Summary : The laws of nature, as we experience them in our daily lives, are known extremely precisely. We have mechanical laws and forces such as gravity and electromagnetism. If we study more extreme conditions these laws become more exotic, such as at extreme velocities, extremely large distances or extremely tiny objects. These are also well understood, but theoretically one can also combine the extremes, and then real challenges are encountered. To combine extreme velocities, extremely tiny distances and extremely heavy masses one needs a theory called "quantum gravity" and this is not yet understood. Conceivably, the theory that does it right will require the combination of all existing types of particles and forces : the "Theory of Everything". But then another question presents itself : why are there extremes ? Where do all these very large numbers in the universe come from ? The number of particles has something like 80 digits, and, in terms of the tiniest existing distance scales, the size of the universe is a similar large number. How can a "Theory of Everything" ever explain the existence of such numbers ?
Gerard 't Hooft est un physicien néerlandais. Il est professeur à l'Institut de physique théorique à l'Université d'Utrecht depuis 1977. Il est co-lauréat avec Martinus Veltman du prix Nobel de physique de 1999 pour des travaux sur la structure quantique servant en physique des particules.Cliquer ICI pour fermer
Dernière mise à jour : 02/04/2012