October 21, 2006

The Unified Theory

75 years ago this month, The New York Times reported that Albert Einstein had completed his unified field theory — a theory that promised to stitch all of nature's forces into a single, tightly woven mathematical tapestry. But as had happened before and would happen again, closer scrutiny revealed flaws that sent Einstein back to the drawing board. Nevertheless, Einstein's belief that he'd one day complete the unified theory rarely faltered. Even on his deathbed he scribbled equations in the desperate but fading hope that the theory would finally materialize. It didn't.
Here is the story of science by Brian Greene, from Newton's laws of motion, to Einstein's Theory of Relativity, and from Quantum Mechanics to the String Theory. And the future.