2 February 2013

Fringe physicists and Clay's mass gap Problem

I found something to laugh about. The two fringe physicists Alexander Dynin and Christoph Schiller both claim to have solved the mass gap problem posed by the Clay Institute (which offers a million US$ for a solution). But the two proposed solutions contradict each other.

Dynin claims to have proven Witten's statement
Prove that for any compact simple global gauge group, a nontrivial quantum Yang-Mills theory exists on Minkowski time-space and has a positive mass gap.
In fact, his paper has no summary about his conclusion. Instead, Schiller, in his book, claims that YM only exists for SU(2) and SU(3), if I understand correctly.

I guess that the million dollar will still remain at the Clay Institute for a while.

Xiao-Gang Wen drops out of the race for a TOE

In his latest paper, Wen still is prisoner of the shortcomings of his ideas. He still uses the term "topological orders" with a plural "s", where there is no such plural neither in the English language nor in any abstract way; he still is fascinated by phase transitions instead of the real, inhomogeneous world; he still only talks about fermions and bosons, but never about quarks and leptons; he still talks about many dimensions, but avoids the issue of spin.

Wen is smart and driven, but he is on the wrong path. He has missionary zeal - for the wrong religion.

What a pity for such a smart man.

31 January 2013

The difference between Lust and Sokal

Read this paper, please. Read the abstract. Read the paper. Enjoy the first page. This is the kind of papers showing that string theorists have departed in another world and lost touch with reality.

Nobody in his right mind would ever write such a text. This is a Sokal hoax in a physics journal. And it is ongoing. Sokal performed a hoax, he was healthy. Lust is convinced, he is sick.

String theory is not about nature, not about reality, and not about a theory of everything. It is about a group of people in a shared fantasy world. What a tremendous suffering for all those involved. Who can help them?

28 January 2013

Randall has given up

This news hurts me a lot. One of the few women in particle research, Lisa Randall, has given up, as this recent interview shows:
Doesn't every physicist dream of one neat theory of everything?
There are lots of physicists! I don't think about a theory of everything when I do my research. And even if we knew the ultimate underlying theory, how are you going to explain the fact that we're sitting here? Solving string theory won't tell us how humanity was born.
So is a theory of everything a myth?
It's not that it's a fallacy. It's one objective that will inspire progress. I just think the idea that we will ever get there is a little bit challenging.
But isn't beautiful mathematics supposed to lead us to the truth?
You have to be careful when you use beauty as a guide. There are many theories people didn't think were beautiful at the time, but did find beautiful later - and vice versa. I think simplicity is a good guide: the more economical a theory, the better.
Is it a problem, then, that our best theories of particle physics and cosmology are so messy?
We're trying to describe the universe from 1027 metres down to 10-35 metres, so it's not surprising there are lots of ingredients. The idea that the stuff we're made of should be everything seems quite preposterous. Dark matter and dark energy - these are not crazy ingredients we're adding.
Did the discovery of the Higgs boson - the "missing ingredient" of particle physics - take you by surprise last July?
I was surprised that the Large Hadron Collider experiments reached that landmark. I thought the teams would say something very affirming but the announcement of the discovery was amazing. It was a feat of engineering that they got the collision rate up to what it had to be, and the experiments did a better job at analysing the data.
Are you worried that the Higgs is the only discovery so far at the LHC?
I'm not worried that nothing else exists. But I am worried that the LHC might have too low an energy. Had the Superconducting Super Collider been built in Texas, it would have had almost three times the energy. There is a distinct possibility we'll discover things when the LHC's energy is nearly doubled next year. But it's too early to see signs of warped extra dimensions - they will take longer to find.
What would an extra dimension look like?
The best signature of the warped extra dimensions would be seeing a so-called Kaluza-Klein particle. These are partners of the particles that we know about but they get their momentum from extra dimensions. They would look to us like heavy particles with properties similar to the ones we know, but with bigger masses.
What if we don't see one? Some argue that seeing nothing else at the LHC would be best, as it would motivate new ideas.
I don't know what dream world they are living in. It would be very hard to make the argument to build a higher energy machine based on the fact that you didn't see something.
What a depressing interview. A TOE is not important, maybe it does not exists, but additional dimensions do. Recall that additional dimensions are inspired by TOE attempts and by nothing else. Recall also that no experiment has any evidence for additional dimensions.

Yes, unfortunately, Randall has left reality for her own dream world.

27 January 2013

Religion and noodles as a TOE

Many Indians claim that quantum theory was part of religion in India. Now it turns out that the same happened to the spaghetti model. The spaghetti model as a theory of everything has not been invented by physics research. Long before that, a religion proposed it.

Wikipedia provides a summary of the religion claiming that spaghetti are at the basis of the universe. This religion, pastafarianism, proves and precedes the spaghetti model. Pastafarianism is firmly based in 3 dimensions. Thus it also proves that string theory is wrong and shows that the spaghetti model is correct.

Of course, like all religions it has its flaws. Nobody in China or Italy eats noodles with meatballs. This fundamental mistake shows that the religion is an invention of American missionaries. Still, pastafarianism is clearly more exact, moral and serious than other American religions such as scientology, intelligent design or christians for assault rifles in private homes.