Thursday, February 23, 2012

Error in OPERA experiment?

The rumor mill in particle physics has gone rather wild. Lubos rumored just some time ago that CDF will provide additional sigmas for Higgs at 125 GeV. It turned out that CDF had found no evidence for the signal. Lubos rumored also about support for stop: not even indications had been actually found. The latest rumor is that OPERA collaboration has detected two errors in the experiment suggesting super-luminality of neutrinos: the first error would be technical and second one related to the analysis. I could not however make head or tail of the published popular pieces of text.

The reader is encouraged to find whether he/she can make any sense of the following cryptic piece of text (which is "popular" and should be therefore easy to understand!).

According to sources familiar with the experiment, the 60 nanoseconds discrepancy appears to come from a bad connection between a fiber optic cable that connects to the GPS receiver used to correct the timing of the neutrinos’ flight and an electronic card in a computer. After tightening the connection and then measuring the time it takes data to travel the length of the fiber, researchers found that the data arrive 60 nanoseconds earlier than assumed. Since this time is subtracted from the overall time of flight, it appears to explain the early arrival of the neutrinos. New data, however, will be needed to confirm this hypothesis.

As those bloggers who are unable to image modifications of Einstein's theory (see for instance this) do not hesitate to take the rumor as a final truth, and have no difficulties in forgetting that also other experiments have seen indications for the super-luminality. Sad to see that so many science bloggers behave as third rank politicians. This tends to give totally wrong view about people working in the field. My day was saved by Cosmic Variance, where the rumor was taken as a rumor and nothing else.

In TGD framework one has sub-manifold gravity and the operationally defined maximal signal velocity varies and can depend on particle species. I am however unable to fix the magnitude of the variation from the maximal signal velocity for photons quantitatively so that the possible neutrino sub-luminality cannot kill TGD whereas super-luminality can only support the notion of sub-manifold gravity. One must just wait and see.

Addition: There is now a New Scientist article about the possible measurement error. Two errors with opposite effects have been identified. The first error relates to a mis-functioning signal cable communicating the time measured by CERN clock to Gran Sasso clock and 60 ns lapse in signal transfer would mean that neutrinos seem to arrive 60 ns earlier than they should. For me this is not a question about whether Einstein was or TGD is wrong or right and it is interesting to see what the final answer will be. No need for ranting;-)!

Addition: New Scientist contains another popular article with title Lights speed limit is safe for now. Is some-one threating some-one? Why a possible anomaly which could have extremely far reaching consequences allowing to generalize Einstein's theory rather than destroy it, is seen as a threat? How people with this attitude can make objective decisions? How many scientific decision makers and researchers have this defensive attitude?

Addition: Matt Strassler has excellent blog posting about the situation in Opera experiment.


Luboš Motl said...

You're a complete idiot. Both the CDF Higgs evidence and the stop quark rumors are totally alive and you will be proved wrong.

If you don't even understand the popular report on the OPERA mistake, I recommend you brain transplant. A brain from a recently deceased person will be a huge improvement for you,

Ulla said...

Ah, Lubos, nice to see you here :)

But you could leave the bad language to your own blog, where you so successfully cultivate it. We don't need it here, thanks. Matti has the best possible thinking apparatus :)

Look what I found.

Li and DM. dark-matter particle could explain why the universe seems strangely low on lithium. If the idea holds up, it will be a boon in the hunt for dark matter...

This is EXACTLY what Mattis thinking apparatus has come up to.:D

The bits of information in favour of TGD begins to be quite dense, don't you think? Maybe time to think of an experiment that ev, would prove it or debunk it? Maybe you should join the team? Your thinking apparatus is of best quality, I hope? But you did not understand the scaling, you told once?

I am not so good in the thinking, when I am a female, you know that. It is torture for the cells :) So you need not bark at me.

Good with some progress. said...

Dear Lubos,

somewhat surprising to learn that you are here reading what I have written. My strong impression is that you are extremely selective in your reading habits and read nothing unless it is written on specially manufactured silk paper by very specially educated people with diploma giving right to do this;-). In any case, you have still your proclivity to bad rhetorics;-).

You bring in my mind the old fairy tale about prince who had been carefully isolated from the reality by the court. [By the way, I just read Oscar Wilde's version about the tale.] The prince of the tale realized his isolation.

Have you noticed that you are victim of a similar isolation but have created it yourself? Also you are well-come to the reality. Do it soon since reality might intrude your castle without asking whether it is well-come or not;-). said...

To Ulla:

I have indeed proposed explanation of Lithium problem based on TGD based view about dark matter. For instance, axion like states (much like pions) represent example of dark matter in TGD sense: see the chapter about nuclear physics in TGD Universe: .

Also New Scientist tells about the idea of explaining Lithium problem in terms of dark matter: .

99 per cent of proposed explanations of anomalies turn out to be wrong and same applies to anomalies themselves. This might well be true also in the case of neutrino super-luminality. I do not experience this as a personal problem since for me physics is not religious dogmatism but intellectual adventure.

Ulla said...

The two problems the team has identified would have opposing effects on the apparent speed.

On the one hand, the team said there is a problem in the "oscillator" that provides a ticking clock to the experiment in the intervals between the synchronisations of GPS equipment.

This is used to provide start and stop times for the measurement as well as precise distance information.

That problem would increase the measured time of the neutrinos' flight, in turn reducing the surprising faster-than-light effect.

But the team also said they found a problem in the optical fibre connection between the GPS signal and the experiment's main clock.

In contrast, the team said that effect would increase the neutrinos' apparent speed.

Hamed said...

.Dear Matti,

Thanks a lot for the responding.
If it is possible for you please answer two questions about ZEO:
-One can assign to a ball on my hand a CD, this CD has two parts of positive and negative energies on it’s boundaries. Why do I feel only positive inertial energy of the ball, when I throw it?

-“Gravitational energy is the difference of inertial energies of positive and negative energy matter”
Then Gravitational energy of the ball on my hand is difference of inertial energies of which matters? More clarifications please.

So regards. said...

Dear Hamed,

thank you for excellent (and difficult!) questions. I try to answer as well as I can and also make clear what I do not understand well.

What you feel while throwing a ball is the reaction force - momentum transfer rather than energy! But this was not the gist of your question which I identified as

"Why we seem to perceive only the positive energy part of the state?"

a) Clarification: "Positive" is just a convention: I can assign it to either boundary of CDs and they keep the convention.

b) Why the question is non-trivial? The simplest identification for the U process discussed in earlier posting suggests that sensory experiences correspond alternately to state function reductions to positive and negative energy parts of the state. Time flip-flop! We do not however experience this alternation! It would mean a sensory nightmare - like seeing two movies alternately. We do not perceive alternatively the upper and lower boundaries of CD assignable to environment? Why?

c) What do I perceive sensorily? CD but in what scale? If the perceived world corresponds to a very large CD compared to my personal CD then the sensory input is always about the postive energy part of this very big CD.

This is the brief answer. I consider some issues related to U process in more detail in subsequent comment since I want to make absolutely clear that I do not understand them satisfactorily;-). said...

Continuation to Hamed:

You asked earlier about U process and this relates to your question that I already answered.

Basic question: Does U process occur

a) for the *entire zero energy states*


b) for *positive/negative energy parts* of zero energy states?

During years I have considered both options without clearly distinguishing them. Anything related to the notion of time is very difficult to all of us. We do not have brain for time.

The minimal proposal: U-process takes place for *positive* (negative) energy part of the state and is induced by a state function reduction to the *negative* energy (positive) part of the state. A kind of time flip-flop.

State function reduction and U process are dual to each other as also state function reduction and state preparation. This interpretation is minimalistic and possible only because of necessary breaking of time reversal invariance for zero energy states.

Objection: Our sensory perception can be identified as quantum measurement assignable to a state function reductions for upper and lower boundaries of our personal CD. Problem: our sensory perception does not jump between future and past boundaries of our personal CD (containing sub-CDS in turn containing…)! Why?

Answer: If our sensory perception is about CD which is much bigger than personal CD the problem disappears. We perceive from day to day the -say- positive energy part of a state assignable to this very big CD. The world looks rather stable.

Question: Could our sensory perception actually do this jumping so that sensory inputs are alternatively about upper and lower boundaries of personal CD? Could sleep-awake cycle correspond to this flip flop?

Answer: The geometric time span for quantum would correspond to the geometric time scale for our personal CD. In wake-up state we are performing state function reduction at the upper boundary of our personal CD and sensory mental images as sub-CDs are concentrated there. When we are asleep, same happens at lower boundary of CD and sensory mental images are there (dreams,…).

Question: What is the time scale assignable to my personal CD: the typical wake-up cycle: 24 hours? Why we do not remember practically anything about sensory perceptions during sleep period? Why do we forget actively dream experiences? Does the return to childhood at old age relate with this time flip-flop in the scale of life span: do we re-incarnate in biologically death at opposite end of CD with scale of life span?

Question: How the arrow of geometric time at space-time level emerges from the arrow of geometric time for zero energy states? Why do we experience that we move along space-time sheets to geometric future or equivalently: space-time sheets move with respect to us to geometric past?

Answer: The proposal (one of the many, see ...), which can be easily ridiculed, is that the state function reductions performed by sub-selves assignable to sub-CDs at the boundary of personal CD and representing mental images induce small time translations of space-time sheet tending to shift it as a whole to past: this induces the arrow of geometric time. Space-time sheet is like film which the curious audience in the movie theatre shifts to a preferred direction.

The subselves representing sensory mental images are tiny conscious entities and they are very curious! News are in the geometric future assignable to the space-time sheet and they want to know what is there and they use their volitional resources to induce a small shift to geometric past.

Why selves would be "curious": could this be understood by postulating a generalization of Negentropy Maximization Principle (NMP) stating that the information gain in quantum jump is maximal? Selves would be hungry information eaters. As a matter fact, our hunting for metabolic energy would not be about getting energy but negentropy associated with the entanglement! said...

Dear Hamed,

You asked:

"“Gravitational energy is the difference of inertial energies of positive and negative energy matter”
Then Gravitational energy of the ball on my hand is difference of inertial energies of which matters? More clarifications please."

This is just one possible identification. Not the only one and I have mixed feelings about it.

In any case, the identification of gravitational and inertial four-momenta based on generalization of coset representations for super-confromal algebra is the fundamental definition and generalizes Equivalence Principle. It does not require this identification but seems to be consistent with the identification.

The basic motivation for the proposal comes from the study of the extremals of Kaehler action which define space-time correlates for quantum physics.

a) Kahler action has gigantic vacuum degeneracy. Any space-time surface with CP_2 projection which is Lagrangian manifold (2-D CP_2 projection and vanishing induced Kahler form) is vacuum extremal. The symplectic transformations of CP_2 and diffeomorphisms of M^4 are symmetries of vacuum extremals. These space-time surfaces as such are not preferred extremals but very probably their small non-vacuum deformations are.

b) First interpretation: the Einstein tensor associated with the vacuum extremals is proportional to the average energy momentum tensor assignable to the small quantum fluctuations of the vacuum extremals. Einstein's equations would result as a kind of statistical description in long length scales (as in string models). G would be also a prediction.

c) Second interpretation - the one you are asking about. In the scale of CD defining measurement resolution sub-CDs have vanishing inertial energy. But what about gravitational energy, could it be positive for these sub-CDs?

One would obtain a non-vanishing gravitational energy as difference of positve and negative energies for zero energy states: E_+-E_-= 2E_+. This would be true for space-time correlates: vacuum extremals would have vanishing inertial energy defined in terms of Noether currents but non-vanishing gravitational energy defined in terms of Einstein tensor.

This would give also the equivalent of Einstein's equations for positive energy part of the state via E_+-E_-= 2E_+. These two interpretations could be consistent. More I cannot say.

Ulla said...

Just a comment.

The measurement tool decides the output, and the tool we use in our perception only feel the collapse or state function reduction (compare to a pulse), because this is the result of the phase shift made from both CD-cones. Are we then in the zero point, the lightlike point? I guess no. Because we are made of descreate matter.

The problem is in the measurement, made of tools which can only measure certain things. Today we have no tool to measure the other side of the cone? We can only measure the result, which is descreate? This for both ordinary and living matter. But living matter can computate more and better because it has an additional CD-cone of adelian charachter joining the zero point (at least at certain spots=the window-effect?). Remember the double 8D discussed some posts ago.

Hamed said...

Wow!, thank you Matti, it was too beautiful especially about U process. It’s near to cry ;-). I must control my emotion! said...

To Ulla:

One could say that our biological bodies could be thought of as collection of partonic 2-surfaces at the boundaries of CD and smaller ones at sub-CDs, their sub-CDs etc... Fractal structure. One can also speak of 3-surfaces and space-time surface by holography.

Localization to the tip of CD is wrong.

To Hamed: Be critica!;-)!!

Ulla said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ulla said...

Localization to the tip of CD is wrong.- this I cannot understand. maybe you got me wrong?

Orwin O'Dowd said...

In classical theory (where Lagrangian manifolds are sympletic) its the kinetic energy that is counted twice: E = V + 2K, the potential being by convention negative. Kinetic theory the models K in terms of collisions, but by Newton's third law there's another side to the kinetic action. This would involve strain in the particle, and a stress associated, like strong force.
But the circadian rhythm appears only with yeast and such (Kingdom of Fungi), along with fermentation pathways, which recycle denatured (heat-stressed) protein. So there is reversal of the internal entropy cascade, attesting Caratheodory's "geometry of entropy"! So mere bacteria don't dream, and can survive freezing!

Orwin said...

In the Romantic Era at Gottingen there was a way of founding geometry on astronomy, with stars represented by infinite points extending parallel lines.

Weyl picked up the parallels in his affine manifold. But modern quantum philosophy takes off with the view that distributive law does not apply. Certainly, the primitives are operators rather than numbers.

Zephir said...

The acceptation of most phenomena, which don't play well with mainstream physics follow the very evolution, similar to wake wave (or dark matter around massive bodies): after brief period of medial noise they're refused and slowly re-accepted again, actually the more slowly, the more controversial they are. The cold fusion is a typical example, but we have many other similar findings (room temperature superconductivity of J.F.Prins, antigravity of Podkletnov or gravitomagnetism of Tajmar).

In dense aether model the neutrinos (Falaco solitons of longitudinal waves) have a good reason for being slightly superluminal in the same way, like the photons (a Russel's solitons of transverse waves) have a good reason to be subluminal, at least in certain, IMO quite wide range of energies.

It means, I'm convinced, that superluminal neutrino concept is relevant - but the social pressure for their refusal is currently stronger, than their observational evidence. The existence of premature reports like this one, which advance the official channels for information spreading serves as an analogy for superluminal neutrino motion. said...

Surprisingly many who have written about neutrino super-luminality feel it as a threat for something. This does not help in the goal of achieving objectivity. My sincere hope is that experimenters do not feel the same way.

Personally I believe that only a generalization of Einstein's principles basic principles (Poincare Invariance, General Coordinate Invariance, and Equivalence Principle) solving huge number of other problems of particle physics is necessary.

The dependence of operationally defined maximal signal velocity on space-time sheet and particle type is a prediction of this approach.

My hope is still that the magnitude of this effect would be above measurement accuracy. If not, there are not much hopes about progress although there are small effects observed already by people who have done Mickelson-Morley type experiments supporting this.

Sad that genuine thinking is so extremely rare phenomenon.

Orwin O'Dowd said...

Hey Luboš, you rude character, the problem in TOE is that Oseledets theorem for Lyapunov exponents gives only time average, so the energy-momentum tensor in general relativity won't mesh unless reparsed as a geometric phase, likely the Berry phase.

"It is not possible to be original except on the basis of tradition."

"What is not understood is destined to be repeated."

Ulla said...

There is a popular finnish radioprogram 'The coffee hour' where they once discussed the thinking, and if our thoughts really are ours. It turned out that sometimes, as a child mostly, we can think genuinely own thoughts, but mostly they are adopted 'black boxes' and really not our own. 'Categorical thinking' is used as a term for big black boxes, and the smaller ones usually get on unnoticed. To think 'outside the box' is really hard, because then you must create new boxes of your own. This is what we call 'genuine thinking'.

People thinking 'outside the box' are usually not doing so in very high degree, and confronted with very personal, uncommon boxes, they usually also react with rejections. In reality they just think they think outside the box. They live in an illusion.

One of the basic difficulties when looking at uncommon boxes like TGD is that they still use the old concepts as 'rules' and then gets confused. It feels very hard to even have to give away many earlier truths and 'rules'. Usually this is where most stops and turn back.

But if they would continue they would notice that their old 'rules' can be seen from another angle, in another light. Light has not to be constant, there might be a 'crack'. This of course usually do not alter the old box, where light is constant, it just adds a new 'dimension'. There may be also a 'light bang'. But this 'bang' should have a bigger difference than 60 ns, which is one of the main numbers talking against this Opera result. It tells nothing about the phenomenon per se. The real difference would have to be a fraction of c? We don't have such clocks. The only thing we can say is that we have a problem with time (symmetry breaking), which is dependent on c.

Lisa Randall had a genuine solution. She offered a new dimension for gravity (something like the ether concept?). Tamara Davies also have a genuine solution, impact from the future as some 'backscattering'. Note that we always measure from the 'future'. Are there something wrong with the 'arrow of time'? We live in the 'past' and things comes to us from future (scattered/changed from some source). What we measure is always 'tired light', and we have no idea of what is real light. It is holistic? Is it white or black? It could be black (dark, not interfering), because the 'light' is only a result of scattering (interference) giving rise to tensions.

Note: To get rid of 'ad hocs' also require that we go to smaller and smaller boxes. Otherwise we simply cannot recognize ad hocs. One way that I personally have found good is to turn the question upside down. Then I noticed that our modelling of reality is also many times turned upside down :) Projections...

This became a bit lengthy, sorry.

Orwin said...

Oh well, axion-like particles (ALPs) are back in the game in gamma-ray astronomy, the Generalized Kahler Geometry is out:

And an exact fit via surface states to Berry phase:

So there's some cheer for you, Matti. But direct reduction of life from its watery medium to these terms I do not expect.

Cheerio! said...

The result of the Kahler geometry paper is that Kahler metric is derivable from Kahler function/potential: obviously also other basic tensors follow fro Kahler function.

I am a little bit astonished that authors tell this result to be something new. It is one of the most basic results about Kahler geometry.