Unified field theory
In physics, a unified field theory (UFT), occasionally referred to as a uniform field theory, is a type of field theory that allows all that is usually thought of as fundamental forces and elementary particles to be written in terms of a single field.
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- You could not imagine the sum-over-histories picture being true for a part of nature and untrue for another part. You could not imagine it being true for electrons and untrue for gravity. It was a unifying principle that would either explain everything or explain nothing. And this made me profoundly skeptical. I knew how many great scientists had chased this will-o’-the-wisp of a unified theory. The ground of science was littered with the corpses of dead unified theories. Even Einstein had spent twenty years searching for a unified theory and had found nothing that satisfied him. I admired Dick tremendously, but I did not believe he could beat Einstein at his own game.
- Freeman Dyson, Disturbing the Universe (1979), p. 62
- Einstein’s dissent from quantum mechanics and immersion in the search for a unified field theory were not failures but anticipations. After all, even if many string theorists would disagree with Einstein about the incompleteness of quantum mechanics, much of what goes on in string theory these days looks a lot like what Einstein was doing in his Princeton years, which was trying to find new mathematics that might extend general relativity to a unification of all the forces and particles in nature.
- On the History of Unified Field Theories, by Hubert F. M. Goenner