…[A]nother meeting of minds underway this week in Vancouver, where organizers hope to renew the push to unite quantum mechanics with general relativity and create an overarching mathematical framework that explains all known phenomena…

…The result would amount to a theory of quantum gravity, sometimes called a “theory of everything,” which would extend into places where current physics breaks down, such as inside black holes, or the instant of the universe’s creation…

…“Physics is completely based on these two theories and both of them have been incredibly successful… except that they’re incompatible,” said Philip Stamp, a professor at the University of British Columbia and chair of this week’s conference. “If that’s not an important scientific problem, it’s hard to know what is.”…