Uploaded by minutephysics on 19.02.2012

Transcript:

Suppose you're ambitious enough to try to describe everything in the observable universe

in one single mathematical equation. DONE.

OK, so that doesn't include gravity or a few other little things… but the point is, this

equation describes, with incredible precision, what the earth is made of, what keeps the

sun burning, what allows us to breath, taste, mow the lawn, blow things up, and watch internet

videos… all in one equation. And it's humbly called "The Standard Model" - because even

when they discover the most accurate scientific theory known to man, physicists are modest.

Now, the universe is a pretty big place (maybe even infinitely big), so it's reasonable to

think that you might need a lot more than just one equation to describe it all - so

why is the standard model so simple? For starters, it's more like a recipe - and just as a recipe

for cake assumes you already know how to sift flour, beat egg whites, build an oven and

grow wheat, this equation assumes you already know about path integrals, gauge theories

and so on - so there's a lot more than meets the eye.

As for why an incredibly small set of mathematical rules appear to govern the universe? Well,

that's a deep and unanswered question. But the data show that math is the language of

the cosmos – pick a few elementary particles, set them on a high-energy collision course,

and BAM! When the sparks fly, the standard model will describe the fireworks – to twelve-decimal

places of precision!

Anyway, in the next few MinutePhysics videos we'll explain all sorts of the cool ingredients

that make up the standard model, like quantum fields, fundamental forces, quarks, gluons,

ghost particles, and of course, the higgs field. It's an ambitious task, and I hope

you're ready for it!

in one single mathematical equation. DONE.

OK, so that doesn't include gravity or a few other little things… but the point is, this

equation describes, with incredible precision, what the earth is made of, what keeps the

sun burning, what allows us to breath, taste, mow the lawn, blow things up, and watch internet

videos… all in one equation. And it's humbly called "The Standard Model" - because even

when they discover the most accurate scientific theory known to man, physicists are modest.

Now, the universe is a pretty big place (maybe even infinitely big), so it's reasonable to

think that you might need a lot more than just one equation to describe it all - so

why is the standard model so simple? For starters, it's more like a recipe - and just as a recipe

for cake assumes you already know how to sift flour, beat egg whites, build an oven and

grow wheat, this equation assumes you already know about path integrals, gauge theories

and so on - so there's a lot more than meets the eye.

As for why an incredibly small set of mathematical rules appear to govern the universe? Well,

that's a deep and unanswered question. But the data show that math is the language of

the cosmos – pick a few elementary particles, set them on a high-energy collision course,

and BAM! When the sparks fly, the standard model will describe the fireworks – to twelve-decimal

places of precision!

Anyway, in the next few MinutePhysics videos we'll explain all sorts of the cool ingredients

that make up the standard model, like quantum fields, fundamental forces, quarks, gluons,

ghost particles, and of course, the higgs field. It's an ambitious task, and I hope

you're ready for it!