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Garrett Lisi’s Office | by jurvetson
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Garrett Lisi’s Office

…and home, in Maui, where he loves to surf. This is where it all came from.

 

With the Large Hadron Collider coming on line this week, Garrett Lisi may soon be saying: Doh, I could have had a E8!

 

Or he’ll eclipse Einstein with a unified theory of Life, the Universe and Everything. Gravity too.

 

(The Lie-group joke came to me when I saw him present this at TED.)

 

His mathematically elegant multidimensional E8 framework (with 248 symmetries) predicts 20 particles that have not been seen before. With the LHC’s 7x energy bump over previous colliders, colored Higgs particles should show up. If they don’t, or if the superparticles of string theory do show up, he will admit defeat.

 

“This is an all or nothing kind of theory; it’s going to predict damn near everything, or it’s wrong.”

 

"At the heart of this mathematics is pure, beautiful geometry."

 

And I could hear the quantum foam surfer in him: “Theoretical physics has a lot of wipeouts. It’s like startups.”

 

But, then again, the LHC may create a black hole in Geneva. Stay tuned.

 

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Taken on February 28, 2008