Physics

The next Great Leap in Phyics



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There are a number of things that could constitute the next leap in physics, thanks to countless incremental steps in many different areas. The next leap in physics will have to be something that transcends the scientific community and grabs the popular psyche. More than that they next great leap in physics must be something that changes not only our understanding of things, but also how we live and thrive as a species. Some leading contenders for this prize include:

The Theory of Everything

A simple, elegant way to explain all the forces at work in the universe would certainly qualify as a great leap forward. Einstein spent the later years of his life searching for a way to explain the structure of the universe and failed. Advancements in the field of string theory have provided tantalizing clues towards a unifying equation, but they are hampered by their complexity - the more we learn about the structure of the universe the simpler it becomes (the Ptolemic view of the solar system was ultimately disproved because it requires far more elaborate math to make it work than the Copernican).

Once we can explain things like dark matter, black holes and have some comprehension of the totality of the structure of the universe things like warp drives become much more plausible.

Teleportation

Scotty's not about to beam anyone up, but single particles have already been "teleported" from one location to another. In theory larger and more complex particles should also be able to have their properties transferred from one place to another, and assuming a stable enough field could be established one could even move a tangible object. It's unlikely though that the technology will be stable enough for any organic material - even the simplest bacteria - since the process would be akin to dismembering an organism atom by atom at one end and building them back up from scratch atom by atom at the other end, a process no living organism would likely survive.

Time Travel

It's not as remote as it seems. We may not be able to travel to the future (as it hasn't happened yet) but we may be able to at least observe the past. Experiments involving the Bose - Einstein Condensates have shown that this is theoretically possible, and while we don't know what form a time machine might take simply being able to observe the past without actually interacting with it does solve the much-discussed "Grandfather paradox" (if you go back in time and kill your own grandfather how will you ever be born).

Those are just three of the most exciting possibilities. Research at the Large Hadron Collider, further exo-planet exploration and breakthroughs in bio-engineering could all just as easily provide the next great leap in physics. As exciting as it may be the next great leap in physics could still be years, even decades away. In the meantime the scientific community continues with far less dramatic but equally important work, laying a base upon which future great discoveries may be made. The next leap in physics may come in one hundred years time, when we simply look back on all that we've learned since E=MC2.

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