SEED: HOW A PHYSICIST PUBLISHED AND VETTED HIS REVOLUTIONARY WORK SIGNALS THE POTENTIAL FUTURE OF AN OPEN, TRANSPARENT PEER REVIEW PROCESS. (from November 2008)
How does that group, referred to as E8, inform your theory, and is its structure really “in everything,” as stated by media?
In this E8 theory, it’s more accurate to say “everything” is in this particular Lie algebra. Three years ago I had gathered all known fields into one mess of algebra, describing particle interactions. This algebra included bosons interacting with fermions, and it looked unlike any Lie algebra I’d ever seen. It was a long time before I even considered that it might be part of some larger mathematical structure. Then one day I decided to look and see, and almost immediately found that it perfectly matched part of E8 — a truly beautiful mathematical object. It was a stunning realization. I had no reason to suspect that the collection of algebraic fields I had put together was actually part of a single mathematical object. And this object also seemed to have the two missing pieces I was looking for. So, to find it all fitting together like that, all at once — it was a bit overwhelming for me. One doesn’t get many days like that.