Wednesday, July 24, 2013

About naturality, fine tuning, and the recent ego catastrophe in theoretical physics

There has been a considerable amount of discussion in blogs about the recent situation in fundamental physics. Do the results from LHC mean end of theoretical physics as a predictive discipline? Should we accept multiverse? Should we give up the notion of naturalness and accept fine tuning? These are the questions.

Phil Gibbs answered affirmatively to these questions in his blog post, Lubos wrote in more skeptic tone about these topics, and Peter Woit touched these questions in his comments about talks held in "Prospects in Theoretical Physics" - a program for graduate students and postdocs in Princeton. I wrote a couple of comments about the situation to the blog of Phil Gibbs and combine them below to a more polished commentary.

To my opinion the situation in fundamental physics should be looked from a wider perspective than that given by last forty - not very successful - years of theoretical high energy physics. Physics is definitely in crisis. Multiverse scenario and the view about necessity of fine tuning are conclusions from sticking to certain basic dogmas and refusal to admit that some of them might be badly wrong. I do not believe in all these dogmas and therefore do not share these pessimistic conclusions. I tend to see the recent situation as an ego catastrophe (we failed to find the theory so that there can be is no theory) which is outcome of accepting quite too many ad hoc assumptions as final truths. The situation can be also seen as the final collapse of reductionistic view about physics.

Alternative for multiverse

I believe that standard model symmetries have fundamental meaning being selected by their very special mathematical and physical character. GUT approach denied this possibility and led theoreticians on wrong track leading to standard SUSY and eventually to M-theory landscape. Also the fact that that the observed space-time is 4-dimensional very probably contains a very important message. But also the idea about 4-dimensional space-time became old-fashioned as super string revolutions revolutions followed each other. Sociological factors played a key role in the process. The attitude that thousands of brilliant theoreticians cannot be wrong allowed the situation to develop to a catastrophe made manifest by the findings at LHC. Even in this situation we are told that we should continue to follow the leaders and now give up even the belief that theoretical physics can explain and predict - the very motivation of super string theory originally. And this only because few generations of theoretical particle physicists became victims of mass psychosis. I will not eat this cake!

Standard model symmetries and also space-time dimension would be forced by the existence of geometry for infinite-dimensional space - "world of classical worlds" (WCW) consisting of 3-surfaces defining the analog of Wheeler's superspace. WCW geometry would realize a generalization of Einstein's geometrization program to a geometrization of the entire quantum physics rather than of only the classical physics. In the case of much simpler loop spaces the mere existence of this Käahler geometry fixes it uniquely for given group G defining the loop group (the existence of Riemann connection requires infinite-dimensional Kac-Moody group as isometries as shown by Freed). Standard model symmetries fix WCW (equivalently, the imbedding space H =M4×CP2 containing space-times as 4-surfaces) and the conjecture is that the mathematical existence of WCW Kahler geometry implies the same WCW. In accordance with the vision about physics as generalized number theory, standard model symmetries would have also number theoretical interpretation in terms of classical number fields. For instance, color group would correspond to isometries of CP2 and subgroup of automorphisms of octonions.

Concerning the fine tuning of coupling parameters: I believe that fine tuning of dynamical parameters is a basic aspect of quantum evolution leading to life as we identify it, but that standard model symmetries and space-time dimension are mathematical necessities rather than outcomes of evolution in some region of multiverse. p-Adic length scale hypothesis and selection of preferred p-adic primes provides a realization of the evolution selecting preferred mass scales for elementary particles. One should therefore accept the obvious: superstring model describes physics of 2-D space-time but - as has become clear - the attempts to deduce real physics from it are doomed to fail. Nature does not love tricks. Super-conformal symmetry remains the genuine contribution of string models to physics and the natural next step is to finally generalize this symmetry to four dimensions.

Reductionism as the basic cause of the catastrophe

I have spent much time during last decades in trying to understand why we have gradually ended up with this dead end and why the professionals are not able to see that there is no way out except radical rethinking of fundamentals. The history of physics is history of bold and often wrong generalizations. The naive length scale reductionism is one of the most influental of these wrong assumptions. It has been raised to a level of dogma and together with materialistic world view more or less defines nowadays what it is to be scientific. Fractality is very natural candidate for replacing the reductionism and quantum theory strongly encourages to give up materialism but still taken as givens by particle physicists. Reductionism is indeed responsible for many far reaching and probably wrong dogmas in recent day physics.

Reductionism forces us to believe that the strange findings at RHIC and LHC about heavy ion collisions and proton heavy ion collisions are consistent with QCD although here we would have the new physics that we are so desperately searching for. This relates also to naturalness. To my opinion, the attempt to understand mass ratios of various fermion generations group theoretically is doomed to fail. If one accepts the notion of length scale hierarchy implied by fractality there is no need to extend standard model symmetries. The fact that separate B and L conservation is consistent with experimental facts provides an additional strong constraint.

Length scale reductionism also forces us to believe that biology and brain science are just complexity, consciousness is just an epiphenomenon, and free will is an illusion. Theoretical physicists lose a huge treasure trove of anomalies which could help to achieve the sought for unification. As a consequence of this isolation from experiental reality, theoretical physicists have divided into half-religious sects such as super-stringers and loop gravitists. Feynman has talked about general relativists gathering to their yearly meetings and discussing again and again the same old dead ideas. Sadly, Feynman's characterization seems to apply quite well also to Strings 2013 and Loops 2013.

Length scale reductionism guides us to search dark matter from elementary particle length scales. This direction might be completely wrong: TGD suggests generalization of quantum theory by introducing the hierarchy of effective Planck constants and in this framework dark matter as quantum coherent phases would emerge in long length scales. Ironically, already Tesla made observations, which one might be interpret as indications for the existence of something behaving much like dark matter in TGD sense. Tesla spoke of "cold electricity" not seen in ampere-meter but as a child of his time assigned with it what he called aether particles. Did Tesla discover the dark matter for more than century ago? One cannot exclude this possibility since his experiments typically used high voltages, low frequencies, and using sudden pulses resulting in switching on of electrical circuits and in this manner testing the boundaries of Maxwell's theory in long rather than short scales (as particle physics does). In this context one must mention also the strange quantum like effects of ELF radiation on vertebrate brain and the fact that cell membrane resting potential corresponds to an electric field above the dielectric breakdown in air. Tesla's vision about future technology was also surprisingly far reaching and he also saw a possible connection with the energy technology and biology: his ideas are still revolutionary. To me the example of Tesla demonstrates that the history of science is not steady linear evolution but a continual fight between mediocrits and visionaries and mediocrits quite too often win in the short run.

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

About the art of rediscovery

Lubos has been talking about recent progress related to firewall paradox of blackhole physics (see this and this). Lubos has been especially happy about Maldacena-Susskind proposal for wormhole connections as a correlate of entanglement. I believe that this idea as such is wrong and represents the last attempts to save the general relativity based view about space-time: to make real progress in quantum gravity one must leave the general relativity based view about geometry and replace it with sub-manifold geometry as done in TGD.

The idea about about geometric correlates of entanglement is however deep. The braiding of magnetic flux tubes connecting entangled systems would serve as a geometric and topological space-time correlate of entanglement. It also happens to be ten year old basic ideas of TGD. I have been talking a lot about it also in this blog - and probably also in Lubos blog and viXra log where Lubos has also often visited- and it is nice that my blog is read. Lubos however refused from any public blog communications because he believes that I suffer some fatal infective disease - maybe academic equivalent of leprosy;-).

As a matter of fact, I have been patiently waiting that some name would finally realize the depth of the idea about geometric correlates of entanglement and decide to rediscover it. Now my patience has been repaid. This correspondence has even got a name: ER-EPR correspondence. Maldacena and Susskind apply this idea to solve firewall paradox. This is very nice but to my opinion the idea is applied to solve a wrong problem. The idea of this caliber would deserve something much better.

I see the firewall paradox as a pseudo-problem due to wrong belief about what blackhole interior is (see this and this). In TGD framework blackhole interior is generalized and becomes Euclidian region of space-time surface. Firewall paradox disappears. The Minkowskian-Euclidian horizon is of course something very real: the outer surface of a line of generalised Feynman diagrams thickened to four-surface. If TGD view is correct, the applications are much more wider to every day physics, especially so in biophysics and a detailed vision about quantum biophysics is developing. Here is a something really juicy for a namy-enough rediscoverer!

Susskind already earlier discovered the p-adic number fields and applied them to solve some problem of some hopeless cosmological scenario inspired by string theory - much more intelligent applications are waiting for rediscovery - just visit my hope page and choose your favourite idea! Earlier Susskind rediscovered holography: in TGD framework it follows as a 4-D version from general coordinate invariance (see this). Few years ago TGD version of the holographic principle was replaced with a stronger form in which 2-D surfaces and their 4-D tangent space data carry the data characterising quantum state: effective 2-dimensionality.

Holography represents the oldest layer of quantum TGD born around 1990 when the vision about the geometry of WCW as space of 3-surfaces whose Kähler metric is determined by Kähler function defined by a preferred extremal of Kä:hler action - a 4-surface uniquely associated with a given 3-surface as analog of Bohr orbit: this is just a statement of holographic principle tying together quantum classical correspondence, general coordinate invariance, and making classical physics exact part of quantum physics. This became four years before Susskind's "The world as a hologram". Most importantly, TGD holography is holography in 4-D context and replaces the unphysical 10-D space with 4-D real space-time and - as it became clear much later - also leads to stringy description of elementary particles. I am eagerly waiting that the strong form of holography would be discovered by some name.

Also Tom Banks - the teacher of Lubos - has been busily re-discovering TGD related visions: his CV already contains hyper finite factors of type II1 and causal diamonds. I am really happy that big names understand the value of great ideas and are ready to take trouble of rediscovering them. It is of course a pity that they forget to mention the real father of the idea! But I of course understand that big names have much more important things to do than worrying about minor details like this!

Monday, July 08, 2013

About Concrete Realization of Remote Metabolism

The idea of remote metabolism - or quantum credit card as I have also called it - emerged for more than decade ago and zero energy ontology (ZEO) provides justification for it. The idea is that the system needing energy sends negative energy to a system able to receive the negative energy and make a transition to a lower energy state. This kind of mechanism would be ideal for biology, where rapid reactions to a changing environment are essential for survival and there is no time for sending a request for energy.

The model of remote metabolism is applied to biology. It is shown that the basic notions of the theory of Ling about cell metabolism inspired by various anomalies have natural counterparts in TGD based model relying on the notion of magnetic body. Remote metabolism can be considered as a completely general mechanism of metabolism with magnetic body of ATP or system containing it carrying the metabolic energy and sucked from it by the user. In particular, the role of ATP is discussed in Ling's theory and from the point of view of TGD inspired theory of consciousness.

It is easy to imagine new technologies relying on negative energy signals propagating to the geometric past and ZEO justifies these speculations. Remote metabolism could make possible a new kind of energy technology making it un-necessary to carry fuel. The discoveries of Tesla made more than century ago plus various free energy anomalies provide excellent material for developing these ideas, and one ends up with a concrete proposal for how dark photons and dark matter could be produced in capacitor like systems analogous to cell membranes and acting as Josephson junctions and how energy could be sucked from "large" magnetic bodies.

The model identifies Josephson frequency with the subharmonic of the frequency characterizing the periodicity of a periodic voltage perturbation assumed to correspond to cyclotron frequency in biological applications. Together with quantization conditions for charge and effective Planck constant leads to precise quantitative predictions for capacitor like systems acting as dark capacitors. Also a relationship between the magnetic field at magnetic body of the system and the voltage of the capacitor like Josephson junction emerges.

The predictions allow new quantitative insights about biological evolution as emergence of Josephson junctions realized as capacitor like systems both at the level of cell, DNA and proteins, and brain. heff can be related to Josephson frequency and cyclotron frequency and thus to measurable parameters. heff serves as a kind of intelligence quotient and its maximization requires the maximization of both the voltage and area of the membrane like capacitor system involved. This is what has happened during evolution. Indeed, the internal cell membranes, cortical layers and of DNA double strand in chromosomes are strongly folded, and the value of membrane electric field is roughly twice the value of the electric field for which di-electric breakdown occurs in air. Even 40 Hz thalamocortical resonance frequency can be understood in the framework of model.

See the new chapter About Concrete Realization of Remote Metabolism of "Biosystems as conscious holograms" for details.

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Evidence for M89 pion at LHC?

Lubos reported interesting news from LHC. The title of the post of Lubos was "Evidence for second Higgs boson at 136.5 GeV". The title is misleading and reflects the dream of Lubos that standard SUSY predicting 5 Higgs like particles could be found at LHC despite all the evidence against standard SUSY. What has been actually found is some evidence for the existence of a particle decaying to two gammas: this of course does not imply that second Higgs is in question. This is not the first time when Lubos is quite too hasty in his conclusions.

The article by CMS where the evidence is discuss is titled "Properties of the observed Higgs-like resonance decaying into two photons". A search for possible other resonance decaying to a gamma pair was made, and the results are given by figure 3 of the paper, which can be found also in the posting of Lubos. The figure demonstrates excess around 136.5 GeV. The local signficance is reported to be 2.73 sigma, which is far from the discovery value of 5 sigma. It must be emphasized that ATLAS does not see the bump: Matt Strassler draws from this the conclusion that there is nothing there. Also this logic is wrong: either ATLAS or CMS is wrong and we cannot a priori know which of them.

The basic LHC prediction of TGD is a scaled up copy of ordinary hadron physics. I have used to call this physics M89 hadron physics since it corresponds to Mersenne prime M89 whereas ordinary hadron physics corresponds to M107. The strange findings made already at RHIC and repeated at LHC for both heavy ion collisions and proto-heavy ion collisions in conflict with the expectations from perturbative QCD expectations could be explainable in terms of string like objects of M89 hadrons physics decaying to ordinary hadrons. If one takes seriously the observations of Fermi satellite suggesting the existence of particle with mass about 135 GeV and identifies it as the pion of M89 hadron physics, one can wonder whether also LHC has detected M89 pion from its decays to gamma pairs. Note that the standard interpretation of Fermi particle as a dark matter particle assignable to SUSY has been excluded. This would be encouraging but the experiences during few years have however taught that these bumps come and go and must be taken as entertainment in the dull life of theoretician.