30 December 2011

Academic honesty

Which string theorist can honestly say that string theory is correct? Or that supersymmetry is correct?

Most universities require from their students "honesty in the search for truth". But universities are tricky beasts: they rarely apply to themselves what they require from others. If they did, university researchers and professors working on string theory would need to resign. Why don't they? Because of the money.

These researchers do not pursue truth. They pursue money.

18 December 2011

CERN is holding back data

CERN has collected about 5.7 fb^-1 data. But the December announcements by ATLAS and CMS only use 4.76 or 4.9 of them. The December announcements also do not analyze a number of other decay channels. Why?

Maybe the Higgs bumps would disappear with the larger number of data? Would the hint of a Higgs disappear if all data and all channels would be used? Did CERN tweak the data in such a way that it looks like a hint of Higgs, in order to keep optimism in the media?

Since many months (almost a year), CERN also did not update the sheet which summarizes all its (negative) BSM (beyond the standard model) search results.

My prediction from some time ago in this blog came true: CERN is holding back data that proves that there is no physics beyond the standard model, and is feeding the media with selected data that shows "hints" of new physics. And they are doing it so well that nobody seems to notice.

Multiverse and Professor Doktor Dietmar Lüst

A friend sent me a new book about string theory by Dietmar Lüst (or Luest). Do not read it.

There is no original or interesting idea in the book. All is copied from other popularizing string theory books. He even manages to copy - copying text is a hobby in his country - only the worst ideas across the field: a lot about the book is on the multiverse.

I think every time a professor uses the word `multiverse', his salary should be cut by 20%. Lüst would be sleeping under bridges. He is an example of what happens when a smart man gets too much influence and no control (as most German professors): he goes bonkers.

17 December 2011

No Higgs found yet

Look at the data collected at CERN. The plot with the strongest evidence is the one in the digamma channels. The two curves by ATLAS and CMS (see the links in the post by Woit) are extremely disappointing: no sober person will see any signal in those curves.

The rest is hype.

3 December 2011

Pregnancy and the Higgs

These are exciting times - for me and for particle physics.

The prospects for a Higgs are remote though. The LHC obviously has not found anything.

Update on December 14th: a handful of events without statistical importance seen at the LHC have put the world press into a frenzy. We are living in crazy times. Fact: no Higgs has been found, the mass window is even smaller.

19 November 2011

G does not run

A new paper argues convincingly that Newton's constant G does not run with energy. This is a criticism of many papers that claim that such a running exists.

But one moment: the strand model also makes this point. (And Schiller does not even mention it, I think.) So his model is vindicated again.

20 October 2011

How will CERN manage the lack of discoveries?

CERN management is nervous. After having spent 5 billion euros to build the LHC, the lack of discoveries, unanimously predicted by all physicists in the world, is embarassing. The latest internal CERN proposal on how to deal with the situation makes two statements.

- No discovery is even more interesting than the discovery of the Higgs. It would be "revolutionary".

- CERN needs to take more data to say more.

What a weak report! Since the report is so weak, I bet that:

- CERN will NOT publish the Higgs results for the first 5 inverse femtobarns this year.

- CERN will SPREAD the results (say for 3 fb^-1, then for 4, then for 5) over various months in 2012, to stay in the press, even though the results will be available long before those dates.

There will be a distressingly long waiting time ahead, due to bad politics only.

In the meantime, CERN people should read Schiller's strand model. He predicted the lack of any new discoveries a few years ago. He also proposes a consistent solution for all open problems of the standard model. And he did not need 5 billion euros to do so.

11 October 2011

Motl will give back his PhD if the Higgs is not found

I just read Motl's comment on this blog, where he writes "If there’s a proof that there doesn’t exist any Higgs boson below a TeV, you may remind me to return my PhD."

He made this comment in a discussion where he stated that nobody who denies the Higgs should be allowed to work for a PhD in particle physics. This statement is not respectful, but at least he is consistent.

But the question remains: Why such a drastic, self-imposed punishment? If there is no Higgs, then 99.9% of all particle physicists were wrong in the past 40 years. So what? A punishment is only acceptable if people were *aware* that they were wrong.

6 October 2011

The ideology of international particle physicists

Read this link, called "Beacons of discovers", written in autumn 2011. It is a committee report on the future of particle physics, written among others, by Alvarez-Gaumé and Pier Oddone.

Among the big questions of particle physics, the committee puts "the search for extra dimensions".

The committee does NOT ask: "what is the origin of the fine structure constant?" Feynman said that this was the greatest open problem of particle physics. But present particle physicists don not agree; they prefer to ask nonsense questions instead of the real questions.

Every single member of that committee should be fired from his or her present job.

2 October 2011

Neutrino Madness

It is now becoming clear that neutrinos travel more slowly than light even in Italy. Of course, there was an Italian physicist who claimed the opposite, and misused his CERN affiliation to get this absurd claim into many newspapers.

It now turns out that the result is compatible with a neutrino speed below the speed of light, because the pulse shape is not defined as precisely as the Italian group claimed.

One has to know that the Gran Sasso is full of underground experiments, but no discovery whatsoever was made. The Gran Sasso experiments have the same problems that plague all present particle physics experiments: no discoveries whatsoever. The pressure on the researchers is mounting.

Experimental physicists have heard for 40 years from deluded theorists that many discoveries are to be made. After 40 years they actually believe this nonsense. But facts say otherwise: We already know almost all of particle physics, even if no theorist wants to admit this.

10 September 2011

No mass calculation

The strand model, though my favorite, lacks a good explanation for particle masses. It does explain certain mass ratios, but it does not explain the absolute mass values. We should help on this topic.

3 September 2011

Bilson-Thompson's dream is brought to a halt by his collaborators

Bilson-Thompson was a guy on a mission. His mission was to describe all particles with knotted bands. He progressed well while he worked alone, and he was almost as far with his ideas.

Bilson-Thompson wanted to find structures for all particles, to explain the gauge interactions, to deduce quantum field theory, and to explain the coupling constants.

But then he went to the US, and the people who worked with him convinced him to do nonsense instead of physics, to stop completing his model, to stop continuing on his path, and to do useless math instead. His environment now produces one nonsense paper every year, with no new ideas and no new results.

What a sad story!

27 August 2011

Three mathematicians - one famous - make a fool of themselves

Three men, the famous Michael Atiyah, together with Nicholas S. Manton and Bernd J. Schroers, propose "Geometric Models of Matter".

This is modern academic comedy writing. You will note that they do not speak about quarks, nor about W and Z bosons. They also have problems incorporating spin 1/2. Nor do they describe interactions.

In short, they neglect most of modern physics, but still claim to have done something sensible. What is the truth? They just played a little with their favorite mathematical concepts. But they did not do anything sensible.

It seems that Atiyah has completely lost contact with reality. What a pity - he was one of the sharpest minds of mathematics.

23 August 2011

A further theoretician prefers prejudice to facts

Just read and enjoy this blog entry by L. Motl. It is incredible how deep a really smart man can fall.

A real smart man, Motl is led into a really primitive trap by the author of the preprint he is discussing. The otherwise unknown author, a certain Archil Kobakhidze, suggests that Verlinde's idea implies a momentum operator for a particle that differs from the usual one. Why? He does not say so - he just refers to another paper of his. (That is already a completely unprofessional attitude in itself. A woman could never write a paper like that.) Read that other paper, and you will find that the author is in need - well, let's say - of soothing care. The argument against gravity being entropic is deeply flawed, and obviously so, but Motl doesn't want to acknowledge this.

Two poor men, and now a woman is telling them all this ...

17 August 2011

The failure of quantum gravity

Have a look at the overview article arXiv:1108.3269 "An introduction to quantum gravity" by Giampiero Esposito.

It lists 16 approaches to quantum gravity that were followed in the last 80 years - string theory is one of them. Then it lists their achievements. All are theoretical! Not a single of the achievements is a testable prediction.

Yep, quantum gravity is a dead alley. We all can stop reading gr-qc.

15 August 2011

Another theoretician left reality

This theoretician is too little-known to be named. He dislikes the strand model. But for a simple reason: He thinks that time has two dimensions.

This seems too crazy too be true. But some people get paid for saying and writing such nonsense. Modern research is full of nonsense.

9 August 2011

The next theoretician goes bonkers

This theoretician is too well-known to be named. When asked what he thought about the strand model, he answered that the strand model of a black hole could not be correct, because it does not work in 5 and 6 dimensions.

This answer is worth meditating. A physicists says, in writing, that a description of nature is wrong because it does not describe certain cases that have no relation to reality. He could equally say that F=ma is wrong because the equation does not describe Santa Claus or resurrection.

With this way of thinking the theoretician has maneuvered himself into the land of fairies. There is no way that he will ever be successful in finding a theory of quantum gravity.

7 August 2011

Another theoretician goes bonkers

Vongehr is one of those people that wrote papers that nature has two times. He means two-dimensional time. No joke.

Experimental backing? Zero. That a guy writing this has studied physics at university is almost unbelievable. Some people have a degree and still cannot count.

Supersymmetry is turning into Supercemetery

Garret Lisi makes the point in a comment in Dorigo's blog.

A simple truth.

6 August 2011

Multiverse and polytheism

One can dispute whether the equivalence between the universe and god is accurate. Pantheists assume that universe and god are two words for the same concept. Einstein was a pantheist in this sense.

Assuming pantheists are right, the people that talk about the multiverse are reintroducing polytheism. It becomes clear again what a nonsense the concept of multiverse is.

4 August 2011

String theory and chess

Searching for the theory of everything with string theory is as promising as searching for it by playing chess.

Both string theorists and chess players are extremely smart people. Chess players are impressive. So are string theorists. They have intelligence to spare. All of them talk about their intelligence like pistoleros talk about their guns. They are die-hard machos.

The only issue: their occupation does not help finding the theory of everything. Not at all. Being smart does not count in the search.

2 August 2011

"Too early to despair"

said Guido Altarelli about the latest LHC results. Of course, he means the opposite. He is disappointed. A lot.

But I am not. I enjoy the situation of being right while almost all other experts are wrong. It will never happen again, in physics.

The next results will appear at the Bombay conference, end of August 2011. Great.

29 July 2011

Another theoretician goes bonkers for a while

Supersymmetry is not confirmed by any experiment, not even by the LHC. What does a theoretician say? Urs Schreiber answers: The 1922 Stern-Gerlach experiment, which established spin 1/2, is a proof that world-line supersymmetry exists.

The reasoning is so blatantly false that I must ask: how can a smart man like Urs Schreiber write something so false? We all wish you that you recover soon. Find a caring person that helps you!

27 July 2011

No endless frontier

After the numerous results presented a few days ago, it is obvious that no deviation from the standard model has been found. Despite of thousands of experimental physicists looking for the opposite, with the promise of fame and riches.

Particle physicists are stunned. Nothing new or unexpected has been found. How can this be?

The answer has been given in this blog for some time now. Particle physicists believed, without reason, that the domain of high energy is an "endless frontier", which allows new discoveries whenever an order of magnitude in energy is gained. But this belief is wrong.

The belief in an endless frontier is wrong for two reasons. First of all, it contradicts the idea that nature is comprehensible. If nature is comprehensible, there also is a moment in time where we understand it all. And this moment seems quite near. But secondly, the belief in an endless frontier contradicts quantum theory. Quantum theory tells us that there is a finite amount of energy in any finite volume of space, that there are a finite number of degrees of freedom in a finite volume of space.

Quantum theory states that nature is finite in its microscopic domain. Quantum theory tells us that there is NO endless frontier in the microscopic domain. In other words, quantum theory tells us since 100 years that there is NO endless frontier in high energy physics.

The LHC experiments simply confirmed this result. And they confirmed the strand model yet again.

24 July 2011

One man, one thousand men, ten thousand men

The LHC results are out. This is the summary.

Christoph Schiller, working alone, settled more questions in theoretical particle physics than the one thousand theoreticians scattered around the world. And the experiments at CERN, performed by 10 000 men or so, agree with Schiller's predictions. And all these men were telling us for decades that the Higgs, supersymmetry, dark matter and the next unexpected discovery are "just around the corner". All are now forced to recant.

One man with some good ideas sees further than ten thousand with a large budget and an even larger lobby.

21 July 2011

Monopolium at the LHC

This preprint talks about "monopolium detection at the LHC". It is written by four resarchers from Spain and Argentina.

Were they sober? There is no final confirmation yet.

19 July 2011

Entropic gravity and its critics

The paper by Kobakhidze, http://arxiv.org/abs/1009.5414, discusses an apparent contradiction between entropic gravity and neutron bounce experiments. It contains the wonderful statement (towards the end):

"Thus, if E. Verlinde’s idea is correct, the neutrons would have to travel through the slit without substantial losses even if λ < h <<< z1."

The author arrives at this conclusion using the obvious method: he did not understand entropic gravity, assumes that entropic gravity is something different from what the proponents say it is, and then shows that his assumed wrong idea is indeed wrong.

The fun thing is that he managed to publish this complete nonsense in Physical Review D. In the comment section of an earlier post, somebody wants me to stop calling it nonsense because it is "in PRD", and "peer-reviewed". In the next email, he will probably ask me to believe that the world was made in 7 days, because this nonsense is written in a "famous" (and also peer-reviewed) book.

Some people still live in the middle ages, when authority counted more than facts.

18 July 2011

No Gluinos - still no supersymmetry

This summer is fun. The extremely conservative predictions of the strand model are being confirmed: no susy, no Higgs, no new particles, no microscopic black holes, no new interactions - nothing new at all. Almost every day, a new confirmation comes up.

Today, it is the lack of gluinos in the search by CMS. The standard model seems indeed complete, just as the strand model predicts. Go on, strands!

11 July 2011

Higgs excluded even further

As expected, the LHC is starting to exclude more and more values for the Higgs mass. As this post shows, energies between 270 and 420 GeV are excluded with 200 inverse picobarn of LHC data. The full 1000 pb delivered so far have not yet been analyzed. Wait and see - the results will be out soon.

The first results only use 200 inverse picobarn, instead of the available 900. So they are holding back results.

Yes, they would be losing face, because they have said steadfastly that some sort of new physics MUST show up around 1 TeV - fact is that it doesn't show up. It is very clear that (essentially) everybody in the field was wrong. And all the wrong people got the money for the LHC on a wrong prediction.

29 June 2011

Strings 2011: Maldacena lost his marbles as well

Maldacena's strings 2011 talk is about the "wavefunction of the universe".  You have to be drunk to use the term, but you need to lose your marbles to give a complete talk about it.

Seiberg's talk is as wrong and narcissistic as all the talks he gave since the 1990s. He lost his marbles already back then. His missionary zeal, combined with the nonsense he talks about, is distressing.

Witten's talk on maximally supersymmetric Yang-Mills theories is not about physics at all, but about knots. Witten shows again that he left physics for mathematics.

David Gross still thinks he is a great physicist; it seems that nobody told him that repeating nonsense is not the way to become one. His opening address is really bad and self-centered. He still hopes that supersymmetry will be discovered at the LHC. We will see.

It really seems that the main figures of string theory have lost their marbles even more than the less well known ones.

28 June 2011

Eliminating the Higgs - with the Tunnel of Babylon

According to this talk by CERN's Fabio Zwirner, 1 inverse femtobarn is sufficient to eliminate a Higgs above 120 GeV. Now, the LHC has achieved that value a few days ago. So I am looking forward to the corresponding data analysis!

Above all, I am looking forward to see the faces of CERN managers when they will admit that there is no Higgs boson. And to the Homeric laughter that will follow across the world.

The LHC will then be renamed "Tunnel of Babylon". (The expression is my copyright...)

Or are they holding back the result already, to avoid loosing face?

27 June 2011

Strands, data and gender

Have a look at the comments on the strand model at this blog. A few people say about the strand model that it is "sketchy", "outrageous", and "speculative". This is the modern world: feelings and opinions instead of facts.

When I point out that there are hard predictions of Schiller's strand model that match the data, the answer is that these predictions are "not new." Wow; it is suggested that a model has to make new predictions to be taken seriously. But nature does not work that way; nature is as she is.

Ervin points out that there are other ideas to keep the standard model of particle physics correct to high energy. I'll look into his paper as soon as I get hold of it.

Kea directly asks whether I "know any physics". The old truth remains: no man is ever as nasty to a woman as another woman. The fun is that Kea claims that the prediction of three particle generations goes back to Ehrenfest. This is as correct as claiming that it goes back to the dinosaurs.

24 June 2011

No electroweak unification and no electroweak interaction

Why do so many people think that the electromagnetic and the weak interaction have been unified? They have not. The two interactions mix, because the W boson is charged. But they are not unified. The two interactions still have two unrelated coupling constants.

Yes, the coupling constants are related via the W and Z masses. But the argument remains: the two interactions are not unified in the standard model.

It is wrong to say that there is an "electroweak" interaction. There is no such thing. The mistake is found everywhere: in books, in textbooks, in Wikipedia, in the announcement of the Nobel committee, and in blogs.

19 June 2011

"Beyond the standard model" - really?

The expression "beyond the standard model" is so common that it even has a wikipedia entry (though a bad one) . But why is the expression so common?

"Beyond" is such a simple word. Most people thing that there "must" be something "beyond" what we know. But is that true? Are there speed values, for energy, beyond the speed of light?

"Beyond" implies that what we know is incomplete. But is that true? So far, the LHC is telling us otherwise. There are indeed things about the standard model that we do not understand. But there are no observations that contradict the standard model. Not one. So why do people dream of something beyond it?

"Beyond" often is taken to imply that there is, somewhere, some extension of the "standard model". Now this is really a heavy statement. Also for this prejudice there is no hint at all. Why should the standard model be contained in the final theory, or even only in a more general theory? Instead, Schiller proposes that the standard model is an approximation to the final theory, without being contained in the final theory. This idea alone is so radical that most theorists cringe.  We will see at the end of 2011 who is right.

4 June 2011

The standard model holds up to at least 1 TeV

The first 2011 results from the LHC are coming in. In June 2011, the LHC collected much more than 10 times the data collected in 2010. The first published results confirm the predictions by the spaghetti model: no deviations from the standard model were found. And there is no trace of supersymmetry or of new physics.
 
Above all, see this summary slide.

The investment in the LHC, over 7 billion Swiss Francs, starts looking like the investments in Maddoff's Ponzi scheme: an almost complete loss.

Update:  The newest 2011 data analyses from the LHC, 30 different ones, all imply that the standard model holds up to 1 TeV. This limit will be pushed to 2 TeV in the course of 2011. Recall that for 30 years almost every theoretical particle physicist has sworn that deviations from the Standard model must occur between 1 and 2 TeV ...

3 June 2011

Relative absurdity

Have fun, read arXiv:1106.0313 "Relative locality: A deepening of the relativity principle". It proves that four established physicists are able to write a paper without a single sensible idea.

If their teaching is as bad as their research, their students are having a really bad time ...

31 May 2011

Next effect "beyond" the standard model vanishes

See this link. Still nothing new beyond the standard model, despite rumors to the contrary.

Third spaghetti model issue: U(1)

Electromagnetism has a U(1) gauge. So has the weak hypercharge. Which U(1) group is the one from the spaghetti model? And what is the other U(1) then?

This is the third problem with the strand model. Here is a summary of the three problems:

1 - Why is the fine structure constant for protons and positrons the same?

2 - Why is the weak mixing angle given both by the mass ratio of the weak bosons and by the ratio of the electromagnetic and weak coupling constants?

3 - What are the two U(1) groups of the standard model, electromagnetism and weak hypercharge, in the spaghetti model?

These three questions must be answered to improve the chances of acceptance of the spaghetti model.

Spaghetti issue with electroweak mixing

Here is another issue with the spaghetti/strand model. Electroweak mixing implies that the W/Z mass ratio is the cosine of the weak mixing angle, and that the ratio e/g of the couling constants is the sine of the weak mixing angle. Thus

    (m_W/m_Z)^2 + (e/g)^2 = 1

a relation that had been verified experimentally to great precision. With the spaghetti model, there is no explanation of this relation - none at all!

25 May 2011

An issue with spaghetti and the fine structure constant

The spaghetti model seems all ok at first sight. But that is not all the story. Look at the old question why protons and positrons have the same electric charge. In the spaghetti model, charge is a topological quantity. Ok, let's assume that the topology argument is correct. But why then is the fine structure constant the same for electrons and protons?

Look at the model. It will not take you much to see that this question is not answered anywhere. In fact, the fine structure constant is not calculated, so far. Nobody can check whether the full charges of protons and positrons are equal.

Let me be even more specific. Schiller writes that the fine structure constant is the probability for seeing a Reidemeister I move. Ok, this may be so, but why is that probability the same for protons and for positrons? The tangles for the two particles differ and the number of strands/spaghetti differ! This is a problem. In my view, there is no good answer to the question. Why should the probabilities be equal?

24 May 2011

22 May 2011

The quark spaghetti model

Spaghetti explain the quark model, claims Schiller. It is a strong claim; not even Bilson-Thompson makes this claim with his band model. Lets look at this in more detail.

The quark model is a way to describe all hadrons with a small number of constituents: with 6 quarks and 6 antiquarks. The spaghetti model proposes a tangle for each quark and then claims that these tangles reproduce all hadrons. Schiller indeed provides the tangles for most hadrons: he draws the tangles for the best-known mesons and baryons. He claims that the tangles explain quark confinement, asymptotic freedom, CP violation, and the mass sequence of all hadrons. Wait! Several Nobel prizes were awarded for these results. And we can understand them with a few drawings? If it is true, Gell-Mann and his entourage will turn yellow. If it is wrong, we can make fun of Schiller.

How can we check such a claim? We take the review of particle physics by the particle data group and check all of it against the strand model. I'll start tomorrow.

21 May 2011

One more BS paper

Look at this preprint: http://arxiv.org/abs/1011.5120 called "Symmetries and Strings in Field Theory and Gravity" by Banks and Seiberg. Read it sentence by sentence. It is incredible.

Not a single sentence is about physics. Not a single sentence is about nature. Not a single sentence makes sense.

Now, these two people are not stupid. They are smart by any usual standard. They are well-known. They are professors of physics in the best institutions. Nevertheless, they write complete nonsense. 

What is going on here? How can two men devote their full professional life to write nonsense? In a few years, hopefully, psychological research will answer this question.

20 May 2011

Bousso and Susskind in Fantasialand

Bousso and Susskind have left physics. Just read their latest paper http://arxiv.org/abs/1105.3796 on the multiverse. Every sentence is nonsense. What a pity to see two smart people falling so low.

19 May 2011

A further strand model

In a new preprint (http://arxiv.org/abs/1105.3658), "Spacetime Geometry as Statistic Ensemble of Strings", Botta Cantcheff argues that space is an ensemble of "strings". He explains that the thermodynamics of strings reproduces the derivation of the field equations of general relativity by Jacobson. By strings he means some one-dimensional objects that are similar, but not exactly the same as the strings of string theory.

So here is a further researcher that understood that space is a collection of one-dimensional lines. He agrees with what Carlip says, and with what Schiller says, who argues the same connection between general relativity and the thermodynamics of strands. And he arrives at the result independently of them. A good sign!

16 May 2011

On nonsense about crossing black hole horizons

Every other day a preprint appears on arxiv, in the gr-qc section, that discusses what happens when an observer crosses a black hole horizon, and how he arrives at the singularity. All these papers are written by people who believe that space is continuous, and that it can be extended beyond the horizon. Sadly, this nonsense is even found in many books. But it remains nonsense. Space and space-time cannot be extended beyond the horizon, because they are not continuous. Speaking about "beyond the horizon" is like counting angels. There are no angels. But angels have been classified, it might be said: after all, there are seraphim, and cherubim, and many others, and several angles are known by name, such as Gabriel and Raphael. Despite all this, angels are a delusion. Neither is it possible to cross the horizon or hit a singularity; that is a delusion.

There are people getting their PhD on angiology, and there are people getting their PhD on what happens beyond black hole horizons. The value of the work is the same.

14 May 2011

A problem wit strands/spaghetti

When the weak and the electromagnetic interaction mix, they form the gauge group U(1)_Y for hypercharge Y. This occurs above the electroweak scale, so above around 100 GeV.

In the spaghetti model, it is unclear, when the U(1) group is described, whether U(1)_EM or U(1)_Y is meant. This looks like a major issue!

Update: this is a serious issue, but not a major one. The main results of the model remain valid.

10 May 2011

Spaghetti or loops?

Loops, strings, spaghetti: all these ideas are similar. All explain the area dependence of black hole entropy. But


- Loops explain gravity, but not at all QED and the nuclear interactions.
- Strings explain gravity, but not uniquely QED and the nuclear interactions.
- Spaghetti explain gravity, but also QED and the nuclear interactions.

The explanation of all interactions with the spaghetti model is also the first ever found. Schiller even says that it allows to calculate the coupling constants. Guys, have a look at it!

9 May 2011

No Higgs yet - II

Again, the prediction of the spaghetti model is vindicated: CERN clarifies that no Higgs was found, despite rumors to the contrary. This will happen again and again in the coming months.

The spaghetti model, a model that anybody who knows physics can learn in an hour, still has all its predictions in agreement with experiments.

6 May 2011

Fun about dark matter

Again, tiny statistical effects are interpreted as dark matter.

We should recall that "dark matter" is a term similar to "extraterrestrials". They are claimed to exist, but nobody has ever seen them. Thus we will hear such claims for the decades to come. After all, they could be there, couldn't they?

Nobody is spending big money for searching for extraterrestrials. Why are we spending big money for dark matter searches? And how can honest people waste their own time doing this? Are these people all out of their mind?

5 May 2011

Fun about Wilczek and his chase for flying toasters

If you ever have a look at the video here, you will see Frank Wilczek adding nonsense to nonsense for the largest part of his talk. Of course, Wilczek is a kind man, and has received a big Swedish prize. But nonsense remains nonsense.

Wilczek explains the running of the coupling constants, and notes that they do not meet in one point, as they should if a grand unified theory (a GUT) existed. Instead of concluding that GUTs are falsified by experiment, he adds a second invention without experimental support (supersymmetry) and then, in addition, fantasizes that most of the spartices (supersymmetric particles) appear at a few TeV.

He acts like a man that is looking for flying toasters and sees none. Instead of concluding that flying toasters do not exist, he deduces that extraterrestrials eat them and now starts looking for them instead.

This game can be repeated without end. Once the LHC will show definitely that supersymmetry does not exist, we can invent another crazy idea that explains why it is hidden, and so forth. (It is like saying: we do not see extraterrestrials, because they are all sick at the moment.)

Wilczek is half conscious of what he is doing. He calls this process of inventing excuses "truthification". Not only is the word horrible, its content is as well. What a pity that another great scientist has left science and opted for the land of fantasy.


---

Why does this happen? Because GUTs are wrong. GUTs do not exist. The nonsense arises because people do not want to face this inconvenient truth. And why not? Because they have no clue. Stop this nonsense. People, go and read the spaghetti model! There you will find a proof that GUTs do not exist, and a solution for all the problems of the standard model.

3 May 2011

Hard problems in mathematics: knots or the Riemann conjecture?

Do read Schiller's 6th volume. Many intriguing facts are given. Take this one:

  • Nobody knows the geometric shape of a tight trefoil knot. 

I asked around. It is true. Even a school child knows the shape of a tight torus. But nobody knows the shape of a tight granny knot. Nobody. Nor that of any other knot. Open or closed, it makes no difference: the shapes are unknown.

Take a rope, add a knot, pull it tight. Ask your mathematician friend to describe the shape. He cannot! What, he can solve Fermat's theorem but cannot solve this little problem? And he is still working on the Riemann conjecture? Tell him to do something sensible instead, like this little problem! He will become famous on his own right. And he will help the proof of the theory of everything.

2 May 2011

Muon colliders, linear colliders and other ways to waste money

Who will honestly use money to build colliders to search for physics beyond the standard model, if there is nothing to be seen?

Once it will be clear to everybody that the LHC did not find much, all these dreams about muon colliders, the international linear collider (ILC) and other nonsene projects will finally go where they belong: in the rubbish bin of history.

These colliders are all towers of Babel; they have common goals ("reach the sky") and will have the same results (nothing).

Higgs, Hicks or Holy Grail?

Is the Higgs a particle or a brain hiccup? Many people tell us that finding the Higgs would answer several important questions of particle physics. But scanning through the list of open problems in physics shows that the Higgs does not answer any one of them (except its own mass)! I spent some hours on the matter but still cannot believe this.

This means that finding the Higgs has no added value for particle physics! If it is found, no problem of fundamental physics is solved. I think I will now switch from a Higgs believer to an unbeliever.

How can we introduce a concept that solves no problems? Agreed, the Higgs solves the problem of SU(2) breaking. But it does not solve any problem we are really looking for: it will not tell us how its own mass appears, will not tell us the origin of mass values, will not tell us anything about the origin of the particle spectrum, and it does not tell us anything about the origin of the four interactions. The Higgs would not help in the quest to understand the world. We are all looking for it since 40 years, but did we find it, we would not learn anything.

Wait a moment. Why did we invent it in the first place? We wanted to understand the origin of mass and the unitarity of W-W scattering. But we have been brainwashed: maybe we would understand the origin of mass, but we would not understand the origin of any particular mass. And W-W scattering may be unitary for many other reasons.

Wait another moment. Theoretical physicists that won Swedish prizes introduce a concept - "the Higgs boson" - that solves no problem at all? And all people repeat this "problem solution" since 40 years? And thousands of people are searching for it, using billions of franks?  Is this really how we are doing research across the world? We search for something because everybody is doing this, but we have no special reason to believe that this "something" exists?

All this tells: The Higgs is as useful for fundamental physics as the aether is - namely not at all.  

The Higgs is the holy grail of physics: it is something that exists only in myths and Hollywood movies.

We live in a bizarre world. Everybody is allowed to search for the holy grail. But what will happen if it is not found? Will the people that searched for it using taxpayer's money pay back that money? What will they do for society after they cheated on it for 40 years? Will the world call particle physicists "parasites"?

1 May 2011

A collection of nonsense on the theory of everything

I did not know this forum and site, called "toequest". I did not know that one could write so much nonsense about the theory of everything. Sorry, I did; string theorists are only marginally better.

Number systems in physics

When mathematicians do physics research, most of the time the results are useless. (There are few exceptions.)

Physicists like to measure. Thus we need real numbers. When we add a phase, we often use complex numbers, as an abbreviation. Complex numbers add nothing new. Do we need quaternions or octonions? Possibly as an abbreviation.  But not as structures that provide any new insights. End of story.

That is not a reason not to have fun with octonions or to research them. But math is not physics. No discussion in fundamental physics, such as whether the false ideas on the right of the page apply or not, can be solved with math, with number systems. They are solved with predictions and with experiments. Thus they are solved neither with octonions nor with strings.

30 April 2011

The elegance of microscopic quantum theory

The spaghetti model arrives at quantum mechanics in a wonderful way. The world is made of fluctuating spaghetti. Tangles lead to particles. Crossings lead to the wave function.

What on Earth could be simpler? The connection between crossings and observations is the key; quantum mechanics is not the mechanics of something, it's the mechanics of configurations of something. This is so subtle and so elegant - much more than Kate's wedding dress. The difference between "configuration" and "something" is the difference between older microscopic models and this one.

And the elegance is already in the "fundamental principle". It makes nature simple and beautiful. It makes her clear. Wave functions become imaginable, understandable, concrete. The mind is freed. Spaghetti make quantum theory understandable.

29 April 2011

Truth, lies and bulldogs in fundamental physics

Like many physicists, I too receive messages saying that "truth does not exist". Since this statement also applies to the person making it, I understand that the person - usually a man - does not want to be taken seriously.

Then there are the people who uses lies to discredit others. Sentences such as "strings do not make experimental predictions, but are the only possibility for a theory of everything" or "there is no alternative to supersymmetry" or "the spaghetti model claims that particles are knots and thus cannot be correct" show that many people have a distant relation to truth and honesty.

Remember what Huxley did for evolution? 150 years ago, facts were on the side of evolution, lies on the other side. And Darwin's bulldog rubbed it all under their noses. The creationists and the string people are indeed similar. All facts so far prove that creation is wrong and that creationism is nonsense. Facts show: evolution is correct. And all facts so far prove that supersymmetry is wrong, that strings are nonsense. Facts show: the spaghetti/strand model is correct.

26 April 2011

About 't Hooft's latest ideas

Gerard 't Hooft received the Nobel Prize for his work on the weak interaction. And he is a gentle person. Since many years, he is trying to work towards unification. Here is is latest paper. Read it. The title is good: "A class of elementary particle models without any adjustable real parameters".

Unfortunately, many ideas for which Hooft became known are missing. He does not talk a lot about smallest distances on black hole horizons, even though he was one of its main proponents. It is nice to see that he mentions strings and supersymmetry only only in passing. But he asks questions about black hole evaporation and about conformal invariance; why is he still worried about these issues?

And unfortunately, the whole discussion leads nowhere. There is no tangible proposal, no tangible idea, no hint about where to go to.  The only interesting statement in the whole paper is the title. What a pity! After all, any theory of everything should belong in the class of models "without any adjustable real parameters"! But the paper does not present such a model. Not even a glimpse about one.

Why is this so disappointing? Hooft stills believes that space and time exist "beyond the Planck scale". If you believe that, you never get anywhere. Hooft thinks about conformal invariance, its breaking and the dilaton. All these problems only appear if you believe that space and time exist "beyond the Planck scale". Yes, Hooft shows us: if you believe that space exists beyond the Planck scale (which is not true in this universe), then you are forced to think about many problems that do not exist in this universe.

Ex falso quod libet.

25 April 2011

No Higgs yet

CERN is a great place. It is the place where people do the best they can with present technology. But since a few years, unrealistic wishes took over. They want to prove supersymmetry, higher dimensions, and other false fixed ideas. Now, an obscure internal memo claims to have seen a Higgs-like signal. I hope that it is not due to the desire to show that 5 billion euro were well spent.

22 April 2011

Why spaghetti are not popular among particle physicists

The strand-spaghetti model predicts all forces, all standard model particles and quantum theory.

It might well be that this is the only model in the universe that achieves this. But Schiller is really making it hard to swallow.  He pisses off most theoretical physicists on the planet. For example, he has a microscopic model for quantum theory. Researchers have searched for such a model for almost 100 years, and he just presents it in a chapter and goes on. In normal life, such a discovery is sufficient to build a career plus a whole research group.

Schiller then explains the gauge groups as consequences of knot deformations. This will piss off all mathematicians working on knot theory for the last 50 years, because they missed the discovery. I do not know any of them, I must ask around.

He then deduces black hole entropy from spaghetti. This feat alone should make him well-known about quantum gravity people. But he does not care and goes on.

He then deduces the particle spectrum. Nobody has ever deduced a particle spectrum. This feat, again, is unique. What does he do? He explains the quark model and goes on. He explains the quark model! Nobody ever did that. Be he does give a damn and goes on.

And then he starts thinking about masses and the fine structure constant. And he is not as successful. He clearly needs people to help him. But people do not manage to follow him. He is simply too fast. He cruises through physics in a way that is much too demanding.

We women must get together: spaghetti taste better if a woman prepares them. We must find a way to make them more palatable.

21 April 2011

What string theory does not explain

These are some points, inspired by a table from Schiller's html page on the strand model:

- Strings do not explain (yet) the interactions of nature.
- Strings do not explain (yet) the gauge groups and coupling constants.
- Strings do not explain (yet) the number of particle generations- Strings do not explain (yet) the particle spectrum.
- Strings do not explain (yet) the validity of the least action principle.
- Strings do not explain (yet) any quantum number and mass of any elementary particles.
- Strings do not explain the validity of quantum theory and quantum field theory.
- Strings do not explain the least action principle.

In two points, there is no "yet", because the items are put into string theory by fiat.

String theory might well explain gravity, but that is all. String theory does not explain anything about quantum theory and the standard model. It has no explanatory power whatsoever in the microscopic domain. String theory is not a candidate theory of everything; it is a full, complete and total failure.

This is not new; Woit says some of this all the time. But I was surprised noticing that string theory does not explain a single item of the standard model. It is wrong to say that the emperor has no clothes; there is not even an emperor.

Loop quantum gravity does not fear any better, by the way. I discovered an underlying symmetry that relates string theory and loop quantum gravity: any statement on one theory is also a statement on the other. Both theories are fantasies about quantum gravity, and neither describes the standard model.

20 April 2011

Susy and little green men

Little green men were born in the mind of people who watched too much TV in the 1950s. After that date, many people searched for little green men. Of course, they are never convinced that they do not exist. After all, we haven't searched everywhere. A little green man could hide anywhere in the universe.

Supersymmetry was born in the mind of people who read too many science speculations in the 1970s. After that date, many people searched for susy. Of course, they are never convinced that it does not exist. After all, we haven't searched everywhere. A little sparticle could hide anywhere in the universe.

String theory ...

University studies do not make people smarter than others.

19 April 2011

Spaghetti beat strings

On some obscure corner of the internet a string theorist claimed that the strand/spaghetti model is "taken" from string theory.

Given that spaghetti categorically refute supersymmetry and higher dimensions, this is really bizarre. Maybe this string theorist unconsciously knows that they are wrong, that strands are correct, and wants to claim some of the success for himself?

After all, no other candidate for the theory of everything unambiguously predicts the four forces and the three fermion generations. So we have to conclude that spaghetti are the only present candidate for a theory of everything.

Viva l'Italia!

18 April 2011

New Figure

I decided I wanted an image of a strong and curious woman on my blog page.

Can particles exist at the fundamental level?

In an informal group brainstorm, a male friend recently told me:

"If we want to understand the world, the concept of particle must be eliminated."

I asked what he meant and he said that elementary particles cannot be the basic bricks of matter. If they did, he said, there would be no way to understand their properties. The idea of elementary particle, he argued, prevents people from finding the theory of everything.

A simple argument, but a correct one. And one I never saw in print.

Only a few candidates for the theory of everything realize this requirement: string theory, loop quantum gravity - including Bilson-Thompson's braids - and the strand model.

17 April 2011

Woit and ElBaradei - Weapons and the Standard Model

When the ElBaradei and IAEA consistently said for years: "There are no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq", in agreement with the facts, the Bush government got more and more furious. Putin remarked dryly: "I would have found some."

When the Woit and experimental particle physics said for years: "There are no deviations from the standard model", in agreement with the facts, many string theorists got more and more furious. Some people swore: "We are going to find some."

This is the correct way to interpret all these desperate claims for new physics that are popping up every other month (such as this one). The political background is also the same. Conservative and honest people like ElBaradei and most experimental and theoretical physicists follow the facts, and then right wing ideologists then call them "communists". For example, conservative and honest physicists like Woit, Dorigo and many others who point out wishful thinking and ideologies are regularly insulted for pointing out the true and obvious.

O tempora, o mores!

16 April 2011

Fantasy, Feeling, and Fact

"The strand model is wrong because it predicts no new physics!"

This is really a bizarre statement. Here is a theory that describes all nature, agrees with all experiments, and somebody is not happy because the theory does not back up his personal fantasy.

But the reason is obvious. Such people built various towers of Babylon - oops, I meant to say, various accelerators and dark matter experiments around the world. And now the best theory of everything we have predicts that experiments will find nothing new. Obviously, thousands of people would end up feeling deeply ashamed. They all want to avoid this, and thus they make statements like the one above.

We see that people are not reasonable beings. Many are driven by fantasy, by feelings, and not by facts.

15 April 2011

From spaghetti to the weak and strong interaction

"Spaghetti model" is a much better name than "strand model" – even if Schiller does not like it. "From spaghetti to SU(2) and SU(3)" would be the best name for what he is doing.

I have looked for some explanation of the gauge groups during all my physics studies. But I never found one in any book or paper. Schiller now provides an explanation. He even claims that it is the only one available so far. This might even be correct.

Some time ago, I read a paper that stated that the standard model is a simple as 1-2-3. Yes! And I see Schiller's spaghetti model as the way to make sense of this quip.

Wait a minute. Schiller claims to have the first ever explanation of the three gauge groups. Nobody else claims any other explanation, not even a different hint of an explanation. Well, string theorists claim to have a way, in principle, to deduce them, but they never really showed it. And, besides, who believes in string theory any more? So Schiller's explanation is without competition. What, you might say, there are no other ideas around? Yes, it seems so. And almost nobody is discussing the only idea that is available? Yep.

Much better marketing is needed.

14 April 2011

Further experiment finds no supersymmetry

The title of this entry will be reusable for the next ten years at least. But every time it applies, it is a pleasure nevertheless. This preprint from the Xenon collaboration excludes many types of superparticles. Have a look. (Triggered by Woit's blog.)

As a bulldog, this is obvious to me: supersymmetry is a figment of the human mind, and has nothing to do with nature. This result thus confirms the prediction of the strand model that supersymmetry does not exist.

How many more such results do the supersymmetry people need to be convinced?

On the need for backgrounds in a theory of everything

Yes, I am convinced: Backgrounds are needed.

You may have read that many people claim that the theory of everything must be background-independent. The quantum gravity people often use this requirement to dismiss present string theory. While I agree that string theory is wrong, backgrounds are not the reason. When one physicist explains an observation to another, he uses space and time. He thus uses a background. Why the hell should a theory of everything be different?

A theory of everything still describes what we see, and when we describe what we see using the theory of everything, we will still use space and time, as we do in normal physics. We might use different concepts, more precise ones, more general ones, but why should we dispense with space and time?

Well, say the proponents of this requirement, because space and time must result from the theory of everything, and not be put in. True, space and time must result from a theory of everything, but this does not forbid us to use it. We only have to show that space and time follow from a theory of everything once for all, and then we can use them as we like. After all, they are quite useful...

But why is this requirement so often voiced? Because people have no clue, and because they want to criticize each other. I tried: I do not manage to say anything useful without space and time. In fact, this test told me something important: if somebody requires me to talk without space and time, he is requiring me to talk nonsense!

Ironically, for many people in fundamental research, the requirement of talking nonsense is fulfilled even if they use space and time. But that is a different story. My point here is: the requirement of background-independence is deeply flawed. Long live space and time!

13 April 2011

Fun being a bulldog about a physics theory

Being a bulldog for Schiller looks like fun. For example, there are men who get annoyed. Only a man can react like this - have you ever seen a woman that cares about a physics model so much that she feels the urge to start harassing others? There are no such women.

But men do this. But it is fun to harass them in return. If you do not like the strand model, just go elsewhere. You do not have to like it. Stop avenging the bad treatment you got from your mom on every women you meet.

I like the strand model because it fits the data, because it is elegant, and because I think that string theory is the biggest pile of nonsense I have ever encountered.

Working on string theory and on supersymmetry is much worse than working on how many angels can sit on a needle tip. Working on superstrings is more like working on which language angels use when the are thinking while they are sitting on the tip of the specific needle shown in the British Museum. It is nonsense from start to finish.

When Darwin presented his theory, he just showed that it explains the facts, When Schiller presented his strand model of unification, he did the same. Compare this with string "theory": it cannot explain the vacuum, nor the particles, nor the interactions, nor the standard model. It cannot explain anything (oops, yes, it claims to explain gravity). Instead, the strand model explains all this. And agrees with the data, as Schiller explains. And every physicist can understand it - even I can.

12 April 2011

Braids vs strands

Braids are a model for elementary particles from 2005 (see hep-ph/0503213). One of the most vitriolic superstring physicists around says that the braid model is wrong because it does not explain SU(2) breaking. Strands, in contrast, do explain SU(2) breaking, but the explanation is quite bizarre (by knotting). Another of the most vitriolic physicists around says that strands are wrong, because the explanation of SU(3) cannot be true - he knows it in his guts.

Braids do not claim to be a theory of everything, so one cannot blame the model for not explaining everything. Strands do claim to be a theory of everything, so more fundamental arguments are needed. And we all know what guts contain... Ok, many men in fundamental physics are not gentlemen, but should they use such arguments?

I read that "theory of everything" is a term that Schiller, the author of the strand model, does not like at all. But we have to call a spade a spade. Strands claim to be a theory of everything, so they are a theory of everything. I dislike these unnecessary intellectual distinctions.

If I continue like this, I will become Schiller's bulldog. I have to try first whether life as a dog is worthwhile. Well, a female bulldog might be interesting.

Fukushima released at least 6 Hiroshima bombs

Following yesterdays announcement in Japan, Fukushima released between 370 000 and 630 000 Terabecquerel of radiation. Hiroshima released between 4000 and 60 000 Terabecquerel.

That is at least 6 Hiroshima bombs of radiation, but possibly much more. And TEPCO said, that the level of Chernobyl will probably be achieved, which was over 200 Hiroshima bombs. Scary numbers.

---

Here is the satirical part: Despite this, we all agree that nuclear power is safe, because "in our country, ..., this cannot happen."

(You can insert your favourite country in the sentence, because all countries with nuclear power stations have made this statement, including a largish country that has built several nuclear power stations directly on an earth-quake producing fault near San Francisco.)

8 April 2011

Czech communist dreams up a proof of string theory against evidence

A communist is a person that values his ideology more than the facts, and uses violence to spread it. A well-known czech communist  - and sadly also physicist, once researcher at Harvard - has now transformed the recent Fermilab error in their data evaluation first into a new force, then into a invented Z' particle and finally into a proof of string theory. These are not lies any more, but fraud.

So we see that in Czechia, at least one string theorist is so deranged that he needs to deceive others for a living. If belief in supersymmetry is only a delusion, belief in string theory is now definitely proven to be a mental condition.

6 April 2011

Should I make fun of famous or of unkown physicists?

Schiller, the unknown physicist proposing the "strand model" is a source of many unconventional ideas. I already wrote that I like his strand model because it is incompatible with supersymmetry and with higher dimensions. For me, the strand model might be one of the few common-sense models in fundamental physics.

And here is the best part of it: not only does the model claim to agree with all experiments, it also pretends to reproduce the full Lagrangian of particle physics from scratch. Now, we all know that neither string theory nor loop quantum gravity are able to do that, despite of dozens of people trying to do so since 30 years.

These arguments intrigued me since I started reading about the model the first time. So, every now and then, in the last weeks, I asked people for an evaluation of the model. I also emailed Schiller. This was more fun than expected.

A few established researchers told me that the strand model is not useful because it makes no predictions. (If I count correctly, the model makes more than two dozen predictions.) Another researcher said that the model might be correct, but that all ideas were old. (According to Schiller, all ideas are new.) Another one told me that the model is not complete yet, so it is not worth looking at it. (According to Schiller, the model is indeed not complete, but the intermediate results are already better than those of string theory and loop quantum gravity combined.)

I have not decided yet about which side I should make more fun...

3 April 2011

Fun about Motl

True, one should not waste energy about Motl. But he is so smart, rude and unreasonable that I cannot resist making fun of him. One of my male friends – yes, they do exist – has the right description for what guys like him are doing in physics research: mental masturbation.

It must be said that we speak about Motl's past: he is not a physicist any more. At present he converted to being a frustrated anti-global-warming activist. In his research past, the conjectures he explored – supersymmetry and strings – were only for his own enjoyment.  Nobody else cares about these conjectures, because they do not agree with experiment. But a few rare people do share the same hobby.

The best is that Motl recently told in his blog why he doesn't want to explain his past research to the general public: "it is like throwing pearls to swines." I had never seen this expression, which is from the bible, applied to this specific hobby.

Motl is much better than Sarah Palin. Thus there is only one conclusion: Motl for president!

2 April 2011

Making fun of strands - April fool

The crazy strand model found here is the best April fool in a long time: a model that claims to be the theory of everything - with simple math.

All the famous string theorists with their incomprehensible concepts and their useless abstractions are left behind by an unknown guy who claims to have found the secret behind the three dimensions of space,  the three gauge interactions and the three generations. The model claims that you can describe quantum theory and general relativity with strands, using math that every 20-year old can understand.

It might be an April fool, but is such a good one that it is worth telling.

26 March 2011

The tough times of high energy particle physicists

The LHC and the Tevatron, the two large accelerators, have not produced one shred of evidence for any proposed "theory of everything". This is a tough situation. After all, the theoreticians and experimentalists that lobbied for the billions that were spent on the LHC said:
  • We will find the Higgs and understand mass.
  • We will find supersymmetry and understand forces.
  • We will understand dark matter and dark energy, and thus understand the universe.
  • We will find hidden dimensions and discover new worlds.
You can read the CERN original here. As readers of this blog know, it seems more likely than not that the Higgs, supersymmetry, dark matter and higher dimensions are just figments of imagination. This means that the 30 years in which theoreticians have first convinced all the experimentalists, then all science lobbyists, then all politicians and then all tax payers can be summed up thus:
  • We were wrong.
Of course, the last word in not spoken, but let us imagine that it is. How can it be that the smartest people on earth, the followers of Einstein, made such a mistake? How can it be that all these people, tens of thousands of them, were wrong? Wrong for 30 years? There is only one answer:
  • High energy particle physicists are sycophants.
But a scientist must pursue facts, not try to please the mighty. But tens of thousands of the smartest people - mostly men - in the world did so for 30 years. Why did this happen?

It happened as a consequence of the curse of the 20th century: ideology. If you look at the history of Europe and North America, you find only one thing that they have in common: ideology. Communists, Nazis, Socialists, Conservatives, Atheists and Christians, Right and Left: all were completely blinded by ideology. When any of these people presents an opinion, it is never based on facts, it is based on the ideology of their group. Last century was the century of ideology and self-deception.

What is the specific ideology that drove the people lobbying for the LHC? It was "we know a lot, but there is even more that we do not know". This is the self-deception of scientists since 30 years, the self-deception that led them to build more and more theoretical castles in the air, and the self-deception that convinced the rest of society to put billions of dollars into the LHC.

And what is the most bizarre side of it? All this was done mostly by men. None of them asked the advice of their wife, it seems. Maybe men should listen to their wives more often, or to women in general: women do not like sycophants, even if they build castles in the air, or if they build castles below ground.

25 March 2011

Hep-th at arxiv: a sad story

On the arxiv, the hep-th group was once the star. Posting a preprint there was a great honour. But now, the situation is different. Hypnotized by the LHC results, which are eliminating one theory after the other, theoreticians are in disarray. They do not post much any more, fearing that others make fun of their work. Theoreticians have basically stopped working.

For the first time in decades, high energy theoreticians see that experiment is checking what they wrote during their lifetime. For many theoreticians, this is the first time in their life that they have to care about experiment. And they are in panic.

Grand unification? No trace of it.
Supersymmetry? No trace of it.
Dark matter? No trace of it.
Higher dimensions? No trace of them.
Deviations from the standard model? No trace of them.
 
Whatever the outcome at the LHC, it is obvious that the majority of all theoretical high energy particle physicists have told nonsense in the past twenty years. (99% might be a better estimate.) So they are nervous now. Mind you, they always believed in what they were saying and writing. But it was nonsense nevertheless. Soon, they will find that they have lived in "fantasy land". For years. They have built their careers on fantastic nonsense. They have been proud of it. They have made fun of people who criticized them. And now these nasty experiments are not finding any trace of deviation from the standard model. How can nature be so cruel? How can nature destroy so many illustrious careers? How does nature dare to contradict Seiberg, the greatest theoretical physicist that the universe has ever seen?

Have a look at Seiberg's talks on his home page. There is not one talk that makes any sensible statement. In fact, he makes not one statement that has relation to experiment. That is the sign of a great scientist - isn't it?

No. The happiest moment of Einstein's life was when he discovered that general relativity agreed with experiment. Dirac was happy when antimatter was discovered, as he had predicted. But, you might argue, those were only the lesser scientists. Not the calibre of Seiberg. True. A truly great scientist, like Seiberg, does not care about the facts. He yells them away.

So researchers now have a dilemma. Should they follow experiment, or should they follow the yelling authorities? If they do not follow authorities, they will make no career. If they do not follow experiment, they don't either. The result is simple: researchers are keeping quiet. And arxiv/hep-th suffers.

21 March 2011

The end of gr-qc? The end of gravitation research?

As a follower of arxiv, I am more and more astonished by the small number of preprints in the gr-qc category. Not only is the number small; on top of this, the topics are uninteresting and the ideas hollow or unrealistic.

Everybody into gravitation research says that the main problem of the field is to find a quantum theory of gravitation. But no attempts to solve the problem are appearing in gr-qc since years.

The researchers in the field collectively refuse to go for the biggest prize in the field! Gravity researchers seem to think that they have nothing to contribute.

Why have all these people given up? How can it be that there are no attempts to solve a problem that is clearly stated since almost a century? Here are some possibilities.

  1. The problem is not important. After all, there is a million dollars for solving the mass gap problem, but not for this problem. So there is a - possibly hidden - consensus that the problem is not important. (But what do you care what others think?)
  2. People are not eager to solve the problem. There is no way to advance your career if you solve it. After all, what is this little Nobel Prize nowadays? You will never be as rich and famous as Lady Gaga. (So what?)
  3. Researchers fear working on the problem. After all, you might fail and everybody may laugh at you for years. (So what?)
  4. The solution cannot be checked. Indeed, no prediction on quantum gravity has ever been confirmed or has a chance to be confirmed. (Of course not - those were the wrong attempts!)
  5. People in the field have no clue. Really. (What? You're smart enough to understand general relativity and believe you are too stupid to solve the problem? Who told you this nonsense?)
But all this boil down to only one statement: "many past attempts failed - so will I".

No!

For every past attempt that fails, the next attempt gets easier. Researchers, get your act together!

8 March 2011

No particles?

"Particles must be abolished!" said a friend. She continued: "If particles were fundamental, we cannot understand where they come from. So they cannot be fundamental. So we have to abolish them!"

But how?

1 March 2011

Betting against supersymmetry

I am ready to bet with anybody a reasonable sum against supersymmetry. But there is a difficulty. Supersymmetry is akin to fairies: it is hard to prove that fairies do not exist...

21 February 2011

Forget the facts

Every week, the LHC teams produce new results that confirm: supersymmetry does not exist. The latest results are really strong, as explained here and here: there is almost no option left for supersymmetry. These are the facts.

What is the reaction of theorists? "Forget the facts." Not surprising. They are saying this since 35 years. The belief in supersymmetry is similar to that in angels. It comforts - but it does not help.

17 February 2011

Why are there no predictions?

We all notice that the number of papers in the hep-th section of arxiv is decreasing. We all notice that for years, no paper in hep-th has made predictions on the experiments at the LHC. No predictions by thousands of people. Obviously, they do not want to make false predictions just before the LHC is starting up again.

This is strange. Anybody who makes the correct prediction will become well-known, and make a big step in her or his career. And anybody who makes a false prediction will be forgotten. So there is no danger in making a false prediction, but a lot to gain in making a correct one. Still, nobody is making predictions.

The conclusion is evident: all the people who are silent now have no faith in their own work. Making predictions is the way of science. Silence is a sign that tells a lot! And who is silent? String theorists are silent. Loop quantum gravity people are. Supersymmetry people are. Little Higgs people are. Higgsless people are. Almost nobody is left!

This widespread silence shows: most people in fundamental physics do not believe their own theory! Slowly, the strange dark world, unrelated to reality, in which they live is coming to light. What a depressing view.

15 February 2011

Maximum force - and men

A few physicists - Mazza, Kostro, Gibbons, Schiller - state that there is a maximum force:
  • c^4/G or about 10^44 N.
I did something simple. I told this to a researcher in the field. Then I asked another. And another. All got enraged. Really enraged. Why? They say it is wrong. So I emailed a few of the proponents to ask; they wrote back saying that the limit exists and is correct (up to a factor 1/4).

So I started asking. Can anybody show a system in nature with a higher value? No. Can anybody imagine a system with a higher value? In Schiller's book on relativity I found a discussion of all sort of attempts to exceed the value, and all are in vain. As I was told, this is related to the hoop conjecture by Thorne; when energy gets too compressed, it turns into a black hole.

Wow. A maximum force in nature? This sounds like the best statement on general relativity since decades. I did a literature search. Nobody else talks about it! This seems like the greatest missed marketing opportunity for general relativity since its discovery. I cannot believe it! When will they give a Christmas lecture about it?

But now the other side. Do people get upset because they hear religious overtones? Do they see their religion in danger? Or are they upset because they missed the discovery? Is it envy?

There are two lessons form this story:
  • Testing who is stronger is a typical male occupation; and fights about maximum force seem about the most nasty ones.
  • Many physicists make truth into a taboo subject.
Maximum force confirms the theme of this blog: truth and fundamental physics research are usually separate. O tempora, o mores!




Update: two references.

http://arxiv.org/abs/hep-th/0210109  GW Gibbons, The Maximum Tension Principle in General Relativity

http://arxiv.org/abs/physics/0607090 C Schiller, General relativity and cosmology derived from principle of maximum power or force

14 February 2011

Please lie about electrodynamics - and about supersymmetry

On a recent entry in a now defunct blog, I received an angry comment that classical electrodynamics was exact, and that I should endorse this view. Every blogger receives comments from crackpots, but this one was particularly funny. Two issues were requested: I should denounce people that claim quantum effects and those that claim gravitational effects of electrodynamics - no joke. I never had been asked so clearly to refute the whole of modern physics, and to go back to the 19th century. I would like to point to a website explaining such views, but unfortunately, there is none.

Another harsh commenter claimed that supersymmetry cannot be refuted, because it is correct, though yet unconfirmed. A few days later, the LHC released data showing that the latest search for superparticles - gluinos in this case - was unsuccessful.

Some people will not be convinced by any data whatsoever.

13 February 2011

Arkani-Hamed prefers spaghetti to supersymmetry

I am kidding - but only a bit. In his suit-wearing talk in Princeton of which I have written before, there is one moment where Arkani-Hamed seems to hesitate. He says that fundamental physicists need to throw space-time out of the window. Then he adds that usually, before doing that, they introduce many complications into space-time, such as higher dimensions and fermionic coordinates. But if you watch that moment again, you get the impression that he is hesitating.


Schiller's spaghetti model realizes what Arkani-Hamed was hesitating about in his talk: it changes directly from a situation with space-time to a situation without. If I understand it well, the spaghetti model describes continuity as thermal average, and this average is not possible at high energy. So space-time is thrown out of the window directly, without making it complicated beforehand.

In conclusion, Arkani-Hamed should prefer the spaghetti model to supersymmetry.

11 February 2011

Nature vs. physics propaganda

The difference between nature and physics research becomes most apparent in the topic of "higher dimensions". Higher dimensions are an example of propaganda: a false statement that you must believe in order to be part of the system.

Additional dimensions are in contrast with every experiment known to man. So it is somewhat natural, but still sad, that an important proponent of the idea is a woman: Lisa Randall. And a woman writing about this nonsense is more cited than almost all Nobel prize winners on particle physics! It shows that the higher dimension propaganda has been really effective.

In a few years, people in fundamental physics will have a bad awakening. They will wake up one day, and say: why have we believed all this nonsense for so long? And then some soul-searching will take place.

The best solution is to stay away from the propaganda.

10 February 2011

Nature: with or without time? Men: with or without women?

The time interval (Gh/c^5)^(1/2), the Planck time of about 10^(-44) s, is the smallest measurement of time that has any meaning.

At least, that is what most physicists say. But philosophers disagree, usually with deep conviction: "Without continuous time, we cannot think! Without continuous time, nothing makes sense. Time must be continuous - there is no other option!" And many physicists agree.

It is like the old saying: a man cannot live happily with a woman; and a man cannot live happily without one.

You can find both sides discussing fiercely all over the literature (both about time and about women). And all arguments are usually convincing. Therefore, in this discussion, both sides must be right - and both must be wrong. But how?

Reconciling the two sides is the main problem of quantum gravity. It must be done carefully.
  • Without continuous time, classical physics, quantum theory and general relativity make no sense. Energy conservation makes no sense. Symmetries make no sense.
  • With continuous time, there is no way to resolve the contradictions between quantum theory and general relativity. General relativity does not allow point masses. Short times and distances blow up quantum field theory.
This problem resembles the contradictions between the continuum and atomic descriptions of matter. So, are time and space like a solid, a liquid, or a gas? Solid is impossible: isotropy would be lost. Gas? Is isotropic, but space cannot be made of particles; how would they differ from the usual particles? Liquid? Gives the same problems as gas. Ouch - there is no simple solution.

Now come the crazy men. They have proposals en masse:
  • Supersymmetry says: space-time has fermionic coordinates (no joke).
  • String theorists say: space-time is continuous but 10 or 11 dimensional and fermionic (no joke).
  • Non-commutative people say: space-time is non-commutative (no joke).
  • Relativity researchers say: space-time has really only 1+1 dimensions (no joke).
One thing is sure: all these proposals talk about things that cannot be checked by experiment. (This is easier with the women-men issue.) All these proposals are complete nonsense: untested, and untestable. This is not physics; this is daydreaming.

So modern fundamental physics has become a world in which daydreamers are normal; they are respected, and worse, they are taken as examples to follow.

Try this out: tell one of these men that his ideas cannot be tested. He will jump at you. Try it. An enraged lion is easier to handle.

9 February 2011

Cooking spaghetti to make elementary particles

Here is something that kept me scratching my head for a few days. I have read many crazy theories of everything, but this tops them all: the strand model. Basically, the idea of Christopher Schiller is that nature is made of cooked spaghetti. Yep, cooked spaghetti.

Well, he claims that vacuum is made of fluctuating "strands", and that particles are made of knotted "strands". He then claims that quantum theory follows from this; and claims that general relativity follows; and claims that the standard model follows. He claims that quarks, CP violation, P violation, asymptotic freedom and so forth all follow. Yes, he is serious.

This is positively the most crazy thing I ever read. But this is not your average crackpot. The guy knows particle physics, field theory and general relativity. Like me, he claims that supersymmetry does not hold, and that higher dimensions do not exist. I cannot hide my pleasure to have found somebody who shares my opinions on these matters. But spaghetti?

Why GUTs do not work

In the standard model, the origin of the values of the coupling
strengths is mysterious. It takes only a few seconds to understand that GUTs do not solve this problem; GUTs just shift the problem away by one level. The same is true for supersymmetric GUTs.

Also the number of particle generations is not explained. Of course, one can claim that the number comes from the GUT Lie group [insert your favorite one here]. But what determines the Lie group? GUTs do not provide an answer. Again, the solution of a problem is just shifted away, into a region of higher abstraction.

GUTs also have another tiny issue: all GUTs that have been tested contradict experiment.

Short summary: GUTs do not solve any problem of the standard model and they do not agree with experiment. So why are they popular? Because there is a lack of better ideas. But if an idea does not work, we should drop it, not continue to pay attention to it.

Heretics and Scientists

It is fashionable to say that science and religion do not clash, but complement each other. That is wrong. Here is why.
  • The standard model contradicts the existence of angels. Angels cannot exist in the standard model. But a catholic must believe in their existence.
  • The standard model contradicts the existence of miracles. But a catholic must believe in their existence. This means, for example, that all cases of stigmata are fraud. There is no virgin birth. There is no everyday creation of matter or energy.
  • The standard model contradicts transubstantiation, which happens during mass. (Look it up in wikipedia.)
  • The standard model contradicts resurrection. This follows from thermodynamics.
If you deny any of these ideas consistently - in particular, if you do no publicly - you are a heretic. So there is a sad, but clear answer: physics and catholic christian faith contradict each other. You have to choose.

Fed up with supersymmetry

In a recent posting somewhere, a string theorist answered the question how string theory could be disproved experimentally. He did not answer: by not finding supersymmetry, or by lack of hints for higher dimensions, or by showing that dark matter is purely made of black holes, or by showing that the anomaly issue can be solved in other ways. He answered that essentially it is impossible to prove string theory wrong, because it is correct and established. For people like him, string theory is not a description of nature, it has become a mental condition.

It can only be repeated: there is not a shred of experimental evidence for supersymmetry. It is a brainchild of a number of theorists in the 1970s that lacked better ideas. (I do not even mention higher dimensions, which is a false idea whose track record is even worse: it never led anywhere since about 100 years.) Supersymmetry was invented to poke a hole into the Coleman-Mandula theorem, which was seen as a stumbling block to unification by people with too narrow an imagination. But there are dozens of other options to achieve unification. Why are thousands of people still riding the dead horse called supersmmetry? The whole situation is so depressing that is starts being disgusting.

It will not take long and we will have the following multiple choice question: Which one does not fit into the list: Delusional, paranoid, phobic, superstitious, string theorist? And the answer will be: none - all of them live in dream worlds.

Searching for a TOE where there is no light

In 2011, fundamental physics is in a mess. None of its fixed ideas worked.
  • GUTs do not work. They do not explain coupling constants, nor masses, nor anything of great importance. And most of them are falsified by experiment.  They do not have clear principles.
  • Extra dimensions do not work. They do not explain anything, nor is there experimental evidence in their favor. They do not have clear principles.
  • Supersymmetry does not work. It does not explain coupling constants, nor masses, nor anything of great importance. Most of its predictions have already been falsified. And it does not have clear principles.
  • Loop quantum gravity does not work. Rovelli's 25 year summary is a depressing read; loops do not explain anything new, nor do they make experimental predictions of anything new. They do not have clear principles.
  • String theory does not work. It does not explain coupling constants, nor masses, nor anything else. It does not have clear principles.

About all this work from the past 100 years, Gell-Mann's criticism seems the best: no approach has clear principles. Gell-Mann tells that Einstein's general relativity was easy to discover once the principles where clear. And he adds that nobody is doing the same in fundamental physics.

If clear principles are the light that helps searching, Gell-Mann is
thus saying that people are all searching where there is no light.
But Gell-Mann's criticism is much nastier than that. The LHC will not help in deducing new principles. It will just provide data. Principles must be deduced by researchers. And, as Einstein showed, a researcher does not need experiments to deduce them. He needs experiments to check them, that is sure. But he does not need experiments to deduce them. So Gell-Mann is calling all researchers at least "blind" - but maybe he means "stupid"?

Fundamental Physics Research at the Institute of Retarted Study in Princeton

My hero Peter Woit points out this talk from Princeton: http://video.ias.edu/stream&ref=418 . You will not believe what you hear and see. Arkani-Hamed is a professor in a small institute there, and he shows with every sentence that Steven Weinberg at age 78 is still a better speaker and thinker than others at 38.

Arkani-Hamed starts by showing that he knows special relativity as well as your high school teacher next door. But then his talk takes a strange bend: he rapidly lowers the quality to a much lower level:

  • He makes slides like a high school student.
  • He does not know that the plural of `phenomenon' is `phenomena'.
  • He claims that higher dimensions exist (which is wrong), and that supersymmetry exists (which is also wrong).
  • He talks about AdS/CFT and dualities in a way that is so simplified that nothing sensible remains.
  • He explains that anybody who is doing anything incompatible with string theory is doing bad theoretical physics (which is wrong), and therefore such people are not at his institute.
  • He comes back to supersymmetry and fermionic coordinates (which are a pure figment of the human mind, and contradict reality) and claims that they are the only possible solution to all theoretical problems of the standard model (which is wrong).
  • He claims that supersymmetric particles exist and will be found soon (which is wrong).

In short, he gives a talk full of ideas from the 20th century, all known to be wrong, and calls the talk "Physics in the 21st century"!  At least in the field of fundamental physics, he shows impressively that his institute can be safely renamed as the Institute of Retarded Study.

What will happen as soon as supersymmetry and higher dimensions will be definitely shown not to exist in a few years? I bet that the Institute or some nearby institution will give him a promotion or a prize, for his "outstanding contributions to fundamental physics". Watch my lips.

Multiple Universes and Personalities

Whoever has seen Brian Greene has enjoyed his friendliness, charm and intelligence. His personality shines also in his books. But recently, something awful happened: he now talks about the "multiverse".

If the universe is defined as all there is, what can a "multiverse" be? Nothing - it cannot be.

Conversely, a "multiverse" can only exist if one redefines the universe to a concept that does not contain everything. But then it is not a universe!

Following the "multiverse" nonsense, in another universe, there is another Brian Greene saying the opposite of what he is saying in this one. Which of them should we believe?

How can people get away with the "multiverse" nonsense? Are they not married? Don't they have real friends who tell them? One scientist that does not follow reason - that might be a sad story. But dozens, hundreds of such scientists? That is an epidemic!

Scientists only talk about things the can measure - things they can interact with. So maybe the Brian Greene we know
is constantly hearing all the voices and opinions of all the other Brian Greenes in the other universes, and he must constantly navigate through this cacophony? Maybe he has heard from another Brian Greene in another universe that the less reason he uses, the more books he sells?

The more mundane explanation might be, however, that the multiple Brian Greenes are his multiple personalities. To contain the epidemic, we need more therapists. But in this universe, please!

The Comic Mathematics Institute

You can win a million dollars if you solve the following mathematical problem:

Prove that for any compact simple gauge group G, a non-trivial quantum Yang–Mills theory exists on R4 and has a mass gap Delta > 0.

This is told in detail here. You also must prove this to the standards of axiomatic quantum field theory. But this is not the only hurdle.

- You have to prove this for ANY (non-commutative) compact simple gauge group.  Unfortunately, in nature, only ONE is known: SU(3) (not SU(2), as it is broken), for the strong nuclear interaction.  Even if string theory were correct, there would only be a FINITE number of gauge groups in nature.  But the problem asks to prove it for all, INFINITELY many gauge groups.  So you have to prove something that is contrary to experiment.

- Then you have to prove it on R4, i.e., on classical spacetime.  Now, if string theory is correct, spacetime is not R4, but has 10 or 11 dimensions. And if a smallest distance exists, as many string theorists and most quantum gravity experts state, it does not even make sense to speak about 4 dimensions and space-time continuity.  It is not a secret: there is only some sort of space-time foam in nature.  So you have to prove something that is not really related to the real world.

- At least, a mass gap is indeed observed for the strong interaction; the precise size is unknown.  The observed mass gap is larger than 0.5 GeV/c^2, but it could be as large as the Planck mass, depending on whether glueballs are discovered or not.

So you get a million dollar if you prove for ALL groups that a mass gap exists on continuous, four-dimensional space-time, while to our best knowledge it only exists for SU(3) on space-time foam.  So, an institute offers a million dollars for showing that mathematics can contradict physics!  That is funny, but it is not illegal.  It is also funny that all these issues where known already when the problem was posed.  But again, it is not illegal.  Now, who posed the problem?  It was co-authored by Witten.

Wait a moment.  Witten, the smartest physicist on the planet?  Yes.  Is that the same Witten who says all the time that string theory is needed to solve the mass gap problem?  Yes.  And despite this, he formulated a math problem that makes no sense physically and contradicts string theory?  Yes.  And he was encouraged and helped by the smartest mathematicians in the world?  Yes.  And they all claim that showing that math contradicts physics is a 'millennium problem', as important as proving the Riemann hypothesis?  Yes.  And a serious institute offers a million dollars for solving a problem that makes no sense?  Yes - but wait, who says that they are serious?

Indeed, there is a final joke.  The rules of the institute state that they will "consider" giving out the prize also for a counterexample.  I have one: the real world!  I want my million dollars!

There is nothing funnier than real life.

Spaghetti without Higgs sauce?

Reading through Schiller's strange spaghetti model of nature, I found that he predicts that the Higgs boson does not exist.

Not that I agree, but his argument is more or less this. The Higgs is a massive spin 0 particle. Massive particles are knotted spaghetti (he calls them strands).  Some knots have symmetries. Spin 0 implies spherical symmetry. A knot never has spherical symmetry. Thus, no knot can have spin 0, and the Higgs does not exist.

Basically, this is one of those many old arguments that spin 0 is impossible for an elementary particle. The argument is very old, and was made to Salam, Weinberg and Glashow already in the 1970s. Does anybody know what they answered?

My own idea is that the Higgs will be found at around 120 GeV, and that it will be the greatest discovery of fundamental physics ever. Nothing in our environment points to the Higgs; predicting it required to understand nature in a deep and fundamental way. Finding the Higgs will be one of the greatest triumphs of scientific thinking.

Now, if by a quirk of nature the Higgs does not exist, we definitely are in trouble.

10 January 2011

Witten's interview

Italian TV shows a Witten Interview, mostly in English language, which you can watch here. It is really depressing. We see a smart man who knows the history of physics very well, explains it in simple terms; and then he switches to string theory as if it was a natural continuation, even though its principles are unclear, the definition is unclear, and no experimental predictions are made. Witten effortlessly switches from the clarity of quantum theory and general relativity to the muddled world of string theory. It is obvious that he lives in a different universe, detached from reality. Nothing what he says about string theory has any connection to reality or to the theory of everything. He is just fascinated by its mathematical richness, but not about its relation to nature.

Witten has decided to live in a dream world, a world where nature plays no role, but where only the mathematical difficulties count; a world where machismo is to say "I have understood something that you will not even understand in ten years."

Do you remember Feynman? He was proud to explain things even to his grandmother. Witten is the opposite; he is proud if nobody else understands what he does. His aim is not to unravel nature; his aim is to run as deeply as possible into a world of abstractions where nobody else has been, and where others have difficulties to follow. This is deeply depressing.

7 January 2011

Oh no - Witten gave up!

Witten now works on Khovanov homology. No, this is not a mistake. He is working on Khovanov homology. This is incredibly disappointing, for a simple reason: Khovanov homology is related to unification as much as dinosaur hunting is.

In other words, Witten has given up on finding unification - he is now doing pure mathematics.

To be honest, Witten has given up on unification already several years ago, but many hoped that he might come back to it. But now, as an old man, he has definitely left the quest. This is really really sad.

Witten was the inspiration for many people, with his uncompromising search for unification. But now he has chosen to do what he likes most: abstract mathematics that few people understand; abstract mathematics that has no relevance to physics.

That is the sadness of Witten's story: the smartest man on Earth has not succeeded in unification; he is so disillusioned that he left the quest.

Why did this sad story happen? His insistence to cling to supersymmetry, to higher dimensions and to string theory put him on the wrong path. And he was never able to backtrack.

For a really great man, look at Steven Weinberg. In contrast to Witten, he really is backtracking: Weinberg does not believe in supersymmetry any more, he is cautious about the Higgs, he does not believe in higher dimensions or strings any more.

That is the way one wants to grow old: getting rid of your prejudices, and getting nearer to wisdom. Instead, Witten has maneuverd himself into a prison defined by string theory. It will be interesting if he will ever leave it.

Mind you, this is interesting as a human destiny. The ideas Witten is proclaiming are not interesting since decades. What a sad story.

Many years ago, Buber once wrote a booklet around the question that God asks Adam in paradise: "Where are you?" Buber argues that God asks this question every day to every person: "Where are you?" Where are you on your path? Where are you in your life? Where are you in your calling?

Witten is a successful person by every standard one wants to apply. And maybe his calling was to show that string theory is a dead end. But was it really? Wasn't his calling to do more?