– a bit of it anyway!
Update: January 30th, 2010; ScienceNews, Vol.177 #3 (p. 15)
Symmetry found hidden in supercold atoms
Complex E8 patterns detected in physical systemBy Rachel Ehrenberg http://www.sciencenews.org/view/generic/id/53160/title/
end of update.
For the semi-mathematically inclined among you (the Maths boffins will probably already know this), earlier this year, one of the most potentially signifiant mathematical puzzles was solved. Although the last great mathematical puzzle (Fermat’s conjecture or Fermat’s last conjecture) wasn’t solved for about 350 years until 1995, this one has less longevity, but its potential to be far more significant.
P.S. Kudos also to (not forgetting Grigori Perelman’s breakthrough of the Poincare conjecture, but that too, like Fermat’s, does not hold the potential for any near-time tangeable advancements)
Anyway, the breakthrough was the completion of the characterization of E8, pictorally represented above. E8 could be described as inter-related description of the most complex symmetry we currently know of. It is useful beause Mathematicians and Physicists believe the descriptions within E8 are found throughout the universe, and could well be the relationship by which the very universe itself utilizes. Superstrings were herelded as being powerful proposals on which the Universe could be theorized, but it seems that superstrings are just a subset of E8 and most crucially of all, E8 could very well act as the grand unifier of the 4 fundamental forces, Gravity, Electromagentism, Strong and Weak forces. It has been put forward as being able to yield what some believe are the last remaining ‘particles’ awaiting discovery.
No scientist has yet been regognised as managing to unify the four forces (although there is at least one hot candidate forit right now), so really, it is possibly the greatest scientific breakthrough ever! (yeah, I know, until the next one that is)
OK, ok ok… I just want to share with you the most sublime and funny comment I have ever seen regarding such a potentially monumental breakthough, from an online commentator…
“Hmm. That E8 diagram has a line missing.”
Posted by Steve on November 19, 2007 11:35 PM (http://tinyurl.com/3cnk47)