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Sabine Hossenfelder: Has the Large Hadron Collider “broken physics”?

Lost in Math

Sabine Hossenfelder, author of Lost in Math: How Beauty Leads Physics Astray, responds to philosopher David Wallace’s claim to the effect “ any such naturalness failure threatens to undermine the entire structure.” At bottom, the Collider produced useful data but did not, it seems, support the cosmologies that various theoretical physicists’ careers depend on.

We are living in the world of the Big Bang and fine-tuning where the Standard Model of particle physics just won’t give current theorists the universe they want. Will building a much bigger Collider help?

It has remained a mystery to me why anyone buys naturalness arguments. You may say, well, that’s just Dr Hossenfelder’s opinion and other people have other opinions. But it is no longer just an opinion: The LHC predictions based on naturalness arguments did, as a matter of fact, not work. So you might think that particle physicists would finally stop using them.

But particle physicists have been mostly quiet about the evident failure of their predictions. Except for a 2017 essay by Gian-Francesco Guidice, head of the CERN theory group and one of the strongest advocates of naturalness-arguments, no one wants to admit something went badly wrong. Maybe they just hope no one will notice their blunder, never mind that it’s all over the published literature. Some are busy inventing new types of naturalness that would predict new particles would show up only at the next larger collider. Sabine Hossenfelder, “The LHC has broken physics, according to this philosopher” at BackRe(Action)

Question: Who decided that physics had to be “natural”? What does that mean? And what if “naturalness” is not an attribute of the physics of our universe? What does that mean?

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See also: Hossenfelder: Now They Are Marketing Non-Discoveries as Discoveries


Experimental Physicist: Particle Theory Is “In A Crisis” And A Bigger Collider IS the ans!


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