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However, if we do discover a complete theory, it should in time be understandable in broad principle by everyone, not just a few scientists. Then we shall all, philosophers, scientists, and just ordinary people, be able to take part in the discussion of the question of why it is that we and the universe exist. If we find the answer to that, it would be the ultimate triumph of human reason – for then we would know the mind of God. Stephen Hawking, A Brief History of Time
Hawking was going to have to unify the two great but very different theories of physics – Einstein’s theory of relativity is the theory of the very large ... Quantum physics is the theory of the very small ... Hawking would have to force the two together. Stephen Hawking, Master of the Universe, Channel 4 2008
String Theory unified every single thing in the universe from atoms to stars and planets to people. It says they are all made from one ingredient: strings. These strings are the building blocks of everything we see around us. The entire universe is a gigantic mesh of these vibrating strings. Stephen Hawking
My goal is simple: it is a complete understanding of the universe. Stephen Hawking
It seems that M Theory is the system of laws that governs everything – the Grand Design. Stephen Hawking’s Grand Design: The Key to the Cosmos, Discovery 2012
Or is there a theory of everything that governs the universe at all times, and determines how it begins and develops? Stephen Hawking’s Universe: Answer to Everything, BBC 1997
The Theory of Everything is the Holy Grail of theoretical physics. It has challenged the greatest minds for centuries. Stephen Hawking
When we have found how the nucleus of atoms is built up we shall have found the greatest secret of all – except life. We shall have found the basis of everything – of the earth we walk on, of the air we breathe, of the sunshine, of our physical body itself, of everything in the world, however great or however small – except life. Ernest Rutherford, cited Frank S Pepper ‘The Wit and Wisdom of the 20th Century: A Dictionary of Quotations’ 1987
We physicists ... we hope for very simple laws of nature that will account for everything we see. But when we have them there will always be a question – why those laws? Steven Weinberg, interview Professor Richard Dawkins
String theory you know is our best hope for a theory unifying all the forces of nature ... It’s the best game in town. ibid.
People are always asking for the latest developments in the unification of this theory with that theory, and they don’t give us a chance to tell them anything about what we know pretty well. They always want to know the things we don’t know. Richard Feynman, QED: The Strange Theory of Light and Matter, 1985
At stake is one of the greatest prizes of science – a theory of everything. Marcus du Sautoy, Faster than the Speed of Light, BBC 2011
Einstein’s version of the Theory of Everything would remain his unfinished symphony. Horizon: Einstein’s Unfinished Symphony, BBC 2005
In three-fold unification theories monopoles are predicted to be heavy particles. They’ve been looked for in accelerator experiments but the energies available are far too small. Horizon: What Einstein Never Knew, BBC 1985
The results of all the experiments on three-fold unification are so far inconclusive. ibid.
To achieve what Einstein never could: a theory of four-fold unifications of all four forces including gravity. ibid.
Super-symmetry is by far the boldest attempt to produce a single theory of all forces and matter in the world. ibid.
Some theories ... believe we are living in a ten or eleven dimension world. ibid.
We can summarize electricity, magnetism and gravity into equations one inch long, and that’s the power of field theory. And so I said to myself: I will create a field theory of strings. And when I did it one day, it was incredible, realizing that on a sheet of paper I can write down an equation which summarized almost all physical knowledge. Michio Kaku
The Theory of Everything would have been the Holy Grail of science. It would have been the philosopher’s stone. It would have been the crowning achievement of all scientific endeavours ever since humans walked the face of the Earth. Michio Kaku
What if there is no math that unifies the universe? Through the Wormhole with Morgan Freeman s1e1: Is There a Creator? Science 2010
Like Hilbert, Einstein did his great work up to the age of forty without any reductionist bias. His crowning achievement, the general relativistic theory of gravitation, grew out of a deep physical understanding of natural processes. Only at the very end of his ten-year struggle to understand gravitation did he reduce the outcome of his understanding to a finite set of field equations. But like Hilbert, as he grew older he concentrated his attention more and more on the formal properties of his equations, and he lost interest in the wider universe of ideas out of which his equations arose. His last twenty years were spent in a fruitless search for a set of equations that would unify the whole of physics, without paying attention to the rapidly proliferating experimental discoveries that any unified theory would have to explain. I do not have to say more about ... Einstein’s lonely attempt to reduce physics to a finite set of marks on paper. His attempt failed as dismally as Hilbert’s attempt to do the same thing in mathematics. Freeman Dyson, The Scientist as Rebel, 2006
Perhaps the most famous scientist of all. Allan Chapman, Great Scientists: Albert Einstein, Channel 5 2004
A new surreal physics was about to emerge. ibid.
Einstein wrote up his ideas in his spare time and in 1905 published three papers. ibid.
Could there be something peculiar happening with Time? ibid.
Einstein showed that mass is energy and energy is mass. ibid.
Hitler hates Einstein; he hates him because he is Jewish. ibid.
The most important [reason] is that there are no other good ideas around. That’s what gets most people into it. When people started to get interested in string theory they didn’t know anything about it. In fact, the first reaction of most people is that the theory is extremely ugly and unpleasant, at least that was the case a few years ago when the understanding of string theory was much less developed. It was difficult for people to learn about it and to be turned on. So I think the real reason why people have got attracted by it is because there is no other game in town. All other approaches of constructing grand unified theories, which were more conservative to begin with, and only gradually became more and more radical, have failed, and this game hasn’t failed yet. David Gross
The most cherished goal in physics, as in bad romance novels, is unification. Lee Smolin, The Trouble With Physics