Friday, February 15, 2019 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Gravity of objects in superposition won't teach us anything

LHC data fully charged: In this week, the CMS published the first paper (about B-mesons) with the full data collected up to now (there will be a pause for several years for upgrades), a whopping 140/fb of data. Via CERN. With this dataset, about 4x 35/fb, all the "numbers of sigma" may double relatively to the previous wave of papers!

For the first time during her full-blown campaign to ban both theoretical and experimental particle physics, Sabine Hossenfelder told her readers what she imagines to be her alternative. In her text When gravity breaks down, she concluded with a wish:
I hope to see experimental evidence for quantum gravity in my lifetime.
You can easily see why she was elected the new chairwoman of the International Crackpot Movement. Yes, both Smolin and Woit have been dethroned a few years ago. According to this lady, it is impossible for a \(100\TeV\) collider to see new non-gravitational particle physics. But to see effects that are associated with the Planck scale, \(10^{19}\GeV\) (which is some 14 orders of magnitude higher), is doable in her lifetime.

"A Little Apple" by Kristína. Does the apple actually appear in the song? Even if it doesn't, the video is a good enough example of beauty in physics. If you don't understand Slovak, imagine that the lyrics is a translation of the blog post below. ;-)

Great. Just to be sure, every high school student who has some understanding of modern physics knows that Hossenfelder's plan to find new physics through "experimental quantum gravity" is vastly less likely than the plan she considers unlikely.

You know, Max Planck calculated the Planck energy, Planck length, and other Planck-things more than a century ago. During the subsequent decades, and it's more than half a century ago by now, physicists increasingly understood the correct interpretation of those constants of Nature. For example,\[

\ell_{\rm Planck} = \sqrt{ \frac{\hbar G}{c^3} } \approx 1.6 \times 10^{-35}\,{\rm m}

\] is the Planck length and expresses the typical length of patterns in an experiment that is sensitive to a nontrivial combination of quantum and gravitational phenomena. The reason is that when the distances are much longer, \(L \gg \ell_{\rm Planck}\), it must be true that either the \(\hbar\to 0\) or \(G\to 0\) approximations are adequate to describe what is going on.

Thursday, February 14, 2019 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Poland confirms asylum for Norwegian mother

Two days ago, Polish media informed us that Ms Silje Garmo, a Norwegian mother, has been given the final paperwork to prove that she's been granted the political asylum in the Central European country.

Norway is a wonderful and rich country. The term "Quisling" has also become a generic synonym for a Nazi collaborationist, after a Norwegian Second World War puppet Vidkun Quisling. The most notorious Nazi-style body that is semi-integrated into the government structures and that survived is Barnevernet, modeled after the Nazi Lebensborn, an entity removing children from an incredible number of biological parents.

Recent experience indicates that Barnevernet stands above the law and the parents targeted by that bureau don't have any effective method within Norway to challenge the harsh decisions.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Matrix theory: objects' entanglement entropy from local curvature tensor

I want to mention two papers that were released today. A Czech one and an Armenian one. In the Czech paper,

Hierarchy and decoupling,
Michal Malinský (senior co-author) and Matěj Hudec (also from a building where I spent a significant part of my undergrad years) exploit the new relaxed atmosphere in which everyone can write things about naturalness that would be agreed to be very dumb just some years ago. ;-) OK, so they don't see a problem with the unnaturalness of the Higgs potential in the Standard Model.

Harvey Mudd College, CA

If they nicely ban all the high-energy parameters and efforts to express physics as their functions, they may apply the perturbation theory to prove things like\[

m_H^2 \sim \lambda v^2

\] to all orders. The Higgs mass is always linked to the Higgs vev and no one can damage this relationship, assuming that you ban all the players that could damage it. ;-) OK, it's nice, I am probably missing something but their claim seems vacuous or circular. Of course if you avoid studying the dependence of the theory on the more fundamental parameters, e.g. the parameters of a quantum field theory expressed relatively to a high energy scale, you won't see a problematic unnatural dependence or fine-tuning. But such a ban of the high-energy independent parameters is tantamount to the denial of reductionism.

I believe them that they don't have a psychological problem with naturalness of the Higgs potential but I still have one.

Monday, February 11, 2019 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Nima, the latest target of the critics of physics

One week ago, we looked at Sabine Hossenfelder's unfriendly sentiments towards Lisa Randall.

Randall is famous for some clever and (even now) intriguing scenarios in particle physics while Hossenfelder is famous for persuading crackpots that physics is bad. That's a difference that Hossenfelder and her readers couldn't forgive to Randall and if Lisa Sundrum (as they romantically renamed her) were capable of giving a damn about what a bunch of irrelevant aßholes write on the Internet, they would have given her a hard time.

As you must agree, it would be a discrimination if the female big shot Lisa Randall were the only target. So Peter Woit has secured the minimum amount of fairness and political correctness when he (along with his readers) chose Nima Arkani-Hamed as a man who deserves some criticism today:

Where in the World are SUSY and WIMPs?
Woit compared two Nima's talks with the same "Where..." title: an IAS talk from July 2017 (see also another talk he gave there) and a January 2019 edition of the "Where..." talk.

Sunday, February 10, 2019 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

British police harassing citizens who tell the truth

For many years, we heard increasingly many stories about the insanely overgrown political correctness in Germany. I actually think that the situation stopped deteriorating in the recent year or so. It almost looks like the U.K. is surpassing Germany these days. Am I wrong? And I believe that if and when Merkel is replaced by someone else from CDU-CSU as the German Chancellor, things will be getting better in Germany.

For several centuries, at least between the epochs of men like Francis Bacon, Isaac Newton, John Locke, James Watt, and James Clerk Maxwell (and women like Queen Victoria), Great Britain was arguably the headquarters of the Western civilization – and scientific and especially industrial revolution. Sometime in the early 20th century, Germany and then the U.S. were getting ahead.

But Great Britain remained great enough. In the 1980s, Thatcher's Britain was one of the two key countries that helped the Soviet bloc to collapse, dissolve, and get internally reformed. And even a few years ago, we were looking into the U.K. as one of the oases of the old-fashioned Parliamentary capitalism resisting the über-progressive changes ignited by the continental Western Europe.

Saturday, February 09, 2019 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Michael Mann's quantum climate pseudoscience

Michael Mann is the most notorious fraudster in the global warming scam. He was the key man in the team that constructed the "hockey stick graph" of temperatures in the recent millennium or two.

This is the politically correct version of the original video "Hide the Decline" that roughly describes what Mann did. Given it's just a song, the explanation is very accurate but I still prefer more accurate explanations than songs.

The hockey stick graph has claimed that the temperatures were nearly constant in 1000-1900 AD or so, and then began their clear increasing trend after 1900 AD. There were many problems with the individual steps that led to this outcome but the most important sinister trick was as follows: Mann basically connected (spliced) two graphs from the two periods.

The two pieces were obtained by different methods. The method for the distant past diluted and understated all temperature variations while the method for the 20th century kept them or amplified them. So you have to do get this result.

Friday, February 08, 2019 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Should the sentence "it is curious" be banned?

Last night, Young Sheldon got 95% for an exercise from Dr Sturgis (an older lookalike of Strominger's – that's how I correctly predicted he had to be a Jewish actor). It turned out that Sheldon has done a more elegant calculation using the QCD energy density and his result was right – Sturgis had a mistake due to the factor of \(\sqrt{4\pi}\) from non-rationalized units. Well, the energy density is rescaled by the whole \(4\pi\) – I hope they got it right at the end. So 100% for Sheldon – and 100% for the science adviser because this was a damn realistic calculational battle. ;-)
Jeremy Butterfield, a philosopher, became the latest sycophant and wrote a positive review (arXiv) of Sabine Hossenfelder's atrocious anti-beauty and anti-physics pamphlet, "Lost In Math". Except for his ludicrous claims that the book is good, his views about the actual topic are totally sensible.

According to Sabine Hossenfelder, however, his sycophancy (which makes me feel sick) is insufficient. She claims that Butterfield misrepresented two points she is making. Needless to say, her accusation is untrue in both cases.

Inference is probably driven by great ideals

...but it's hard to make a difference...

OK, it took some time to decide whether I should write about this topic at all or not. I have known about the plans to establish Inference, a fancy quarterly journal, since June 2010. It was finally launched in 2014.

It just happens that I know the people behind Inference more closely than 99% of the people who write about it. In the text below, I will partly anonymize the names – but everyone who knows the characters and/or Czech will be capable of translating the nicknames to the real names very easily.

So first of all, I've spent some hours by chatting with Mr Kajetán (you should know something about the 19th century Czech theater to understand the nickname; the guy has a theater in Pilsen), a very smart and rich man who was designed (I mean predetermined) to become the funding source of Inference – which I wasn't explicitly told but it was unsurprising given his funding for the 2010 event.

I think that Mr Kajetán is intelligent, kind, rather realistic, has made some genuine contributions to the business that I respect, and his funding schemes for various activities have been original.

Thursday, February 07, 2019 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Can the FCC tunnel(s) become much thinner?

Are you a hardcore theorist who sometimes loves to play the game that he (or she, Ann and Anna) is a game-changing inventor dealing with the practical life issues and construction, nevertheless? I am and I do. ;-)

Electric cars with batteries suck because 1 kg of a battery only stores 2% of what 1 kg of petrol does. Recharging is slow and some of these parameters won't get much better. But why don't we add wires to all our highways and switch to personal trolleybuses everywhere? The electric cars could have batteries just for a few miles of being off the grid. What's your objection, grumpy reader? :-)

Why don't we fill the land with personal trolleybuses? No batteries, no refueling anymore. The Pilsner model above is only designed for speeds up to 65 kph but it could be improved, I guess.

Or why don't we have nuclear-powered aircraft? You can invent such ideas and Google search for them. You will usually find out that it's been discussed and there are some usual problems that are immediately presented as fatal. For example, the nuclear-powered airplanes suck because the people can't be nicely protected against the radiation.

Wednesday, February 06, 2019 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

"End of high energy physics" is silly

The newest anti-collider tirade at Backreaction, Why a larger particle collider is not currently a good investment, begins by saying that the negative statement is an uncontroversial position.

Well, as Ms Hossenfelder could have learned at Twitter where she has debated these issues with real particle physicists, her remarks are controversial, to say the least. It's much less controversial to say that she doesn't have a clue what she is talking about. Let me elaborate on this statement in some detail.

The Livingston Plot, via K. Yokoya.

High energy physics was a new name given to particle (or subnuclear) physics because the plan has been from the beginning to indefinitely raise the collision energy – and therefore the ability of the experiments to probe ever shorter distances (short distances are tied to high momenta/energies by the uncertainty principle). The rate of progress may slow down but it has always been clear that the progress could continue basically indefinitely.

In the first part of her new text, she makes it clear that she was looking for some "allies" who have questioned the future of particle accelerators just like she does. So she found a 2001 text in Physics Today by Maury Tigner, Does Accelerator-Based Particle Physics Have a Future?

Tuesday, February 05, 2019 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Realistic fermion masses from D6-branes

The most interesting hep-ph paper today is

All Fermion Masses and Mixings in an Intersecting D-brane World
by Van Mayes of Houston. Well, it's a string phenomenology paper so it's more interesting than a dozen of average hep-ph preprints combined. Since my childhood, I wanted to calculate the "constants of Nature". It took some time to understand that one may only calculate the dimensionless ones – those don't depend on a social convention, the choice of units. Mass ratios of elementary particles were the first constants I was obsessed with – even before the fine-structure constant.

Well, at the beginning, I also failed to appreciate that the proton wasn't quite elementary so the proton-to-electron mass ratio, \(m_p/m_e\approx 1836.15\), was interesting enough. I figured out it was equal to \(6\pi^5\). Good numerology proves one's passion. ;-) I still think that the numerical agreement between this simple formula and the measured ratio is rather impressive.

Monday, February 04, 2019 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Aaronson & readers understand why Hossenfelder's anti-HEP campaign is fallacious

But they will never say so clearly because they're piles of double-faced PC feces

Computer scientist Scott Aaronson has posted a text on the new collider debates, Sabineblogging, and one of the first tragicomic implications of the essay that you can't overlook is how much it shows that the political correctness has been placed above science – even the very existence of science – in the Western academia.


Because Aaronson's arguments – and most of the comments underneath his article – make it clear that these computer science folks largely understand that Hossenfelder's campaign is just a sequence of generic anti-science emotional outbursts and she misunderstands what science is and why experiments are really being done in the first place.

He – and most commenters – really agrees e.g. with Lisa Randall and Jeremy Bernstein (NYT) as well as your humble correspondent and disagrees with Hossenfelder on all the basic points. But for some reason – and all of us know very well what the reason is – he frames his blog post as confession of love towards Hossenfelder and an attack on me.

We've seen a similar effect in Facebook posts by Daniel Harlow. Sabine Hossenfelder belongs to such a privileged group that we really need in physics – so we should make her powerful and if she wants particle physics to be abolished, we should abolish it! It's such a detail – particle physics may continue or be abandoned but it's much more important whether Luboš Motl believes that 50% of physicists should be expected to be female and that heretic dares to disbelieve and he even dares to point out that the believers are brain-dead.

If we ban physics, the number of women in physics will be 0 out of 0 which is 50% or any other percentage and he will be proven wrong, isn't it great?