Read this new article: http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2013/nov/07/physics-what-we-do-and-dont-know/ Weinberg is embracing the anthropic nonsense and writes that there is no explanation for the fundamental constants.

Weinberg, an actual scientist who once was an example to many, is publicly making the statement that for something there is no explanation. What a sad story.

This is the sadness of seeing death into the eye. That sadness induces him to say: "Because I did not find the explanation for the fundamental constants, nobody else will."

Dear Clara

ReplyDeleteIt is obviously natural to seek an explanation for the fundamental constants,thus rendering them into non-fundamental

It is also obvious that there should be a certain minimal number of truly fundamental constants,namely that should be actually measured,otherwise physics would cease to exist as a science,leaving math as the only intellectual game.

So the ultimate question might be how many truly fundamental constants are there,and why...

I told you once that Nobel prizers ,while extremely good in their field, were quite often mediocre or less at everything else,the lesson being to leave philosophysing to philosophers...

Sincerely

Abraham

Abraham, it is may conviction that there are no fundamental constants. All constants need explanations.

ReplyDeletePhysics is a phenomenological science and it has an important input from experiment. The look of equations (second order, partial differential, etc.) as well as their coefficients (constant or not) are, in fact, this input. What we can vary is time while solving these equations. Some calculated things are expressed via the phenomenological constants (calculable things, like energies, magnetic momentum, etc.), but the fundamental constants are given by Nature in the original equations. We cannot ask why they are such, in my opinion.

DeleteGuys, I do not know what you all call "fundamental constants". One can ask "why?" about any constant, be it the speed of light or the fine structure constant. The answer for c is boring (the units) and the answer for alpha is interesting (because yet unknown).

Deletec doesn't need an explanation.Its value was determined by measurement and recently this value was declared to be fixed and accurate forever...there is no explanation for this specific value....

ReplyDeleteThe value of c is due to the units meter and second. That explains it all.

DeleteThe sound velocity can be calculated, but the light velocity is somewhat different. Its invariance makes it a fundamental (phenomenological) constant.

DeleteOoh I just had an idea.

ReplyDeleteInstead of 10^500 Calabi-Yau spaces each in a separate universe, you have all the Calabi-Yau spaces together at once in one universe.

All the observed particles and constants are the average of all those Calabi-Yau spaces. Some Calabi-Yau spaces have "unphysical" numbers of particles. When you observe a "new" particle at the particle collider at some low level of significance, you are seeing the effect of the less-average Calabi-Yau spaces. As you take more measurements, you get regression back to the mean, and spurious "new" particles disappear.

You can't calculate the constants for all 10^500 Calabi-Yau spaces, so what you could do is calculate a random sample and then guess the distributions by assuming they are all bell-shaped curves.

There is just a little problem: Calabi-Yau spaces, like string theory and extraterrestrials, have no relation with the real world.

ReplyDeleteWell, yes, but neither does the square root of minus one -- but it's still useful.

DeleteNo, the square of minus one has a deep relation to the real world, and to its 3 dimensions. Calabi-Yau spaces do not.

DeleteIt is good that you stay "Anonymous", because it is hard to say more nonsense in fewer words.

Well I do try to be terse, but the nonsense is unintentional.

Delete