Does “naturalness” make sense as a physics term?
|November 28, 2017||Posted by News under Cosmology, Intelligent Design, Naturalism, Physics|
Via Wuthrich at philosophy of physics blog Taking Up Spacetime,
Workshop: “Naturalness, Hierarchy, and Fine-Tuning”
Workshop Description: The requirement of naturalness has long served as an influential constraint on model-building in elementary particle physics. Yet there are many ways of understanding what, precisely, this requirement amounts to, from restrictions on the amount of fine-tuning that a model can exhibit, to prohibitions on sensitive dependence between physics at different scales, to the requirement that dimensionless parameters defining the Lagrangian of a theory all be of order one unless protected by a symmetry. This workshop aims to clarify the relationships among these concepts of naturalness and their connection to the hierarchy problem, as well as to assess arguments for and against imposing various forms of naturalness as a requirement on particle physics model-building. It will bring together researchers in philosophy of physics and theoretical particle physics whose expertise touches either directly on the subject of naturalness or on closely related issues concerning effective field theory, renormalization, and the physical interpretation of quantum field theory.
Location: RWTH Aachen University, Aachen, Germany
Dates: Feb. 28 – Mar. 2 More.
A friend fills us in that “Naturalness” in particle physics is some sort of criterion by which the physics is not fine-tuned. Speakers sound interesting, especially Sabine Hossenfelder.
I believe what is needed for progress in the foundations of physics is more mathematical rigor. Obsessing about ill-defined criteria like naturalness that don’t even make good working hypotheses isn’t helpful. And it would serve particle physicists well to identify their previous mistakes in order to avoid repeating them. I dearly hope they will not just replace one beauty-criterion by another.
Giudice on the other hand thinks that “we need pure unbridled speculation, driven by imagination and vision.” Which sounds great, except that theoretical particle physics has not exactly suffered from a dearth of speculation. Instead, it has suffered from a lack of sound logic. More.
Then eventually, the question necessarily arises: How great is the public obligation to support a science for which evidence is irrelevant and the ability to interpret evidence is impossible? How does such a science differ from a peculiar cult of philosophy?
See also: What becomes of science when the evidence does not matter?
Post-modern science: The illusion of consciousness sees through itself