Theories of Everything

Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the 30 year search to solve all the biggest questions in physics. At the end of the last century, brave voices were predicting that all the big questions of physics were on the verge of being answered by a Theory of Everything. The disparity between the physics of the very small would finally be reconciled with the very large, and the four forces of nature would finally be united with a single set of equations. It was suggested that with such a theory we might solve the riddle of black holes, unlock the secrets of the Big Bang, probe other universes and even uncover the mystery of travelling through time. But Stephen Hawking, who once said that with a Theory of Everything “we would know the mind of God”, has changed his mind and now says that it may not be possible after all. So what are the prospects for a Theory of Everything? Why do we need one? How do we get one? And what would it mean if we did? With Brian Greene, Professor of Physics and Mathematics at Columbia University and author of The Fabric of the Cosmos; John Barrow, Professor of Mathematical Sciences at the University of Cambridge and author of The Constants of Nature; Dr Val Gibson, particle physicist from the Cavendish Laboratory and Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge.

Release date:

Available now

45 minutes

Last on

Thu 25 Mar 2004 21:30

Related topics

Featured in...

The In Our Time Quiz, 2017

The American Populists

Melvyn covered a huge range of subjects in 2017. How much do you remember?

The In Our Time Listeners' Top 10

Hildegard of Bingen

If you’re new to In Our Time, this is a good place to start.

The Matter of the North

BBC_R4_MELVYN_BRAGG_AHW-1920.jpg

Melvyn Bragg explores the pivotal role of England's north in shaping modern Britain.

In Our Time podcasts

In Our Time podcasts

Every episode of In Our Time is available to download.

Arts and Ideas podcast

Arts and Ideas podcast

Download the best of Radio 3's Free Thinking programme.