It's Complicated: Composing a Theory of Everything

For quite some time, the focus of much of theoretical science has been to conceptualise and prove a theory of everything. That is, we continue to search for a unified and practical understanding of the formation and behaviour of our universe. This course will endeavour to introduce a few current theories that have the potential to become the theory of everything, in addition to discussing why such a theory is so difficult to develop. As will become clear, the unification of the very large and the very small elements of the universe is quite complicated.

Featuring subject matter expert

Tom Whipple
Tom Whipple

Science Editor at The Times

Tom Whipple joined The Times in 2006. As a science correspondent, he writes science news and features across the paper.

Will we ever find a theory of everything?

I think so... and as with every other scientific theory that's come before, it will just be a better approximation to reality. But we will still find bits of reality that surprise us and keep us looking for more theories.

Course Overview

  • Investigate the importance of gravity, probability and universal constants, all of which must be integrated if we are ever to devise a unified theory of everything.
  • Consider that neither quantum mechanics nor general relativity can explain all of our observations of matter, a fact that has been puzzling physicists for over a century.
  • Examine M-theory and loop quantum gravity, our current closest approximations to a theory of everything.
  • Reflect on whether it is even possible to compose a theory of everything, as questioned by some of the field’s greatest minds.
Course content
  • 6 Full HD Video Lectures
  • Downloadable Course Handouts
  • Knowledge Assessment Quiz
  • Interactive Group Discussion Task
  • Q&A Session with a Subject Matter Expert
  • Certificate of Achievement





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