16 February 2013

Money and the search for a TOE

The search for  the theory of everything, the TOE, intensifies. In the spaghetti model website, Schiller added new text:
To verify the strand model definitively, calculations of the standard model parameters are under way. The effort of these calculations is estimated to be a couple of person-years (about one or two PhDs). 
We are all looking forward to the results! Schiller writes that the spaghetti model has explained more about nature than any other competing model. He mentions the following result of his model:
Nature has three spatial dimensions, three gauge symmetry groups – namely U(1), SU(2) and SU(3) – and three generations of quarks and leptons.
I agree; no other theory explains these results yet. Quantum gravity and string theory failed.  And he says that he can calculate the parameters of the standard model. Wow!

We are all used to see, once something interesting happens, that many researchers run into the same direction and start searching in the same spot. But not in this case. A good friend, herself a particle researcher, told me why:
You cannot do research in a topic if there is no money available for this research. No money means that you are an outsider and that you will never get a job with that research. Not even if the topic is worthwhile.
I feel like Cassandra. A woman saying the truth, and no man believing it. Cassandra, you really are my alter ego. Dear men, learn to listen to women!

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