Saturday, June 23, 2012

About a 2007 Higgs boson $500 bet

The truth ultimately prevails. The equivalent Latin slogan, "Veritas vincit", has been a part of the Czechoslovak and – more recently – Czech presidential flag since 1920. Its origin dates back to the 15th century Czech reformer of the Catholic Church, Mr John Huss.

Sometimes it takes a lot of time. And what the truth actually is? It is often unclear for quite some time, too.

In April 2007, which is already more than five years ago, we made a very clean, simple, and transparent bet. It occurred in this Echo thread under the TRF blog entry about global warming bets.

It's not hard to repost the relevant three comments here:

I am actually confident that John Ramsden will respect the rules of our bet because he seems to be a very honest Gentleman.


I received the money on July 6th, 2012, two days after the announced discovery. Thanks, JR!


  1. If I had $500 I would bet against you, Lubo, just for fun. ;-)

  2. I bet it does not exist simply because the world would be more interesting without theories with primitive scalar fields.

  3. It's like saying that the world would be more interesting without the Moon's hemisphere that is turned away. The Moon could be just a half-ball.

    I don't know whether it would be more interesting, in what sense, and why – in either case. I just know that it would be extremely unnatural according to the laws of physics as I understand them today – in both cases.

    Moreover, we have already seen the reverse side of the Moon and we have really seen the 125 GeV Higgs boson, too.

  4. It tends to be like that. People with totally stupid opinions fortunately end up being broke rather quickly. Unfortunately, it's far from a universal law so there still exist tons of idiots who have lots of money. And it's not just George Soros.

  5. John Ramsden has a nice avatar picture and I hope he will not make the little kitty on it crying by not paying because I feel somehow related to the little one ... ;-)

  6. That's great, Dilaton, if you're kitty spouses because you could pay it instead of him. ;-)

  7. please ignore this, I am on a different computer and its doe not recognize me. trying alternatives.

  8. Please consider the possibility that the entire theory is nothing more than a nice exercise of pure mathematics. The problem I see with primitive scalar field is that they give you anything you want. Forget the hierarchy problem, how do they even get past the falsification problem! You have a theory that can be anything you want.
    I would be more impressed if one's theory make predictions that would be decisively testable, instead we are asked to depend on this "chances of not being wrong" rubbish.

  9. Dear Stephen, I don't know how to swim in the mud that your comment is.

    In physics, there is no "primitive scalar field"; you probably meant an elementary scalar field.

    In physics, there is nothing such as "falsification problem". You probably asked whether some claims about scalar fields are falsifiable. They're as falsifiable as any other statements in science. Why the hell should exactly scalar fields be exceptions?

    What you write just makes no sense whatsoever, it's a pile of mushed potatoes.