Physicist Stephen Wolfram’s Theory of Everything

Could the structure of the universe emerge from the repetition of a simple rule?

Physicist Stephen Wolfram thinks he’s figured out a framework that unifies general relativity, quantum mechanics, and everything else we know about physics, and that, when we figure out the right thing to plug into it, we’ll have a model of our universe. In other words, he’s working on a theory of everything, and because it’s 2020, he’s been livestreaming his ideas on Twitch.

At the core of Wolfram’s proposal is the fact that when you apply a simple set of rules to a system over and over again, very interesting things can emerge. For example, in Game of Life (created by mathematician John Horton Conway, who sadly died last week after contracting the coronavirus), just a few simple rules about how cells on a grid behave can, with the correct starting state, produce ‘creatures’ that move or run any algorithm at all.

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