Recently, we noted the dirtiest fight in physics, over the nature of the universe.
Our physics color commentator Rob Sheldon offers some thoughts:
A great story on the level of confusion in the world of astronomy and particle physics.
My own view is: they’re both wrong. Dark Matter WIMP proponents postulate an invisible particle that has all the properties a theorist needs to solve the problem. If it needs x-ray vision, goes through walls, and travels faster than a speeding bullet–why no problem, it’s supersymmetric you see.
The other side says, no particles are needed. We just need a flexible law of gravity. Let’s replace the straight edge with a French curve drafting tool, and we can explain every galaxy we see.
Both sides accuse the other of cheating. But that’s what happens when you let theorists make up anything they need, sorta like letting Venezuela print its own money.
But, it turns out, dark matter can be completely described without unknown physics, using ordinary materials–crusty black comets. In this case, the negative viscosity that causes particle physicists to invoke exotic particles can be caused by steam jets that add energy to the comet. This is completely explained by the new field of “active particles”. And the French curves for gravity turn out to be the interaction of hot stars and cold comets–they avoid the center of the galaxy where the stars make it too warm.
Why then has this solution been ignored? Probably because of “stove-piped” educational system that keep comet experts from talking to galaxy astronomers who fight with particle physicists. In a world with federally supported science, and a shrinking research budgets, stove-piping and turf-battles penalize generalists to the detriment of the field.
What do readers think?
See also: The fight over the universe has turned ugly, with accusations of “cheating” As a general rule, to determine where the cosmology bloom will drift, look for faint hopes of a multiverse. There, everything is possible so naturalism (nature is all there is, often called “materialism”) makes sense. Hossenfelder thinks the multiverse is “a fringe idea” but Siegel is talking himself into believing in it. Probably not a coincidence.
Rob Sheldon on the claimed need for new physics
Rob Sheldon is the author of Genesis: The Long Ascent