There is no "Theory of Everything" inside E8

Algebra Seminar
Monday, February 8, 2010 - 14:00
1 hour (actually 50 minutes)
Skiles 171
Emory University
The "Exceptionally Simple Theory of Everything" has been the subject of articles in The New Yorker (7/21/08), Le Monde (11/20/07), the Financial Times (4/25/09), The Telegraph (11/10/09), an invited talk at TED (2/08), etc.  Despite positive descriptions of the theory in the popular press, it doesn't work.  I'll explain a little of the theory, the mathematical reasons why it doesn't work, and a theorem (joint work with Jacques Distler) that says that no similar theory can work.  This talk should be accessible to all graduate students in mathematics.