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The recent techni-higgs fad

In recent days, at least 34 news outlets were selling the "story" that the particle discovered by the LHC is perhaps not the Higgs boson, scientists finally realized. It's the techni-higgs, and so on. So the Higgs boson remains undiscovered, and all this amazing stuff.

If you look what these deluded texts are building upon, you find out that it is a September 2013 (!) preprint

The Technicolor Higgs in the Light of LHC Data
by Belyaev, Brown, Foadi, and Frandsen (UK-Belgium-Denmark). And of course that the paper doesn't really claim that it's likely that the particle discovered in 2012 is not the Higgs boson. Moreover, after more than a year, the paper has 2 self-citations plus 7 other citations which surely makes it a below-average preprint among thousands of preprints posted on the arXiv every year.

So why this insane hysteria now? The closest thing to an answer that I can find is that the preprint was "just" published in Physical Review D. However, if you look at that PRD page, you will see that the word "just" is an extreme exaggeration because even in that journal, the paper was published in August 2014.

So a much more accurate explanation of the explosion of these reports is that the people calling themselves "science journalists" are a bunch of lazy, lousy, batšit crazy scumbags who spend 90+ percent of their lives by copying and "improving" the šit from their fellow lazy, lousy, batšit crazy scumbags so that they can serve these feces as a yummy dinner for their retarded readers.

In the recent month and even in 2014 or in recent 5 years, there has been absolutely no advance that would increase the probability that a technicolor explanation of the electroweak symmetry breaking is right. All the experimental results would increasingly strongly disfavor, and de facto eliminate, the whole technicolor research program.

The observed Higgs boson looks as close to the 125 GeV Standard Model Higgs boson as you can get. Pretty much every single property of the particle that has been measured individually strengthens the case for a Standard Model-like Higgs boson and disfavors technicolor-like alternatives. It's so close that even if there were "some" technicolor underneath, the particle would still deserve to be called the Higgs boson.

The super-insanely overhyped paper is a generic paper that tries to check the viability of the once conceivable technicolor models and they claim that there could be some corners of some parameter spaces of effective theories describing some technicolor models that could still be alive. But the paper isn't really comprehensive in the sense of checking every channel that has been measured. And it's not complete from a fundamental viewpoint, either. It works with effective Lagrangians all the time and doesn't really derive everything they need from a renormalizable Lagrangian.

Recall that technicolor theories are contrived proposed man-made (therefore "techni-") theories with Lagrangians similar to that of Quantum Chromodynamics (dynamics of colors: therefore "-color") that governs the behavior of quarks. So technicolor theories predict lots of "technihadrons", analogous to pions and protons, but at a different scale, and the condensates of some of these composite particles is supposed to break the electroweak symmetry – which is normally achieved by the Higgs field.

Such models are highly problematic if you realize that only one Higgs-like particle has been measured and the other should be significantly less observable, for one reason or another. On the other hand, the "compositeness" technicolor-like theories inevitably predict many Higgs-like species just like there is a whole zoo of hadrons predicted by QCD. That's a rather universal, lethal problem, especially now when we clearly observe one animal and no zoo.

Also, the QCD-like scale of the technicolor has to be much higher than the QCD scale (and even higher than the electroweak scale or a TeV) because the new forces would have already produced some deviations in the Standard Model – the hypothetical new forces and particles must be very weak and therefore "generated" by a rather high energy scale. But if that's so, there is really no explanation for the lightness of the "techni-higgs" that is claimed to replace the Higgs boson. Its mass should be comparable to at least many TeVs, too.

(Note that string theory offers a loophole to avoid this conclusion that the "characteristic energy scale of the theory" has to agree with the "masses of the predicted particles".)

There is no rigorous proof that there can't be any tolerably natural technicolor theory that would agree with the Standard Model – with the observations (which is the same at the current level of resolution) – as accurately as the Standard Model has been verified. But the general as well as specific technical arguments against the technicolor explanation are extremely powerful. I am confident that most well-known model builders would agree that the probability that technicolor will become a key concept for the explanation of the LHC data is much smaller than 1%, to mention a figure.

Even if the technicolor concept became important, it would be another step in science that in no way "undoes" the greatness of the discoveries that have already been made.

But the media reports make it sound as if if the discovery of the Higgs boson has been reverted or at least seriously questioned, and that's also how the stupid yet loud aggressive laymen commenting on these stories interpret all the news. So these stories may do nothing else than to energize the subhuman trash that hates science and feels proud about it. Let me just repost a couple of flabbergastingly idiotic comments from Russia Today as examples (you find the same in the typical Western mainstream media, too):
Andrijana Stipina: What a waste of money. Billions of dollars thrown for nothing. I think the CERN Collider is the biggest machine in the world for money laundering ever made.

Rodney L: What... you dont think that little rainbow coloured streaky splash of colour is worth billions, mind you i can do that on my computer with 'paint brush' And apple have their screen saver which looks better ! (sarcasm for those who missed it)

NovoShpakova: And being a former researcher I also agree! But this is what you find in Global Fascism - the State fuels the elites and imposes austerity upon the very citizens whose tax dollars pay for it. AKA, Feudalism!

Evidence: you right, it is the bigest machine, and a lot of money is trown to it, billions and billions of Euros...and we pay for it...if at least we know for what in reality it was made, and how much we got with it...?!

David Pilgrim: NO ..much better spending the money on repairing the damage caused by the bombing in lybia,Yemen,Iraq, Syria,Afghanistan. CERN = Consumption of Essential Resources for Nothing

Luc Devincke: Much better than spent on bombing Lybia, Yemen, Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, seems to me... (thank God for this guy, note LM)

Colorado: The god particle is the human fairy-tale for scientists, kind of like the fairy-tale human written bible.

Z Gus: While these guys at first glance appear to be harmless, you eventually realize that they make a black hole in your finances.

NovoShpakova: Come on CERN, save face already, Call your blunder a 'techi-oops' and do a rewind! No one will fault you - its science and you don't have to worry about the opinions of 99% of humanity as they wouldn't know the difference between a quark or a lepton. Just check out what you do have - it may be even more remarkable!

Thorby: Obviously it was a techni-higgs. Duh.

Rodney L: another hicks up...
and so on, and so on, and so on, an indefinite stream of deluded aßholes.

I've deleted a paragraph reflecting my extreme frustration with this discourse.

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snail feedback (42) :

reader JollyJoker said...

The comments on Slashdot were imo surprisingly good for being on a non-physics site.

reader Gordon said...

I think Steve Weinberg abandoned promoting technicolor 4 or 5 years ago,--I think he called it Ptolemaic epicycles-- and I haven't read about Susskind still working on it...
Unfortunately, many science journalists are like National Enquirer tabloid journalists----say something to generate headlines and inflame the sheep's ignorance and prejudice.
The arguments that CERN is a massive boondoggle, wasting money that could be used for starving children, climate, ...
_______ (fill in the blank with appropriate pap) is bogus. If CERN were not built, the money simply would not have been used for _________. Either decide to fund basic research because it makes life worthwhile, or don't.

reader Janou said...

Dear Lubos: what do you think of this papers by Bars?

reader Crazy Jerry said...

I'm still frightened that the LHC will cause a meta stable vacuum event and destroy our Universe. Or at least generate a small black hole that will eat up the Earth.

reader John Archer said...

I understand that historically the Jews were only one of a number of nomadic tribes originating in that part of the world. Whether they liked it or not, eventually all the other tribes became 'assigned' to one territory or another (which became their countries). All, that is, except for the Jews, who got pushed from pillar to post in the region, and out of it, for about two thousand years.

Eventually they got pissed off with this and decided to take back ownership of that shitty little strip (of that vast swathe of land constituting the region) that they had originally occupied two thousand years ago.

The Jews and their diaspora have more right to that strip than anyone else. They HAVE "return[ed] to their own countr[y]". That was the whole fucking point!

Don't get me wrong. I'm all in favour of kicking immigrants and their progeny out of unwilling host countries (and am especially keen to see them ALL kicked out of Britain, especially those hideous swarms of asians) so I have no problem with that. However, the Jews in Israel ARE in their own country. Already. Oy!

Now, getting the middle east, africa and asia out of Europe ... that's a project that would have my full support.

Nuking mecca and turning saudi arabia into a glass car park would be another.

Indeed, I have a list but that's something for another time.

P.S. Shannon, does that make me a Zionist? :)

P.P.S. Yes, it's much better if the world is/remains divided up along ethnic lines with people keeping to their own territories/countries. It lessens racial strife. The Japanese, at least, agree with me.

reader thejollygreenman said...

Hi Lubos,

Thank you so much for the link to the evidence given by your ex-president Klaus. What an intelligent man!

A question. Will it be possible for him to become president again? Churchill served in to his 80s and it is evident that Klaus is not done yet.

reader Luboš Motl said...

LOL, I think he is still attracted by that. New elections in 2018. He would say that he would run if the left wing priest Tomas Halík were also a candidate.

reader kashyap vasavada said...

Personally I do not mind such controversies. In fact, I believe, this is the normal scientific process. The best idea (theory) will eventually win. But in the meantime when news media give prominence to some ideas, which are very unlikely to be right, it confuses the hell out of laymen. They think that scientists change their mind every day!!

reader Justin said...

Lubos, Don't you think it's about time Israel ends the settlements?

reader Shannon said...

Haha, dear big bad wolf, you are not a Zionist and please leave the Mecca alone you could hurt yourself ;-). My opinion is that it should always be the people who decide for their country's destiny and not some foreign people whom nobody knows. And foreigners living in the host country should follow the country's laws and not try to impose their own (seems it is too late for that one in Europe where we have charia laws against LGBT/leftwings-pro-Zionists and where our own laws are beginning to look ridiculous and dated with this societal evolution).
My opinion is that Israel is stealing other people's lands. Stealing is wrong and against international laws. The Talmud says that if the goy doesn't realise he is being ripped off, then it is not a sin to take advantage of this situation and get the best profit from it. For us, Christians, it is bad to do this. It can only bring war. Jews don't seem to learn from their mistakes which is not very clever. They should behave, otherwise short tempered people will get angry at them again. Nobody wants that. And by the way it is more than 2000 years ago that the jews have been pushed away. This started about 650 years before JC in Egypt.
Lubos always says that Jews have high IQ, well it doesn't make them right it seems. You can be very clever and still make the wrong decisions, misjudge and fail.

reader Gene Day said...

My reaction to the nine questions is a big yawn. Nothing has changed for decades except for a somewhat reduced emphasis on forcibly evicting the Jewish immigrants. Perhaps reality is slowly raising its head even in Iran.

In fact, Israel is of little importance to the real interests of Iran’s rulers. What really matters is the success of Iran’s economy and this is primarily dependent on accommodation with the West. We, meaning mainly the US, are in a very strong position to insure that Iran does not develop a credible nuclear arsenal. They do need the threat of that arsenal, of course, for two reasons:
1) It can and will be used for Iran to get the best possible deal with the West.
2) It strengthens the internal position of Iran’s hard liners.
These reasons can be overcome; the US will never accept a nuclear Iran and Iran is inevitably approaching a catharsis.

The Israel fantasy (actually executing Khamenei's poll is an absurd idea) is just a side show. The younger generation will overwhelmingly accommodate Israel’s existence and the pendulum is slowly turning against Iran’s hard liners.
We cannot be sure that Iran will not go the way of North Korea but it is increasingly unlikely. We do need to be willing to attack and destroy any really credible nuclear threat by Iran but they are a very long way from establishing such a threat.

Attacking an imagined threat, as we did in Iraq, would be a catastrophe.

reader John Archer said...


International law — ha ha! There is no such thing. It's bollocks and anyone believing in it has been sold a pup.

There are international agreements all right—and one can argue about the legitimacy of these too in many cases (such as our membership of that cancerous EU)—but there is no international law as such.

The ultimate authority for law is the people, the people of a nation — they, and they alone, say what the law is*, and only in their territory. No people—no demos—no law. There is no international demos so there is no international law. It's that simple.

(And there is most definitely no "international community" either, a loathsome shit-faced term.)

In particular, the ECHR has absolutely no legitimacy, and insofar as it has usurped or attempted to usurp the rights of peoples not to have alien laws thrust upon them, all those connected with it should be strung up on lampposts.

Hey, but what about the Nuremberg trials then, some may ask? Ha ha! What about them? Pure theatre, that's what. They were merely dressing up the inevitable natural end to a no-holds-barred war in a more palatable form for the sheep to swallow and to maintain the facade of gravitas that keeps them in their place. Other than that the trials boiled down to mob rule in suits. Fine by me. The only bit I object to is the lie that they had some ethereal supra-demotic legitimacy. That's showbiz folks!

* They may accept case law, at least pro tem, but they can always change that too.

P.S. As for it being "too late". NO IT ISN'T. Stomp chomping on that cheese and don't be such a surrender monkey, Shannon. :) Get rid of them. Change your laws. Knock up another republic if you have to. Top tip: Don't forget to hang—or in your case, guillotine—your traitors too. Meanwhile, keep well! :)

reader Gene Day said...

Israel is a reality, Shannon; it is not going away. I agree that the settlements must be stopped but this has to be a part of an overall peace agreement and this will never happen unless Israel’s neighbors accept its right to exist.
There is no international law that can be used to determine national boundaries. Such things can be settled only be agreements between the parties, hopefully, without a war. I think your use of the word “stealing” is inappropriate.
I agree that foreigners living in another country should follow that country’s laws and not try to change things other than by the ballot box. In California, our latinos now outnumber my own minority (non-latino caucasians) but they are good citizens and cause no problems. I would point out that us “white”folks do control almost all of the wealth in our state.

reader John Archer said...

Your "white" folks, Gene, did they have any say about the influx of latinos, about such a fundamental change to their demos? Did they have a say in the latinos being given the vote?

reader Tony said...

Why would people complain about EU spending Euros on LHC on Russia Today site?

reader Tony said...

Khamenei should refrain from talking, given his age and senility that obviously goes with it, in his case.
At the same time, some Westerners here should read up a bit on history, and eventually start reading Haaretz and Jerusalem Post on a regular basis, to get at least some idea what Israelis think, before projecting local issues and local MSM propaganda on situation in Israel.

Now I told'ya >-(

reader Tony said...

OTOH, reading the paragraph reflecting your extreme frustration would have been fun, Lubos.

reader Tony said...

in the case you haven't heard it yet:
Saudi Arabia is the staunchest ally of the U.S. (and by definition also of the UK and Israel) for many decades.
You guys really seem like coming out of the elementary school when it comes to politics in the ME.

reader Tony said...

Just to give you a clue:

Saudi Arabia had more beheadings in one month than ISIS in its whole career. Now, where are righteous Western, or anybody's, housewives and pets protesting that?

reader Luboš Motl said...

No, I don't. I think that the settlements belong among the best processes that are taking place in the Middle East.

reader Luboš Motl said...

This one is very unlikely to be right, too.

The right theory will "eventually" win, you say. But that's strictly speaking wrong. The certainty never goes to 100% in science. On the other hand, it's extremely close to 100% - or "in some sense 100%" - in many contexts, and the Higgs explanation of the observations around 125 GeV already *does* belong to that category. That's why the Nobel prize could have been given out.

reader Luboš Motl said...

Dear Tony, Russia Today's is being read and commented upon by pretty much the same distribution of people as all other English-language media. Russia Today does avoid censorship more than others, and even if some comments are deleted, Russia Today obviously has a lower interest to delete anti-CERN rants, among other things.

To make the situation clearer, Russia has just an observer status at CERN, working with CERN in practice since 1959, and working to become a member at some future point.

reader anna v said...

out of topic: have you seen this ?

there is a question at

reader Luboš Motl said...

OK, I don't really see the beef in these papers. If the true spacetime geometry and the exceeded speed of light is used as defininga black hole, then one gets the real black hole only.

If it is a different speed, e.g. some sound speed or whatever, then it is simply not a black hole. A supersonic airplane is a black hole of a sort - the sound from the starting airport never gets to the airplane again. Is there a point in making it analogous to a black hole? I don't see the use.

reader davideisenstadt said... what our christain forefathers did to the people living in what would become the US wasn't theft?
give us all a break you effing talmudic scholar.
jews have lived continuously in what is now israel for over 3000 years...alot longer than europeans in the maericas, the english in ireland, or islamic people anywhere.
my only hope is that you get to live in spain under sharia law.
allah willing, that is.

reader davideisenstadt said...

so, whats a "latino" anyway?
its a bogus construct, one that includes the descendants of neocolonialist spaniards in cuba, descendants of german people who emigrated to argentina and a myriad of other people who happen to have been born in a country that speaks spanish.

reader Dilaton said...

Sometimes I really wish the popular media channels would just shut up about fundamental physics ... !

The rubbish most of today's science journalists write could savely be deleted as (more often than not even agressive spam). Is there a way to ban them from the ArXiv and physics journals?

Sorry Lumo, I skipped the comments at the bottom because it would probably have me made eating my sandwich into the wrong dirction (with a sign error) ... ;-)

reader Dilaton said...

The scientific truth has always won in the past --- at the end...

But I am seriously worried about the negative impact of today's hordes of un- or misinformed agressive lynchmobs and very efficient destructive self-promoters on the proper working of the scientific method. They severly undermine the scientific process :-/

reader NikFromNYC said...

The Lego particle accelerator:

reader Tony said...

Unfortunately, it is just wishful thinking Lubos.
Ultimately, Israel is probably doomed. Not necessarily in 20 or in 50 years, but they can't match the population growth around them. There is no military power or war, short of a nuclear one, that can deal with that problem effectively. That's the opinion held by Stratfor's Friedman, IIRC, and I don't think that he is isolated, even if few venture thinking that far ahead.

reader Luboš Motl said...

LOL, so amazing, it actually accelerates an orange proton to a pretty huge speed:

reader Luboš Motl said...

This is the same kind of stuff that Nazis would spread in the late 1930s.

There is absolutely no reason why the Jewish population shouldn't be growing analogously to others, and graphs show that with the exception of the Holocaust era, it was growing:

Note that after the war, they still grew from 11.5 to 13.5 million but they knew faster years. From 10.5 to 13.5 million between 1900 and 1914 - huge growth.

Israel's growth rates have no reasons to differ from the growth rates of the Jews in general.

And the growth in the Arabic countries may be faster at some points - we see the same issue in some European countries - but it's still constrained by the laws of Nature and various social and political feedbacks.

With these comments about "Israel destined to be doomed", you're at least the same kind of an anti-Semite as Adolf Hitler.

reader MikeNov said...

Helen Thomas said the same thing. When asked where the Jews should go, she suggested Germany.

reader Tony said...

Actually, it is you who are singling out the Jews and Israel, since they are not spared demographic trends anymore than anybody else.

It just so happens that the post doesn't concern, say Sweden or Japan.

Also, there is absolutely no reason why Swedish couples shouldn't have 4 children on the average, for example. The topic is not new either and has been discussed broadly, including in Israel. One free quotation of mine above is actually from a Jewish man who is generally considered as representing strong pro-Israel stance in the U.S. think-tanks.

Now, what is my and solely my opinion? Well, weighing all the arguments that I read, I do think Israel is pretty much hosed in the long run, barring really major political, economic and civilizational shifts.

And not only Israel, however, that would be off topic.

reader Tony said...

disagree with the notable optimistic tone here, regarding the situation in the ME, which obviously includes Israel. Yeah, in the end we are all people and want to raise a little family and such, even in Iran, but I'm afraid that history shows that things just don't work out that way.

One must be blind, IMHO, to not notice that the situation in the ME is getting worse, not better.

I see millions of disenfranchised people everywhere. Say Egypt. No jobs, just a regime keeping that powder keg quiet for now. When SHTF they will not be marching in the streets demanding jobs, which is the root of their problems, if you talk to a few who actually understand what is going on there. Instead, some crazy ideology will probably take a center stage.

Longer term low oil prices and nanny-state that keeps Arabian peninsula kingdoms stable will crumble. That can't last for too long even if the oil go back up. I would be happy if some Renaissance equivalent suddenly dawns in that region, but I doubt it.

I can go on and on.

reader Luboš Motl said...

That's a completely fallacious reasoning of yours, Tony. The fact that Israel belongs to the Middle East and Middle East is getting worse overall does *not* mean that something is getting worse for Israel because Israel fucking isn't the Middle East.

I would say Quite the contrary, if things go badly around, it's evidence that the setup in Israel is superior and should spread. That's also why some conspiracy nuts say that the Islamic State was created by Mossad. They're nuts but they understand an important point that you don't!

reader Boris Ogon said...

So why this insane hysteria now? The closest thing to an answer that I can find is that the preprint was "just" published in Physical Review D.

I thought the groundwork was laid here.

reader TomVonk said...

He doesn't recommend a "classical war by armies of the Muslim countries", either.
HAHA ! This one really made me explode with laughter !
Btw if you think about this one carefully Lubos, you will realize that the guy is not as senile as he seems and, on the contrary, has a pretty sure grasp on the reality.
Besides his point is completely lost on the un/mis informed morons with their mantra "Israel si doomed because of demography anyway".
On people saying "settlements are a bad thing", "demography blabla" and similar non sense I would only ask 2 questions :
1) Have you ever been in Libanon and talked with people there ?
2) Do you personnaly know Jews who served in the Israeli army and especially those who fought in the Kippour war ?
3) Are you familiar with Israeli economy ?
For me it's yes on alll 3 and on the second I even know a french/israeli Panzerofficer living for decades in France who went to Israel specifically for the Kippour war.
So what Khameini meant was that the Israeli army has the power to pretty much feking obliterate any armies of muslim countries regardless whether their demography is 20 or 30 times more or not :)
We don't even need to mention the nukes.
Because you know, in a "classical war" which is pretty much the only way to decisively occupy and control a foreign territory it is not and has never been about numbers. It is about technology, quality and training of the officers, motivation and ultimately economy.
And on all these points Israel is vastly superior over any of its local ennemies Iran included.
So as nobody can beat Israel in a "classical war" (let's forget nuclear which would vitrify everything leaving nobody to occupy the radioactive desert) and Khameini acknowledges it himself, who would be this somebody who would "doom" Israel even in the "long run" ?
If anything, seeing the corrupt and weak islamic states all over the ME, the power gap will become even bigger in the "long run".
And as Lubos likes to remind often, Israeli's average IQ is superior to, let's say, US one, something is telling me that the Israeli leaders are keenly aware of these realities.

reader TomVonk said...

Well Lubos when I followed your requirement to stop and think, my very first idea was Pangea.
This map reminded me strongly of Pangea which was indeed (almost) a hemisphere.
See ;
Now this initial map was not deformed arbitrarily. As you allowed a creative physics Lubos, I won't bother in the following about the why's and how's but just evoke some ideas.
The engine of the deformation are the convective cells inside the Earth because like the theoretical turtle (see relativistic turtle theory by T.Pratchett better known as "It's turtles all way down") they have the continents on their backs .
These again are not arbitrary - if you can solve Navier Stokes with a spherical boundary and imposed temperature gradient you will obtain something like the much better known Rayleigh Berad convection cells ( ) . Even if this problem for the spherical case is easier than climate dynamics it has not yet been solved while the latter has. One can only wonder about paradoxes ....
So if you imagine a certain amount of (almost) identical spherical turtles tangent to the Earth surface rotating around an axis that is perpendicular to OR (O center of the Earth, R center of the turtle) which is what they generally do, then the continents glued to their backs do what the turtle's back does - move along the surface, plunge into the Earth, melt, semi solidify, go up, emerge on the surface again and continue the cycle.
The law of Z2 symmetry may then very well be connected with the turtles but unfortunately the problem of turtle shape conservation belongs still to the deepest mysteries of our Universe.
There are a few crackpot theories pretending that the turtles are actually elephants but every sane person knows that this cannot be true.

reader Tony said...

I would be crazy to deny that what you wrote is one likely scenario, of how things may develop in the future.

But, you would also say, I think, that it is illogical for the U.S. to confront Russia as it does, yet it is going on and I wouldn't give it more than 50% chance that relations will normalize anytime soon.

reader Tony said...

Okay, okay, perhaps I've been overly pessimistic, about the future in general and the future of Israel in particular. There, you worm of doubt, better run and hide else be squished. May Israel kick ass in the best possible way!

reader Luboš Motl said...

Interesting turtle thoughts, Tom!

I still don't quite understand where the axis of symmetry could come from in any such mechanism.