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03-19-2007, 08:51 AM #1
1 step closer to understanding the theory of everything...
248-dimension maths puzzle solved
The structure is described in the form of a vast matrix
An international team of mathematicians has detailed a vast complex numerical "structure" which was invented more than a century ago.
Mapping the 248-dimensional structure, called E8, took four years of work and produced more data than the Human Genome Project, researchers said.
E8 is a member of the "Lie group" that describe symmetrical objects.
The team said their findings may assist fields of physics which use more than four dimensions, such as string theory.
Lie groups were invented by the 19th Century Norwegian mathematician Sophus Lie (pronounced "Lee").
It's as complicated as symmetry can get
Familar structures such as balls and cones have symmetry in three dimensions, and there are Lie groups to describe them. E8 is much bigger.
"What's attractive about studying E8 is that it's as complicated as symmetry can get", observed David Vogan from the Massachussetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the US.
"Mathematics can almost always offer another example that's harder than the one you're looking at now, but for Lie groups, E8 is the hardest one."
Professor Vogan is presenting the results at MIT in a lecture entitled The Character Table for E8, or How We Wrote Down a 453,060 x 453,060 Matrix and Found Happiness.
Conceptualising, designing and running the calculations took a team of 19 mathematicians four years. The final computation took more than three days' solid processing time on a Sage supercomputer.
Lie groups were invented by the Norwegian Sophus Lie
What came out was a matrix of linked numbers, which together describe the structure of E8. It contains more than 60 times as much data as the human genome sequence.
Each of the 205,263,363,600 entires on the matrix is far more complex than a strightforward number; some are complex equations.
The team calculated that if all the numbers were written out in small type, they would cover an area the size of Manhattan.
In addition to facilitating further understanding of symmetry and related areas of mathematics, the team hopes their work will contribute to areas of physics, such as string theory, which involve structures posessing more than the conventional four dimensions of space and time.
"While mathematicians have known for a long time about the beauty and the uniqueness of E8, we physicists have come to appreciate its exceptional role only more recently," commented Hermann Nicolai, director of the Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics (the Albert Einstein Institute) in Germany.
"Yet, in our attempts to unify gravity with the other fundamental forces into a consistent theory of quantum gravity, we now encounter it at almost every corner."
03-19-2007, 01:10 PM #2
I don't have the time to read that right this second... also I just read a simlar article about it on New Scientist, so it's probably much the same. But you may find this interesting:
I found that extremely enlightening. Anyway, I'll be back later to converse more about the theory of everything!
03-19-2007, 02:16 PM #3
Originally Posted by westwood_13
and also one step to re-printing every science text book in our entire education system lol
03-19-2007, 05:23 PM #4
I don't want to sound oblivious but can someone explain how a 453,060 x 453,060 matrix is the largest one possible? couldn't a matrix have infinite rows and infinite columns?
Is string theory a way of trying to account for entanglement or 'spooky action at a distance'? I just read this stuff b/c its really interesting, I have no science background... or future.
Last edited by Eurasian =--(O); 03-19-2007 at 05:37 PM.
03-20-2007, 09:33 AM #5
I don't think the article says that a 453,060 x 453,060 matrix is the largest one possible.
Isn't string theory the way Sam Beckett used to leap around in time (Quantum Leap)!
03-23-2007, 03:09 AM #6
Originally Posted by Eurasian =--(O)
String theory is http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/String_theory
Better then me trying to explain it and confusing everybody.
03-30-2007, 06:48 PM #7
04-28-2007, 02:40 PM #8
04-28-2007, 10:33 PM #9
I don't think there is such a thing as '1 step closer to understanding the theory of everything..'. The real path to understanding everything is to discover more questions with every step we reach beyond the known. One discovery, good, but then a thousand and one questions from the discovery must follow-this is the pursuit of knowledge and excellence. The search goes on. The day we claim we have discovered everything will be the day homan sapiens would have been overtaken by the great apes.
A timely reminder-there is a newly discovered super earth-like planet with conditions more favourable than earth, near our door steps. It is possible that life there is maybe one billion light years more advanced than ours.
Of all known species known to have ever existed on earth, homan sapiens are newcomers. Just like all known earth species all species will one day become extinct, including homan sapiens.
Stephen Hawking's zero-gravity space flight highlights the need to search the beyond to extend the life of homan sapiens. This is the big picture from the view of the very small.
04-28-2007, 11:25 PM #10
Er.., you mean homo sapiens, right? And anyway, we'd have to consider how we interpret this. Is everything naturally there for us to "discover"? Or are they our creations, that we label? If they're already there, then it is most likely only new to us, and not to other existing objects.
04-28-2007, 11:52 PM #11
Originally Posted by Tsumaranai
04-29-2007, 12:48 PM #12
The fourth dimension. I only posted the blackhole thing b/c i didnt want to make a new thread. We should just have a science thread or something.
05-18-2007, 11:16 AM #13
05-20-2007, 04:40 AM #14
hmmmmm.........in what way is that moving blue flexible rubber toy the '4th dimension'??
05-20-2007, 11:24 AM #15
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