and physics stems from the nagging feeling that something "big" is going to impact our world in the not too distant future (what you might call a paradigm shift, I think). I wonder what will become of ourselves if a theory of everything can be worked out at about the same time the technological singularity arrives (Ray Kurzweil's hypothesis).

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patfla wrote on Dec. 29, 2007 @ 18:21 GMT
> but you should ask these questions over at Physics

> Forums, where there's a technical discussion.

Looks like that hasn't worked so far, if you'll look at the last post (#113) in topic "Layman's explanation wanted".

That may not have been the right topic for the particular question. I read all of "Layman's" before posting (kind of funky), but also glanced at the "An...

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Anonymous wrote on Dec. 29, 2007 @ 18:55 GMT

It sounds like you expect too much from people.

A. Guy:

Hey, that's not a bad idea... using "Madonnas" as a unit for Google popularity. It's somewhat frustrating that Google Trends doesn't label their graphs with numbers. It means we need to institute some baseline popularity measure for comparison, and I imagine Madonna is fairly constant. It's disheartening that I was only ever a .004 Mad... but, I can't sing worth a damn.


I'd be surprised if E8 came from that, but good luck with it.


Yes, Tony's work and mine share many similarities and overlaps.


I'm working on unification, and the relation to cosmology is a bit of a tangent -- but an interesting one. I mostly agree with the idea of a technological singularity, but I think it will be gradual, and it might not happen within our lifetimes.


Ah, I see your question over there in "Layman's explanation wanted" on PF -- and I think it's too technical a question for that thread. If you want others to answer it, copy and paste it to the "AESToE!" thread there. Or, if you want me to answer it, paste it to the "Technical" thread -- as I think it's appropriate, and a good question.

I actually do point people directly to Lie groups when I have to explain particle physics from the ground up -- but I try to do it slowly, so it's not scary.

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A. Guy wrote on Jan. 11, 2008 @ 14:38 GMT
Garrett: Now things are really dropping. I googled you with the added search term "Physics" to get a truer data sample, and your GI is at 12,500, or .0001 Madonnas. However, if we use another constant, the Madona, you rise to .004 Madonas, and the beauty of that is most surfers won't know the difference.

Anyway, to get the index higher, I think we need a famous equation, like e=mc2, However, G=.004M doesn't seem to have the staying power or resonance needed, so I'll leave that up to you. Note, however, that E8 is a sort of nebulous, effervescent concept for the general masses and you might think about giving them something more tangible to grasp onto (it's sort of like a book versus an ebook). Once you give them something real, they will love you and your GI will rise precipitously.

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A. Guy wrote on Jan. 11, 2008 @ 15:01 GMT
"It's disheartening that I was only ever a .004 Mad"

But, dude, it's still one of the best waves I've ever seen, and they always look smaller from the back.

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Margarita M. wrote on Jan. 17, 2008 @ 17:11 GMT

Ésta teoría que propones es muy buena, estas dando el paso hacia el futuro. El primer paso lo ha dado Einstein, y tú has dado el banderazo de salida para alcanzar la llave de la nueva Era futurista".

Todavía sabemos que faltan algunos eslabones que añadir a ésta teoría, y la clave esta en comprender la complejidad y transdisciplinariedad, que nos rodea. Para entender el Todo y encontrar ésa fórmula que unifique las leyes del universo. Estamos contigo, y para envidia de muchos haz logrado avanzar históricamente hablando más que ninguno.

Sonora, M{exico

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VMV wrote on Jan. 28, 2008 @ 07:28 GMT
Loved E8 Theory. Beautiful.

Have a question re space:

Why isn't there a model of space? Like, when a mass bends it, what exactly is being bent?

On the grand scale we have a decent model, but on the atomic scale, the masses of particles, together with their spins, colors and charges, seem to imply a complex geometry at the boundary between matter and space - and yet, there is not a word about what exactly "empty space" is. It is as if there is nothing there :). But why would such a fundamental concept be ignored.

How properties of space are represented in E8T?

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David wrote on Jan. 29, 2008 @ 19:58 GMT
Garrett, are you familiar with the work of MS El Naschie? It appears that your TOF and his work (which for the most part appeared in the Elsevier journal Chaos,Solitons & Fractals) have a lot in common? I would appreciate hearing your opinion.

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Diego wrote on Feb. 9, 2008 @ 19:59 GMT
Do you think you would be able to predict some masses for your new particles before LHC starts?

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paul valletta wrote on Feb. 20, 2008 @ 16:13 GMT
I notice this Äô appears to be infecting a large number of postings?

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paul valletta wrote on Feb. 20, 2008 @ 16:17 GMT
I am assuming it (maybe "alpha-Äô-omega" is a form of "anti-social" graffiti, it has definately appeared after posts have been completed?

Just drawing attension to it.

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A. Pisko wrote on Mar. 24, 2008 @ 11:32 GMT
Dear Dr. Lisi

Please do not make the same mistake of the members of the string theory community by ignoring competing ideas. El Naschie has been working in the same direction as yourself for almost two decades. Before him there were many others such as G. Ord, L. Nottale, M. Green and J. Schwarz. Could we have your views on question posed by David on Jan 29, 2008 for the benefit of the scientific community at large.


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Blogger Antony Garrett Lisi wrote on Mar. 25, 2008 @ 17:52 GMT
A. Guy:

I'm not so disappointed that my GI is dropping a bit. The media evolution appears to be: physics blogs, physics news sites, newspapers, other blogs and web news, science magazines, other magazines, ... and I don't know what comes next, maybe wait for the movie? Life's been kind of crazy.


My spanish has deteriorated a bit since the summer I spent in Mexico, but I still understand enough to appreciate your kind words and encouragement -- thanks.


Yes, this is what I'm after. This E8 theory describes the geometry of spacetime and all elementary particle fields as an E8 principal bundle -- a very specific and beautiful mathematical construction.


I've heard of him, but haven't spent a lot of time with his work.


Maybe, but I wouldn't bet on it.


I'm not sure what you're referring to, so maybe those posts have been removed.

A. Pisko:

Given the very frequent and insistent requests to look at his work, I'd guess he already has quite a supportive following, and doesn't need me as another disciple.

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franklin wrote on Apr. 20, 2008 @ 22:07 GMT
What books or other methods of learning would you suggest to someone who is interested in physics, but has very little physics knowledge?

Thanks! :)

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Cynthia wrote on Apr. 22, 2008 @ 19:47 GMT
"The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead: his eyes are closed." Albert Einstein

I like to share my inner experience of the E8. I think you will find it interesting. I have been meditating for most of my...

view entire post

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RICHARD THOMAS wrote on May. 5, 2008 @ 06:45 GMT

My book SUPERMAN SYDROME is about the need a loner has for teamwork.


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Mike F wrote on May. 13, 2008 @ 05:49 GMT
Hi Garrett,

I've been fascinated both with John Baez's and Tony Smith's fantastic sites, as well as the highly interesting, albeit mostly incomprehensible work of the superstring and quantum gravity theorists. It would really be nice, however, if the details of these ideas and the mathematics behind them were more accessible to layfolk. Ever consider taking a year off to write a really good book for us? You know, cleverly written prose augmented with lots and lots of illuminating diagrams might substitute well for countless thousands of references to lie algebras and principle fiber bundles. Just think, it might prove far more challenging than what you've experienced in finalizing your theory. Any chance?

Also, thanks kindly for your work. It's pretty cool and will have a profound impact on us all.

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James wrote on May. 31, 2008 @ 14:44 GMT
Hello Garrett,

I am a retired physicist (retired at 30!) who used to work on the detection of the Quark-Gluon plasma at RHIC. Since then, I turned all my attention to music production. I hope you are finding great enjoyment and enlightentment in pursuing the quest to modern physics's holy grail, as much I am in diving inside myself to come up with music that would otherwise sit dormant most of the time :)

Good luck, I will follow up your progress!



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Anonymous wrote on Jun. 15, 2008 @ 14:37 GMT

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Wim Dokter wrote on Jun. 23, 2008 @ 00:57 GMT
Hello Garrett,

Do you have any idea whether your article caused any 'waves' in Holland? Can't seem to remember reading anything about it until I stumbled upon it on the Web.

I studied astronomy and have a degree in theoretical physics but did not pursue any career in it - have been working in scientific publishing and ICT instead.

Just read Peter Woit's book "Not even wrong" and it's very gratifying to immediately afterwards come across a development he was wishing for: a strikingly beautiful AND falsifiable theory! In addition, one which stays in line with established theories very closely, as opposed to String Theory. I followed a class in it as well; it looked pretty outlandish to me at the time (early 90-ties).

Apart from now and then working on some ideas to arrive at GR from SR in a more natural and appealing way (I especially mean appealing to graduate students), I don't do anything in physics anymore. Have a couple of questions, though:

- How about infinities? Is the theory, esp. the gravity part, renormalizable? In QLG, the higher order terms are still infinite as far as I know. In Supergravity, some of the graviton infinities were cancelled by gravitino ones. Is there a part of E8 which takes care of this?

- Does E8 have anything to say about the structure of spacetime at the Planck scale?

Wish you lots of success and perpetuated independency and fun,

Wim Dokter



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fi wrote on Jul. 14, 2008 @ 12:24 GMT
hi !

can you tell me what the 1877 discovery was that inspired you


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RICHARD THOMAS wrote on Aug. 5, 2008 @ 02:10 GMT
Feynman put it the best when he said: "Physics is like sex. Sure, it may give some practical results, but that's not why we do it."

"Next time a girl speaks ten words listen" Garrett Lise.

So maybe it is funny that Dr Ray Monro will be at the test of my atomic bomb in the Las Vegas test site.

When it goes off he will laugh and his false teeth will be vaporised.

If my theory of everything was not fun I would not have suggested it.

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RICHARD THOMAS wrote on Aug. 6, 2008 @ 06:43 GMT
SKIN OF EVIL............Episode 23 Season 1 TNG.


2+2=4 is the energy equation for the unviverses.I do mean plural because a big crunch must preceed the big bang to make sense out of it.

After all it is the conversion of potential energy to kinetic.

And what we need is a way to store that energy.

When the four states of matter are one and a...

view entire post

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RICHARD THOMAS wrote on Aug. 6, 2008 @ 06:49 GMT
I apologise for being the HOGSTAR of your forum.

Maybe my HOG STAR does not shine as brightly as yours.

But we all find our way to shine.

My theory has the advantage of being non geometrical unless Garrett can work out a geometry and extremely simple which is what Garrett claims his theory is.

But can Garrett explain it to his grandmother that is the test of the theory of everything you have to be able to explain it to the layperson.

And the layperson simply can't understand this theory it is only for scientists.


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RICHARD THOMAS wrote on Aug. 22, 2008 @ 04:34 GMT
My theory may lead to an atomic bomb.

But does Garrett Lises theory lead to anything atomic.?

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RICHARD THOMAS wrote on Aug. 22, 2008 @ 09:23 GMT
"Richard Thomas is on another planet and his thoery is way out there."-STEPHEN HAWKING.

"but it is not so far removed from what we believe.

When Lise is forgotten we will still remember Thomas.


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SOMEWHERE BEYOND ANTARES wrote on Aug. 23, 2008 @ 04:49 GMT
Calling occupants of interplanetary craft (...)

You´ve been observing our Earth

And we´d like to make

A contact with you

We are your friends...


What applications does Lises theory have to warp drive.?

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RICHARD THOMAS wrote on Sep. 22, 2008 @ 10:21 GMT
Reasoning 1/ There are a million and one reasons to believe evolution, but it doesn’t lead anywhere.( the extra reason is because you don't want to believe, and change your life)

Example Archoptryx JPEG and link.

Reasoning 2/ There are a million reasons to believe in intelligent design and Gods wonderful plan for your life. Now this does lead to life.

Example Platypus JPEG and link.

Reasoning 3/ You have to want to believe in Gods wonderful plan for life/for your life.

Reasoning 4/ I will choose the reasons to believe in Gods plan so I can have life.

Are you satisfied with Life without Christ.?

Everybody has a God shaped ( cross shaped) Hole.

This can only be filled by the cross. (Picture of a key fitting into a cross shaped hole in a heart.)

Box with random shapes for thoughts this is the mind without Christ.

When we fit in the key of believing in the cross our thoughts are tranformed and they are all cross shaped.

A box with thoughts that are everything is cross shaped.

These four reasonings are in the public domain and can be printed by any concerned christian.


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Damien R. wrote on Sep. 24, 2008 @ 17:08 GMT
Dear Garrett,

Head AND tail ?

In my understanding, since superunification aims at unifying the causality of relativism and the probability of quantum theory, a coin tossed would fall back on both sides in the universe taken in all its dimensions - if the theory proves right.

Whatever the number of pages, if the probability exists that a monkey can write a master piece, it would too ...

So the question is, of course, about the LHC : are we not talking about "colateral" affects at the scale of the universe in all its dimensions ?

Knowing that one goal of the experiment being to prove the validity of superunification ... it really is a catch situation.

Where is the error in the above reasoning ? I would greatly appreciate your opinion or guidance.

Best regards,

Damien R.

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tpape wrote on Sep. 26, 2008 @ 10:03 GMT
Considering your areas of research and interest, I was wondering if you have considered an approach similar to this model, based entirely upon perspective and perspective exchange within physics and mathematics, or if it is of any interest to you.

Consider that there are three fundamental and interrelated relationships of reference for perspective. The three fundamental relationships...

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Bob Romanelli wrote on Oct. 27, 2008 @ 20:36 GMT
Dear Garrett,

Thank you for doing what you're good at and what you love. God bless you for offering hope to a hopeless world. One of your readers is correct: something big is about to happen. Far more than a paradigm shift or quantum leap is on the horizon. Maybe your ideas are a prelude to that.

The work you are doing, within the context of being a genuine human being, is important for many reasons. I am fascinated by one. Aesthetics. Your awareness of the power of beauty in physics and the mathematics you use to bring your ideas to life are reflections in the eyes of the Creator. To say that you are on to something is an understatement.

If serious scientists would take seriously the interconnectedness between the physics (or mathematics?) of music, and color, and dance, and poetry, perhaps they would discover a key to the universe that looks like Garrett Lisi's E8.

I do not think it strange at all that you are drawn to surfing and snowboarding. Instead I find that very appropriate. The universe was designed by a mathematician who is also an artist. He enjoys surfing time-space continuums. Why should it surprise anyone that you would enjoy surfing. The best logic in grounded in aesthetics.

I offer you a promise for the future:

I know we are destined to go to the stars,

Far beyond Jupiter, Saturn or Mars.

Our feet shall descend where no feet have trod.

Our children shall romp across nebular sod.

The edge of the galaxy's merely a reef,

The color of coral a shade of belief.

I wrote a poem called "Menorah" that also reflects the coming of something far more potent than a paradigm shift or quantum leap. It portents the rolling possibilities of an E8 open door. Maybe I should have made the Sexton a Physicist--not dumb and blind, but visionary and awesome:

Since Elvish is more beautiful than English, I'll close with "Elen sila lumenn' omentielvo." A Star shines upon the hour of our meeting. Perhaps it is a six-pointed star within an E8 configuration.

May the God of all wonder support you and your explorations with health, happiness, hope, and abundant wisdom.


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FQXi Administrator Kavita Rajanna wrote on Dec. 5, 2008 @ 13:53 GMT
Please note that off-topic posts will be deleted or moved. The discussion about Mohamed El Naschie that has taken over this forum, has been moved here: If you wish to post something further about El Naschie, please do so at this new topic page.


K Rajanna


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Prince Philip wrote on Jan. 13, 2009 @ 13:15 GMT
To Kavita Rajanna

By removing the comments of Dr. Ray Munroe and others you proved the point about scientific apartheid. You also make it clear that it is a pure waste of time to write comments on this site. What is the point of writing to somebody who despises the commenter. Lisi is now a member of the establishment, albeit at the absolute end of the food chain. It is amazing how people could be proud for being insulted by those who are higher up. It reminds me of something very British which you should tell Lisi. British commoners where traditionally very proud when their wives were chosen to be mistresses of the upper and nobel classes. You should all think about that and exercise more humility.

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Ray Munroe wrote on Jan. 15, 2009 @ 20:54 GMT
Dear Prince Philip,

Thank you for the support. I'm not easily offended and I intend to stay around. It amuzes me that some of my more off-topic comments stayed on the blog site, while other on-topic comments were moved for mentioning a person's name.

Sincerely, Ray Munroe

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Ed Nash wrote on Feb. 19, 2010 @ 21:15 GMT
Now you can rest assured that E8 and the golden mean are real physics. The Helmholtz Inst. in Germany in cooperation with the University of Oxford and the Bristol University as well as Appleton Laboratory found experimentally the golden mean in quantum mechanics. Long ago El Naschie married E8 and the golden mean into the transfinite E8 exceptional Lie group. To obtain the dimension you simply multiply the exact theoretical inverse fine structure constant with three plus phi where phi is the golden mean 0.618033989. You divide the result with two and you get the dimension which is slightly less than 248. This is all explained in many papers published in Chaos, Solitons & Fractals. This journal being unique, successful, daring and avante garde is now shut down. The order to shut down the journal came from you know who. I am sure no one is particularly surprised when you read the entire history of this saga starting from the work of Lissi passing by the Scientific American Renate Loll paper and finally landing in the High Court in London in a Writ issued against Nature. You can read about this Writ in Sarah Limbrick’s blog.

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Lawrence B. Crowell wrote on Feb. 20, 2010 @ 01:04 GMT
I keep hearing about an infinite or transfinite E_8. I am not clear what this is. The only thing I can figure is there is a Kac-Moody realization of some representation of E_8.

Cheers LC

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Ray Munroe replied on Feb. 20, 2010 @ 02:37 GMT
Dear Lawrence,

El Naschie's E-Infinity has a transfinite order of 685.3 = 100 (1.618)^4 and an infinite dimension. My E12/ K12' has an order of 684 and a dimension of 12. There are similarities between Kac-Moody and E-Infinity and E12. For nearly two years, I've wondered if a relationship exists whereby those extra dimensions (past 12) can be represented by a simple fractal expression. Or perhaps the difference between 685 and 684 is a Grand 'Higgs' that breaks the original symmetry. I don't know. I don't know if I have sufficient mathematical skills to prove that E-Infinity should even exist.

El Naschie likes the Golden Ratio, and he uses double part of Fibonacci's sequence 4, 6, 10, 16, 26, 42 on a regular basis and relates it to String Theory dimensions.

I think the relevant point is that the Golden Ratio arises out of pentagonal symmetries. The Petrie pentagon represents the 4-simplex.

Have Fun!


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Lawrence B. Crowell replied on Feb. 20, 2010 @ 16:15 GMT
I suppose I don't quite get the big picture or the "Ah ha" of what this means.

Cheers LC

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Ray Munroe replied on Feb. 20, 2010 @ 16:24 GMT
Dear Lawrence,

I have some references at work. I could e-mail some of this on Monday.


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Steve Dufourny wrote on Feb. 20, 2010 @ 12:31 GMT
Important thing,

0 - infinity do not exist in the physicality , furthermore if an infinity appears it is with an add or serie towards a human invention which areinfinity in their referential.Thus for one quantic system of for the cosmological number, this serioe is finite and specific.That has no sense to say what the infinity is in the quantum architecture.

You confound all dear Friends and I invite thus the readers to make the difference between irrationalities and the realism, the rational, the logic, the pragmatism......



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Steev Dufourny wrote on Dec. 4, 2010 @ 13:13 GMT
ahahaha a t shirt now ahahaha .....

E x E y E z are pure jokes for the sceinces community, rational .

Well Where are we where are we in a film in fact where irrationalities dance with business and vanity, ....but fortunally the Universe is logic , it .

Steve from Belgium

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Georgina Parry wrote on Dec. 8, 2010 @ 07:17 GMT

it does not necessarily have to agree with space-time if space-time is only one part of reality, the observer perspective of what exists rather than "concrete" reality.

I don't know what all the other dimensions represent, it seems a lot, but if they are to do with properties of the particle, rather than space, perhaps it is just showing the pathway of a particle through timeless space, superimposing a history onto that space.(historical path is imaginary not really existing as a thing itself in the space)

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JOE BLOGS replied on Dec. 8, 2010 @ 08:29 GMT

Space time is the stuff out of which realiy is made.

And there is no other reality other than space time.

The other dimenisons whatever they are have to convert from a circular orbit in higher dimenensions to an eliptical one.

An eliptical one has to be in three dimesions.

If you can't convert backwards from Einsteins equations it proves string theory wrong.

If there to do with the properties of a particle rather than space then they are quantum theory and not Einsteins thoery.

With this we are dealing with astring theory of gravity and not a quantum theory.

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Georgina Parry replied on Dec. 8, 2010 @ 09:06 GMT

you said "Space time is the stuff out of which realiy is made.

And there is no other reality other than space time."

That sounds very much like a confession of faith to me. Science is not a religion. Space-time is a model of reality, a representation. I regard it to be an incomplete representation. Representing only a part of the whole of reality.

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JOE BLOGS replied on Dec. 14, 2010 @ 09:27 GMT

Space time is accepted by everybody in the physics community.

Now is not the place to argue against it's existance.

The method I have descibed is both very simple and very elegant and powerful.

It means we can put string theory into Einsteins equations and Einsteins equations in terms of string theory.

Which by faith may prove string theory wrong if the equation is not reversible.

Do you really understand what Iam getting at.

You can find something about it in Hawkings new book.

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Jason Mark Wolfe wrote on Dec. 11, 2010 @ 06:44 GMT
Hey check this out. Let's say that the energy that gave us the Big Bang plus all of the gravitational energy add to zero. That would mean that energy comes from some anti-energy gravity "thing". Well, if that's the case, then why can't we get more?

What if there were some secret way to violate conservation of energy?

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Lawrence B. Crowell wrote on Dec. 28, 2010 @ 14:11 GMT
There needs to be a policy change here to prevent this. I check this site about every day, and I am dismayed at seeing on the "Recent Blog Comments" the continual list of rubbish submitted. In this case a long past blog site is being used by who I suspect is Frank DeMeglio to write rubbish. I am sure this is a repellant to many people who might otherwise write something of at least a semi-serious nature. A look at the "Recent Blog Comments" suggests this is a site for cranks and the mentally disturbed.

As a suggestion I would give the authors of these blog pages the power to delete nonsense posts. This could cut down the huge number of comments on these blog areas (some into the many hundreds), where many are trash. I would also suggest giving these blog areas a 60 or 90 day period of life, where after that they are closed. That would liberate the author from tracking their site in perpetuity. This should also be extended to the essay authors as well.

Cheers LC

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Ray replied on Dec. 28, 2010 @ 15:40 GMT
I agree with Lawrence. The blog authors rarely seem to contribute to these threads any more. Are they driven off by non-sensical comments? Once upon a time, Garrett Lisi contributed to this thread. Perhaps FQXi could even consider blocking certain URL addresses. According to ENW, Frank posts from the Baltimore Public Library URL. They seem to allow some Frank comments for comic relief, but they won't allow Frank to monopolize a thread.

Have Fun!

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T H Ray wrote on Dec. 28, 2010 @ 15:34 GMT
I sympathize with the site administrators, though I do agree that the nonsense is way out of control.

Your suggestion to put the power in authors' hands is probably the optimal solution -- though I would be in favor of an administrator option to restore deleted posts on appeal, to prevent authors from blocking honest and valid criticism. An author should not be burdened, however, with responding to patently wrong conceptions of fundamental physics or straw man arguments.


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Jason Wolfe wrote on Dec. 28, 2010 @ 19:46 GMT
I thought that Frank DeMeglio was banned from this website for viciously attacking other bloggers. He's never written anything that is helpful or interesting. He uses sock puppets to disguise his identity, but they all say the same nonsense. The thread authors should feel free to delete Frank DeMeglio's sock puppets without remorse.

But where do you draw the line between a sincere physics question or comment versus intentional trash? It's interesting to read the defense of what some might consider an "ill conceived" idea. We should keep those. The other issue is that sometimes we like to just chat about politics or other stuff. There should be an open discussion thread where comments only last 30 days.

However, if the real problem is that the author of a thread abandons the thread to off topic conversation. then that underscores the need for a General Discussion thread.

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Lawrence B Crowell replied on Dec. 29, 2010 @ 14:03 GMT
There is no perfect solution. Clearly this can lead to blog authors deleting comments they simply disagree with, or playing little Orwellian blog-games like Motl does. However, something probably should change, for these blog pages become weighed down with hundreds of nonsense comments. The authors could then delete rubbish, and after 60 to 90 days the blog entry should be closed. This should at least eliminate the comments made by the small handfull of cranks who post here very frequently, and who are pretty clearly delusional or personality disordered.

Cheers LC

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Jason Wolfe replied on Dec. 29, 2010 @ 16:13 GMT
Closing a thread after 90 days seems to punish the innocent. I have a better idea. The webmaster should write a program that scans each article for non physics word like "dreams". If detected, the post is transferred to a "General Conversation" thread.

Or, at the thread author's discretion, the "non-topic" related entry can be moved to a General Conversation thread. Freedom of speech is upheld, and the topic can remain topic related.

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Jason Wolfe replied on Dec. 29, 2010 @ 16:21 GMT
I have a better idea. Under "Report post as inappropriate", create another link that says, "This Post is not Topic related".

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Anonymous wrote on Dec. 31, 2010 @ 19:20 GMT
Great link as to why Penrose comes up short:

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rand3289 wrote on May. 9, 2011 @ 22:01 GMT
I just watched:


Don't know much about physics... have questions that probably don't make sense:

Your projections remind me of drawing a truth table for mutually exclusive events.

If the particles weren't there - would that mean the forces/charges are not independent?

Analogy to truth table there would be a "don't care" instead of T or F and they would not be mutually exclusive.

Would this mean you could manipulate one vs the other?

Knowing that some particles are very stable and some are very unstable, another question pops in my mind:

If a "shape is twisting accross a curved surface" is there anything else other than energy levels that constrains the movement contributing to the stability of some particles?

If you put broken glass into the Kaleidoscope, the pictures come out beautiful and symmetric. Does looking at the projections still makes sense?

to reply: rand3289 (at) yahoo (dot) com

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Claude Revilliod wrote on Nov. 7, 2011 @ 21:43 GMT
Dear Mister Lisi,

I am very interested by your theoretical approach of the universe description. I am not a physicist but my formation as chemist allow me to appreciate globally your approach of your unification theory.

However, I have a dream which would correspond to a description of the universe which might include some psychic phenomenon observed by human and now recognized by science (eg, telepathy and premonitions) and other intriguing phenomena of parallel realities (spiritual travel out of the body, etc. ...). Indeed, these phenomenon could be explained by the presence in particles around us a source of information included in the feature vector of these particles and, in some cases, could be perceived by our perceptual system.

An other physicist, Mister J. E. Charon (The complexe relativity)has tried in the past to introduce this spiritual aspect into its model, with a relatively good success.

What do you think about this approach as part of your theory?

Would it be possible to integer this kind of information parameters into your model?

Thank you in advance for your response.

Best Regards

Claude Revilliod

Chemist Engeneer, PhD

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Eric T, Rich wrote on Apr. 9, 2012 @ 08:34 GMT
Dear Mr. Lisi,

I am a student at the univerisity of west georgia and I am currently enrolled in an astronomy class, which at first, I believed to be a massive waste of time due to my aspirations to make a career in the music businiess. Though I was not very interested intially, I still made good grades to ensure my own personal success. At the end of the class we were told to pick any topic in the realm of astronomy and right a paper on the chosen topic. I had no clue what to write about b/c I was compelled to write about something other than aliens or moon conspiricies. As I searched for an appropriate topic I watched "Through the Wormhole", a series that you were the first appearence discussing your E8 theory and your awesome life in Hawaii. I had previously decided to write about neutrinos but immediately changed my topic after watching you for just 5 min. I just wanted you to know how intriguing it is to me that you put all of this together and had the balls to put your reputaion on the line for something you believe in. Thank you for making me interested and the best of luck to you in the long road to new discoveries.


The 20 y/o who's mind was captivated by your profound insight

Eric T. Rich

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Myriam wrote on Jul. 10, 2012 @ 11:52 GMT
Thank you for your theory !

To my mind, the creation of universe can't be anything else that this geometrical form or structure. I imagine that the laws of our universe are included in this structure and revealed by it, and I think this beautiful structure was born from the nil to our reality in this exceptional instant we called the Big Bang.

But I have a question for you : do you think that the laws included in this structure could exist before the Big Bang ?

The complexity of this structure make me think that there was something before the birth of our universe that gave life to this structure, even if there was no space and no time before the Big Bang. But what ? or should we consider that the nil is the nil and that there wasn't any rule inside the nil?

To your opinion, where begins the science and where begins the religion ?

Myriam, Toulon (France)

Ps : sorry for the mistakes I don't speak english very well, but I hope you will understand what I've tried to say....

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merry flip wrote on Nov. 19, 2012 @ 09:58 GMT
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