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.