The Unification of Physics: The Quest for a Theory of Everything

Panel Discussion December 10, 2014

The holy grail of physics has been to merge each of its fundamental branches into a unified “theory of everything” that would explain the functioning and existence of the universe. The last step toward this goal is to reconcile general relativity with the principles of quantum mechanics, a quest that has thus far eluded physicists. Will physics ever be able to develop an all-encompassing theory, or should we simply acknowledge that science will always have inherent limitations as to what can be known? Should new theories be validated solely on the basis of calculations that can never be empirically tested? Can we ever truly grasp the implications of modern physics when the basic laws of nature do not always operate according to our standard paradigms?


  • Steve Paulson Journalist and Executive Producer, TTBOOK
  • Katherine Freese Professor of Physics, University of Michigan
  • Marcelo Gleiser Professor of Physics & Astronomy, Dartmouth College
  • Max Tegmark Professor of Physics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology


  • Wednesday, December 10, 2014
  • 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm


This volume brings together leading physicists, philosophers and writers to explore the relevance of modern-day physics to our understanding of perennial questions confronting human existence.

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About This Series

This event is part of the Beyond the Big Bang: Searching for Meaning in Contemporary Physics series, which brings together leading physicists, philosophers, historians, and writers to explore the multiple scientific and philosophical dimensions suggested by modern physics, including how recent discoveries are impacting our enduring search for meaning in the universe.



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  • Physicists Discuss Extraterrestrial Life Dec 10, 2014 04:38 4096
  • Physics and the Meaning of the Universe Dec 10, 2014 05:11 1154
  • The Problem of the First Cause in Cosmology Dec 10, 2014 07:21 7633
  • Can Physics Ever Fully Explain the Universe? Dec 10, 2014 04:04 912
  • Why Don't We Have a Theory of Everything? Dec 10, 2014 02:07 747
  • What Is a Theory of Everything? Dec 10, 2014 02:18 956
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