Sunday, February 15, 2009

How a Surfer Dude Stunned the World of Science With the 'Theory of Everything'

(This is great! Darcy & Reid must read. Darcy, he has his PhD from UCSD. Reid, he has a lifestyle to aspire to.)

A laid-back surfer has just drawn up a new theory of the universe that is blowing the establishment’s socks off. His theory is seen by some as the “Holy Grail of physics”, and is earning rave reviews from distinguished scientists. In fact, his model appears to be the elusive overarching explanation to unite all the particles and forces of the cosmos, which has been the most baffling riddle of modern physics—stumping even Einstein.

Garrett Lisi, 39, may be operating outside of the scientific mainstream, but he’s no idiot. In fact, he’s a beach bum with a doctorate degree. But with almost no money, no university affiliation and no real responsibilities, Lisi spends most of his time surfing in Hawaii, where he occasionally does stints as a hiking guide and bridge builder, sleeping in a jungle yurt. In the winter, he spends the majority of his time snowboarding in Lake Tahoe, Nevada.

With a lifestyle revolving around riding wave and snow drifts, The Daily Galaxy had one burning question for Lisi: “How on Earth did you have the time to come up with the “Theory of Everything” in between so much snowboarding and surfing?”

Lisi’s chill response was, “I don't watch TV. Miraculously, this gives me plenty of time to surf, contemplate the secrets of the universe, and keep my girlfriend happy.”

But it’s not as if he didn’t put ANY effort into possibly solving the biggest mystery in the entire universe. Lisi admitted to the The Daily Galaxy that, “Between surfing and physics, I alternate days.”

While this kind of life sounds fun—solving the biggest mystery in the universe one day, hitting the waves the next—it does have its downside Lisi points out. "Being poor sucks. It's hard to figure out the secrets of the universe when you're trying to figure out where you and your girlfriend are going to sleep next month."

Fortunately, Lisi pulled it off anyway, and his proposed theory is nothing short of genius. Part of the excitement is that it does not require highly complex mathematics to understand. In the arcane world of particle physics, a simplified theory that actually makes sense, is a fine rarity indeed. Many scientists have speculated through the years that when the “Holy Grail” of physics was found, it would be beautiful, simple and easily understood. “The simplest answer is usually the correct answer,” goes the popular restatement of Occam's razor.
(full article at link above)

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