A to Z Challenge: Is Physics Really Dead?

“Relativity and quantum mechanics appear to suggest that the universe should be a boring place. It should be dark, lethal and lifeless.” – Henry Cliff

This title is never a nice thing to hear when you’re in your Undergrad hoping to become a physicist. It’s not a nice thing to hear at all; we might be reaching the end of the only real science. What’ll the next big thing be? Biology? Chemistry? Gods I don’t what to live in a universe where Biology is the next big thing. IT’S NOT EVEN A REAL SCIENCE.

Okay, calm down. Conceal, don’t feel, and don’t let them know.

Where was I? Yes, Is Physics really at its end?

It is a really interesting situation we are in right now, where we know so much, yet there are so many things we don’t know. The TEDTalk by Henry Cliff “Have We Reached the End of Physics” talks about how finely tuned the things are in our universe. For example, the Higgs Field, which exists all around us, has a constant value. Now the problem with this is the following: theory states that this field should be either ‘on’ or ‘off’ but it is somewhere between the two, and if it weren’t so we’d have no physical structure in our universe

Similarly, we have a problem with the strength of Dark Energy. Calculated value suggests that it is massive, and I mean massive. The value is 10 to the power 120 times more than the value from observation, and that is truly massive. An explanation for this would involve fine-tuning on a whole new level.

Another issue that was brought up in both the TED Talk and Stephen Hawking’s “Gödel and the End of the Universe” is M-Theory. It is actually a collection of several different theories, which seems to explain why there is something rather than nothing, and if we assume other universes with various other conditions, there is nothing. The problem with this is that it cannot be falsified.

The fear, now, is that we may be approaching a new era where there is nothing to answer, except the unanswerable. The fear is that physics is coming to an end. The fear is that something like biology will take over, and that, dear readers, is truly, and utterly terrifying.



This post is actually inspired by two things: A TED Talk by Henry Cliff “Have We Reached the End of Physics?” and Stephen Hawking’s ‘Gödel and the End of the Universe.’

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