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!

10 February 2013

Fermat's last theorem and the TOE

When Andrew Wiles proved Fermat's last theorem after 300 years of attempts, the world did not change. Nobody fell over in amazement. Nothing special happened. The world continued to turn.

So what will happen when the TOE is available?

(A) - Will people say that we have found God? Will they say that the end is nigh? Will politics change? Will the financial crisis be solved? Will suffering disappear? Will the researcher be canonized? Will books have to be rewritten?

(B) - Will the same happen as has happened for Fermat's last theorem? A few newspaper articles, a few TV programs, and no fame or riches?

It is obvious that physicists have been indoctrinated that case A will occur. But case B is the realistic one! We see how men and women are led astray. Men above all.

There is a difference between the TOE and Fermat's last theorem though. In the case of Wiles, nobody laughed about those who failed, because they were few, and those who failed did not believe that they were on the right track. Instead, in the case of the TOE, the whole world will laugh about string theorists, about supersymmetry theorists, about collider people who wanted to build the ILC and the CLIC, about politicians, and about many other lobbyists.

The search for a TOE has a huge establishment behind it, moving billions of dollars. And one that fears being laughed at. Fermat's last theorem had neither.

The TOE establishment is corrupt, mathematics is much less so. Corruption is also the reason that the TOE has not yet been found: corruption forces people to search where the money is, not where the truth is. But I repeat myself.