Thursday, July 26, 2007

Comments about Higgs

Kea has talked about Higgs in her block. I wrote my comments but this morning's comment was so long that I preferred to use my own blog. I just glue the text below.

1. Mathematicians and Higgs

Kea mentioned that great mathematicians develop fancy frameworks trying to incorporate Higgs as something more fundamental. My feeling is that mathematicians take quite too passive attitude to the problem by using their precious skills only to build complex mathematizations of the physicist's ideas. Why not try to assing new physics to these fascinating structures? For instance, I really wonder why mathematician like Connes is satisfied in only reproducing standard model couplings using his wonderful mathematics and incrediable mathematical insights and skills.

2. Is Higgs field something fundamental?

As Kea, I see the standard model Higgs mechanisms as a manner to parameterize the masses of particles, not much more and certainly not "God particle".

I see however no general reason why scalar particles with non-vanishing electro-weak quantum numbers could not exist and contribute to effective masses of particles by generating coherent states (by the way, there is important delicacy involved: scalar particle in TGD framework is only M4 scalar, not CP2 scalar). Both gauge bosons and Higgs are bound states in TGD framework, not fundamental fields. Elementary gauge bosons are understood as wormhole contacts connecting two space-time sheets with light-like throats carrying fermion and antifermion quantum numbers: wormhole contact is what binds. This picture is unavoidable if fermionic fields are free conformal fields inside throats.

3. Can Higgs expectation prevail in cosmic length scales

The idea that Higgs vacuum expectation interpreted in terms of coherent state would pervade all space-time does not look very attractive to me either.

In TGD situation is different: Higgs expectation as a coherent state would be associated only with gauge boson space-time sheets. Elementary fermions correspond to single light-like wormhole throats associated with topologically condensed CP2 type vacuum extremals and coherent states of Higgs do not make sense for them although they couple to Higgs in the sense of generalized Feynman diagrams.

p-Adic thermodynamics explains fantastically fermion masses and there is a nice geometric interpretation for this aspect of massivation: random light-like motion looks like motion with velocity v<c in a given resolution: hence average four-momentum is timelike. p-Adic thermodynamcis describes this randomness. In case of bosons p-adic temperature T=1/n would be low and this contribution would be negligible as compared to Higgs contribution. The prediction of top quark mass is in the rage allowed by its most recent value about which Tommaso Dorigo told some time ago and here is one of the killer predictions.

4. Quarks do not give the entire mass of hadron

As Kea mentions, an experimental fact is that quarks contribute only a small portion to baryon mass so that Higgs mechanism cannot be the whole story.

TGD prediction for quark contribution to proton mass is 170 MeV. The rest would come from super-canonical bosons, which are particles having no electro-weak interactions and electro-weakly dark. They are elementary bosons in a strict sense of the word. Their masses can be calculated from p-adic thermodynamics and assuming same topological mixing as for U quarks (natural since only modular degrees of freedom of partonic 2-surfaces are involved), one can understand hadron masses if one assumes proper contents of these particles for hadrons.

One can of course criticize. The supercanonical particle content of hadron is deduced from the requirement that hadron mass is predicted with accuracy better than per cent and not yet predicted from basic principles. Also the integers k labelling p-adic length scales of quarks is deduced from hadron mass and depend on hadron. However, for neutrinos it is an experimental fact that several mass scales exist: something very strange when one recalls the standard text book explanations about how incredibly weakly interacting neutrinos are.

5. The question

The question is whether one takes particle masses as God given or not. Or stating it somewhat differently: when particle physicists are ready to accept the p-adic mass scale of particle mass scale as a new discrete dynamical degree of freedom? If they are ready to this the mystery number 1038 of particle physics reduces to number theory. Of course, those outside quantum gravity and particle physics communities have enjoyed the beauties of fractals for quite a time: dare I hope that also particle theorists might some day consider the possibility that Planck scale is not the only fundamental scale?

Quite generally, the question is whether one wants to stick to the framework of QFT or string models or whether one is ready to accept new mathematical and physical ideas and look whether they might work. Both top-down and bottom-up approaches are needed and one cannot avoid dirty hands. p-Adic massivation is very concrete idea involving both these approaches.

6. Devil as a master organizer

I am afraid that institutional inertia is too strong for anything to happen in time scale of decade. I recall a story from Krishnamurti allowing to understand how spirituality transforms to religion transforms to church transforms to fundamentalism transforms to terrorism and USA in Iraq. Or how hadronic string model suffers a sequence of transformations leading to the philosophy that physical theory need not predict anything if it happens to be M-theory. Or how particle physics developed from an anarchy of ideas to standard model to the recent situation.

Oh yes, the story! It happened, as it sometimes happens, that someone discovered the final truth, nothing less. The nearest assistant of Devil got very worried and rushed to Devil's office to inform his employer about the situation. Surprisingly, Devil was not worried at all and his only comment was "No problem, let us organize it!"


Kea said...

Hi Matti. The statement

The question is whether one takes particle masses as God given or not

pretty well summarises the situation. It seems that you, and Tony Smith, and Carl Brannen, and anyone working on the mad side of the fence all have precise post-QFT predictions ... whereas people who like God-given masses aren't even trying to make real predictions.

Matti Pitkänen said...

You are right, what distinguishes people at different sides of fence is the belief or lack of it on existing formalism.

I think that to us at the wrong side of fence it is utterly obvious that it is not even possible to articulate the mass problem using the language of QFT.

What this language allows to do naturally is scattering of free elementary constituents, and QFT fails in the case of bound states: it is well-known secret that Bethe-Salpeter for QED fails for hydrogen atom.

Some very essential physics is missing. My opinion is that this something is the replacement of point like particle with extended object, 3-surface in TGD framework which in case of bound states means that you do not have two correlated points in M^4 as in Bethe-Salpeter but two particles condensed on space-like 3-surface
and having space-like separation as in the case of Schrodinger equation.

In string model context you get massless states plus Regge trajectories but still the massivation can be understood by postulating that field theory limit exists and believng in Higgs mechanism as the only source of mass. That this framework is not yet enough to get hydrogen atom correctly is obvious from the fact that you cannot put proton and electron at same string since topological sum is trivial for 1-D objects.

For long time I tried to believe that QFT limit might exist in TGD framework but finally gave up. A completely new description without mathematically ill-defined path integrals is needed and here I believe that category theory comes in rescue and changes the whole manner to see what S-matrix is.

Generalizations of S-matrices to complex square roots of density matrix characterize states in zero energy ontology unifies density matrix and S-matric and you get groupoid structure. This must mean enormously powerful constraint. Instead of a lonely autistic S-matrix you have a whole groupoid of them obeying strict social rules! This is like introducing group theory into wave mechanics;-).

Path integral of course must catch something very important in clumsy manner, and groupoid structure might be the counterpart for the path integral. You cannot however go to the limit when the time interval in path integral becomes infinitesimal so that the counterpart of cutoff is automatically present by discreteness.

Anonymous said...

"random light-like motion looks like motion with velocity v < c in a given resolution: hence average four-momentum is timelike. p-Adic thermodynamcis describes this randomness"

I still don't understand your theory and the logic of p-adic stuff as I'm currently saturated with my own thinking but this sounds familiar.

I also associate stable mass configurations, as self organized structures that ultimately emerge out of a prior chaos. It seems that the chaos itself is unstable. There is no such thing as the "perfect chaos". This instability implies a dynamics. The question seems to be exactly what the stable or semi-stable states are. I think of the mass concept as a quantification of confidence in concepts. Which concepts I have a information abstract picture that any concepts is in equilibrium with feedback and emission of radiation. Where the radiation can be thought of as the emitters "discared information", when there is insufficient support to keep the status quo. The emission of information can (I think) be explain in terms of bayesian expectations. So information that is uselss relative to the emitter, may prove to containt information relative to the environment. When two observers send and emit the same thing, there is equilibrium. The observers can be anyway, two particles, or two parts of the universe.

I've always expected an association of the higgs stuff with something in the early phases of these constructions, maybe when dimensionality and spacetime appears? I still have trouble linking it all together though.


Matti Pitkänen said...

Thank you for comments.

These lightlike 3-surfaces are fundamental objects: as a matter fact by general coordinate invariance you can *choose* the 3-surfaces to be lightlike and in this representation the symmetries of the theory become manifest and also the unique formulation. The possibility to interpret them as random *lightlike* (and thus not completely random orbits of 2-surfaces reflects dimensional hierarchy for the representation of quantum dynamics of TGD: discrete number theoretic braids, stringy curves at partonic 2-surfaces whose orbits are these lightlike 3-surfaces, and which belong to 4-D space-time surfaces. n-Category theorists are speaking about analogous hierarchies.

I would not speak about emission of information but just emission of radiation: what mental images the absorbed radiation creates in receiver depends on the receiver. Written text does not probably generate same mental images in my daughter's cat as in me.

"Mental images correspond asymptotic self-organization patters formed under feed of metabolic energy" would be my expression for your idea about concepts in equilibrium. These mental images would communicate with each other and as subselves form their own society with bad guys and good guys fighting for metabolic resources and trying to behave. We at the next level of self hierarchy would be their gods, give them their Moses and Ten Commandments and try our best to kill the bad guys since they make also us unhappy.

Anonymous said...

Fence ? I see no fence... I only see narrow minds using the word crackpot to address others.


Matti Pitkänen said...

Postponed thanks to Tommaso for a friendly comment (thunder destroyed yesterday my modem: 100 euros, big money for me). I sincerely hope that you are right. What creates the impression of fence is the total silence plus discrimination in archives.