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The Theory of Everything: The Quest to Explain All Reality

Keep your eyes peeled for black holes on this mind-bending search for a theory that could explain everything. No, really: Everything.
The Theory of Everything: The Quest to Explain All Reality is rated 4.4 out of 5 by 236.
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Rated 5 out of 5 by from Just started Barely started course but slready like it. Will get back to it when I can.
Date published: 2022-06-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent course Great lectures, engaging presenter, very good graphics. Presents a thorough picture of this technical subject. Dr. Lincoln is excellent.
Date published: 2022-05-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Most Recent Theory of Everything SUMMARY The information and presentation easily compete for the best I've seen from TGC and Wondrium. The "Theory of Everything: Origin and Fate of the Universe" was the name of Stephen W Hawking's book of lectures, and especially the "Seventh Lecture: Theory of Everything". I would suggest that Hawking will be more meaningfully understood after delving into Lincoln's material, which has considerably more detail and is more recent. I can give no higher recommendation. The modern atomic element "Standard Model" and the fit into modern physics and chemistry is presented in the first 10 chapters. The first 10 chapters build, and the rest refer back, so skipping around may be problematic without the background in the top 10. The last 14 not so much. The Guidebook is well done, with links and great Bibliography. The "Theory of Everything", in scientific parlance, will focus on the smallest (atomic physics), and the largest (cosmology, origin and fate of the universe) together. Chemistry and biology, and much of engineering proper is a different discussion. Please note that the movie "Theory of Everything" (Redmayne version), while given rave reviews, is not really about modern physics. NOTES Dr Lincoln has also authored another TGC/ Wondrium modern physics offering, "The Evidence for Modern Physics", dated 2021, which is an update and expansion of this material. Also, Dr Lincoln has authored a text "Understanding the Universe", dated 2011, which provides expanded text (especially history of science, references, and appendix summaries). The caution is that the text publication date is before the Higgs Boson, and discoveries about neutrino scarcity, that the text dwells on. CAUTIONS and CONCLUSIONS For those with no STEM background, this offering will be painful. Even for those with a background, who wish an update on current understanding of physical reality, this offering may require serious work, despite being the best and simplest introduction to the foundations of modern chemistry and physics I've found. One must put aside serious time to read the Guidebook, listen, think, search about (especially Wikipedia), and often replay; just as for the better math offerings from Wondrium and TGC. My own motivation was to find out what some of the newer terms like "quark, Higg's Boson, antimatter, dark energy, dark matter, Standard Model, string theory, "super-symmetry" is most recently about; and I did. The methods and history of improvements in sciences by community communication and verification, despite the misleading of the "popular press", resonate. Dr Lincoln's presentation "voice" (manner), just as in his texts, is "colloquial historically informed English tavern tech"; jocular, fast, topical stream of consciousness, but to the point. The historic context and competing ideas approach was also well employed by Hawking's "Lectures". Lincoln also is driven to explain the methods used, especially "detectors and accelerators". As a bonus, much of Lincoln's work could also serve as "History of Science" material, because the material is basically a walk through the history of physics emphasizing the most recent.
Date published: 2022-05-12
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Boring Presentation of Complex Formulas I can't imagine anyone being really interested in THIS course, even if they are very interested in learning about the topic it allegedly covers. Too many formulas. Many are complicated and presented in a notation that will be unfamiliar to most Americans.
Date published: 2022-04-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from the theory of everything fabulous!! knew the basics and this was a real experience. great
Date published: 2022-04-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Theory of everything Fascinating discovery of the nature of the universe
Date published: 2022-04-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Clear explanations. This gives a clear understanding of how the Higgs Field and the Higgs Boson relates. Very informational for non physicists. The instructor was very informative. Would recommend.
Date published: 2022-03-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Just what I was looking for! As a layman, this course was exactly what I needed to help me understand particle physics and cosmology without having an advanced mathematics background. He is a wonderful teacher, able to simply summarize very complex topics. I also greatly appreciated his recognition of the humanity of the scientists that made these discoveries, and particularly his recognition of women physicists that were slighted because of their gender.
Date published: 2022-03-13
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Overview

Do you like a good detective story? Join a renowned scientist trying to solve nature's ultimate mystery.

About

Don Lincoln

There are so many clues from physics that are staring at us in the face. They are telling us something profound.

INSTITUTION

Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab)

Don Lincoln is a Senior Scientist at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab). He is also a Guest Professor of High Energy Physics at the University of Notre Dame. He received his Ph.D. in Experimental Particle Physics from Rice University.

Dr. Lincoln's research has been divided between Fermilab's Tevatron Collider, until its close in 2011, and the CERN Large Hadron Collider, located outside Geneva, Switzerland. The author of more than 1,000 scientific publications, his most noteworthy accomplishments include serving on the teams that discovered the top quark in 1995 and confirmed the Higgs boson in 2012. He is a fellow of the American Physical Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

His writing at a popular level includes many articles as well as four books: Understanding the Universe, The Quantum Frontier, The Large Hadron Collider, and Alien Universe. His enthusiasm for science education earned him the 2013 Outreach Prize from the High Energy Physics Division of the European Physical Society.

Dr. Lincoln has given hundreds of lectures on four continents to a broad range of audiences. He is a blogger for the website of the PBS television series NOVA, and he also writes a weekly column for the online periodical Fermilab Today.

By This Professor

The Theory of Everything: The Quest to Explain All Reality
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Understanding the Misconceptions of Science
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The Evidence for Modern Physics: How We Know What We Know
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The Theory of Everything: The Quest to Explain All Reality

Trailer

Two Prototype Theories of Everything

01: Two Prototype Theories of Everything

Embark with Dr. Lincoln on a search for a theory of everything-a simple and comprehensive explanation for all physical phenomena in the universe. Confront the incompatibility of our two best prototypes: the standard model of particle physics and the general theory of relativity....

33 min
The Union of Electricity and Magnetism

02: The Union of Electricity and Magnetism

Learn how two seemingly separate phenomena, electricity and magnetism, were shown by James Clerk Maxwell in the 1860s to be aspects of a single underlying force, demonstrating how unification works in physics. Then see how Maxwell's equations of electromagnetism make a remarkable prediction....

28 min
Particles and Waves: The Quantum World

03: Particles and Waves: The Quantum World

Follow one of the strangest turns in modern science: the discovery of the paradoxical world of light, which spawned the theory of quantum mechanics. Discover how light and matter behave as both particles and waves, and look at evidence for this curious feature of the quantum world....

32 min
Einstein Unifies Space, Time, and Light

04: Einstein Unifies Space, Time, and Light

Trace the reasoning that led Einstein to his special theory of relativity, proposed in 1905. Address common misconceptions about this startling new view of time and space, which led to ideas such as mass-energy equivalence, the impossibility of faster-than-light travel, and the space-time continuum....

30 min
Relativistic Quantum Fields and Feynman

05: Relativistic Quantum Fields and Feynman

Take a deeper step into the quantum world, observing how the theory of quantum electrodynamics, or QED, unites quantum mechanics with special relativity. Discover that the handy sketches of subatomic behavior called Feynman diagrams (named after physicist Richard Feynman) are really equations in disguise....

31 min
Neutrinos Violating Parity and the Weak Force

06: Neutrinos Violating Parity and the Weak Force

Study the weak nuclear force, which is responsible for beta decay: the emission of an electron from a nucleus during radioactive decay. Discover that much more is going on, including weird transformations that pose a challenge to a theory of everything....

31 min
Flavor Changes via the Weak Force

07: Flavor Changes via the Weak Force

Analyze more idiosyncrasies of the weak force, focusing on the three massive particles that mediate its interactions. Discover that the weak force is unique in its ability to change a characteristic called flavor, and learn that at high energies the weak force is exceptionally strong....

29 min
Electroweak Unification via the Higgs Field

08: Electroweak Unification via the Higgs Field

A key step in the quest for a theory of everything has been the realization that the electromagnetic and weak forces are aspects of the same force. Follow the saga of electroweak unification, which culminated in the discovery of the Higgs boson in 2012....

28 min
Quarks, Color, and the Strong Force

09: Quarks, Color, and the Strong Force

Explore the force that helps hold the atomic nucleus together, called the strong force. Chart the discovery of this mysterious mechanism-which only works at extremely short range-and see how it led to concepts such as quarks, gluons, and the color force, which is responsible for the strong interaction....

32 min
Standard Model Triumphs and Challenges

10: Standard Model Triumphs and Challenges

Bring together all the concepts studied so far to gauge how close physicists are to a theory of everything. Focus on the shortcomings of the standard model. Then zero in on two burning questions: Why is the mass of the Higgs boson so low, and why does matter predominate over antimatter?...

29 min
How Neutrino Identity Oscillates

11: How Neutrino Identity Oscillates

Transition to a new perspective as Professor Lincoln spotlights speculative ideas that may contribute to a theory of everything. In this lecture, explore the mysteries of neutrinos, which are extraordinarily hard to detect yet hold intriguing clues about the possible unity of fundamental forces....

31 min
Conservation Laws and Symmetry: Emmy Noether

12: Conservation Laws and Symmetry: Emmy Noether

Consider why mathematics is such an effective tool for describing nature. Then focus on mathematician Emmy Noether's remarkable insight that links symmetries in the equations of a physical system to conservation laws, such as the conservation of energy and conservation of momentum....

31 min
Theoretical Symmetries and Mathematics

13: Theoretical Symmetries and Mathematics

The first inklings of a successful theory of everything will probably arise from symmetries and group theory. Prepare for this epochal moment by digging into these important mathematical ideas. Also, learn to approach proposed theories of everything with fascination, tinged with healthy skepticism....

31 min
Balancing Force and Matter: Supersymmetry

14: Balancing Force and Matter: Supersymmetry

One of the most attractive ideas for physicists searching for a theory of everything is supersymmetry, which treats force- and matter-carrying particles as interchangeable. Explore major problems that supersymmetry solves and the shortcomings that convince some scientists that perhaps some other ideas must also be considered....

34 min
Why Quarks and Leptons?

15: Why Quarks and Leptons?

The fundamental building blocks of matter are thought to be quarks (which interact by the strong force) and leptons (which interact by the electromagnetic and weak forces). But could there be a deeper level? Explore the theory of preons, which may be even more fundamental than quarks and leptons....

31 min
Newton's Gravity Unifies Earth and Sky

16: Newton's Gravity Unifies Earth and Sky

Gravity is by far the weakest of the fundamental forces. Learn how Newton achieved the first major unification in physics by showing that terrestrial and celestial gravity are the same. He also tacitly equated inertial mass and gravitational mass, leading to the startling theory 250 years later....

29 min
Einstein's Gravity Bends Space-Time

17: Einstein's Gravity Bends Space-Time

Built on the equivalence of inertial and gravitational mass, Einstein's general theory of relativity explains gravity in a surprising new way. See how matter and energy determine the shape of space and time. Investigate confirming evidence for general relativity, including the discovery of gravitational waves in 2015.

32 min
What Holds Each Galaxy Together: Dark Matter

18: What Holds Each Galaxy Together: Dark Matter

Trace the discovery of missing mass surrounding most galaxies, which leads scientists to infer that 85% of all matter is "dark" and can't be observed directly. Evaluate the major theories about this discrepancy, and consider its implications for a theory of everything....

33 min
What Pushes the Universe Apart: Dark Energy

19: What Pushes the Universe Apart: Dark Energy

Turn to dark energy, the ghostly energy field that appears to be pushing the universe apart at an ever-greater rate. Learn how this extraordinary discovery was made in 1998, and explore theories that attempt to explain dark energy and its strange consequences....

32 min
Quantum Gravity: Einstein, Strings, and Loops

20: Quantum Gravity: Einstein, Strings, and Loops

A theory of everything must fit gravity into the quantum realm, reconciling the general theory of relativity with the standard model of particle physics. Explore the features of gravity that make this unification so difficult, and evaluate two intriguing approaches: superstring theory and loop quantum gravity....

31 min
From Weak Gravity to Extra Dimensions

21: From Weak Gravity to Extra Dimensions

Venture into extra dimensions to investigate gravity's extraordinary weakness compared to the other fundamental forces. This journey also sheds light on the possible creation of subatomic black holes in particle accelerators and why tiny black holes pose no risk to humanity....

33 min
Big Bang and Inflation Explain Our Universe

22: Big Bang and Inflation Explain Our Universe

Starting with the big bang, plot the history of our universe, focusing on events in the tiniest fraction of the first second, when phenomena such as supersymmetry, superstrings, and quantum loops may have come into play. Consider the explanatory power of the theory of cosmic inflation....

32 min
Free Parameters and Other Universes

23: Free Parameters and Other Universes

Now step into the realm of other universes. Do they exist? If so, how could we possibly know? Start by examining the free parameters that govern the structure and behavior of our universe. Then seek answers to four crucial questions that address why the parameters take the values that they do....

31 min
Toward a Final Theory of Everything

24: Toward a Final Theory of Everything

Finish the course by reviewing unified theories since Newton, analyzing a remarkable equation that brings major insights together and represents the current status of a theory of everything. Then look ahead to the next steps, and hear Dr. Lincoln's own research agenda for this momentous quest....

35 min