Tuesday, September 19, 2023
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I’ve mentioned all of it earlier than however right here we go once more

For causes I don’t totally perceive, particle physicists have lately began selecting on me once more for allegedly being hostile, and have been coming at me with their typical advert homimen assaults.

What’s occurring? I spent years attempting to grasp why their discipline isn’t making progress, analyzing the issue, and placing ahead an answer. It’s not that I hate particle physics, it’s moderately on the contrary, I feel it’s too essential to let it die. However they don’t like to listen to that their discipline urgently wants to vary path, in order that they assault me because the bearer of unhealthy information. 

However attempting to eliminate me isn’t going to resolve their drawback. For one factor, it isn’t working. Extra importantly, everybody can see that nothing helpful is popping out of particle physics, it’s only a sink of cash. A number of cash. And shortly sufficient governments are going to appreciate that particle physics is an effective place to economize that they want for extra pressing issues. It might be in particle physicists’ personal curiosity to take heed to what I’ve to say.

And I’ve mentioned this all many occasions earlier than however I hate lengthy twitter threads, so let me simply summarize it in a single blogpost:

a) Predictions for basically new phenomena created from new theories in particle physics have all been incorrect ever for the reason that completion of the usual mannequin within the Nineteen Seventies. You’ve gotten witnessed this ongoing failure within the standard science media. All their concepts had been both falsified or they’ve been become eternally amendable and fapp unfalsifiable fashions, like supersymmetry.

b) Saying that “it’s troublesome” explains why they haven’t managed to seek out new phenomena, nevertheless it doesn’t clarify why their predictions are consistently incorrect. 

c) Scientists ought to study from failure. If particle physicists’ technique of theory-development isn’t working, they need to analyze why, and alter their strategies. However this isn’t taking place.

My reply to why their present technique isn’t working is that their new theories (usually within the type of new particles) don’t remedy any issues within the present theories. They simply add pointless muddle. When theoretical predictions had been right up to now, they solved issues of consistency (instance: the Higgs, anti-particles, neutrinos, common relativity, and so forth).

Two frequent misunderstandings: Be aware that I do NOT say theorists up to now used this argument to make their predictions. I’m merely noting in hindsight that’s what they did. It’s what the profitable predictions have in frequent, and we should always study from historical past. Neither do I say that theoretical predictions had been the ONLY method that progress occurred. In fact not. Progress also can occur by experimental discoveries. However the costlier new experiments change into, the extra cautious we’ve to be about deciding which experiments to make, so we’d like stable theoretical predictions.

In lots of instances, particle physicists have made up pseudo-problems that they declare their new particles remedy. Pseudo-problems are metaphysical misgivings, usually a perceived lack of magnificence. A typical instance is the alleged drawback with the Higgs mass being too small (that was behind the concept that the LHC ought to see supersymmetry). It’s a pseudo-problem as a result of there may be clearly nothing incorrect with the Higgs-mass being what it’s, seeing that they will very effectively make predictions with the usual mannequin and its Higgs as it’s. 

(I typically see particle physicists claiming that supersymmetry “explains” the Higgs-mass. That is bluntly incorrect. You can’t calculate the Higgs-mass from supersymmetric fashions, it stays a free parameter.)

Different pseudo-problems are the baryon asymmetry or the smallness of the cosmological fixed and so forth. I’ve an inventory that distinguishes issues from pseudo-problems right here.

So my suggestion is that principle improvement ought to give attention to resolving inconsistencies, and cease losing time on pseudo-problems. Actual issues are eg the missing quantization of gravity, darkish matter, the measurement drawback in quantum mechanics, in addition to a number of moderately technical points with quantum mechanics (see the above talked about record).

After I say “darkish matter” I discuss with the inconsistency between remark and principle. Be aware that to resolve this drawback one does NOT want particulars of the particles. That’s one other level which particle physicists prefer to misunderstand. You match the observations with an power density and that’s just about it. You don’t must fumble collectively total “hidden sectors” with “portals” and different nonsense. Come on, folks, get up! This isn’t correct science!

There are a number of explanation why particle physicists can’t and don’t need to make this transformation. An important one is that it might dramatically impede their functionality to provide papers. And papers are what retains grant cycles churning. This can be a systemic drawback. Subsequent drawback is that they will’t consider that what I say can probably be right as a result of they’ve grown up in a group that has taught them their present strategies are good. That’s group suppose in motion.

There are answers to each of those issues, however they require modifications from inside the group.

Particle physicists, moderately unsurprisingly, don’t like the concept that they’ve to vary. Their responses are boringly predictable.

They nearly all assault me moderately than my argument. Usually they may make claims like I’m simply “attempting to promote books” or that I “need consideration” or that I “prefer to be contrarian” or that, in a method or one other, I don’t know what I’m speaking about. I but should discover a particle physicists who truly engaged with the argument I made. Certainly most of them by no means hassle discovering out what I mentioned within the first place.

A novel accusation that I lately heard for the primary time is that I allegedly refuse to argue with them. A particle physicist claimed on twitter that I had been repeatedly invited to offer a seminar at CERN however declined, one thing she had been advised by another person. That is unfaithful. I’ve to my finest information by no means declined a chance to speak to particle physicists, despite the fact that I’ve been yelled at repeatedly. I used to be by no means invited to offer a seminar at CERN. 

The particle physicist who made this declare truly went and requested the principle seminar organizers at CERN they usually confirmed that I used to be by no means invited. She apologized. So it’s all good, besides that it paperwork they’ve been circulating lies about me within the try and query my experience. (One other symptom of social reinforcement.)

There have additionally been a number of cases up to now the place particle physicists known as senior folks at my office to complain about me, in all probability within the hope to intimidate me or to get me fired. It speaks a lot for my establishment that the folks in cost exerted no stress on me. (In different phrases, do not hassle calling them, it’s not going to assist.)

The one “arguments” I hear from particle physicists are misunderstandings that I’ve cleared up hundreds of occasions up to now. Just like the dumb declare that inventing particles labored for Dirac. Or that I’m “anti-science” as a result of I feel constructing a much bigger collider isn’t funding proper now.

You’d suppose that scientists needs to be eager about discovering out how their discipline could make progress, however particle physicists simply desperately attempt to make me go away, as if I used to be the issue. 

However hey, right here’s a pro-tip: If you wish to promote books, I like to recommend you don’t write them about theoretical excessive power physics. It’s not a subject that has an enormous market. Additionally, I’ve far more consideration than I want or need. I don’t need consideration, I need to see progress. And I don’t like being contrarian, I’m simply not afraid of being contrarian when it’s mandatory.

As a consequence of those latest insults focused at me, I wrote an opinion piece for the Guardian that appeared on Monday. Please notice the causal order: I wrote the piece as a result of particle physicists picked on me in a renewed try and justify persevering with with their failed strategies, not the opposite method spherical. 

It is not that I feel they may lastly see the sunshine. However yeah I’m having enjoyable for certain.

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