Sheldon, our physics color commentator, writes to say, “I’ve mentioned before that Subir Sarkar at Oxford has questioned the existence of “dark energy” and by implication, the award of the 2011 Nobel prize. Sabine Hossenfelder’s blog links to a 7 minute summary of the Nobel prize and Sarkar’s work: But even more compelling is her Read More…
Electrons cannot be conscious Sabine Hossenfelder’s view because they cannot change their behavior. Hossenfelder’s impatience is understandable but she underestimates the seriousness of the problem serious thinkers about consciousness confront.
Hossenfelder: What does this all mean? Well, it means that we might be close to finding a final theory, one that describes nature at its most fundamental level and there is nothing more beyond that. That is possible, but. Remember that the arguments for the existence of a minimal length rest on extrapolating 16 orders magnitude below the distances what we have tested so far. That’s a lot. That extrapolation might just be wrong.
As Chad Orzel explains, he considers Sabine Hossenfelder’s dismissal of much current physics “a little too sweeping.” A lot happened in the dull years.
Hossenfelder: What we have here in the foundation of physics is a plain failure of the scientific method. All these wrong predictions should have taught physicists that just because they can write down equations for something does not mean this math is a scientifically promising hypothesis.
Siegel makes an interesting comparison with, say, Sabine Hossenfelder. He does great graphics but to say that he is not a deep thinker is to shower him with imprudent praise. By contrast, we go on listening to Hossenfelder with great interest, whether the graphics are good or not.
Because quantum mechanics “lacks a physical description of the measurement process. The open-access paper seems easy to read.
Of course, neither Wolchover nor Hossenfelder would be allowed to notice that design in nature is obvious but not inevitable.
It’s controversial because it is sometimes used to support the idea of a multiverse. Otherwise, it should be common sense to assume that a venue in which we exist must feature conditions that allow for that. But the multiverse does not need logic, evidence, or science.
Hossenfelder: But there is no reason to think that the forces of the standard model have to be unified, or that all the forces ultimately derive from one common explanation. It would be nice, but maybe that’s just not how the universe works.
Many science writers probably like the current state of affairs because nonsense about the multiverse and space aliens is easy to write. Artists might like it because it is easy to illustrate. Only if you cared about physics would you want to spoil the party.
Hossenfelder: The standard model works just fine with that number and it fits the data. But a small number like this, without explanation, is ugly and particle physicists didn’t want to believe nature could be that ugly.
She definitely does not think that looking for shorter distances and smaller particles is the answer.
Hossenfelder: In the many worlds interpretation, if you set up a detector for a measurement, then the detector will also split into several universes.
Sheldon: … it isn’t just HEP theory, it is large swathes of all the sciences. They have painted themselves into a sterile, but formerly well-funded “consensus” corner, and are discovering that the younger generation (and the NYT) is quite flippant on their prospects for survival.