26 December 2012

2013 - what direction will TOE researchers take?

The Higgs found at CERN seems to be a standard model Higgs. If that is true, many researchers are in trouble. The Higgs answers no fundamental question of particle physics, as Ervin points out in his comments. None of the big issues is resolved. The theory of everything is as far as it ever was. Experiments did not provide a guide to where researchers for a theory of everything should look. Are we entering a dark age?

Supersymmetry is moribond, but not dead yet. Supersymmetry and string theorists can and will continue to claim, against all evidence, that supersymmetry and strings are a part of nature. Loop quantum gravity people will continue to work unimpressed anyway. Researchers in fringe fields will not change direction. Newcomers will not dare to propose new ideas, as the old ones still determine funding and science politics. Spaghetti seem to be dead; Schiller has given up and nobody else discusses his model. Wen and his "topological order" will continue not to address antiparticles and the nuclear interactions.

Never will I understand how men think. How can this happen? The standard model is full of unanswered questions. The 20 open parameters must be understood. And yet, almost nobody seem to have a clue. Theorists, be courageous! Dare to advance!

The spaghetti model, one of the few theories that promised progress, is not producing anything.  Spaghetti, sorry, strands, are pretty. They are not compelling, but they are pretty. Schiller makes a decent job at explaining them. But for my taste they are not yet compelling. Please make strands more compelling. Is there really no alternative to strands? How can we be convinced? Nevertheless: Schiller, go on! You predicted that the Higgs does not exist - but in your last edition you explain that the prediction might have been mistaken. We all understand that you are unhappy about a mistaken prediction. Everybody makes mistakes! Please go on! Your model still is the only one that predicts the four interactions. That should give you enough motivation to continue. Mistakes are allowed! This is science. Research is not straightforward.

I also think about the average researcher. There are thousands of them. What are they doing? Where are their new proposals? Where are the new ideas? If men cannot help, let the women come forward. We are more courageous than men. We can teach them. We women take many more risks in life than men. If men took as many risks as we women do, we would have a TOE since a long time.

We take risks about life and death. We do so when we choose a husband, when we get pregnant. And we suffer even if we have no fault. That is our life, and we are proud of it. Men would not dare to do that. Women, let us take this issue into our hand. Let us show them, let us produce new ideas that are better than those around. Or at least, let us encourage our husbands to go on.

22 December 2012

The news of the season

Another year has passed, and no final theory has surfaced.

But numerous papers still appeared about the multiverse, about supersymmetry, about string theory, about the aether, about matrix models, and about additional fairytales that are in contrast to experiment.

One day, we will laugh about these papers. We will laugh about the misguided intensity of the authors, about these men who are so "dead serious", so hundred per cent  "certain", and feel so "important".

It was a year of pompous research.

19 December 2012

Motl is not sick any more!

Some time ago, Motl, the violent blogger, wrote that he might have a deadly disease.  During that time, his posts were human: he did not offend people any more, wrote constructively, and generally showed all signs of being a person that can be kind to others.

But his doctors must have told him that he has no disease at all. He started offending people again in his posts, is again ill-tempered, and lost his marbles again. He has forgotten that, like everybody, he must die anyway.

We are happy that he is healthy again, but we are also sad that his bad manners are coming back. He has forgot what he should remember.

String theory is as wrong as aether theory, and it does not help offending people who correctly state that string theory, like aether theory, has no relation to reality and no relation to experiment.

15 December 2012

Einstein did not sell Mickey Mouse stories

A press release from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology states that experiments have shown that all fermions are known; all matter particles are known. No new ones are expected.

But real theoreticians do not care about experiments. Real theoreticians are those of the IAS in Princeton, where all dream to do as well as Einstein. A well-known emulator is Arkani-Hamed. In his latest talk, he talks about many new fermions. For example, he knows all about "gluinos", his favorite fermions.

There is a good thing about giving a dream a name: it starts existing. Gluinos are as real as Mickey Mouse. Neither exists; but you can make a living with both.

This is what many Einstein emulators are doing: selling Mickey Mouse stories. What a difference to Einstein himself.

6 December 2012

Who is really working on a theory of everything?

String theory is wrong. Loop quantum gravity is not a theory of everything. Garrett Lisi is wrong. Who then is working on a theory of everything? In the arxiv there are no proposals.

Let me summarize. Imagine that you are a young physicist. You dream about working on the theory of everything. You study physics and start putting your nose into research. What do you experience?


If somebody explores an option for the theory of everything, the first experience is what happens to string theorists. Caught between the obligation to follow Witten and his aggressive followers or to agree with the aggressive critics.

And both camps agree on one thing: if a young physicist does some research, even outside string theory, he is an idiot or crazy. Everybody in the field knows: whatever the young researcher does, he gets hostile criticism. Of course, the same happens to old physicists. The consequence? Nobody actually works on the theory of everything. Of the two or three-thousand researchers in high energy physics, "nobody" is actually working of the theory of everything.

Aggression is the reason that the theory of everything is still lacking. Homo homini lupus. If you have a story to tell, you are welcome to write me.

2 December 2012

What are interactions?

To me this is the most important question in physics. Of course, interactions are exchanges of gauge bosons. But what is happening? How do the exchanges take place?

In the past weeks, I read everything I could find about this topic. A sobering experience that I can summarize thus: white, English-speaking men know nothing about the answer. And they are even afraid of speculating about it. Other humans do not write anything about it.

Wikipedia's article http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fundamental_interaction is funny: "fundamental interactions are the ways that elementary particles interact with one another". One has to be drunk to write such a definition.

Most researchers only say that interactions are "particle exchanges described by a gauge group". They speculate about various gauge groups, or about supersymmetry, or about BRST. But no one speculates about how interactions appear in the first place.

Established researchers do not explore the question. But why? They do not even speculate about it. Are they afraid? I only found the spaghetti model as candidate proposal. What a poor harvest. And of course, it is written by a white, English-speaking man. What about black women speaking Swahili? Or South-American women speaking Quechua? And what shall we do before they come along?

One friend told me about a possible background. She said that white men are so nasty among each other that anybody daring to speculate is not invited any more to talks, to committees or to conferences. "Speculators" are discarded from the academic community. They know it and they fear it. They behave among themselves in the same way that they behave towards students in examinations.

Men have organized modern physics in a way that speculation has become impossible. Progress is impossible in modern theoretical physics. Dear sisters, please come along!

27 November 2012

Supersymmetry: what happens if you wish death to others

If you read this blog, you know that Lubos Motl has written offensive comments and wished my death in the comment section of this blog. If you known him, you also know that he wished death to most people who oppose his views, such as all those who say - in accordance with experiment - that supersymmetry is wrong. Like so many violent religious people, he sends death threats to everybody who tells the truth.

What happened then? Lubos Motl might have gotten a "deadly disease", as he writes in his blog. We can learn from his story that sending death threats to others works backwards. Possibly he will get the message from nature; he might become more tolerant to those who tell the truth.

By the way, Motl, string theory is also wrong.

17 November 2012

Scandal at CERN - no Higgs confirmation

Tout pour la gloire. All for glory. This is what CERN did in July of this year, when it announced the Higgs discovery. But now that the confirmation was expected at the HCP conference, they did not provide it.

The data on the gamma-gamma channel is contradictory, it is rumored. Even though CERN has twice as much data at its disposal as in July, the corresponding results were not shown.

The problem with glory is that it must be based on facts. CERN has now let the whole world know that for them facts do not count, just the glory counts.

CERN was unable to confirm the existence of the Higgs measurements of July 2012. This is a scandalous situation. CERN has implicitly admitted that the July 2012 data was not reliable! If CERN does not act quickly, we will not believe anything of what they say anymore.

4 November 2012

6 billion dollars of R&D - more than for the iPhone

Look at http://arxiv.org/year/hep-th/11 and similar pages for other years. Then look at http://arxiv.org/year/hep-ph/11 and similar pages. There are now 8000 preprints on high energy particle physics per year.

My friend, a businesswoman working in a technology company, told me that a paper can be taken to mean 1/3 of a person year of effort, on average. Which makes a total of 2700 person-years. Let me correct this downwards to 2000 and multiply by 30. That makes 60 000 person-years of effort in the past 30 years. 60 000 person-years of effort and no result at all on unification. Could a statistics be more damning about the collective failure of particle physicists?

My business friend says that one person-year of research is worth more than 100 000 $. That makes the effort of the last 30 years worth more than $ 200 million a year, or $ 6 billion! (My friend says that interests would need to be included, which would triple the amount.)

6 billions wasted. My head is spinning. These physicists have wasted 6 billions and still did not succeed! My friend tells me that the worst R&D disaster she knew was the failed development of the Airbus 350 (first generation), which cost 2 billion and led to nothing.

3 times as bad as Airbus. That is damning. But wait, she said, there is another comparison: Not even the iPhone has this much of R&D effort inside it. And there are differences: the iPhone works. Unification does not. Plus: the iPhone satisfies a need and is useful to people, whereas unification ...

Help! What is going on here? We are feeding thousands of physicists who do not succeed? Since decades? They really give particle physics a bad name. Each of them. Unbelievable, isn't it?

1 November 2012

Women at CERN

Also CERN can write satire. In her latest entry on women at CERN, Pauline Gagnon writes:

"I strongly believe we will have achieved equality the day an incompetent woman will be elected to a high position."

This is a nice quip. But the trouble is that this is the case already, at least at CERN! There are several hundred female CERN scientists. Being at CERN is a high position in many countries. And the poorer the country, the higher the position is.

Now the data: the poorest countries send the highest percentage of women to CERN.

Yes. The poor countries have the most incompetent women...

P.S. There is one exception, also at CERN. In June 2012, when rumors about the discovery of the Higgs started circulating, Fabiola Gianotti, the spokeswoman of ATLAS, one of the CERN experiments, gave an interview. She said that the rumors should not be believed. A few days later, on July 4th, in a seminar watched world-wide, she confirmed that the rumors were correct. Gianotti is really as incompetent as Pauline Gagnon defined.

30 October 2012

Truth, Sex and CERN

As is well known, both experiments at CERN, ATLAS and CMS, found a similar mass for the Higgs particle. In the beginning, we were told that this happened without each experiment knowing the results of the other.

Slowly, the truth is surfacing:"Half of ATLAS is sleeping with half of CMS", explains one of the researchers.

Ok, now we know how the agreement between the two experiments occurred. Calling the LHC the "Tunnel of Babylon" is apt.

But what are the real results on the Higgs?

27 October 2012

The Lying American

"Scientific" should means "correct", among other things. But Scientific American has now changed to "Lying American".

In the newest edition (see here) it writes about preons. Preons are known not to exist since decades. But the clowns of the Nature Publishing Group do not care. Why should they stick with the truth, when lies sell more journals?

19 October 2012

Funny Old Men - Funnier Than Lance Armstrong

Those men over 45 who work as professors of theoretical particle physics are among the most ridiculous groups on the planet. Look at these adorers of supersymmetry, of loop quantum gravity or of strings; look at the lies they told to students and colleagues all along their careers.

Lance Armstrong was a crook who rode bicycles and misled his public. But at least he was hiding what he did - and he still knew that he was lying. And few others knew. Instead, these physics professors who went on lying to the public were never taken seriously by the public. Everybody knew that they were lying. But because nobody complained or told them - after all, who cares about a few old men lying about particle theory - the professors slowly started to believe that they were right. This is not "Lie strong", it is much more extreme and tragic.

Such extreme cases are usually only found in psychiatric wards. The coming years will be fun, when we will see the puzzled looks on the faces of these particle professors. We will witness personal excuses, collective excuses, finger-pointing, attacks against people who did no harm, attacks on those who point out the mistakes, and all other symptoms of denial. At the moment, there is only shock. Collective shock. They are waking up. They cannot avoid accepting that experiment is refuting their theories.

The most ridiculous are those professors whole believe that they are smarter than normal people. Fact is: normal people know exactly as much about unification as the professors do: namely nothing. The professors tried and struggled all their life. They studied physics, got a PhD, published research, went to conferences, exchanged ideas with other smart people. But they achieved nothing. Not even a little bit. All professors together do not know more than the beggar around the corner. 

Such things happen when men do not listen to us women.

14 October 2012

Arxiv Desert: Shocked Old Male Researchers Allow Younger Ones a Fresh Start

Do you follow the papers in arxiv/hep-th? This is the section where the smartest and most driven physicists of the planet publish their efforts for a theory of everything. It is always worth looking at the papers. But what do we learn?

Since years, the hep-th collection has not produced a good idea for unification. Supersymmetry, string theory and loop quantum gravity all failed. But nothing else is coming up. How can this be? How can it be that all these smart people fail? What are these (mostly) men doing?

One commenter explained that they are waiting for data. But the LHC has not provided new data at all. It only has proven almost every past candidate theory wrong. Yes, string theorists are right: loop quantum gravity is wrong. Yes, loop quantum gravity people are right: string theory is also wrong. Yes, most experimentalists were also right: supersymmetry is wrong. Are all these smart theory researchers still waiting for data that will not come? Or are they all still in state of shock?

How long will it take until, among these smart men, finally one or two shake off their state of shock and make a fresh proposal? How long will you men accept that a woman makes fun of your lack of courage and lack of competence?

Most string theorists have changed to loop quantum gravity bashers. Most normal physicists have started making fun of string theory. Guys, what are you waiting for? The challenge of a final theory is still there, and all the smart people are out of the race: In the US, Witten, Seiberg, Maldacena, Arkani-Hamed, Woit, Smolin and all the rest have given up; in France, most have given up, and the same happened in Spain, Germany, Italy and Greece.

The race is open again! Young guys, what are you waiting for? Or do we need to wait for a female Asian physicist to shock all the old white western males? Young guys, get your act together! Make the old theory researchers look what they actually are: a group of ridiculous and grumpy creatures.

8 September 2012

Spaghetti still have a chance

Schiller should not despair. True, he expected from the spaghetti model that no Higgs exists. But he even had an alternative in his book, with a drawing for a Higgs candidate, and a mass prediction of around 117 GeV. It looks as if his alternative might have been the correct one.

Will his strand/spaghetti model survive this disappointment? The newest edition of his book, from July 2012, is still optimistic. It is only a question of waiting until the end of the year. We then will know definitely whether the Higgs exists and really is the Higgs.  We will know whether supersymmetry still has a chance. We will see whether anything beyond the standard model will be found. If all the other negative predictions from the spaghetti model hold up, the model will be one of the few candidates that agree with experiment! 2012 is an exciting year.

28 August 2012

Why is CERN silent?

The LHC is producing collisions at a steady pace. The amount of 2012 data (12.7 inverse femtobarn) is already the double of that used in the July 2012 announcements (below 6  inverse femtobarns). But there are no updates on the results. A few week ago I questioned why the ATLAS experiment changed its data retroactively, and Matt Strassler answered that he hopes that this will happen regularly. (I am simplifying the statements somewhat, of course :-)

Well, it is now time for CERN to change their old data again! We all remember that the Higgs bump was huge in December 2011, and then much smaller in July 2012. We are all waiting to see, using the newest data, whether the Higgs bump remains or whether it is reduced even further.

Of course, people have invested 5 billion Euro to show that the Higgs exists, so they will probably produce new data that confirms it.  After all, who will ever be able to check the result? Nobody will spend 5 billion to do so. Whatever CERN says, it will be the "truth". For ever.

Remember what Putin said to his aides when the United States failed to find nuclear arms in Iraq: "If I had been the president of the US, I would have found them."

So why is CERN silent? Is it because faking the new data is taking too much effort? (Last time, it took only a few days.)

P.S. I am not sure that the CERN people can stand satire. A few weeks ago, I added some satirical comments on a page of Dorigo's blog, and when I came back to read the reactions, he had taken the whole page down... 

28 July 2012

Men at Strings 2012

The talks at Strings 2012 (see here) are worth following, if you want to see a group of older men in their 50s telling how nature should be, even though nature is in fact different. If you listen to the talks, you will get goose skin. Ideology really does bad things to smart people.

Update: For a positive exception, look at the pdf by Sandra Kortner; it gives an excellent summary of LHC results. All these experimental results show that there is nothing beyond the standard model.

25 July 2012

Banks has given up

The latest preprint, http://arxiv.org/abs/1207.5096, where Tom Banks predicts an axion at LHC scale, supersymmetry breaking, 'pyramid scheme' etc., shows that also Banks, one of the smartest guys in physics, cannot stop working on topics that do not correlate with experiment.

Though he provides one idea that sticks: he writes (in the appendix) that any effective theory that yields the standard model should "stem from a microscopic theory of quantum gravity at the Planck scale".

Why does nobody look for such a theory and then deduces the standard model from it, instead of guessing intermediate steps? (Arxiv does not have such attempts since years.) Guessing intermediate steps, like the 'pyramid scheme' that Banks presents in his paper, shows that he gave up on the real task: he gave up searching for the microscopic theory at the Planck scale.

But why do all these smart people give up? They are smart and famous, have the best theory jobs in the world, the best preparation, the best knowledge, they know what to do, they know where to look - and then they don't. What happened to them?

14 July 2012

Questions about the ATLAS 2011 results

This link shows the original 2011 data results from the ATLAS experiment, taken from https://atlas.web.cern.ch/Atlas/GROUPS/PHYSICS/PAPERS/HIGG-2012-17/


We all recall that the peak was much higher than the expected peak, if the Higgs is at 125 GeV.

In summer 2012, the same 2011 data was analyzed again, when it was known that CMS had also seen something at the energy, and it was graphed as follows: https://atlas.web.cern.ch/Atlas/GROUPS/PHYSICS/CONFNOTES/ATLAS-CONF-2012-091/fig_09a.png

Even though the bump in this reselected 2011 sample looks in a sense less clear than in the original 2011 sample, it now fits much better with the prediction. I was even told that the sigma value of the second graph is higher than that of the first. (Is that so?)

Maybe somebody can explain this? Did I use the correct graphs? Is there some mistake in this post?

Update: This seems to be such a touchy issue that nobody dares to comment, not even anonymously. That is a really bad sign.

8 July 2012

Are ATLAS people serious?

Is this the 5 sigma result of a serious experiment? Nobody in his right mind will agree that the black data points are due to the dotted curve. (Taken from https://atlas.web.cern.ch/Atlas/GROUPS/PHYSICS/CONFNOTES/ATLAS-CONF-2012-091/ )

Bonus question: Are there more points above or below the red line?

Are CMS people serious?

Look at  slide 42 of the CMS presentation of July 4th, shown above. If you manage to see any peak at 126 GeV in any graph that shows the 2012 data, you are really special.

Nobody in his right mind will agree that the black data points are due to the red dotted curve. From this slide, by adding the 2011 data, CMS people deduce the clear peak of page 43. The whole process looks more like magic, less like science. Are these people all dreaming? I do not believe the conclusions by CMS yet. More data is needed.