On this date in 1968, Antony Garrett Lisi was born in Los Angeles, Calif. He earned B.S. degrees in physics and mathematics from the University of California at Los Angeles in 1991, and received his Ph.D. in physics from the University of California at San Diego in 1999. After graduation, he moved to Hawaii and worked as a snowboard instructor and hiking guide. Lisi briefly taught at the University of Hawaii at Maui in 2005, before deciding to pursue independent research. Lisi authored the paper “An Exceptionally Simple Theory of Everything,” published on the online database arXiv on Nov. 6, 2007. The Theory of Everything, also called the E8 Theory, unites the electromagnetic force, strong force and weak force, as well as gravity and all elementary particles, through the use of the mathematical structure E8. It is an alternative to the popular string theory, which purports that these forces and particles are united by a complex system of vibrating strings. Lisi lives with his longtime girlfriend, Crystal Baranyk, an artist.
The July 21, 2008 issue of the New Yorker called Lisi a “committed atheist.”