Friday, August 31, 2012


Feynman has said that the life of scientist is the state of endless confusion. This is due to the skeptic attitude which means that every statement is always more or less plausible, never absolutely true. It would be so easy to just believe but this luxury is not for scientists.

In my own case the endless confusion is also due to my remarkable ability to make blunders. This ability must be unique to me since I have heard not a single scientist telling about possession of this gift, and many of them insist that I am not a scientist at all;-). The mechanism leading to the perception of the big blunder is always the same. Some days of depressive mood without any obvious reason. Then a sudden realization - almost as a rule during my daily walk - that I have done something horribly stupid. The discovery is followed by a deep feeling of shame. Probably something similar to that felt by all those innumerable discoverers of perpetuum mobiles who are told in detail how energy conservation and second law explain why their construct did not work in this demo and will never do so. Have I lived for vain? Has any-one read the article or chapter containing the blunder? How many people have discovered how stupid an error I have made? Or could I hope that no-one actually reads my scribblings? And if some-one does, could it be that this some-one understands nothing!

The long and tortuous task related to the understanding of Higgs mechanism and SUSY in TGD framework have been a rich source of blunders and erratic interpretations and I collected these Odysseia to two chapters (see this and this) which reveal all the miserable details of this journeys in theory landscape and at least show how to not to do it;-). I can of course console my self by saying that this is not solely due to my stupidity. In TGD all the particles follow as predictions of the theory: no fields are put in by hand as in the usual quantum field theory approach, where one can write Feynman rules immediately. It is obvious that if one starts just from the idea that space-times are 4-D surfaces in certain 8-D space, it takes some time and some blunders to deduce the particle spectrum and Feynman rules.

The latest electrifying experience during my daily walk was related to Higgs mechanism. In the previous shock for a month or so ago I had understood that 125 GeV particle identified usually as Higgs like boson very probably is not M89 pion as I had believed originally although it could be pion-like state. I had already earlier realized that TGD predicts two kinds of mesonlike states. Minkowskian mesons are counterparts of ordinary mesons assignable to long flux tubes with Minkowskian signature of the induced metric connecting different wormhole contacts at distance define by hadron size in question. For M89 hadrons it would be weak length scale. Euclidian mesons correspond to very short flux tubes connecting opposite throats of wormhole contacts. The latter are natural candidates for Higgs like bosons and can in principle be scalars or pseudoscalars. I assumed pseudoscalar but it does not actually affect the basic predictions.

There is a beautiful connection with color symmetry and strong u(2) identifiable as weak u(2). Color algebra decomposes to u(2) subalgebra and its complement transforming like 3+1 and 2+ 2bar respectively under u(2) having interpretation as imbedding of the electroweak u(2) acting as holonomies of CP2. One can construct fermionic bilinears transforming according to both representations and 2+2bar is the natural candidate for Euclidian pion identified as Higgs like boson. 3+1 - as a matter fact 3 alone (for a reason which can be understood is a natural candidate for the Minkowskian pion.

I of course identified Higgs like boson in terms of 2+2bar Euclidian pion. I had to construct the TGD counterpart of Higgs mechanism generating vacuum expectation of Euclidian pion giving domination contributions to weak boson masses and providing them their longitudinal polarizations. Here I made incredibly stupid mistake: for some mysterious reason I treated the Euclidian pion as 3+1 rather than 2+2bar! Certainly, a cognitive remnant from the original identification of 125 GeV boson as Minkowskian pion. I did not even notice that 3+1 gives rise to a modification of Higgs mechanism in which both photon and Z boson would remain massless. Amusingly, I have proposed for years ago that a phase in which both photon and Z are massless in cellular length scales exists and is highly relevant for the physics of cell membrane. Maybe this 3+1 Higgs is there and characterizes different phase.

After discovering the error it took one day to develop a correct - or better to say "more correct" - view about Higgs mechanism. Within few hours I felt myself happy. Truth is a marvelous healer.

  1. The final solution (I hope so!) came from the observation that TGD predicts two kinds of meson like states corresponding to Kähler magnetic flux tubes connecting wormhole throats of separate wormhole contacts and to throats of same wormhole contact. The first meson like states are "long" and have Minkowskian signature. Second meson like states are very "short" and have Euclidian signature. It would be Euclidian pions which take the role of Higgs like state. It is essential that these states transform as 2+2bar under u(2) subset su(3). In the first approximation Higgs potential is exactly the same as in standard model and the massivation of gauge bosons proceeds in the same manner as in standard model. Hierarchy problem due to the instability of the tachyonic mass term for Higgs like particle is avoided since the direct couplings to fermions proportional to fermion masses are not needed because p-adic thermodynamics makes fermions massive. Also the predictions for the decay rates remain the same as for standard model Higgs if tachyonic mass squared is taken as a non-dynamical parameter.

  2. What is new is that one can also find a microscopic description for the tachyonic mass term in terms of a bilinear coupling to a superposition a×YM+ b× I of YM action density and instanton term most naturally restricted to the induced Kähler form. This term also predicts that - besides the ordinary decays to electroweak gauge boson pairs mediated by same action as in the case of the ordinary Higgs - there are also decays mediated by linear perturbative couplings to a×YM+ b× I. Instanton density brings in also CP breaking possibly related to the poorly understood CP breaking in hadronic physics. The quantitative estimate gives a result consistent with experimental data for reasonable magnitude of parameters. Also a connection with the dark matter researches reporting signal at 130 GeV and possibly also at 110 GeV suggests itself: maybe also these signals also correspond to Minkowskian and Euclidian pion-like states.
Euclidian pion does not explain the massivation of fermions which has explanation in terms of p-adic thermodynamics. The couplings to fermions are radiative and cannot be proportional to masses. Besides solving the hierarchy problem, this identification could explain the failure to find the decays to τ pairs and explain the excess of two-gamma decays. Also a connection with the dark matter researches reporting signal at 130 GeV and possibly also at 110 GeV suggests itself: maybe also these signals also correspond to Minkowskian and Euclidian M89 pions.

For the details of the Odysseia see the new chapter Higgs or something else? of "p-Adic length scale hypothesis and dark matter hierarchy", and for the latest vision about Higgs the article Is it really Higgs?.


L. Edgar Otto said...


I am not quite sure I see where you are going with this personal perspective in regards to the geometrical concept. Is it an error or one that seems to be a state of confusion in reality as well as theory and perception?

But I do feel honest personal testimony is important for the critical evaluation of a work until its level is surpassed by greater wisdom, the comforting truth for awhile anyway.

If a chiral object like a muon creates its own "everything else" null space (see Rowlands) then we can imagine two types of such space as well as that distinction you make with such particles. So yes it evokes ideas of dark matter and related to further thoughts on the role of time and tachyon theory (as hinted in my simple post today on quasi-stable lattices.)

But the chriality is not everything or the most foundational thing for say galaxy creation from quasar like objects.

We may imagine the 3+1 and 2+2 formulations equally well so in a sense that is not a mistake while it can be a natural confusion. It certainly is not a mechanical blunder.

As there may be a picture of a previous state of the universe as to the precursor black hole like objects- a pre-hydrogen or neutronium era, certainly the physics of this state needs to be developed uniquely so there is still a vast world of work to do.


matti Pitkanen said...

To ThePesla:

I want to destroy the illusion that scientists do not make mistakes. If they do anything at all they do also mistakes. Trial and error is the most productive method in science. We should learn to laugh benevolently also to ourselves.

Ulla said...

I was terrified, but it does not seem so bad mistake.

Maybe more scientists than you have done this mistake? 2+2 could be the anyon-like state? The anyon can gain mass in a suitable frame?

Many say one failure in TGD is that he (you, Matti) never says he is wrong, and declare errors. They have not read, and then some texts are simply gone in silence?

Another 'error' is in the interpretation of Bohmian Mechanics, some say. Stochastic interpretation is also done, by J.S. Bell, Detlef Durr and others, in the continued effort to expand it to becoming a field theory. BM does solve the measurement problem, is said.

Matti Pitkanen said...

To Ulla:

It was a blunder, one of the many that every person in the field makes. Nothing significant at the level of principle. One could avoid making these kind of blunders publicly just by waiting for a couple of months after each idea and letting the text cool down.

There are of course endless pseudo-objections against TGD (actually objections against me) besides the one you mention.

One objection is that I make no explicit statements about what I assume and use circular logic. These critics have not even realized what TGD is about. The only assumtion is that space-times are 4-surfaces in certain higher-D spacetime. This is not much. The construction of TGD is therefore like solving an infinite-D crossword puzzle. The simplistic mechanical thinking applied when one postulates Lagrangian and deduces Feynman rules is completely useless in the problem of this caliber.

Second strange claim s that TGD has nothing to do with any well-defined mathematics. Third that TGD is only mathematics. And many others.

Never anything explicit about content: this is what reveals the rhetoric nature of these arguments.

Of course, the only objections that can be taken seriously are about contents, and about contents the critics have systematically refused to say anything. This is of course a big loss for the community since silencing of an idea of this caliber makes the progress impossible as the last decades of stagnation in fundamental physics have so concretely demonstrated. Constructing even a single coherent counter argument would force these people to open their mind and think.

Matti Pitkanen said...

To Ulla:

A couple of clarifications to avoid misconceptions.

TGD has nothing to do with Bohmian Mechanics. Classical physics is an exact part of Quantum TGD and this realizes holography and reduces it to (strong form of) general coordinate invariance. Holography has actually made its way to physics along other route but the connection with the general coordinate invariance is yet to be discovered and published in respected journal by some respected scientist. I am waiting.

How quantum TGD contains classical physics has nothing to do with how classical physics appears in Bohmian QM.

All existing "interpretations" of QM with Bohm's approach and attempts to reduce QM to classical physics (such as t'Hooft's approach discussed recently) represent attempts to solve the fundamental problem of quantum measurement theory without introducing the observer to the theory as part of the quantum universe.

Although observer can affect the spectrum of outcomes of quantum measurement by selecting the quantization axis, observer remains otherwise an outsider. To make progress in this respect, one must face the challenge of constructing quantum theory of consciousness. When one makes this attempt one soon leads to radical modifications of existing views: say the view about time which is at the core of the measurement paradox and also the ontology.

Matti Pitkanen said...

To Ulla:

The continuing crisis in theoretical physics (brings to my mind the unending economical crisis in EU;-)) is basically due to the refusal to update the fundamental assumptions. Examples are the assumption about reductionism holding down to Planck scale (whose existence is for some reason taken as granted!) and refusal to admit that quantum measurement problem is real and unsolved.

It is depressing to see that practically all the stuff flowing to hep-th is doomed to be useless from the point of view physics: and this only because the implicit fundamental assumptions are wrong. Intelligent people are wasting their time and resources.

A good example is landscape problem. Now Tom Banks - one of string gurus- finally had the courage to say publicly what everyone in the field probably knows but does not admit. Landscape is a figment of wishful imagination. He did not yet have the courage to get completely rid of the notion since it would have meant admitting that the entire compactification program together the notion of effective field theory are also fruits of wishful thinking. This would have meant saying that the theoretical physics produced since 1984 in so called frontiers of physics goes to paper basket. Going back to the roots is not easy.

I remember myself how difficult it was accept that the game with the notion of effective action and attempts to make sense of path integral had been waste of time (I did this for five years). After this crucial step it was easy to realize how simply everything is: replace space-time with the world of classical worlds and do what Einstein did in infinite-D context! Infinite-D Kahler geometry! This was the big principle needed.

Ulla said...

Ye, I know many of these things already. But in fact I am very ignorant :) I gave your earlier comment in a discussion and got this link back, telling it was ridiculous :) Minds are so many...

In Penroses lecture about twistors from april 2011 20 min, he says that complex numbers, like the quasiparticles, make up one single dimension. This is maybe where the thinking drifts away? I think this is a very important statement?

Ulla said...

The obsrever effect is in the hidden dimensions, they say. As consciousness. In certain conditions they 'open up'. Those hidden things are just ad hoc.? Nobody has yet explained why the Universe is 'on the edge', and why it has to be so. (It is one reason I believe this Higgs finding is important, but the interpretation is something else.)
Then they come with a just as ad hoc 'cosmological constant' or 'Planck scale' and 'quantization'. Bosons give energy but it is not in the bosons themselves, as little as it is in the fermions. One place where the BM goes wrong?

L. Edgar Otto said...

Well, apparently the string theory community and dark cosmology is thriving well with Einstein's self declared blunder or mistake.

The same sort of blunder or naturally confused issues of chirality (as in the galaxies) can have supersymmetry consequences or analogs. I post today again a simple model to show the patterns. Sept. 1

The same question or so called errors should of course be asked on higher dimensional level such as 8 or 16 dimensions of the physically concrete or the more abstract notions.

Ulla, I related this to consciousness in the form of precognition like ideas as in your question and comment here to Matti.


Ulla said...


Is this book good?

Ulla said...

In the link above about Penroses twistors he admit that he was wrong earlier and that many has continued to use his wrong first draft, in spite of his corrections.

Matti Pitkanen said...

Concerning real blunders. t'Hooft in his days of youth -much before this talk about reducing QM to classical physics or to cellular automatons - published an article related to standard model. Claus Montonen talked about this article in his lecture: I have vague memory that it involved instantons.

He made a little blunder- lacking 2*pi or something - something infinitesimal according to my standards for a blunder;-). After a miracle took place: numerous theoreticians published same calculations as "independent calculations" and each calculation contained the same little blunder just at the same place!

Matti Pitkanen said...

Concerning blunders which are not actually blunders but wrong guesses in absence of experimental data. Einstein's cosmological constant is a good example of this. One cannot exclude it by any logic and the motivations of E for cosmological constant was the belief on stationary non-expanding universe - later excluded experimentally by Hubble's finding.

Lambda -but with opposite sign compared to Einstein's Lambda- has returned to physics and used to model accelerating expansion in GRT framework.

It was surprise that it popped up also in TGD framework at fundamental level rather than only a phenomenological parameter. The construction of preferred extremals leads to Einstein's equations with cosmological constant as consistency conditions: E's equations follow just from the local conservation of energy momentum tensor for Kaehler action: the same condition as in the original derivation of Einstein by the way!

In TGD E's equations do NOT follow from Einstein Hilbert variational principle: for this option local conservation would be implied by field equations rather than vice versa! Very delicate but important difference.

In TGD E's equations guarantee that field equations for the preferred extremals algebraize to a form very similar to that for string world sheets (replaced by space-time sheets in TGD).

In TGD G and Lambda are not assumed as inputs but their values follow as predictions and can have a spectrum of values. In very short scales- for space-time surfaces representing string like objects and elementary particles Lambda is definitely non-vanishing.

To me the lesson is that Einstein's equations are not derivable from a variational principle. This would imply that Noether currents for the analogs of translations vanish and space-times are vacua in this sense. E's equations characterize preferred solutions analogous to Bohr orbits and guarantee the integrability of the theory: very strong algebraic similarity with the dynamics of string world sheets emerges.

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