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Rob Sheldon on the continuing quest to avoid cosmic fine tuning

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Dr Sheldon
Rob Sheldon

As noted earlier, an article in Quanta tells us that

As the logical conclusion of prevailing assumptions, the multiverse hypothesis has surged in begrudging popularity in recent years. But the argument feels like a cop-out to many, or at least a huge letdown. A universe shaped by chance cancellations eludes understanding, and the existence of unreachable, alien universes may be impossible to prove. “And it’s pretty unsatisfactory to use the multiverse hypothesis to explain only things we don’t understand,” said Graham Ross, an emeritus professor of theoretical physics at the University of Oxford.

Interesting, the use of words like “letdown” and “copout” for the hottest new theory in years …

Sheldon comments,

The “Standard Model” right now has three outstanding mysteries: 1) “dark matter” that creates 70 percent of the gravity in the universe; 2) “dark energy” that provides a fraction of a percent of “antigravity” in the current epoch; and 3) the “inflaton” that stretched the universe in the first nanosecond so as to smooth everything out.

The Higgs boson discovery last year at 125 GeV was on the low range of predictions, and SUSY (supersymmetry) particles were not seen all the way up to 7 TeV or whatever was the upper range of the Large Hadron Collider then. (It’s down for upgrades right now.) This lack of confirmation has trashed 95 percent of all SUSY theories, and theorists are in a panic. A less-favored solution was “axions” which involve a spin-2 graviton if I remember correctly, but searches for it have also turned up negative. $100M proposals want to push the axion search to fill in any gaps, but the theory is not very elegant, nor is it going to solve the “dark matter” problem. And if you’re going to spend $100M, you want to solve more problems than you create.

This paper — agravity — wants to go back to a rejected theory about cancellations and pretty it up as a third candidate for the dark energy. It doesn’t even attempt to solve the dark matter problem. Instead, it proposes to solve the “inflaton” problem, so it addresses problems #2 and #3 only.

Remember, the “problem” everyone is addressing in #2 and #3 is “fine tuning,” whereas #1 is an observational problem. More.

See also: Big Bang exterminator wanted, will train


Copernicus, you are not going to believe who is using your name. Or how.

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