Problems with our current understanding
of how nature works
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Smolin (2006)
poses five key unsolved problems in physics set out below.
Problem 1. The problem of
quantum gravity
Combine general relativity and quantum theory into a single
theory that can claim to be the complete theory of nature.
Problem 2. The foundational
problem of quantum mechanics
Resolve the problems in the foundations of quantum
mechanics, either by making sense of the theory as it stands or by inventing a
new theory that does make sense.
Problem 3. Unification of
particles and forces
Determine whether or not the various particles and forces
can be unified in a theory that explains them all as manifestations of a single
fundamental entity.
Problem 4. Explain the values
of the free constants in the Standard Model
Explain why the value of the free constants in the Standard
Model of fundamental particle physics take their observed values.
Problem 5. Explain dark matter
and dark energy
Or if they don't exist, explain how and why gravity is
modified on large scales.
References
Smolin, L.
(2006). The Trouble with Physics: The Rise of String Theory, the Fall of
a Science and What Comes Next. Allen Lane (an imprint of Penguin Books)