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Can the entire universe be explained with a single, unifying theory? This is perhaps the most fundamental question in all of science, and it may also be the most controversial.
Albert Einstein was among the first to envision a unified theory that could account for the behavior of all matter and energy in the cosmos, but a definitive solution has eluded physicists to this day. As the 21st century progresses, "string theory" remains the leading candidate to be the "theory of everything"—although some have come to question whether string theorists are on the right track. Still others doubt that a "theory of everything" exists at all—and consider the search for such a theory an outdated philosophy of our search for cosmic truths.
Join Director of the Hayden Planetarium Neil deGrasse Tyson as he hosts and moderates six of the world's leading voices in this great scientific debate.
Dr. Katherine Freese, professor of physics at the University of Michigan
Dr. Jim Gates, professor of physics at the University of Maryland-College Park
Dr. Janna Levin, professor of physics and astronomy at Barnard College
Dr. Marcello Gleiser, professor of physics and astronomy at Dartmouth College
Dr. Brian Greene, professor of physics and mathematics at Columbia University
Dr. Lee Smolin, theoretical physicist at Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics
The talk was recorded at the American Museum of Natural History on March 7, 2011.