Theoretical physicist: The Higgs mass is not “natural”
|February 19, 2018||Posted by News under Cosmology, Design inference, Fine tuning, Intelligent Design, Naturalism, Physics|
In “contrast to all the other particle masses in the standard model” From theoretical physicist Sabine Hossenfelder, author of Lost in Math: How Beauty Leads Physics Astray (June, 2018), at Back(Re)Action:
Yes, I know the headlines said the LHC would probe string theory, and the LHC would probe supersymmetry. The headlines were wrong. I am sorry they lied to you.
But the LHC, despite not finding supersymmetry or extra dimensions or black holes or unparticles or what have you, has taught us an important lesson. That’s because it is clear now that the Higgs mass is not “natural”, in contrast to all the other particle masses in the standard model. That the mass be natural means, roughly speaking, that getting masses from a calculation should not require the input of finely tuned numbers.
The idea that the Higgs-mass should be natural is why many particle physicists were confident the LHC would see something beyond the Higgs. This didn’t happen, so the present state of affairs forces them to rethink their methods. There are those who cling to naturalness, hoping it might still be correct, just in a more difficult form. Some are willing to throw it out and replace it instead with appealing to random chance in a multiverse. But most just don’t know what to do.
Personally I hope they’ll finally come around and see that they have tried for several decades to solve a problem that doesn’t exist. There is nothing wrong with the mass of the Higgs. What’s wrong with the standard model is the missing connection to gravity and a Landau pole. More.
She says theoretical physicsts are having to do a lot of rethinking and she hopes for fresh ideas in the coming years. That contrasts sharply with proposed wars on falsifiability and claims within the respectable academy that there is no sensible answer.
See also: Theoretical physicist: Reasons to be skeptical of the multiverse. Bookmark this for the next Airhead Invasion! of your local Great Ideas discussion group.
Cosmologist Sean Carroll: A multiverse is “beyond falsifiability” – and that’s okay with him
Cosmologist Sean Carroll on why there is something rather than nothing: No “sensible answer”
Post-modern physics: String theory gets over the need for evidence