30 April 2011

The elegance of microscopic quantum theory

The spaghetti model arrives at quantum mechanics in a wonderful way. The world is made of fluctuating spaghetti. Tangles lead to particles. Crossings lead to the wave function.

What on Earth could be simpler? The connection between crossings and observations is the key; quantum mechanics is not the mechanics of something, it's the mechanics of configurations of something. This is so subtle and so elegant - much more than Kate's wedding dress. The difference between "configuration" and "something" is the difference between older microscopic models and this one.

And the elegance is already in the "fundamental principle". It makes nature simple and beautiful. It makes her clear. Wave functions become imaginable, understandable, concrete. The mind is freed. Spaghetti make quantum theory understandable.

29 April 2011

Truth, lies and bulldogs in fundamental physics

Like many physicists, I too receive messages saying that "truth does not exist". Since this statement also applies to the person making it, I understand that the person - usually a man - does not want to be taken seriously.

Then there are the people who uses lies to discredit others. Sentences such as "strings do not make experimental predictions, but are the only possibility for a theory of everything" or "there is no alternative to supersymmetry" or "the spaghetti model claims that particles are knots and thus cannot be correct" show that many people have a distant relation to truth and honesty.

Remember what Huxley did for evolution? 150 years ago, facts were on the side of evolution, lies on the other side. And Darwin's bulldog rubbed it all under their noses. The creationists and the string people are indeed similar. All facts so far prove that creation is wrong and that creationism is nonsense. Facts show: evolution is correct. And all facts so far prove that supersymmetry is wrong, that strings are nonsense. Facts show: the spaghetti/strand model is correct.

26 April 2011

About 't Hooft's latest ideas

Gerard 't Hooft received the Nobel Prize for his work on the weak interaction. And he is a gentle person. Since many years, he is trying to work towards unification. Here is is latest paper. Read it. The title is good: "A class of elementary particle models without any adjustable real parameters".

Unfortunately, many ideas for which Hooft became known are missing. He does not talk a lot about smallest distances on black hole horizons, even though he was one of its main proponents. It is nice to see that he mentions strings and supersymmetry only only in passing. But he asks questions about black hole evaporation and about conformal invariance; why is he still worried about these issues?

And unfortunately, the whole discussion leads nowhere. There is no tangible proposal, no tangible idea, no hint about where to go to.  The only interesting statement in the whole paper is the title. What a pity! After all, any theory of everything should belong in the class of models "without any adjustable real parameters"! But the paper does not present such a model. Not even a glimpse about one.

Why is this so disappointing? Hooft stills believes that space and time exist "beyond the Planck scale". If you believe that, you never get anywhere. Hooft thinks about conformal invariance, its breaking and the dilaton. All these problems only appear if you believe that space and time exist "beyond the Planck scale". Yes, Hooft shows us: if you believe that space exists beyond the Planck scale (which is not true in this universe), then you are forced to think about many problems that do not exist in this universe.

Ex falso quod libet.

25 April 2011

No Higgs yet

CERN is a great place. It is the place where people do the best they can with present technology. But since a few years, unrealistic wishes took over. They want to prove supersymmetry, higher dimensions, and other false fixed ideas. Now, an obscure internal memo claims to have seen a Higgs-like signal. I hope that it is not due to the desire to show that 5 billion euro were well spent.