When Albert Einstein died on 18 April 1955, the evening news and the papers had a picture of his desk with captions saying, “Unfinished manuscript, from the greatest scientist of our era”. So, what was that mystery that even Albert Einstein was struggling at? It was this, he wanted an equation not more than an inch long that could summarize all physical laws and would allow us to code-read the mind of god.
It doesn’t matter whether there exists a god or not. What we see as the mind of god is that thing behind the making and shaping of the cosmos. While looking at the beauty of anything (say our home planet, Earth), a spiritualist would attribute it to god’s creativity but for a scientist it’s different. They would look at the whole history of its formation and would finally come up with a plausible natural explanation.
That’s what fascinated Einstein, nature creates things, very beautiful things as if it has a mind of its own. So, Einstein set out to find how this mind works. To begin with, he needed to know what shaped things at the most basic level. We may think its matter, but that’s not right because matter cannot shape anything by itself. In turn, there is something that arranges matter in a way so that it takes nature’s desired forms.
He began his search for this unknown entity and finally realized that the four fundamental forces of nature are responsible for these wonders. Gravitational force, electromagnetic force, weak nuclear force and the strong nuclear force these are those things that shape the world around us. However, the 20th century science lacked the detailed knowledge of the subatomic interactions and other ‘nanoscopic’ phenomena. Therefore, Einstein did not accomplish his goal of making a unified theory.
Now his vision is taken forward by some of the greatest physicists of the present era like Prof. Stephen Hawking and Dr. Michio Kaku.
This is what Dr. Kaku said about this vision when he introduced himself in the Big Think series,
“He [Einstein] wanted an equation not more than one inch long that would allow us to code-read the mind of god. This is greater than any adventure story, this is greater than any murder mystery and I said to myself, that’s for me. I wanted to work on this unified field theory. This is the grandest chase in the history of modern physics.”
At present the idea is much more diversified, we have almost accomplished the unification of three of those forces. However, even now one of them doesn’t adhere to the theory, that’s gravity. In 1979 Abdus Salam along with Sleldon Glashow and Steven Weinberg became one of the few men who have ever received a Nobel Prize for a scientific theory, when they successfully unified the electromagnetic and weak nuclear forces to produce the electro-weak interaction.
They accomplished this unification by increasing the temperature and pressure of a particular region of space inside a particle accelerator (Large Hadron Collide as in the case of this experiment), at present all we can do is just hope that at much higher temperatures and pressures the strong nuclear force and the gravitational force too will get unified with the rest.
But this will never take us back from making a theory of everything. However, new developments in the field theoretical sciences like the string theory have taken us much closer to that epic moment when we would code-read the mind of god just like Einstein once dreamt.
Stay tuned, because on the next post we are going to discuss more about string theory and how it could help us to create a theory of everything. More interestingly we will also introduce you to a candidate for the mind of god as string theory hints.