We’re One Step Closer To Discovering The Theory of Everything
The Theory of Everything ToE, or sometimes known as the Final Theory, is a hypothetical, all-encompassing theory that explains and links together all the physical aspects of the universe. For the past several centuries, two theoretical frameworks have been developed, which together somewhat resemble this theory of everything.
These are the general relativity and the quantum field theories. And while general relativity explains how things in the visible spectrum, let’s say, work, whereas the quantum field theory explains how things work on a quantum level. So far so good. But the problem is that neither of these two theories work for one another and there doesn’t seem to be a link between the two. Nevertheless, scientists may have found a substance which will allow us to maybe make a connection between the two.
And while general relativity explains how things in the visible spectrum, let’s say, work, whereas the quantum field theory explains how things work on a quantum level. So far so good. But the problem is that neither of these two theories work for one another and there doesn’t seem to be a link between the two. Nevertheless, scientists may have found a substance which will allow us to maybe make a connection between the two.
One good example of this inconsistency here is that gravity, which pretty much holds the entire universe together, doesn’t seem to have any effect on the atomic level. There isn’t anything in classical physics which an explain what’s happening with the quantum entanglement either.
Obviously, there must be something which ties these two together, but we don’t have a clue of what that is. But now, with the help of this newly developed material, scientists may stand a chance of discovering what that is. This material allows us to see the effects of quantum mechanics with the naked eye, which will maybe shed some light on the whole situation.
“We found a particular material that is straddling these two regimes,” says team leader N. Peter Armitage, from Johns Hopkins University.
“Usually we think of quantum mechanics as a theory of small things, but in this system quantum mechanics is appearing on macroscopic length scales. The experiments are made possible by unique instrumentation developed in my laboratory.”
This material developed by Armitage is a topological insulator, a theoretical material predicted as early as the 1980’s and then first produced in 2007. These topological insulators are conductive on the outside while being insulators on the inside.
This causes the electrons flowing on the surface to do some really strange yet interesting stuff. For instance, Armitage and his team discovered that a beam of terahertz radiation passing through this material, made it rotate slightly. This effect was only seen on the atomic level up until now.
This rotation effect can be predicted by systems that govern the quantum theory – but this was the first time researchers witnessed this effect on a macro level. This material and the experiments that will follow could finally make a connection between the two mentioned theories and thus have a cohesive answer on how the universe works; the Theory of Everything.
However this experiment is just a small piece of a huge puzzle, but at least scientists now have something to work with and actually go somewhere.
The full paper “Quantized Faraday and Kerr rotation and axion electrodynamics of a 3D topological insulator” has been published in the journal Science.