The Last Theory

The Last Theory

The Last Theory

— newsletter —

— newsletter —

— newsletter —

Subscribe to The Last Theory Newsletter

for fresh insights into Wolfram Physics

every other week

for fresh insights into Wolfram Physics

every other week

Check your inbox for an email to confirm your subscription

Oh no, something went wrong, and I was unable to subscribe you!

Please refresh your browser and try again

Subscribe to the podcast

Search for The Last Theory in your podcast player or subscribe on

RSS feed — https://feeds.transistor.fm/the-last-theory

Subscribe to the channel

Latest from The Last Theory

056

056

056

056

056

11 February 2024

Who is Stephen Wolfram?

Stephen Wolfram has founded a host of fascinating projects... most of them named Wolfram-something-or-other. What are all these Wolfram-branded projects? Who is Stephen Wolfram?

055

055

055

055

055

19 January 2024

Where's the evidence for Wolfram Physics?

Can the Wolfram model make testable predictions about reality, predictions that differ from those of general relativity and quantum mechanics, predictions that might prove that Wolfram Physics is right?

054

054

054

054

054

11 January 2024

The knowledge hypergraph

The Open Web Mind is a protocol for shared human intelligence, based on the knowledge hypergraph. If you're interested in Wolfram Physics, I think you'll find Open Web Mind fascinating!

053

053

053

053

053

17 December 2023

Are electrons too big to simulate?

If elementary particles such as electrons are on a scale much, much larger than the hypergraph, might it prove impossible to simulate them on any computer we can possibly imagine?

052

052

052

052

052

7 December 2023

How to measure the curvature of space

What if you're inside a universe, and you want to measure the curvature of space? Once again, a two-dimensional crab comes to the rescue, given us a way to measure the curvature of a universe from inside that universe.

051

051

051

051

051

16 November 2023

A toy model of particles

Here's how a non-planar tangle, persisted by planarity-preserving rules, might move through the hypergraph without being altered, other than through an interaction with another non-planar tangle. Does that sound a bit like an elementary particle to you?

050

050

050

050

050

2 November 2023

How to tell if space is curved

If Wolfram Physics is to be a true model of our universe, then the space represented by the hypergraph must be curved by the presence of matter, as Einstein predicted. But how can you tell whether space is curved from inside the hypergraph?

049

049

049

049

049

19 October 2023

How special is general relativity?

If the Wolfram model is to be an accurate model of our universe, then it must give us the Einstein equations. But what if any old model with any old rules can give us the Einstein equations? What if general relativity isn't so special?

048

048

048

048

048

7 October 2023

Why scientific theories need not make predictions

In my exploration of Wolfram Physics, I've come across one objection more than any other. Over and over again, people have told me that the Wolfram model must be rejected because it makes no predictions. Here's why they're wrong.

047

047

047

047

047

21 September 2023

How to derive general relativity from Wolfram Physics

Here's a masterclass from Jonathan Gorard. One of the most compelling results to come out of the Wolfram Physics is Jonathan's derivation of the Einstein equations from the hypergraph. Here's how general relativity falls out of the Wolfram model.

046

046

046

046

046

7 September 2023

How to derive quantum mechanics from Wolfram Physics

Jonathan Gorard explains how quantum mechanics can be derived from the Wolfram model. Here, at last, is how the observer causes the collapse of the wavefunction, reducing Schrödinger's half live, half dead cat to one that's either dead or alive.

045

045

045

045

045

24 August 2023

Peer review is suffocating science

Peer review does precisely the opposite of what you think it does. It prevents the good papers from being published, and ensures that only the bad ones get through. If we want to reverse the stagnation of science over the last 50 years, then we've got to get rid of peer review.

044

044

044

044

044

10 August 2023

Is the universe a tautology?

Jonathan Gorard steers a fascinating middle path between one rule and the ruliad, between the universe and the observer, between irreducibility and tautology.

043

043

043

043

043

27 July 2023

What is a particle in Wolfram's universe?

It's pretty easy to see how the hypergraph might model three-dimensional space in Wolfram Physics. But where are the photons, neutrinos, electrons and quarks moving through that space?

042

042

042

042

042

13 July 2023

One rule to rule them all?

I asked Jonathan Gorard whether all rules might be applied to the hypergraph, following Stephen Wolfram's idea of the ruliad, or whether he was searching for one rule for our universe.

041

041

041

041

041

30 June 2023

John von Neumann and the art of being there

Whenever the most important prerequisites to Wolfram Physics were happening, John von Neumann always seemed to be there. How did he always come to be in the right place at the right time?

040

040

040

040

040

15 June 2023

How to find interesting & plausible rules

The Wolfram model allows an infinite number of rules. I asked Jonathan Gorard how to find the ones that are both interesting and plausible.

039

039

039

039

039

1 June 2023

Why has there been no progress in physics since 1973?

The twentieth century was a truly exciting time in physics. From 1905 to 1973, we made extraordinary progress probing the mysteries of the universe. Then, in 1973, this extraordinary progress... stopped. Why?

038

038

038

038

038

18 May 2023

How to find causally invariant rules

Causal invariance is a crucial characteristic for any rule of Wolfram Physics. Given that not every rule of Wolfram Physics is causally invariant, I asked Jonathan Gorard how we find the ones that are.

037

037

037

037

037

4 May 2023

How to knit the universe

Some of rules of Wolfram Physics seem to fabricate space itself in much the same way as knitting needles might fabricate a blanket... and if you think that knitting is a far-fetched analogy, just wait until you see my animations!

036

036

036

036

036

22 April 2023

Animating the hypergraph

By extending spring-electrical embedding into an additional time dimension, Dugan Hammock has found a way to create beautifully smooth animations of the hypergraph of Wolfram Physics.

035

035

035

035

035

8 April 2023

Causal invariance versus confluence

Causal invariance is one of the most important concepts in the Wolfram model... and one of the most difficult to capture. Here's Jonathan Gorard's take on it and how it relates to confluence.

034

034

034

034

034

26 March 2023

Loops and self-loops in the hypergraph

Loops and self-loops can play a crucial role in the evolution of graphs and hypergraphs... which means that they might play a crucial role in the evolution of the universe itself.

033

033

033

033

033

16 March 2023

Living in the fourth dimension

Dugan Hammock has worked on plotting the evolution of the hypergraph over time. Here are a few of his amazing animations of three-dimensional cross-sections through four-dimensional hypershapes.

032

032

032

032

032

23 February 2023

Why I changed my mind about computational irreducibility

Computational irreducibility is a crucial concept in Wolfram Physics. Here's why Jonathan Gorard changed his mind about it quite radically.

031

031

031

031

031

9 February 2023

What's beyond the universe?

There are two questions about Wolfram Physics I'm asked a lot: What's beyond the hypergraph? And what's between the nodes and edges of the hypergraph? Here's my response to the age-old question: What's beyond the universe?

030

030

030

030

030

26 January 2023

How to draw the hypergraph in Wolfram Physics

The hypergraph is the universe. So if we want to see the universe, we need only draw the hypergraph. The question is: how? Jonathan Gorard and I discuss how to see what's really going on in Wolfram Physics.

029

029

029

029

029

19 January 2023

What is the Big Bang in Wolfram's universe?

What is the Big Bang in Wolfram Physics? It's the point in the evolution of the universe where the hypergraph goes from nothing to something. The question is, how does the universe go from nothing to something?

028

028

028

028

028

5 January 2023

Graphs v hypergraphs in Wolfram Physics

Here's a slightly technical question: Does Wolfram Physics really need hypergraphs? Or could it based on graphs instead? Jonathan Gorard explains how hypergraphs, rather than graphs, came to be the basis of Wolfram Physics.

027

027

027

027

027

29 December 2022

Where I'm going with Wolfram Physics in 2023

I've been blown away by your response to The Last Theory in 2022. Here are 7 directions I want to take The Last Theory in 2023.

026

026

026

026

026

22 December 2022

Why hypergraphs might be a good model of the universe

Wolfram Physics is based on hypergraphs. Why? Here's Jonathan Gorard's deeply insightful answer to this core question, so fundamental to why we should take the Wolfram model seriously.

025

025

025

025

025

15 December 2022

Is Wolfram Physics the next scientific revolution?

For the last few hundred years, all our theories of physics have been mathematical. If Stephen Wolfram is right, from now on, our most fundamental theories of physics may be computational. This shift feels to me like a scientific revolution.

024

024

024

024

024

8 December 2022

Why I took a chance on Wolfram Physics

Jonathan Gorard admits that it was a risk, for his academic career, to work on the Wolfram Physics project. I asked Jonathan how he thought about that risk and why he decided to take it.

023

023

023

023

023

1 December 2022

What is the multiway graph in Wolfram Physics?

The multiway graph helps us visualize all the possible universes we have to keep in mind when we choose not to choose where to apply the rules of Wolfram Physics.

022

022

022

022

022

17 November 2022

From clockwork to computation

Jonathan Gorard reveals why he found the computational approach to physics so compelling that he goaded Stephen Wolfram into founding The Wolfram Physics Project. He broaches a wide range of fascinating topics in the philosophy of science.

021

021

021

021

021

10 November 2022

Why I don't like String Theory

In my conversation with Jonathan Gorard about the founding of the Wolfram Physics Project, I said that I don't like String Theory. Here's why.

020

020

020

020

020

3 November 2022

The founding of the Wolfram Physics Project

In 2019, Jonathan Gorard helped goad Stephen Wolfram into launching The Wolfram Physics Project. Last week, I talked to Jonathan about the revolutionary ideas that have come out of the project, at what might prove a pivotal moment in the history of science.

019

019

019

019

019

27 October 2022

Hypergraphs are everywhere

Wolfram Physics models the universe as a hypergraph. Maybe I'm just seeing things, but it seems to me that hypergraphs are everywhere: physics, chemistry, biology, neurology, ecology, sociology, technology. What I want to know is: Why? Why are hypergraphs everywhere?

018

018

018

018

018

13 October 2022

How big is the computer that runs the universe?

I have my doubts about the existence of a computer that's whirring away performing the computations required to run our universe. But let's suppose that it does exist and ask a simple question: How big would it have to be?

017

017

017

017

017

29 September 2022

Unary, binary, ternary, k‑ary: hyperedges in Wolfram Physics

Here are answers to some fundamental questions about hypergraphs: a hyperedge can connect any number of nodes, and a hypergraph can include any of these different kinds of hyperedge.

016

016

016

016

016

15 September 2022

What is a hypergraph in Wolfram Physics?

So far, I've been simulating Wolfram Physics using graphs. But you may have come across simulations of Wolfram Physics using hypergraphs. What's the difference? What is a hypergraph?

015

015

015

015

015

1 September 2022

Where to apply Wolfram's rules?

The question of where to apply Wolfram's rules is not as easily answered as you might think. This seemingly straightforward question will take us into the philosophy of time, causality, consciousness, contingency and determinism. And it'll lead us towards some of the most important concepts in Wolfram Physics: the multiway graph, branchial space and causal invariance.

014

014

014

014

014

4 August 2022

Space‑time is dead

Thinking of space and time as effectively the same thing might be the biggest blunder physicists have ever made. Space-time is dead. Here's why... and how physicists got it so wrong for so long.

013

013

013

013

013

21 July 2022

Is space continuous or discrete?

Has every physicist from Leucippus to Einstein been right to insist that space is continuous? Or is Wolfram right to up-end millennia of settled science and insist that space is discrete?

012

012

012

012

012

7 July 2022

Beware invisible things

As I explore Wolfram Physics, I'm aware of certain invisible things that we believe in now, but we're going to have to let go, if Stephen Wolfram is right. And I'm also aware of the temptation to replace this old set of invisible things with a new set of invisible things. Here's why we'd do well to resist.

011

011

011

011

011

9 June 2022

What are dimensions in Wolfram's universe?

If Stephen Wolfram is right, then our universe might not be uniformly three-dimensional. So maybe dimensionality isn't quite what we think it is. What, exactly, are dimensions?

010

010

010

010

010

26 May 2022

Are Wolfram's graphs three‑dimensional?

How many dimensions are there in graphs generated by Wolfram Physics? Today I'm going to answer the question. And the answer's going to be unexpected. Here's a hint: it's not two and it's not three.

009

009

009

009

009

12 May 2022

How to measure the dimensionality of the universe

The graphs of Wolfram Physics are going to have to be three-dimensional to be a true representation of our universe. But how can we tell whether they're three-dimensional? How would we measure the dimensionality of our own universe?

008

008

008

008

008

28 April 2022

Where's the computer that runs the universe?

I've been running simulations of our universe on my low-powered laptop. If Stephen Wolfram's right and the real universe evolves computationally in the same way as these simulated universes, where's the computer that runs the universe?

007

007

007

007

007

14 April 2022

The expanse: dimension, separation & explosion

If it's to be a viable theory of physics, Wolfram Physics has to accurately model space as we know it, including these fundamental characteristics: position, distance, dimension, separation & explosion. Let's see how it measures up.

006

006

006

006

006

31 March 2022

What is space? the where and the how far

What does our universe look like? Let's start with space. By considering the most fundamental characteristics of space, we can see how the nodes, edges, graphs & rules of Wolfram Physics might accurately represent the world as we know it.

005

005

005

005

005

17 March 2022

What is physics? the how and the why

I pick up a stone. I hold it in my hand, my palm over the stone, my fingers curled underneath. I let go. The stone falls. Why? This one-word question takes us to the heart of what physics is. And, perhaps more importantly, what physics isn't.

004

004

004

004

004

3 March 2022

Different rules, different universes

What different rules could be applied to our universe? What different universes would arise from these rules? Here's an exploration of different rules, different universes.

003

003

003

003

003

17 February 2022

Why you've never heard of Wolfram Physics

Wolfram Physics might be the most fundamental scientific breakthrough in your lifetime. And yet you've probably never heard of it. Here's why.

002

002

002

002

002

3 February 2022

Nodes, edges, graphs & rules: the basic concepts of Wolfram Physics

According to Wolfram Physics, the universe is a network of points and lines. Here's my simple explanation of nodes, edges and graphs, along with rules, which determine how the universe evolves.

001

001

001

001

001

20 January 2022

Why I'm writing about Wolfram Physics

If physics and mathematics have always eluded you, well, me too. Here's why I'm writing about Wolfram Physics, despite having lost interest in physics in 1988 and never truly got to grips with mathematics.

New to The Last Theory?

Start Here

000

000

000

000

000

10 January 2022

The most fundamental scientific breakthrough of our time

Welcome to The Last Theory, an easy-to-follow exploration of what might be the last theory of physics.

001

001

001

001

001

20 January 2022

Why I'm writing about Wolfram Physics

If physics and mathematics have always eluded you, well, me too. Here's why I'm writing about Wolfram Physics, despite having lost interest in physics in 1988 and never truly got to grips with mathematics.

002

002

002

002

002

3 February 2022

Nodes, edges, graphs & rules: the basic concepts of Wolfram Physics

According to Wolfram Physics, the universe is a network of points and lines. Here's my simple explanation of nodes, edges and graphs, along with rules, which determine how the universe evolves.

Other Wolfram Physics articles

From around the web

The best Wolfram Physics articles

Looking for

*more*Wolfram Physics articles? Here’s a list of the best Wolfram Physics articles from around the web, including the best of Stephen Wolfram’s voluminous content, the best of Jonathan Gorard’s many interviews, and, of course, the best articles from The Last Theory.Other Wolfram Physics podcasts

From around the web

The best Wolfram Physics podcasts

Looking for

*more*Wolfram Physics podcasts? Here’s a list of the best Wolfram Physics podcast episodes from around the web, including the best of Stephen Wolfram’s voluminous content, the best of Jonathan Gorard’s many interviews, and, of course, the best of The Last Theory podcast.Other Wolfram Physics videos

From around the web

The best Wolfram Physics videos

Looking for

*more*Wolfram Physics videos? Here’s a list of the best Wolfram Physics videos from around the web, including the best of Stephen Wolfram’s voluminous content, the best of Jonathan Gorard’s many interviews, and, of course, the best of The Last Theory channel.Recommended

A project to find the Fundamental Theory of Physics

The definitive guide to Wolfram Physics. This is a big, beautiful book: over 750 pages of elegant explanation and incredible images illustrating Stephen Wolfram’s progress towards a fundamental theory of physics.

A New Kind of Science

The book that introduced the concepts behind Wolfram Physics. It's a huge book, as we've come to expect from Stephen Wolfram, weighing in at over 1,200 pages, with striking illustrations on almost every one of them.

Subscribe to The Last Theory Newsletter

for fresh insights into Wolfram Physics every other week

for fresh insights into Wolfram Physics every other week

Check your inbox for an email to confirm your subscription

Oh no, something went wrong, and I was unable to subscribe you!

Please refresh your browser and try again