Rob Sheldon explains, if nearly visible objects can be turned into waves — as was done recently — the wall between quantum and classical physics has moved.
Exotic particles that don’t survive a news cycle. She shows how they’re artifacts of the fact that very large numbers often show what appear to be patterns but are just noise.
But wait. If it was truly empty, it would not exist, right? What we mean by the “universe” is everything that exists. So, if it’s “empty,” nothing exists. Of course, it could always exist as an abstract idea but then it must be the abstract idea of a Being in another dimension.
She thinks the solution now is to combine dark matter with modified gravity. Now that will be a challenge. We kind of wish she would go back to denying free will and fine-tuning of the universe.
Before we worry too much about the fate of the Standard Model of the universe, it’s worth noting that we are also told that it would be “extremely difficult” to prove that a star is really an anti-star. It’s mainly just an intriguing idea at this point.
Ferreira: We’re no closer to answering the big questions about dark matter, dark energy and the origins of the Universe than when I started out. This isn’t for lack of trying, and a titanic effort is now underway to try and figure out all these mysterious aspects of the Universe. But there’s no guarantee we’ll succeed, and we might end up never really grasping how the Universe works.
At Universe Today: So once again, a search for dark matter has shown us not what dark matter is, but what it isn’t. It’s extremely frustrating, and potentially exciting because we are quickly running out of options for dark matter.
Gordon on one experiment: What did the experiment do? Well, it sent the position of neutrons along one path and their spins along a separate path.
Gordon: The very fact that we can make a causally disconnected choice of whether wave or particle phenomena are manifested in a quantum system essentially shows that there is no measurement-independent and causally connected, substantial material reality at the micro physical level. It is created by the measurement itself.
Peter Woit on Hawking’s 2010 The Grand Design, co-written with Leonard Mlodinow: ” I wrote about this book in some detail here. Put bluntly, it was an atrocious rehash of the worst nonsense about M-theory and the string theory landscape, with an argument for atheism thrown in to get more public attention. This is the sort of thing that has done a huge amount of damage to both the public understanding of fundamental physics, and even to the field itself.”
Hossenfelder: If one adds 7 dimensions of space to our normal three dimensions, then one can describe all of the fundamental forces of nature geometrically. And that sounds like a really promising idea for a unified theory of physics. Indeed, in the early 1980s, the string theorist Edward Witten thought it was intriguing that seven additional dimensions of space is also the maximum for supergravity. However, that numerical coincidence turned out to not lead anywhere. This geometric construction of fundamental forces which is called Kaluza-Klein theory, suffers from several problems that no one has managed to solved.
It sounds as though some would like to hold onto the name of Darwinism while — in reality — adopting panpsychism. That would be consistent with other trends we’ve noted.
Sheldon: I hate to disappoint you, but most of my gut reaction is negative… In fact, this 40-year stasis in particle physics has meant that two generations of graduate students have never had a successful breakthrough experiment, or confirmed a new theory. The field, as Sabine Hossenfelder reminds everyone, is littered with wrong papers.
Seife: Hawking managed to convince the public that his opinion always mattered. “[H]is comments attracted exaggerated attention even on topics where he had no special expertise,” wrote Martin Rees, a close friend and colleague of his, “for instance philosophy, or the dangers from aliens or from intelligent machines.” His overweening confidence—and his stubbornness—cost him respect from many of his colleagues, especially late in his career.
One factor that one needn’t be a physicist to see is that black holes became a “thing” in popular culture, in a way that “red dwarfs” and “white dwarfs” never did. No one says that red dwarfs, for example, are a gateway to another universe. That sort of thing may affect people’s willingness to evaluate the evidence base critically. Cf Darwinism.