How to find really new knowledge? How do you find really new science? Not by knowing the result: this is what we don’t have yet. Any really new science will not be deduced from pre-existing science. Any really new knowledge will come out of the blue. Poetical logic will help before linear logic does.
The case of Dark Matter is telling: this increasingly irritating elephant in the bathroom has been in evidence for 80 years, lumbering about. As the encumbering beast did not fit existing science, it was long religiously ignored by the faithful, as a subject not worthy of serious inquiry by very serious physicists. Now Dark Matter, five times more massive than Standard Model matter, is clearly sitting heavily outside of the Standard Model, threatening to crush it into irrelevance. Dark matter obscures the lofty pretense of known physics to explain everything (remember the grandly named TOE, the so-called “Theory Of Everything“? That was a fraud, snake oil, because main stream physics celebrities crowed about TOE, while knowing perfectly well that Dark Matter dwarfed standard matter, and was completely outside of the Standard Model).
Physicists are presently looking for Dark Matter, knowing what they know, namely that nature has offered them a vast zoo of particles, many of them without rhyme or reason (some have rhyme, a symmetry, a mathematical group such as SU3 acting upon them; symmetries revealed new particles, sometimes).
[This sort of pictures is most of what we presently have to guess what Dark Matter could be; the physical separation of DM and SM is most telling to me: it seems to indicate that SM and DM do not respond to the same forces, something that my Quantum theory predicts; it’s known that Dark Matter causes gravitational lensing, as one would expect, as it was first found by its gravitational effects, in the 1930s…]
However, remember: a truly completely new piece of science cannot be deduced from pre-existing paradigm. Thus, if Dark Matter was really about finding a new particle type, it would be interesting, but not as interesting as it would be, if it were not, after all, a new particle type, but from a completely new law in physics.
This is the quandary about finding truly completely new science. It can never be deduced from ruling paradigms, and may actually overthrow them. What should then be the method to use? Can Descartes and Sherlock Holmes help? The paradigm presented by Quantum Physics helps. The Quantum looks everywhere in space to find solutions: this is where its (“weird”) nonlocality comes in. Nonlocality is crucial for interference patterns and for finding lowest energy solutions, as in the chlorophyll molecule. This suggests that our minds should go nonlocal too, and we should look outside of a more extensive particle zoo to find what Dark Matter is.
In general, searching for new science should be by looking everywhere, not hesitating to possibly contradict what is more traditional than well established.
An obvious possibility is, precisely, that Quantum Physics is itself incomplete, and generating Dark Matter in places where said incompleteness would be most blatant. More precisely, Quantum processes, stretched over cosmic distances, instead of being perfectly efficient and nonlocal over gigantically cosmic locales, could leave a Quantum mass-energy residue, precisely in the places where extravagant cosmic stretching of Quanta occurs (before “collapse”, aka “decoherence”).
The more one does find a conventional explanation (namely a new type of particle) for Dark Matter, the more likely my style of explanation is likely. How could one demonstrate it? Not by looking for new particles, but by conducting new and more refined experiments in the foundations of Quantum Physics.
If this guess is correct, whatever is found askew in the axioms of present Quantum Physics could actually help future Quantum Computer technology (because the latter works with Quantum foundations directly, whereas conventional high energy physics tend to eschew the wave aspects, due to the high frequencies involved).
Going on a tangent is what happens when the central, attractive force, is let go. A direct effect of freedom. Free thinking is tangential. We have to learn to produce tangential thinking.
René Descartes tried to doubt the truth of all his beliefs to determine which beliefs he could be certain were true. However, at the end of “The Meditations” he hastily conclude that we can distinguish between dream and reality. It is not that simple. The logic found in dreams is all too similar to the logic used by full-grown individuals in society.
Proof? Back to Quantum Physics. On the face of it, the axioms of Quantum Physics have a dream like quality (there is no “here”, nor “there”, “now” is everywhere, and, mysteriously, the experiment is Quantum, whereas the “apparatus” is “classical”). Still, most physicists, after insinuating they have figured out the universe, eschew the subject carefully. The specialists of Foundations are thoroughly confused: see Sean Carroll, http://www.preposterousuniverse.com/blog/2013/01/17/the-most-embarrassing-graph-in-modern-physics/
However unbelievable Quantum Physics, however dream-like it is, physicists believe in it, and don’t question it anymore than cardinals would Jesus. Actually, it’s this dream-like nature which, shared by all, defines the community of physicists. Cartesian doubt, pushed further than Descartes did, will question not just the facts, the allegations, but the logic itself. And even the mood behind it.
Certainly, in the case of Dark Matter, some of the questions civilization has to ask should be:
- How sure are we of the Foundations of Quantum Physics? (Answer: very sure, all too sure!)
- Could not it be that Dark Matter is a cosmic size experiment in the Foundations of Quantum Physics?
Physics, properly done, does not just question the nature of nature. Physics, properly done, questions the nature of how we find out the nature of anything. Physics, properly done, even questions the nature of why we feel the way we do. And the way we did. About anything, even poetry. In the end, indeed, even the toughest logic is a form of poetry, hanging out there, justified by its own beauty, and nothing else. Don’t underestimate moods: they call what beauty is.