Friday, March 20, 2015

A neat story on SUSY in Business Insider

A large percentage of the people and the "mainstream media" have all kinds of crazy opinions, often combined with downright hostility towards science in general and modern theoretical physics in particular. Supersymmetry has been a frequent target of numerous outlets in recent years.

But the 2015 LHC run is getting started and it's an exciting time – surely not a good time for bitterness – and one sometimes finds newspapers that turn out to be great surprises. Today, I need to celebrate the story
Here's how proving supersymmetry could completely change how we understand the universe
by Kelly Dickerson in the Business Insider. She explains why the Standard Model seems to be an incomplete theory and how SUSY helps with the fine-tuning of the Higgs mass; gives a dark matter candidate; and moves a step closer to experimentally establishing string theory, a theory of everything.

It also honestly states that there's no direct experimental sign of SUSY yet, and that the LHC may change this situation soon or not.

I am happy about the Business Insider for another reason. Yesterday, it was one of the first news outlets that wrote at least a balanced story about Varoufakis' finger.

During a 2013 communist conference in Croatia, the current Greek finance minister showed an obscene gesture as he was saying that "Greece should stick the finger to Germany". It was a bit controversial and Germans got excited about it – unlike the Czech politicians, German politicians probably don't use this gesture on a daily basis. ;-)

A few days ago, a satirical program on German TV claimed that it had "doctored" the video, and showed Star-Trek-like green men who were apparently used to create the fake scenes. Jan Böhmermann, a comedian and the host, showed the "obscene version" of the Varoufakis 2013 video around 1:30, and the "polite version" around 2:10.

Now, an impartial, independently thinking person must ask: which version is actually right and which is fake? That's how Business Insider approached it, too. The answer is, of course, that the "obscene version" is legitimate while the "polite version" is fake, and the program claiming that the "obscene video" had been doctored was a hoax – a "fake fake", if you wish. Mr Böhmermann has faked the doctoring, as puts it.

Mr Böhmermann tries to be funny and ambiguous about it – while promoting himself. Later, he said that it was a "fake fake fake fake". Well, as long as the number of "fakes" in the phrase is even, it's still true that the finger was actually there.

There are dozens of ways to see that this is almost certainly the right answer. But the number of news outlets that were able to see through this – not too complicated – fog was very limited. Today, The New York Times were also able to notice that "what is true" and "what is fake" are exactly interchanged relatively to what most news outlets try to claim (and what their gullible readers think).

You may see that the "video with the finger" was also posted on the SkriptaTV YouTube channel (40:31 is the gesture) that belongs to the organizers of the 2013 "subversive" festival of Marxists. There was no reason 1 month ago why they should have used a version of the seriously meant 1-hour video doctored by some German TV folks. Also, the "polite version" is much less rhythmical and natural than the "obscene version". Also, the polite version displays much less motion of the hand during the critical moments – and it's easier to fake the hand motion if it is not moving much. There are other arguments, I don't want to spend an hour with that.

But most people are apparently unable to comprehend the concept of "fake fake things". More generally, they are unable to see that the people who criticize something may be worth criticism themselves. An overwhelming majority of the people are morons who immediately endorse everyone who criticizes, and so on. Thank God, they're not a majority in The New York Times and the Business Insider. People claiming to have doctored something may be joking, too.

But back to SUSY

What I particularly liked about the positive story on SUSY in the Business Insider were the helpful votes in the discussion under the article. One or two cranks offered his or their cheap anti-SUSY and anti-string-theory slogans. They were immediately replied to by others – and according to the votes, the Shmoit-like trolls were voted down approximately by a 10-1 ratio.

The Shmoit-like trolls have conquered most of the cesspools in the world but there are places in the world that are not cesspools. ;-)

By the way, would some of you agree with me that Milan Šteindler, this TV "scientist" who promotes a car leasing company in the commercial above, is similar to Don Lincoln of Fermilab?

Two decades ago, Šteindler would star as the "more German" teacher of German in the bogus TV course of the German language "Alles Gute" (a part of the show "Czech Soda"). For example, check this advertisement for Škoda Henlein, a variation of Škoda Greenline with Zyklon B – typical strong-coffee Czech black humor. (Henlein was the pro-Nazi leader of the minority ethnic Germans in the Sudetenland before Czechoslovakia lost the territory in 1938.)


  1. You write, in reference to what the 'Business Insider' article says: '[The discovery of SUSY] . . . [will be] a step closer to experimentally establishing string theory, a theory of everything.'

    But then why do some people - like Barak Shoshany at Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics - say stuff like:

    'The LHC is looking for signals from specific processes predicted by specific supersymmetric (SUSY) models.

    'These results have nothing whatsoever to do with string theory for the simple reason that although string theory, as a mathematical framework, requires the general concept of SUSY in order to have fermionic states (i.e. matter), it does not actually generate any specific predictions that might be tested at the LHC.

    'Therefore, not finding a supersymmetric particle in the LHC will not provide any evidence against string theory, but on the other hand, finding a supersymmetric particle in the LHC will not provide any evidence for string theory.

    'In other words, string theory is completely immune to any and all experimental results. This is why string theory is said to not be testable or falsifiable.

    'Thus, in answer to your question, finding or not finding evidence of SUSY in the LHC or any other experiment will not affect string theory research at all, positively or negatively.

    'However, it's important to clarify that the value of string theory research is not in the experimental verifiability/falsifiability of the theory. Most string theorists will tell you that in its current form string theory does not actually provide anything remotely close to an accurate description of our universe.'

    What are the errors he's making?

  2. Tell ya what, Luboš - when you show me proton decay, then I'll believe SUSY is relevant. Rigorous derivation and elegance cannot internally identify an empirically defective founding postulate. No theory can withstand a falsifying experiment.

    Physics cannot rationalize baryogenesis. Circumstances that allow baryogenesis are not tested, for they contradict what is "known" to be true - and its vast hectarages of derivation and their nuanced parameterizations to fit observation. As with Euclid and cartography or Newton and Mercury's orbit, all the world needs is one contrary observation, DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.15107. Look at the blue rose, the black swan.

  3. What mistake is he making? It depends whether you want a general answer that looks at the big picture, or some answer dealing with details.

    The broad answer is that the main mistake he is doing is that he isn't using his brain, he isn't honest, and he hasn't shut up even though he is a stupid deluded asshole.

  4. Dear Uncle Al, the stability (or lifetime) of the proton is a question that is almost totally independent of the question of validity of SUSY in Nature (and the SUSY-breaking scale). Your reasoning "what makes you believe in SUSY" makes no sense.

  5. Thanks. So, essentially, finding SUSY at the LHC will increase our confidence that at least some version of string theory (ST) accurately represents our universe, though finding SUSY will not prove this; that's to say, what will remain after the discovery, though now be even less plausible than it already is, is the rare possibility that some other theory unrelated to ST requires SUSY and is the true description of reality. To me - a young man with absolutely no physics training - this seems to me obvious, but how can a grad student in physics not see this?

  6. "a lower limit of 5.9 × 10^33 yr, close to a supersymmetry (SUSY) prediction of near 10^34 yr."
    DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevD.90.072005, arXiv:1408.1195
    "Proton decay in a minimal SUSY SO(10) model for neutrino mixings," DOI: 10.1016/j.physletb.2004.02.063

    A geometric Eötvös experiment confirms string theory's chiral odd-parity components - ignored because they cannot be true. Cost - including vampire university overhead, is less than $(USD)300K, or 2.6 hours of LHC budget. Take a long lunch.

    Eötvös torsion rotor: the experiment, then in Dr. Adelberger's gloved hands (conventionally loaded for failure).

  7. As long as the number of fakes is even, the finger is still there ....

    So is the finger fermionic ... ;-P?
    Is each finger fermionic, or only THE finger?
    Do fingers or THE finger have bosonic superpartners?

    Sorry Lumo, if my remarks are over the top ... feeling strangly flower power :-D

  8. Dilaton, the original actual finger a boson but the fake finger is a fermion, they are superpartner, and whenever you add a fake finger to the bound state, you change the statistics of the bound state. ;-)

  9. Dear Lubos!

    Excellent articles and critiques, some of which I have used to convey similar attitudes and attributes of 'real science'.

    SUSY is not necessary to validate ST, if the raison d'etre or M-Theory is better understood. The 5 classes are energy hierarchical and manifest prior to the emergence of spoacetime in the classical sence, the heterotic 8x8 stringclass becoming the quantum Big Bang at so 1.24x10^9 GeV from the Planck string at so 10^19 GeV. In between are the monopole class (IIB), the X-L-Boson class (HO(32) from which duality the Higgs field emerged at the HE64 level and the 'Cosmic Ray Knee' (IA) class. The modular T-duality of the string size coupling so allows a inborn supersymmetry to manifest in the inflaton epoch for the classical Big Bang (thermodynamic entropy) limit. It is in this strinbg/brane epoch that the longrange and shortrange fundamental interactions decouple in a SEWG duality of the unified field of the 10-11-12D quantum geometry. Some details are in a note posted on Matthew Strassers blog below.

    Dear Matt Strassler!
    Regarding the ‘shrinking proton ‘ radius in QCD/QED

    In particular Miller and Cloët claim, that the protonic halo will attain its say mean boundary value at 3= 2.71±0.13 fm3 for rproton~1.394 fm (1.37-1.41 fm) and as experimentally measured by Friar and Sick via electron-proton scattering phenomena.
    This value is confirmed as the protonic radius in Quantum Relativity; being precisely half of the Classical Electrodynamic Electron Radius:

    Relectron=ke2/mec2 = Rcompton.alpha = h.alpha/2πmec=(2π/360)rwormhole.1010 by the magnetic permeability finestructure of Maxwell’s Constant in:
    μo=1/εoc2 = (8π/360)(Ne*/Re) for Magnetocharge counter Ne*=2700e*/c3 = lplanck2700√(alpha)/[ec] from the Grand Unification of the Planck Length Oscillation (as a Minimum Displacement Parameter) in the String Epoch BEFORE the so called Quantum Big Bang (in Stoney Units) of: e/c2=lplanck√alpha and mapping electrocharge e in lower dimensional spacetime from the higher dimensional spacetime in:

    Electron-DiameterxEnergy/Mass (or c2) = 2Re.c2= e* ↔ e = lplanck√alpha.c2 = Planck-Length-OscillationxEnergy/Mass (or c2)

    onto the Planck-Length Oscillation in the higher dimensional spacetime, say 3D ↔ 12D.

    This also defines a finestructure of Planck’s Constant in: h=2πEpsrwormhole/c=2πrwormhole/e*c=1/e*fwormhole for Eps = 1/e* = 1/hfps = 2πrwormhole/hc* or recalibrated via [m=0.9983318783m*; s=0.9990230094s; kg=0.99626135kg*; C=0.997296076C*] to 2.773144.. fm (SI) for an electrodynamic electron mass of
    me=h.alpha/2πc Relectron= 9.29053×10-31 kg* = 9.255793..×10-31kg (SI) differing from the CODATA value of me=h.alpha/2πc relectron= 9.29053×10-31 kg by (9.255793..-9.1093826)/9.1093826=0.01607.

    Increasing the classical electron mass by 1.6% so reduces the classical electron radius by this amount ( to 2.77314.. fm) and as the classical electron radius of QED is twice the classical proton radius in the wavequarkian oscillation potential; the latter is reduced by 2×1.6%=3.2% and in tune with the muon-heavy hydrogen measurements pointing to the diminishing protonic core radius.
    This then defines rproton=1.3888…fm* = 1.38657…fm (Unit System International) and in the error interval of the Friar-Sick measurement as 1.394±0.016 fm in (1.378 – 1.410 fm) to 0.5%.

    Subsequently; the ‘sensational’ measurement of a proton radius too small by about 4% confirms and substantiates the Classical Electron definition as postulated by Quantum Relativity and with an Effective Classical Electron mass me= 9.29053×10-31kg rendered Relativistic as meeffective= 9.29053×10-31kg in a relativistic inertia increase of meeffetive/me= 1/√(1-[v/c]2) and so for an effective electron base speed
    veeffective=√( 1-[me/meffective]2)=√0.0314=0.177..c through an electric potential of (meeffetive-me )c2 /e=8.20 keV*.