In the world of Leucippus and Democritus as sung by Lucretius there is no fear of the gods; no ends or purposes in the world; no cosmic hierarchy; no distinction between Earth and heavens. There is a deep love of nature, a serene immersion within it; a recognition that we are profoundly part of it; that men, women, animals, plants and clouds are organic threads of a marvellous whole, without hierarchies.

Merging relativity and quantum mechanics into a new theory of quantum gravity will lift physics to the next level, and will also achieve an appealing historical closure. Einstein’s paper on Brownian motion was inspired by atomism, whereas his theory of relativity emerged from the anti-atomic philosophy of Mach. With quantum gravity, the last barrier will fall, and the song of Lucretius will ring out through all of physics.
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