Contributed by: filbert Thursday, November 15 2007 @ 01:11 PM CST
Garrett Lisi, 39, has a doctorate but no university affiliation and spends most of the year surfing in Hawaii, where he has also been a hiking guide and bridge builder (when he slept in a jungle yurt).
In winter, he heads to the mountains near Lake Tahoe, Nevada, where he snowboards. “Being poor sucks,” Lisi says. “It’s hard to figure out the secrets of the universe when you’re trying to figure out where you and your girlfriend are going to sleep next month.”
Despite this unusual career path, his proposal is remarkable because, by the arcane standards of particle physics, it does not require highly complex mathematics.
Even better, it does not require more than one dimension of time and three of space, when some rival theories need ten or even more spatial dimensions and other bizarre concepts. And it may even be possible to test his theory, which predicts a host of new particles, perhaps even using the new Large Hadron Collider atom smasher that will go into action near Geneva next year.
Recall if you will that Einstein was working as a patent office clerk when he first thought through relativity.
I have no idea if Lisi’s theory is true or not, but the fact that it’s an actual, honest-to-Darwin, falsifiable scientific theory (unlike, say, string “theory”) intrigues me . . .