16 April 2011

Fantasy, Feeling, and Fact

"The strand model is wrong because it predicts no new physics!"

This is really a bizarre statement. Here is a theory that describes all nature, agrees with all experiments, and somebody is not happy because the theory does not back up his personal fantasy.

But the reason is obvious. Such people built various towers of Babylon - oops, I meant to say, various accelerators and dark matter experiments around the world. And now the best theory of everything we have predicts that experiments will find nothing new. Obviously, thousands of people would end up feeling deeply ashamed. They all want to avoid this, and thus they make statements like the one above.

We see that people are not reasonable beings. Many are driven by fantasy, by feelings, and not by facts.

15 April 2011

From spaghetti to the weak and strong interaction

"Spaghetti model" is a much better name than "strand model" – even if Schiller does not like it. "From spaghetti to SU(2) and SU(3)" would be the best name for what he is doing.

I have looked for some explanation of the gauge groups during all my physics studies. But I never found one in any book or paper. Schiller now provides an explanation. He even claims that it is the only one available so far. This might even be correct.

Some time ago, I read a paper that stated that the standard model is a simple as 1-2-3. Yes! And I see Schiller's spaghetti model as the way to make sense of this quip.

Wait a minute. Schiller claims to have the first ever explanation of the three gauge groups. Nobody else claims any other explanation, not even a different hint of an explanation. Well, string theorists claim to have a way, in principle, to deduce them, but they never really showed it. And, besides, who believes in string theory any more? So Schiller's explanation is without competition. What, you might say, there are no other ideas around? Yes, it seems so. And almost nobody is discussing the only idea that is available? Yep.

Much better marketing is needed.

14 April 2011

Further experiment finds no supersymmetry

The title of this entry will be reusable for the next ten years at least. But every time it applies, it is a pleasure nevertheless. This preprint from the Xenon collaboration excludes many types of superparticles. Have a look. (Triggered by Woit's blog.)

As a bulldog, this is obvious to me: supersymmetry is a figment of the human mind, and has nothing to do with nature. This result thus confirms the prediction of the strand model that supersymmetry does not exist.

How many more such results do the supersymmetry people need to be convinced?

On the need for backgrounds in a theory of everything

Yes, I am convinced: Backgrounds are needed.

You may have read that many people claim that the theory of everything must be background-independent. The quantum gravity people often use this requirement to dismiss present string theory. While I agree that string theory is wrong, backgrounds are not the reason. When one physicist explains an observation to another, he uses space and time. He thus uses a background. Why the hell should a theory of everything be different?

A theory of everything still describes what we see, and when we describe what we see using the theory of everything, we will still use space and time, as we do in normal physics. We might use different concepts, more precise ones, more general ones, but why should we dispense with space and time?

Well, say the proponents of this requirement, because space and time must result from the theory of everything, and not be put in. True, space and time must result from a theory of everything, but this does not forbid us to use it. We only have to show that space and time follow from a theory of everything once for all, and then we can use them as we like. After all, they are quite useful...

But why is this requirement so often voiced? Because people have no clue, and because they want to criticize each other. I tried: I do not manage to say anything useful without space and time. In fact, this test told me something important: if somebody requires me to talk without space and time, he is requiring me to talk nonsense!

Ironically, for many people in fundamental research, the requirement of talking nonsense is fulfilled even if they use space and time. But that is a different story. My point here is: the requirement of background-independence is deeply flawed. Long live space and time!

13 April 2011

Fun being a bulldog about a physics theory

Being a bulldog for Schiller looks like fun. For example, there are men who get annoyed. Only a man can react like this - have you ever seen a woman that cares about a physics model so much that she feels the urge to start harassing others? There are no such women.

But men do this. But it is fun to harass them in return. If you do not like the strand model, just go elsewhere. You do not have to like it. Stop avenging the bad treatment you got from your mom on every women you meet.

I like the strand model because it fits the data, because it is elegant, and because I think that string theory is the biggest pile of nonsense I have ever encountered.

Working on string theory and on supersymmetry is much worse than working on how many angels can sit on a needle tip. Working on superstrings is more like working on which language angels use when the are thinking while they are sitting on the tip of the specific needle shown in the British Museum. It is nonsense from start to finish.

When Darwin presented his theory, he just showed that it explains the facts, When Schiller presented his strand model of unification, he did the same. Compare this with string "theory": it cannot explain the vacuum, nor the particles, nor the interactions, nor the standard model. It cannot explain anything (oops, yes, it claims to explain gravity). Instead, the strand model explains all this. And agrees with the data, as Schiller explains. And every physicist can understand it - even I can.

12 April 2011

Braids vs strands

Braids are a model for elementary particles from 2005 (see hep-ph/0503213). One of the most vitriolic superstring physicists around says that the braid model is wrong because it does not explain SU(2) breaking. Strands, in contrast, do explain SU(2) breaking, but the explanation is quite bizarre (by knotting). Another of the most vitriolic physicists around says that strands are wrong, because the explanation of SU(3) cannot be true - he knows it in his guts.

Braids do not claim to be a theory of everything, so one cannot blame the model for not explaining everything. Strands do claim to be a theory of everything, so more fundamental arguments are needed. And we all know what guts contain... Ok, many men in fundamental physics are not gentlemen, but should they use such arguments?

I read that "theory of everything" is a term that Schiller, the author of the strand model, does not like at all. But we have to call a spade a spade. Strands claim to be a theory of everything, so they are a theory of everything. I dislike these unnecessary intellectual distinctions.

If I continue like this, I will become Schiller's bulldog. I have to try first whether life as a dog is worthwhile. Well, a female bulldog might be interesting.

Fukushima released at least 6 Hiroshima bombs

Following yesterdays announcement in Japan, Fukushima released between 370 000 and 630 000 Terabecquerel of radiation. Hiroshima released between 4000 and 60 000 Terabecquerel.

That is at least 6 Hiroshima bombs of radiation, but possibly much more. And TEPCO said, that the level of Chernobyl will probably be achieved, which was over 200 Hiroshima bombs. Scary numbers.


Here is the satirical part: Despite this, we all agree that nuclear power is safe, because "in our country, ..., this cannot happen."

(You can insert your favourite country in the sentence, because all countries with nuclear power stations have made this statement, including a largish country that has built several nuclear power stations directly on an earth-quake producing fault near San Francisco.)