2002 : WHAT IS YOUR QUESTION? ... WHY?

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Physicist, University of Vienna; Scientific Director, Institute of Quantum Optics and Quantum Information; President, Austrian Academy of Sciences; Author, Dance of the Photons: From Einstein to Quantum Teleportation
Will unification ever come to a stop?

 

Unification of opposites is an underlying theme in the development of humanity. Newton showed us that the same laws govern the motion of heavenly bodies and apples falling on Earth. Darwin unified the concept of being a human with that of being another living organism. There have been numerous other unifications in the history of mankind. So, how will it go on? Which notions appearing to us as very distinct today will turn out to be the same for future generations? Will there ever be a limit to unification? Will we in the end be able to show that everything just stems from one single fundamental idea? Or two? Or many? Or infinitely many?

A more practical and immedite question is where the next step will lead us to? Which is the next unification of seemingly opposite and distinct concepts. Maybe we should look at the real big questions loom today and take them as hints for the next unifications. So, very specifically, which of the questions raised in the Edge World Question drive points towards the next unification?