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Previous Programs

2020 Consciousness in the Physical World
Awardees

2019 Intelligence in the Physical World
Awardees

2019 Information as Fuel
Awardees

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
Theiss Research

Project Title

E8 Theory

Project Summary

The Standard Model of particle physics provides an accurate but disjointed description of nature. Each different force--electromagnetic, weak, and strong--is described by a different, smooth geometric shape, called a Lie group, moving over our four dimensions of space-time. Each force particle--photon, weak boson, and gluon--is identified with a symmetry of the corresponding shape. The matter particles--electrons, neutrinos, and quarks--interact with the different forces according to their separate electric, weak, and strong charges. Gravity may also be described as a curved shape moving over our space-time, interacting with matter according to its mass and spin. The particle masses arise from interaction with the Higgs field, which also interacts with gravity and the other forces. It is the goal of E8 Theory to develop a unified description of all fundamental particle fields as the symmetries of a single shape. All known fields--the four forces, Higgs, and matter--would be various parts of single, quantized geometric field describing a beautiful shape moving and twisting over our four dimensions of space-time. The most promising candidate for this shape is the largest simple exceptional Lie group, E8, which matches the fields of the Standard Model and gravity remarkably well--but all geometries will be considered in this exciting search.



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