11 October 2011

Motl will give back his PhD if the Higgs is not found

I just read Motl's comment on this blog, where he writes "If there’s a proof that there doesn’t exist any Higgs boson below a TeV, you may remind me to return my PhD."

He made this comment in a discussion where he stated that nobody who denies the Higgs should be allowed to work for a PhD in particle physics. This statement is not respectful, but at least he is consistent.

But the question remains: Why such a drastic, self-imposed punishment? If there is no Higgs, then 99.9% of all particle physicists were wrong in the past 40 years. So what? A punishment is only acceptable if people were *aware* that they were wrong.