Grand Unification Theory

Wikipedia- "Grand Unification, grand unified theory, or GUT refers to any of several very similar unified field theories or models in physics that predicts that at extremely high energies (above 1014 GeV), the electromagnetic, weak nuclear, and strong nuclear forces are fused into a single unified field. Thus far, physicists have been able to merge electromagnetism and the weak nuclear force into the electroweak force, and work is being done to merge electroweak and quantum chromodynamics into a QCD-electroweak interaction sometimes called the electrostrong force. Beyond grand unification, there is also speculation that it may be possible to merge gravity with the other three gauge symmetries into a theory of everything."

The Particle Adventure | Unsolved Mysteries | Grand Unified Theory: Today, one of the major goals of particle physics is to unify the various fundamental forces in a Grand Unified Theory which could offer a more elegant understanding of the organization of the universe. Such a simplification of the Standard Model might well help to answer our questions and point toward future areas of study.
James Maxwell took a big step toward this goal when he unified electricity and magnetism, and physicists now understand that at high energies the electromagnetic and weak forces are aspects of the same force.

For years, physicists have sought for and found unified theories.

James Maxwell, in a series of pages, described the interrelation of electric and magnetic fields thereby unifying them into electromagnetism. This led to the now-famous Maxwell's Equations.

Hertz demonstrated radio waves and established that radio waves and light are electromagnetic waves of different frequencies, as predicted by Maxwell's theory.

Glashow, Salam, and Weinberg proposed a theory that unifies electromagnetic and weak interactions.
They predicted the mass of the W boson which mediates weak processes such as beta decay and predicted a new type of weak interaction and its mediating particle the Z boson. Evidence for this new type of process was soon found. They also predicted the Higgs Boson.

The Nobel Prize was awarded to Glashow, Salam, and Weinberg for their role in the development of the electroweak theory, four years before the discovery of the W and Z bosons!

The W and Z bosons were finally discovered in 1983 by the UA-1 and UA-2 experiments at CERN. These discoveries dramatically confirmed the Standard Model. Detectors at today's accelerators have observed over 100,000 W's and millions of Z's.

Physicists hope that a Grand Unified Theory will unify the strong, weak, and electromagnetic interactions. There have been several proposed Unified Theories, but we need data to pick which, if any, of these theories describes nature.
If a Grand Unification of all the interactions is possible, then all the interactions we observe are all different aspects of the same, unified interaction. However, how can this be the case if strong and weak and electromagnetic interactions are so different in strength and effect? Strangely enough, current data and theory suggests that these varied forces merge into one force when the particles being affected are at a high enough energy.

Current work on GUT suggests the existence of another force-carrier particle that causes the proton to decay. Such decays are extremely rare; a proton's lifetime is more than 1032 years.


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