Cosmology Culture Intelligent Design Physics

Particle physics is a mess but Hossenfelder should chill, fellow physicist says

Spread the love

Replying in a longstanding discussion with Sabine Hossenfelder, author of Lost in Math: How Beauty Leads Physics Astray, Chad Orzel, author of Breakfast with Einstein: The Exotic Physics of Everyday Objects, thinks she could be making too big a fuss about the current crisis in theoretical physics. Hossenfelder doubts the value of billion-dollar colliders, given the current mess.

Hossenfelder’s view regarding the beauty paradigm, as much as I find it congenial, is not by any means the consensus. There are plenty of eminent theorists out there who will argue with equal passion that current theoretical approaches are on the right track, and will eventually pay off. Those people tend to argue the opposite moral imperative— that other fields should bend their efforts toward new kinds of exotic physics searches.

To me, then, the current situation in theoretical physics isn’t clear enough to provide the kind of moral imperative Hossenfelder is arguing for. I agree that they have problems, and I am sympathetic to her view of the origin of those problems, but at the present moment the problems of particle theory are for particle theorists to sort out …

So, as I said above, it’s a classic agree-to-disagree situation. If I shared Hossenfelder’s belief that the problems of fundamental particle theory are the most important issue in physics, I would likely agree that these experiments should not be done. I don’t share that belief, though, so I find these kinds of experiments a perfectly reasonable avenue to pursue while we wait for particle theory to get its collective act together.

Chad Orzel, “The Crisis In Theoretical Particle Physics Is Not A Moral Imperative” at Forbes
Lost in Math

Hmmm. He’s not giving them much of an incentive to sort out the mess. On the other hand, civilized theoretical physicists fight so politely that you can learn a lot by listening.

See also: Physicist Chad Orzel Takes Cosmos Remake Star Tyson To Task For Attack On Teachers

You Have To Know The Cosmos Remake Is In Trouble When … physicist Chad Orzel is saying stuff like this at ScienceBlogs

and

Science Blogger Chad Orzel Treads On Superman’s Cape

Follow UD News at Twitter!

6 Replies to “Particle physics is a mess but Hossenfelder should chill, fellow physicist says

  1. 1
    jawa says:

    Perhaps one problem with physics is that Biology is becoming the new queen of science, thus rendering the other main branches of fundamental science just servants of biology. How many biologists have switch to work in physics? I personally don’t recall any case. Do we know of any physician who have gone to work in biology related issues? Yes.
    The same question may apply to computer science, electrical engineering, etc.
    It’s been happening lately and it can’t be denied. Why?
    Perhaps one problem with physics is that Biology is becoming the new queen of science, thus rendering the other main branches of fundamental science just servants of biology. How many biologists have switch to work in physics? I personally don’t recall any case. Do we know of any physician who have gone to work in biology related issues? Yes.
    The same question may apply to computer science, electrical engineering, etc.
    It’s been happening lately and it can’t be denied. Why?

  2. 2
    jawa says:

    Sorry, i meant “physicist”, not “physician”.
    My mistake.

  3. 3

    Chad Orzel is an establishment voice, just as Ethan Siegel “Starts with a Bang” is an establishment voice. That is why they are always defending the status quo, though neither of them can defend how we arrived at the status quo. That is, certain assumptions were made in 1950, 1970, 1990 and 2010 that led to particular subfields getting money while others were defunded. When the chosen fields did not produce results, as Sabine reminds us, we did not go back to try the other alternatives, instead, we gave more funds to add “new physics”: bells, whistles and above all adjustable dials to those barren theories. This is why we are stuck today, with billions invested in high-energy colliders and dark-matter detectors that have returned a fat zero for 30+ years.

    Sabine says this is abnormal. Chad says it’s the new normal, get used to it. Ethan waffles between multiverse solutions and forbidding multiverse solutions, flitting from one wild metaphysic to another.

    My own view is that we need to go back to 1950 and revisit the alternatives. Because solving today’s impasse doesn’t require any new physics, but old physics done differently.

  4. 4
    polistra says:

    Particles are unnecessary entities. Waves are sufficient to explain everything.

  5. 5
    bornagain77 says:

    The main purpose of the LHC is,,,

    Purpose
    Physicists hope that the Large Hadron Collider will help answer some of the fundamental open questions in physics, concerning the basic laws governing the interactions and forces among the elementary objects, the deep structure of space and time, and in particular the interrelation between quantum mechanics and general relativity.
    Data are also needed from high-energy particle experiments to suggest which versions of current scientific models are more likely to be correct – in particular to choose between the Standard Model and Higgsless model and to validate their predictions and allow further theoretical development. Many theorists expect new physics beyond the Standard Model to emerge at the TeV energy level, as the Standard Model appears to be unsatisfactory.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Large_Hadron_Collider#Purpose

    Thus, one of the main purposes, if not the main purpose, of the Large Hadron collider is to help find a reconciliation between quantum mechanics and general relativity. In other words, the main overriding purpose of the Large Hadron collider is to help physicists in their quest to find the ultimate ‘theory of everything’

    As to their observation that “the Standard Model appears to be unsatisfactory”

    The Standard Model is unsatisfactory for a far more fundamental reason than most people, including these researchers, apparently realize.

    First a little background: The standard model grew out of the success of Quantum electrodynamics (QED)

    History of quantum field theory
    Excerpt: In particle physics, the history of quantum field theory starts with its creation by Paul Dirac, when he attempted to quantize the electromagnetic field in the late 1920s. Major advances in the theory were made in the 1950s, and led to the introduction of quantum electrodynamics (QED). QED was so successful and accurately predictive that efforts were made to apply the same basic concepts for the other forces of nature. By the late 1970s, these efforts successfully utilized gauge theory in the strong nuclear force and weak nuclear force, producing the modern standard model of particle physics.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_quantum_field_theory

    Quantum field theory – history
    Excerpt: As a successful theoretical framework today, quantum field theory emerged from the work of generations of theoretical physicists spanning much of the 20th century. Its development began in the 1920s with the description of interactions between light and electrons, culminating in the first quantum field theory — quantum electrodynamics. A major theoretical obstacle soon followed with the appearance and persistence of various infinities in perturbative calculations, a problem only resolved in the 1950s with the invention of the renormalization procedure. A second major barrier came with QFT’s apparent inability to describe the weak and strong interactions, to the point where some theorists called for the abandonment of the field theoretic approach. The development of gauge theory and the completion of the Standard Model in the 1970s led to a renaissance of quantum field theory.,,,
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantum_field_theory#History

    And QED unifies special relativity with quantum mechanics,,,

    Precise measurements test quantum electrodynamics, constrain possible fifth fundamental force – June 04, 2013
    Excerpt: Quantum electrodynamics (QED) – the relativistic quantum field theory of electrodynamics – describes how light and matter interact – achieves full agreement between quantum mechanics and special relativity.,, QED solves the problem of infinities associated with charged pointlike particles and, perhaps more importantly, includes the effects of spontaneous particle-antiparticle generation from the vacuum.,,, Recently, scientists,, tested QED to extreme precision..,,, can be interpreted in terms of constraints on possible fifth-force interactions beyond the Standard Model of physics,,
    http://phys.org/news/2013-06-p.....ental.html

    The Gravity of the Situation
    The inability to reconcile general relativity with quantum mechanics didn’t just occur to physicists. It was actually after many other successful theories had already been developed that gravity was recognized as the elusive force. The first attempt at unifying relativity and quantum mechanics took place when special relativity was merged with electromagnetism. This created the theory of quantum electrodynamics, or QED. It is an example of what has come to be known as relativistic quantum field theory, or just quantum field theory. QED is considered by most physicists to be the most precise theory of natural phenomena ever developed.
    In the 1960s and ’70s, the success of QED prompted other physicists to try an analogous approach to unifying the weak, the strong, and the gravitational forces. Out of these discoveries came another set of theories that merged the strong and weak forces called quantum chromodynamics, or QCD, and quantum electroweak theory, or simply the electroweak theory, which you’ve already been introduced to.
    https://www.infoplease.com/science/universe/theories-universe-quantum-mechanics-vs-general-relativity

    Quantum field theory – History
    Excerpt: ,,, (Quantum field theory) QFT is an unavoidable consequence of the reconciliation of quantum mechanics with special relativity (Weinberg (1995)),,,
    The first achievement of quantum field theory, namely quantum electrodynamics (QED), is “still the paradigmatic example of a successful quantum field theory” (Weinberg (1995)).
    https://ipfs.io/ipfs/QmXoypizjW3WknFiJnKLwHCnL72vedxjQkDDP1mXWo6uco/wiki/Quantum_field_theory.html

    Whereas the ‘renaissance’ of Quantum Field Theory (QFT), which led to the Standard Model, is the result of the combination of classical field theory, quantum mechanics, and special relativity

    Quantum field theory – history
    Excerpt: Quantum field theory is the result of the combination of classical field theory, quantum mechanics, and special relativity.,,,
    ,,, Given the tremendous success of QED, many theorists believed, in the few years after 1949, that QFT could soon provide an understanding of all microscopic phenomena, not only the interactions between photons, electrons, and positrons. Contrary to this optimism, QFT entered yet another period of depression that lasted for almost two decades.,,,
    These theoretical breakthroughs brought about a renaissance in QFT. The full theory, which includes the electroweak theory and chromodynamics, is referred to today as the Standard Model of elementary particles.[12] The Standard Model successfully describes all fundamental interactions except gravity, and its many predictions have been met with remarkable experimental confirmation in subsequent decades.[8]:3 The Higgs boson, central to the mechanism of spontaneous symmetry breaking, was finally detected in 2012 at CERN, marking the complete verification of the existence of all constituents of the Standard Model.[13]
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantum_field_theory#History

    Richard Feynman (and others) were only able to unify special relativity and quantum mechanics into Quantum Electrodynamics by quote unquote “brushing infinity under the rug” with a technique called Renormalization.

    THE INFINITY PUZZLE: Quantum Field Theory and the Hunt for an Orderly Universe
    Excerpt: In quantum electrodynamics, which applies quantum mechanics to the electromagnetic field and its interactions with matter, the equations led to infinite results for the self-energy or mass of the electron. After nearly two decades of effort, this problem was solved after World War II by a procedure called renormalization, in which the infinities are rolled up into the electron’s observed mass and charge, and are thereafter conveniently ignored. Richard Feynman, who shared the 1965 Nobel Prize with Julian Schwinger and Sin-Itiro Tomonaga for this breakthrough, referred to this sleight of hand as “brushing infinity under the rug.”
    http://www.americanscientist.o.....g-infinity

    This “brushing infinity under the rug” with QED never set right with Feynman.

    In the following video, Richard Feynman expresses his unease with “brushing infinity under the rug” in Quantum-Electrodynamics:

    “It always bothers me that in spite of all this local business, what goes on in a tiny, no matter how tiny, region of space, and no matter how tiny a region of time, according to laws as we understand them today, it takes a computing machine an infinite number of logical operations to figure out. Now how can all that be going on in that tiny space? Why should it take an infinite amount of logic to figure out what one stinky tiny bit of space-time is going to do?”
    – Richard Feynman – one of the founding fathers of QED (Quantum Electrodynamics)
    Quote taken from the 6:45 minute mark of the following video:
    Feynman: Mathematicians versus Physicists – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=obCjODeoLVw

  6. 6
    bornagain77 says:

    “Taking ‘an infinite amount of logic to figure out what one stinky tiny bit of space-time is going to do’ also happens to be fully compatible with Christian presuppositions

    “Why should it take an infinite amount of logic to figure out what one stinky tiny bit of space-time is going to do?”
    – Richard Feynman

    John1:1
    “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”

    of note: ‘the Word’ in John 1:1 is translated from ‘Logos’ in Greek. Logos is also the root word from which we derive our modern word logic
    http://etymonline.com/?term=logic

    One of the more interesting facets of “brushing infinity under the rug” in Quantum-Electrodynamics, (besides the fact it happens to be fully compatible with Christian presuppositions), is that, interestingly, “Although quantum field theory is fully compatible with the special theory of relativity, a relativistic treatment of quantum measurement has yet to be formulated.”

    Not So Real – Sheldon Lee Glashow – Oct. 2018
    Review of: “What Is Real? The Unfinished Quest for the Meaning of Quantum Physics”
    by Adam Becker
    Excerpt: Heisenberg, Schrödinger, and their contemporaries knew well that the theory they devised could not be made compatible with Einstein’s special theory of relativity. First order in time, but second order in space, Schrödinger’s equation is nonrelativistic. Although quantum field theory is fully compatible with the special theory of relativity, a relativistic treatment of quantum measurement has yet to be formulated.
    https://inference-review.com/article/not-so-real

    That is to say, although they unified special relativity and quantum mechanics together in QED by “brushing infinity under the rug”, this unification between special relativity and quantum mechanics into Quantum Electrodynamics has come at the unacceptable cost of leaving the entire enigma of Quantum Measurement on the cutting room floor.

    Quantum measurement is precisely where conscious observation makes its presence fully known in quantum mechanics. As the following researcher stated, “It proves that measurement is everything. At the quantum level, reality does not exist if you are not looking at it.”

    New Mind-blowing Experiment Confirms That Reality Doesn’t Exist If You Are Not Looking at It – June 3, 2015
    Excerpt: Some particles, such as photons or electrons, can behave both as particles and as waves. Here comes a question of what exactly makes a photon or an electron act either as a particle or a wave. This is what Wheeler’s experiment asks: at what point does an object ‘decide’?
    The results of the Australian scientists’ experiment, which were published in the journal Nature Physics, show that this choice is determined by the way the object is measured, which is in accordance with what quantum theory predicts.
    “It proves that measurement is everything. At the quantum level, reality does not exist if you are not looking at it,” said lead researcher Dr. Andrew Truscott in a press release.,,,
    “The atoms did not travel from A to B. It was only when they were measured at the end of the journey that their wave-like or particle-like behavior was brought into existence,” he said.
    Thus, this experiment adds to the validity of the quantum theory and provides new evidence to the idea that reality doesn’t exist without an observer.
    http://themindunleashed.org/20.....at-it.html

    The following video goes into more detail shows that there is a very tight correlation between quantum mechanics and consciousness, or more precisely there is a very tight correlation between quantum measurement and consciousness.

    How Quantum Mechanics and Consciousness Correlate – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4f0hL3Nrdas

    For them to brush quantum measurement, and therefore consciousness itself, under the rug in their formulation of the Standard Model is simply unacceptable in any theory that hopes to be the correct ‘theory of everything’. Bottom line, consciousness is absolutely essential in any adequate description of reality that we may wish to devise:

    “No, I regard consciousness as fundamental. I regard matter as derivative from consciousness. We cannot get behind consciousness. Everything that we talk about, everything that we regard as existing, postulates consciousness.”
    Max Planck (1858–1947), the main founder of quantum theory, The Observer, London, January 25, 1931

    “Consciousness cannot be accounted for in physical terms. For consciousness is absolutely fundamental. It cannot be accounted for in terms of anything else.”
    Schroedinger, Erwin. 1984. “General Scientific and Popular Papers,” in Collected Papers, Vol. 4. Vienna: Austrian Academy of Sciences. Friedr. Vieweg & Sohn, Braunschweig/Wiesbaden. p. 334.

    “The principal argument against materialism is not that illustrated in the last two sections: that it is incompatible with quantum theory. The principal argument is that thought processes and consciousness are the primary concepts, that our knowledge of the external world is the content of our consciousness and that the consciousness, therefore, cannot be denied. On the contrary, logically, the external world could be denied—though it is not very practical to do so. In the words of Niels Bohr, “The word consciousness, applied to ourselves as well as to others, is indispensable when dealing with the human situation.” In view of all this, one may well wonder how materialism, the doctrine that “life could be explained by sophisticated combinations of physical and chemical laws,” could so long be accepted by the majority of scientists.”
    – Eugene Wigner, Remarks on the Mind-Body Question, pp 167-177.

    Thus, since theorists have brushed consciousness itself under the rug when they formulated the standard model, it necessarily follows that the standard model, or any other model that forsakes consciousness in its formulation, will fail to be the correct theory of everything.

    And as was also touched upon at the end of the “How Quantum Mechanics and Consciousness Correlate” video, allowing the Agent causality of God ‘back’ into physics, as the Christian founders of modern science originally envisioned,,,, (Isaac Newton, Michael Faraday, James Clerk Maxwell, and Max Planck, to name a few of the Christian founders),,, and as quantum mechanics itself now empirically demands (with the closing of the free will loophole by Anton Zeilinger and company), rightly allowing the Agent causality of God ‘back’ into physics provides us with a very plausible resolution for the much sought after ‘theory of everything’ in that Christ’s resurrection from the dead provides an empirically backed reconciliation, via the Shroud of Turin, between quantum mechanics and general relativity into the much sought after ‘Theory of Everything”

    Here are a few notes where I lay out some of the evidence from the Shroud of Turin
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/what-elements-of-fine-tuning-of-our-universe-vs-the-multiverse-would-pass-this-test-of-science-truth/#comment-680871

    And of course, consciousness is not left on the cutting room floor in this ‘Christian model’ of the theory of everything and therefore it is, unlike the standard model, at least on the right track as to being the correct theory of everything even before we consider any of the substantiating evidence from the Shroud of Turin:

    Verse and video:

    Colossians 1:15-20
    The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.

    Shroud of Turin: From discovery of Photographic Negative, to 3D Information, to Hologram
    https://youtu.be/F-TL4QOCiis

Leave a Reply