17 December 2010

What happens if a researcher does not believe in ideology

In several of his blog posts, Tommaso Dorigo (his blog is in the blog list to the right) has explained that he does not believe that the Higgs boson or superymmetry exist. This view is shared by Tini Veltman, who won the Nobel Prize for physics for his work on the standard model.

It is also worth mentioning a small detail: the view is confirmed by all experiments so far.

What happens to physicists that make statements that agree with experiment but disagree with the ideologies that are common since 30 years? All reactionaries arise and start calling such ideas 'nonsense' and the people behind them 'crackpots'.

The German philosopher Hegel was once told that his theory was in contradiction with the facts. He answered: "All the worse for the facts."

Voltaire said: "It is dangerous to be right when the established authorities are worng." The saying is old, but who woud have believed that it would ever apply to physicists themselves?

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