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Stephen Hawking at 70: What would revolutionize our understanding of the universe

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In an exclusive interview with Stephen Hawking at 70, New Scientist (January 4, 2012) offers

NS: What discovery would do most to revolutionise our understanding of the universe?

SH: The discovery of supersymmetric partners for the known fundamental particles, perhaps at the Large Hadron Collider. This would be strong evidence in favour of M-theory. [multiverse theory]

NS: The search for supersymmetric particles is a major goal of the LHC at CERN. The standard model of particle physics would be completed by finding the Higgs boson, but has a number of problems that would be solved if all known elementary particles had a heavier “superpartner”. Evidence of supersymmetry would support M-theory, the 11-dimensional version of string theory that is the best stab so far at a “theory of everything”, uniting gravity with the other forces of nature.

Uh, among other things … including putting an end to science.

Note: Intel is exploring ways to help Hawking, who has battled motor neurone disease for nearly half a century, communicate. Any success will help many others as well.

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Is it more revolutionary to discover evidence for M-theory, or to discover that there is no evidence for it? It seems Multiverse is the new orthodoxy, so I would have thought the real jolter is to have to admit that this is the only Universe, fine tuning and all. Where would materialism turn then? Jon Garvey
OFF TOPIC: Slashdot Slashdot is posting an article entitled: Researchers Show How Cellular Complexity Can Evolve referencing an article at a nature.com blog: Resurrecting extinct proteins shows how a machine evolves Interesting that they should choose to use the term "machine". They also reference this PLoS article: Protein Evolution by Molecular Tinkering: Diversification of the Nuclear Receptor Superfamily from a Ligand-Dependent Ancestor EndoplasmicMessenger

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