# Stephen Wolfram’s new physics could actually work

Oct. 28, 2024.

2 mins. read.
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Sabine Hossenfelder has described Stephen Wolfram Physics Project as a Theory of Everything that could actually work.

Physicist and science communicator Sabine Hossenfelder has described the new approach to fundamental physics proposed by maverick scientist Stephen Wolfram as a Theory of Everything that could actually work.

Hossenfelder explains that Wolfram’s theory “is basically an attempt to put the simulation hypothesis on a solid mathematical basis.” Wolfram is looking for code, Hossenfelder says, “that will produce fundamental physics as we know and like it, with gravity and the particles in the standard model.”

Wolfram outlined his then preliminary ideas on fundamental physics in a chapter of his book “*A New Kind of Science*” (2002). Then he collected further thoughts in an essay titled “What Is Spacetime, Really?” (2015).

It’s worth noting that the late lamented, recently departed mathematician Ralph Abraham had anticipated some of Wolfram’s ideas in a 2010 book.

Hossenfelder also establishes parallels with Rafael Sorkin’s causal set theory.

Wolfram’s book “*A Project to Find the Fundamental Theory of Physics*” (2020) includes his 2015 essay and the chapter on fundamental physics in “*A New Kind of Science*.” The book also includes an introduction written like a press release, titled “Finally We May Have a Path to the Fundamental Theory of Physics… and It’s Beautiful.”

“This is probably part of the reason why physicists mostly ignore Wolfram,” says Hossenfelder. “He doesn’t follow standard procedure.” The standard procedure would be “just publishing a paper like normal people.”

## The Wolfram Physics Project

Wolfram’s 2020 book is the bible of the Wolfram Physics Project to derive fundamental physics from the discrete mathematics of hypergraphs. Hypergraphs, Hossenfelder explains, are sets of graphs, where graphs are sets of points connected by links. In Wolfram’s Physics Project, Wolfram and his collaborators are investigating how space, time, matter, end everything else including quantum behavior, could emerge from these hypergraphs.

Hossenfelder notes that it is one of Wolfram’s collaborators, Jonathan Gorard, “who did most of this work.”

Gorard posted to X to thank Hossenfelder. “Spending the last 5 years watching Stephen take sole credit for ideas, insights, developments, and discoveries that were the products of our collaboration,” he said, “has been a uniquely exhausting experience.”

Despite whatever bad things other physicists (who may be just envious of Wolfram’s fame and money) may say about Wolfram, it will be very interesting to see how this project develops.

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2 Comments

## 2 thoughts on “Stephen Wolfram’s new physics could actually work”

The golden century of physics was lived under the mathematical paradigm of science. Since then, the rise of computational and multicomputational paradigms that go beyond mathematics have been very unintuitive to many phycisists. Wolfram's approach is indeed breathtakingly powerful. It is not only applicable in physics but also in any other field of science. I look forward to many new insights in the near future.

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I tend to agree with you, and I think many "traditional" scientists will also agree once the computational paradigm begins to produce solid results that explain things which the conventional paradigm can't explain.

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