We’ve only begun to point huge telescopes at exoplanets. There are too many unknowns to be sure of our status, he thinks.
Siegel: “It is time to take seriously the idea that dark energy might simply be a property inherent to the very fabric of space. Until we learn how to calculate the zero-point energy of empty space itself, or gain some bizarre, surprising, and unanticipated evidence, this will remain one of the biggest existential questions in all the universe.” So this is existentialism for physicists, right? Even Sabine Hossenfelder sounds sort of existential on this one.
Charlie Wood: The tetraquark now presents theorists with a solid target against which to test their mathematical machinery for approximating the strong force.
Hossenfelder has stumbled on a telling fact about science journalism. Often, the genuinely puzzling problem is ignored in favour of some a big whoop de do about an incidental find that doesn’t amount to much and may prove an artifact of data collection.
Sheldon: Translating, Ethan is saying that the old 20th century materialism that says “entropy” or “information” emerges from the particles is being replaced by a 21st century view that “entropy” or “information” is fundamental and the material particles emerge from the immaterial field.
The paper, which appeared in Entropy in 2020, is open access. The most significant element of this new theory is surely that it is explicitly a theory of “panconsciousness” and non-materialism.
What it really meant was permission to ignore the significance of the fine-tuning of the universe and of Earth for life. It really amounts to saying that evidence does not matter any more.
Sheldon: “… dark matter and dark energy (aka Λ) have become science fantasy with no shortage of storytellers. It’s time to tell everybody the party’s over.”
Hossenfelder: “… the evidence is mounting that the cosmological principle is a bad assumption to develop a model for the entire universe and it probably has to go. It increasingly looks like we live in a region in the universe that happens to have a significantly lower density than the average in the visible universe.”
Sheldon: Quite surprisingly, such a theory is readily available for testing. Remember, dark matter avoids the center of galaxies, but neither does it condense into stellar-sized black holes (we looked). So if it is little balls created in the Big Bang, then it is indistinguishable from Primordial Black Holes that have been proposed for decades…
Physicist: Dark matter — the mysterious substance that exerts gravity but doesn’t interact with light — might be made of tiny black holes permeating the universe.
It’s been a while though. What would replace Einstein’s theories? The war on math?
Let’s keep an eye on Fermilab and see if Wokeness beating out work results in more genuine physics discoveries or fewer.
Part of a physics seminar series called “Golden Webinars.”
Siegel: In the near future, observatories like the ESA’s Euclid, the NSF’s Vera Rubin Observatory, and NASA’s Nancy Roman Observatory will improve that uncertainty so that if dark energy departs from a constant by as little as ~1-2%, we’ll be able to detect it. If it strengthens or weakens over time, or varies in different directions, it would be a revolutionary new indicator that dark energy is even more exotic than we currently think.