26 May 2013

Why I like the spaghetti model of physics

Some particle physics researchers are thinking that
Physical “laws are just an arbitrary, messy outcome of random fluctuations in the fabric of space and time”.
Peter Woit makes fun of such people, including Arkani-Hamed, and rightly so. But this fun-making has a dark side: because of his cynism, Woit will make fun of emergence for the rest of his life, throwing out the baby with the bath water!  Instead, the view provided by the spaghetti model is much more interesting:
Physical laws are the unique outcome of random fluctuations in the strand/spaghetti fabric of space and time. 
Just by changing two key ideas, the phrase changes from nonsense to testable.  This is the beauty of the spaghetti model that Schiller presents in his sixth volume of Motion Mountain. That is how he derives most of the standard model, including the three gauge groups and the three particle generations that nobody else has derived until now.

Schiller, please go on. We will convince them all that the standard model is the real thing.

Update: Woit is now strongly opposed to the exploration of emergence. And thus he has dropped out of the search for unification. He sees his role only in making fun of people who work on strings, susy and emergence. I agree on the first two choices, but not on the third. Unfortunately, Woit is wrong to think that emergence is not physics. But who is going to tell him? He has fallen into the usual macho trap.


  1. Clara,

    I agree. The more I think about it, the more compelling I find it.

    (But, then, who knows for sure? Are there really no more surprises to come?)

  2. Maybe more particles could exist?

  3. Anonymous,

    What, like Eric Weinstein's 'more than 150 new subatomic particles, most of them with exotic properties (such as electric charges that are greater than one, which is the maximum seen in nature at present)'?

    There is no way both Schiller AND Weinstein can be right. Good thing we've got the LHC to decide it.

    1. Who is Weinstein?

    2. It says here


      I don't know anything.

  4. Oh no! I just saw something in the Strand Model that is a bit disturbing.

    I was searching vol.6 of Motion Mountain to see if there is anything about strands snapping when I came across how photons can jump from strand to strand. It's not the idea that bothers me; it's just the explanation for why it can happen.

    What is the compelling reason a photon must jump from strand to strand rather than just vanishing?

  5. Sorry, Clara. Yes, it is p212 'Can Photons Decay, Disappear, or Break Up?'.

    I think what it says is if a crossing switch gets pulled out of one strand, it has to produce a crossing switch in some adjacent strand. I didn't think of the strands being necessarily that tightly packed. Then it says that due to energy conservation, the Strand Model prevents the disappearance of photons. But where does that come from? (Maybe I need to go back and read from the beginning. It could just be that I'm thick.)