(1) General


April 8, 2020

Can I get the code to run your models?

Yes! It’s set up to run immediately in any Wolfram Language environment, including the cloud (i.e. through a web browser). See the Software Tools page.

April 8, 2020

I have my own theory; will you look at it?

We’ve got our hands full studying one theory, so unless your theory is directly connected to what we’re working on, we’re not realistically going to be able to look at it.

April 8, 2020

What background do I need to understand what you’re doing?

We’ve tried to make the general outline of what we’re doing as broadly accessible as possible. But since we are connecting with existing theoretical physics, understanding the technical details requires understanding technical details of existing theoretical physics, often at a research or advanced graduate level. Some aspects of the project do not specifically require physics knowledge, Read more

April 8, 2020

Can I sponsor or donate to your project?

This project has so far been funded by Stephen Wolfram and Wolfram Research, and has used internal Wolfram Research compute resources. As the project scales up, there will be opportunities for additional sponsorship to support research fellows, educational activities, outreach, computation, etc. There are also opportunities to provide large-scale computation resources. Read more

April 8, 2020

How can I get involved in your project?

We plan to make this a very open project, and look forward to contributions from many people. Core research contributions will typically require research-level education in theoretical physics, mathematics or certain areas of theoretical computer science, or sophisticated algorithmic programming. However, we will be livestreaming our working sessions, Read more

April 9, 2020

Answered by: Stephen Wolfram

What is left to do in the project?

A lot! We think we have identified the correct class of models and approach, but it remains to find specific rules and to connect them to all known aspects of physics, and to derive detailed experimental predictions, etc. In addition, we expect connections to many existing directions in physics and mathematics, Read more

April 10, 2020

Answered by: Stephen Wolfram

Have you found The Rule for the universe?

We believe we have found the class of rules, but (so far as we know) we have not yet found the specific rule. The phenomenon of computational irreducibility makes it difficult to determine the complete consequences of any given rule. However, a major finding of the project so far is that the core theories of current physics can be derived generically for models of the class we have identified, Read more

April 11, 2020

Answered by: Stephen Wolfram

Does the project invalidate existing physics?

No. But it gives a coherent foundation for what previously appeared to be disparate ideas and results. In doing this, it introduces new concepts that are different from those in existing physics. For example, it suggests that space is fundamentally discrete, rather than continuous. It also suggests that time is fundamentally different from space rather than being just part of a combined spacetime. Read more

April 12, 2020

Answered by: Jonathan Gorard

What existing approaches is the project closest to?

First and foremost (though it’s really an extension of the same project), Stephen Wolfram’s work from 2002 in A New Kind of Science. Other approaches that have definite similarities to certain aspects of our formalism include causal dynamical triangulation (which can be thought of as corresponding to a special case of our more topologically generic description of spacetime in terms of hypergraphs—namely the case in which spacetime is triangulated topologically into a simplicial complex of pentachora), Read more

April 13, 2020

What is the history and background to the project?

It’s an outgrowth of Stephen Wolfram’s work in the 1990s, that led to the Fundamental Physics section in his 2002 book A New Kind of Science. The project that it defined was long hibernated, but restarted in late 2019. The full story—going back to Stephen’s early life as a physicist—is in Stephen Wolfram’s post, Read more

April 14, 2020

What is the quickest way to understand the project?

It depends on your background. For a general reader, check out Stephen Wolfram’s announcement. For a more formal introduction, see Stephen Wolfram’s technical introduction. Professional physicists may find it easiest to look at Jonathan Gorard’s papers on the derivations of relativity and quantum mechanics. Read more

May 2, 2020

Has the project been peer reviewed?

The project is undergoing active, open post-publication peer review, and is continually being refined and developed based on community input. Stephen Wolfram’s core paper is available on arXiv, and is intended for publication in an academic journal, as are other project papers. (See also comments here.)