What is the greatest secret of science
The 10 greatest physical puzzles of our time
Wouldn't it be nice to have a single theory from which all the laws of physics can be derived? Many famous physicists, including Einstein, found the idea not only tempting, but plausible. However, your search for this one "world formula" was in vain. Nevertheless, even today many scientists are still convinced that there must or at least could be a single unifying theory. The first big step would be a so-called "Grand Unified Theory" (GUT). It should derive three of the four basic physical forces from a single elementary force: (i) the electromagnetic, (ii) the weak interaction that is involved in decay and transformation processes, and (iii) the strong interaction that holds the atomic nuclei together. Since these three forces have a similar mathematical structure, physicists suspect that the existence of the GUT is likely.
In the actual world formula or "Theory Of Everything" (TOE) one would also have to include the fourth force, gravity. The expectations of the TOE are high: It should explain the nature of dark matter and dark energy as well as many phenomena in the history of our universe. Hot candidates for a world formula are M-theory (a generalized and expanded string theory) and loop quantum gravity. Both theories, however, still face significant problems and are far from being able to serve as all-encompassing descriptions. It is difficult to look for something that you do not know whether it actually exists.
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