Large Grants
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Previous Programs

2018 Agency in the Physical World
Awardees; RFP download

2016 Physics of the Observer
Awardees; RFP download

2015 The Physics of What Happens
Awardees; RFP download

2013 Physics of Information
Awardees; RFP download

2010 The Nature of Time
Awardees; RFP download

2008 Foundational Questions in Physics and Cosmology
Awardees; RFP download

2006 Foundational Questions in Physics and Cosmology
Awardees; RFP download

Dr. A. Garrett Lisi
Fractured Atlas

Project Title

Deferential Geometry

Project Summary

To a theoretical physicist, the world is a giant jigsaw puzzle of theories joined together by experimental facts and mathematical relationships. Currently, our two best theories are General Relativity (Einstein's elegant, geometric theory of gravity) and Quantum Field Theory (describing the zoo of subatomic particles and their quantum interactions). But our puzzle is incomplete, as these two pieces do not fit together easily.

The purpose of Deferential Geometry is to assemble the known pieces by "rotating" them into mathematical representations matched with the others. (The same physics theory can often be expressed using different mathematical structure.) A study of GR and QFT reveals the theoretical rotations necessary to join them in a beautiful new structure encompassing all particles and forces of the standard model in a single geometric field. After a similar rotation of quantum mechanics to match the mathematics of thermodynamics, a complete picture emerges in which the quantum vibrations of this field are driven by a universal background of action - just as molecules of water are driven to motion when placed on a hot stove.

Led by well-established physical theory and this new understanding, we embark on an exciting exploration into the heart of physics.

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