Posts Tagged ‘LHC’

Higher Civilization: Ideas Rule

May 3, 2016

Gandhi was asked once what he thought about Western Civilization. He quipped:”It would be a good idea.” Hilarious. However, what Western civilization was became a rather uncivilized debate in 1914. What the engine of civilization is a better question. It is an idea easier to pin down. I propose:

What’s the ultimate idea generating the most civilization? That ideas should rule more than the rest.

The crazy Frenchman, Franky Zapata has now perfected the “Flyboard Air” (losing fingers in the process, as the turbines develop together 1,000 horsepower).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sAy9A3LLu4I

Some will sneer that flying has little to do with the advancement of thinking, but that would be erroneous. Such a flying machine requires great advances in energy density, miniaturization, and electronic control.

Franky Zapata's Preceding Invention

Franky Zapata’s Preceding Invention

Ideas are technology dependent, and that development, in turn, is economically dependent. Telescopes were initially developed in the Netherlands to scrutinize ships from further afield (with all sorts of military and economic consequences). Then Galileo got the idea to turn one towards the Moon, or Jupiter. It is unlikely that Galileo was the first to do so, but he was the first to describe it “scientifically” what he saw. Galileo was a university professor, so he had to talk about what he saw, and was taken seriously. But that does not mean he was the true originator.

One often hears that the US invented everything, but that’s only true when one forgets that others invented the same things earlier. Thus, actually, Alzheimer helps for becoming a great inventor, in one’s mind. (Claiming the superiority of some famous Anglo-Saxon thinkers is actually part of an exploitative mood, started with the “West Country Men”, Locke, Hume, etc.)

Inventions such as the first plane, transistor, and CPU happened in France of all places, not the USA (but they are attributed to the USA, just as Poincare’s ideas are attributed to Einstein). As the case of HIV (a virus discovered in Marseilles), when there are huge economic and political advantages at stake, the US president is given a Nobel Prize: prizes and power follow where the money is, and, ultimately, that’s where fracking works… The research leader of the HIV discovery never got the Nobel Prize (although a student of his did).

Franky Zapata has already invented these crazy water jet machines on which people stand and make acrobatics above water. More than 3,000 have been sold, worldwide. He  The French military and various security and rescue services have expressed interest.

Ideas are technology dependent, and that, in turn, is economically dependent. The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) just turned on again. LHC rests in winter, because electricity is too expensive then. Starting now, days are long in France (which is at the latitude of southern Canada), and French nuclear plants churn out cheap electricity. The LHC’s mighty radiation festers 100 meters below the French countryside, and nobody has complained yet that the worms were getting irradiated. Naively, physicist expressed their hope to find Dark Matter in the present run. There is five times more Dark Matter, at least, than Standard Model Matter.

For more French craziness one can consult: Highliners Versus Flysuit. Modern wingsuits were developed in France (the initial modern inventor died skydiving in Hawai’i; a century ago, a wingflier launched himself from the Eiffel Tower. He succumbed from a heart attack).

We are experiencing the richest times, ever, the mind has ever known. An example is the fighting which is developing with NASA’s future space telescope, WFIRST. WFIRST is a modernized Kepler telescope. Since the rough outline of the mission was launched, with a cost of 2.3 billion dollars, more than 5,000 planets were found. Not just that, but a flurry of questions. It is tempting to have those questions answered.

And moods are developing: first, why don’t we look if some of these planets are similar to Earth, complete with oceans and dinosaurs? Well, it turns out that now WFIRST could not block the main star light as well as it could have. Could we fix that? Yes, by floating a specially designed screen which would float far from the telescope, and whose artful geometry would prevent light to go around it (that can be done, with sharp petals interfering with light just so).

So should WFIRST be completed by a Star Shade? That’s another billion or so.

Poets of the trashy kind will say: enough of your planets, go live there if you can! Let’s go back to our landfills, help the poor, and worship the enemies of civilization! However, another mood is rising, deep down, and secretive: what if studying Earth-like planets would reveal new dangers ready to ambush Earth’s civilization? What if exo-paleontology could be a lifesaver?

Indeed. New ideas and new moods bring new, higher morality. Those who see in the Moon a message direct from god will find much easier to find a message direct from god to justify killing those they perceive as their enemies. Don’t laugh: Islamist authorities determine when the new moon happens (and of course they differ, an interesting conflict based on the refutation of the science of astronomy!)

In related news, the French Republic is threatening to withdraw from the TTIP (Trans Atlantic Infamous Plutocratic) negotiations:”Europe gives a lot, and receives very little in exchange”. French president Hollande observes: “We will never accept questioning essential principles for our agriculture, our culture and for the reciprocity of access to public [procurement] markets… At this stage [of talks] France says ‘No.’”

When ideas rule, and new ideas are born, so does craziness. At least from the point of view of the old logic. Once shown a new theory to explain Quantum Mechanics, what I call a Sub Quantum Physics, Niels Bohr sneered:”It’s not crazy enough!”

New ideas come with their own logic. Even when they are born from the old logic, it’s only if the help of much craziness. So we should welcome innovative craziness. Nearly all great discoveries started as fun and games.

Much of the stalling between what the future was imagined to be, eighty years ago (flying cars, etc.) has to do with the lack of innovation in miniaturized, ultra-efficient energy. So welcome to the Flyboard Air!

Patrice Ayme’

Philosophia Naturalis I

March 13, 2014

Philosophy is what inquiring minds have to do when we don’t know for sure, and before we know for sure. The latter is called science (OK, sometimes we have to revise our opinions drastically, as new axioms supersede the old ones).

I have sharply differed with professor Strassler in the past (he wrote at some point that physics was strictly defined by equations, and I sharply debunked that myth: it is obviously not even the case of mathematics; to his honor, he published my brutal objection).

My position, same as Archimedes,  Newton or Descartes, is that philosophy comes first. When a dashing scientific advance does not require new philosophy, it means it’s not that deep.

New Physics Principles Are Always Born From Philosophy

New Physics Principles Are Always Born From Philosophy

I have my own possible insights to propose in physics, but before I get there, let Matt Strassler expose the problem. I have done so myself in similar terms, but it’s refreshing to read a top professional do it so well, and to the point.

In a magnificent essay, “What if the Large Hadron Collider Finds Nothing Else?”, wonderfully philosophical, for a professional physicist, Mr. Strassler ponders how future science is guessed by exploring how we established our beliefs. That’s my kind of science:

“What will it mean, for the 100 TeV collider project and more generally, if the LHC, having made possible the discovery of the Higgs particle, provides us with no more clues?…

Before we go any further, let’s keep in mind that we already know that the Standard Model isn’t all there is to nature. The Standard Model does not provide a consistent theory of gravity, nor does it explain neutrino masses, dark matter or “dark energy” (also known as the cosmological constant). Moreover, many of its features are just things we have to accept without explanation, such as the strengths of the forces, the existence of “three generations” (i.e., that there are two heavier cousins of the electron, two for the up quark and two for the down quark), the values of the masses of the various particles, etc. However, even though the Standard Model has its limitations, it is possible that everything that can actually be measured at the LHC — which cannot measure neutrino masses or directly observe dark matter or dark energy — will be well-described by the Standard Model. What if this is the case?

Michelson and Morley, and What They Discovered

In science, giving strong evidence that something isn’t there can be as important as discovering something that is there — and it’s often harder to do, because you have to thoroughly exclude all possibilities. [It’s very hard to show that your lost keys are nowhere in the house — you have to convince yourself that you looked everywhere.] A famous example is the case of Albert Michelson, in his two experiments (one in 1881, a second with Edward Morley in 1887) trying to detect the “ether wind”.

Light had been shown to be a wave in the 1800s; and like all waves known at the time, it was assumed to be a wave in something material, just as sound waves are waves in air, and ocean waves are waves in water. This material was termed the “luminiferous ether”. As we can detect our motion through air or through water in various ways, it seemed that it should be possible to detect our motion through the ether, specifically by looking for the possibility that light traveling in different directions travels at slightly different speeds.  This is what Michelson and Morley were trying to do: detect the movement of the Earth through the luminiferous ether.

Both of Michelson’s measurements failed to detect any ether wind, and did so expertly and convincingly. And for the convincing method that he invented — an experimental device called an interferometer, which had many other uses too — Michelson won the Nobel Prize in 1907. Meanwhile the failure to detect the ether drove both FitzGerald and Lorentz to consider radical new ideas about how matter might be deformed as it moves through the ether.”

So far so good. Then Strassler deviates from reality with a bout of Einstein religion (attributing Relativity to Einstein, because the real discoverer was French)

It’s Poincare’ who invented and named the “Principle of Relativity”, and insisted that Lorentz get the Nobel  for the Lorentz transformation-Poincare’ Group; the only reason Poincare’ did not get the physics Nobel for Relativity is that he died in 1911: no Nobel was given for Relativity, as a result: it could not be given for the parrot because he parroted!

It’s not just a question of anti-French hatred, or scientific priority, but of logical causality (thus Poincare’ versus Einstein is a scientific problem of the most subtle type!).

Strassler: “In Michelson’s case, the failure to discover the ether was itself a discovery, recognized only in retrospect: a discovery that the ether did not exist. (Or, if you’d like to say that it does exist, which some people do, then what was discovered is that the ether is utterly unlike any normal material substance in which waves are observed; no matter how fast or in what direction you are moving relative to me, both of us are at rest relative to the ether.) So one must not be too quick to assume that a lack of discovery is actually a step backwards; it may actually be a huge step forward.”

After he published the proof of E = mcc in 1900, Poincare’ pondered a lot about the part in parenthesis above. So did I. My conclusion? Particles create space, that’s why they are always at rest relative to it. (This is a glimpse to a possible future explanation, I do not claim it’s obvious.)

Strassler: “Epicycles or a Revolution?

There were various attempts to make sense of Michelson and Morley’s experiment.

Some interpretations involved  tweaks of the notion of the ether.  Tweaks of this type, in which some original idea (here, the ether) is retained, but adjusted somehow to explain the data, are often referred to as “epicycles” by scientists.   (This is analogous to the way an epicycle was used by Ptolemy to explain the complex motions of the planets in the sky, in order to retain an earth-centered universe; the sun-centered solar system requires no such epicycles.) A tweak of this sort could have been the right direction to explain Michelson and Morley’s data, but as it turned out, it was not. Instead, the non-detection of the ether wind required something more dramatic — for it turned out that waves of light, though at first glance very similar to other types of waves, were in fact extraordinarily different. There simply was no ether wind for Michelson and Morley to detect.

If the LHC discovers nothing beyond the Standard Model, we will face what I see as a similar mystery. ”

The reason why Ptolemy could get away with epicycles is that any periodic motion can be decomposed in a sum of circular motions. The mathematician Fourier, born in Grenoble, proved this, and used it to solve a lot of things.

Notice that the problem with Ptolemy was philosophical implausibility: the Greeks knew that the Sun was very far (say more than 30 million kilometers). Thus the Sun had to be enormous.

Sitiing on their bottoms, Greeks astronomers could have been asked the following question: “Hey guys, do you think it’s more likely that something as enormous as the Sun turns around tiny Earth once a day, at an enormous speed, or that the Earth rotates around itself, once a day, and around Sol, at a much more sedate way?”

Of course the latter.

To get an even stronger feeling that way, one had to have a feeling for inertia, which Buridan, contradicting Aristotle, discovered around 1320 CE. This is exactly the reasoning Buridan made when he published his heliocentric theory (misattributed to Copernic, because Buridan was French, and the Church mighty).

Amusingly a mathematician, Steward, published a list of “the 17 equations that changed the world”. He shows his ugly pro-plutocratic face, by mentioning an equation about the pricing of derivatives in the financial markets, as one of the 17.

Steward claims Newton found two of the 17 equations. The first one, the definition of a derivative, was found by Fermat (a Frenchman, thus incapable of science). The second one, that of the gravitational force was, according to Isaac Newton himself, discovered by another Frenchman (Newton wrote this under oath, in his fight about that equation, with Hooke… a physicist still famous for the elastic force law).

Mr. Steward forgot, among his equations, to mention the Quantum equation: E = hf (Planck-Einstein-De Broglie). There is more money in flattering hedge fund managers, than in remembering Quantum Physics.

In the next essay, why Matt Strassler feels one needs to think out of the box, and I will roll out my own type of experiments to keep on pushing, until we get a different worldview. Whereas nobody can be sure about the Standard Model approach giving birth to something interesting, I will explain my proposed approach is guaranteed to be fruitful (at least at some point).

Patrice Aymé

Finance Worth: CERN, Not Pluto

February 7, 2014

CERN, the Centre Europeen de Recherche Nucleaire, one of Europe’s greatest successes, proposes to make a new collider, the Future Circular Collider, with a circumference of up to 100 kilometers. The present largest accelerator at CERN, the Large Hadron Collider, or LHC, is 27 kilometers around (at a depth of up to 175 meters, to shield from radiation). The new machine would use the existing particle injectors (worth billions of dollars). It would be mostly south of the present one, mostly under France.

One aim? Searching for Dark Matter. Dark Matter seems to constitute about 25% of the mass-energy in the universe. Most of the rest is “Dark Energy”. The physics some claimed to understand, the TOE, the grotesquely named Theory Of Everything, including the much ballyhooed “Higgs” are only about the remaining 4%. Never, ever, has physics being in such a crisis: it has no idea what 96% of the universe even looks like!

LHC & Proposed FCC Lurk Mostly Below France
LHC & Proposed FCC Lurk Mostly Below France

The loud mouth celebrity physicists, explain everything with their nothing theories. “Big Bang” theorists create universes out of nothing. Yet, they had not seen Dark Matter coming, nor, a fortiori guess it could exist. Dark Matter is, so far, a purely astronomical discovery. “Theories Of everything” bang everything big time, but only within the 4%.

At least I have a theory for Dark Matter… But it is in a completely different explanatory universe: it goes back to the Foundations of Quantum Physics, and it asks: What if? What if Quantum Theory was incomplete? What would be the simplest way in which it would be completed?

This is how Dirac invented Quantum Field Theory and predicted both spin and antimatter. Dirac started from the general Quantum Principle of De Broglie: all and any particle is associated to a wave. De Broglie has also came up with the idea that said wave ought to be compatible, somehow, with Special Relativity.

A Zoo Of Pre-Existing Accelerators Inject Into LHC

A Zoo Of Pre-Existing Accelerators Inject Into LHC

Special Relativity is the Poincare’-Lorentz theory of a mechanic compatible with electromagnetism (which was splendidly abstracted by Albert Einstein a bit later). Dirac guessed an equation for the electron that was relativistic. There was already such an equation (“Klein-Gordon”), but it was a second order Partial Differential Equation (“PDE”), and, for reasons I forgot, it was not satisfying. Dirac got the bizarre idea of taking the square root of the equation, so to speak.

A reason is that the most general wave equation is actually simply a First Order PDE. So Dirac wrote his guess. There was just a problem: it lived in a four dimensional space one had never seen before. That was spin space. So guessing the equation led to guessing the space… a space were spin was natural.

Then Dirac invented an even weirder space, full of some stuff, with holes therein, of opposite charge. At some point it was guessed one could view these holes as anti-electrons, and it was much simpler that way, philosophically speaking.

It was completely unexpected triumph: spin and antimatter were soon discovered, as predicted by Dirac’s equation. Philosophically speaking, the big idea extended further (Huyghens-)De Broglie’s big idea, that waves with frequencies determined by Energy-Momentum were what nature was all about.

It was also the inception of Quantum Field Theory. The next big idea there, at least big idea that I understand, was renormalization. That was also a far-fetched idea, a non-linear feedback of the Field (whatever the Field was) on particle creation, modifying the Field.

(To this day what this all these computations really mean is hotly debated: the philosophy in power was called “shut-up and calculate”… even if it’s not clear what it is one calculates!)

There have been many proposals to “explain” Dark Matter. One of the most spectacular is “Supersymmetry” (“SUSY”). That postulates a symmetry between bosons and fermions. So all the bosons and fermions we know would have a “supersymmetric” partner. As there are lots of bosons, SUSY would create a lot of mass, a lot of Dark Matter.

LHC found no evidence of SUSY. However, SUSY solves neatly other difficulties in QFT (Quantum Field Theory), so even if the giant successor to LHC found no SUSY, SUSY believers would still believe (and they said as much already).

That is, except if someone comes up with a completely unexpected, completely shattering explanation. And the proof thereof, like Dark Energy and Dark Matter, could come from astronomy. So build those giant telescopes!

Some will object about the colossal spending (at least 20 billion Euros for the FCC). But it’s only new science and the new tech it will produce and necessitate, that will avoid the incoming catastrophe and feed the mouths.

The LHC is the largest, most powerful superconducting machine in the world. That led to progress in basic superconducting tech (including safety mechanisms, as the energies involved are huge)

Those who ask to curb spending in science and the futuristic tech enabling it are not just idiots, they are accomplices of the world’s greatest criminals, those who defend the party of obscurantism (like BHL).

Governments and the clueless who vote for them have entrusted, in recent decades,  the so called “bankers”, who are, in volume of stolen goods the greatest criminals ever. And this will go on as long as the ring leader banksters don’t do very hard time, after seeing their assets and properties confiscated as is done for drug dealers (drug dealers are a subset of the banksters community, as banks launder drug cash).

In the very latest scandal, revealed today, most of the world’s largest banks manipulated foreign currency exchanges. If you had told that to the New York Times a year ago, it would have censored the comment (and he did). Krugman, that big leftist, at least from the Wall Street’s point of view, was all for “Quantitative Easing”. What’s that? Sending banksters ever more money, they will save civilization. No wonder Krugman is fat: he probably eats too much caviar.

Yet, don’t be afraid for the banksters, and their caviar stores: this latest massive, multitrillion dollar heist, is not going to send them to jail. Their boy is in the White House, Oblabla his name, feels all self-important, especially when he golfs with, or serves, banksters. The thrill of it.

What can people do? Well, ask for more money, for science and education, pointing out that, whereas Obama and his Republican Congress give their co-conspirator Elon Musk $7,500 each time Musk sells a coal-electric car, the Tesla Model S, they suggested to cut Thermonuclear Fusion research… months after inertial confinement fusion has achieved break-even.

How did the Allies win in World War Two? Because they had more advanced science and technology (radar, more advanced computers and computer scientists/code breakers, more advanced practical plane tech, such as self-sealing tanks, and electronics for proximity fuse inside artillery shells, resisting to 20,000 gs).

Now we can see living corpses of old time fascism: Juan Carlos of Spain, head of a corrupt family put in place by the guy, Franco, that Hitler, Mussolini and USA plutocrats had put in place.

is another living skeleton, inaugurating the most expensive Olympic games, ever, exactly where the last great battle of the Caucasus happened, 150 years ago.

For those who don’t know, Putin led a war that killed 150,000, officially, in Chechnya (said war was started with 5 mysterious hugely lethal bombings of apartment buildings, never elucidated, in the late 1990s… probably the work of Mr. Putin’s KGB). Putin had the Olympic torch carried by famous warriors of the war against Georgia, a few years ago. The region of Georgia annexed by Putin starts 15 kilometers from Sochi. War games or Olympic games? The answer is obvious.

To displace Pluto, we have to displace Pluto’s activities. Spending in physics means indulging in the Enlightenment. If we do not do this, economic activity will happen nevertheless. Somewhere else, less productive. Pluto will find servants, and it’s his activities, not the activities conducive to the Enlightenment, that will dominate.

The Enlightenment is a curious thing. When strong, it dominates. Even those who reject it.

The present president of Algeria, Bouteflika, long a top general, is original FNL stock. The FNL conducted an enraged, hyper cruel war against France, to “free” Algeria (15% of the population succeeded to flee when it was “freed”). OK, I am not denying that (part of) the French government had started (some of) it. It’s besides the subject.

In recent years, Bouteflika has been sick. What did he do? Get the world’s best, most enlightened medical care he could find. He spent months at the Val De Grace, a military hospital, next to Paris. Yes, French military, exactly the fiend the FNL fought like crazy for 10 years or so, now a friend.

So the Enlightenment can win. But it has to be fed. Fund CERN.

Patrice Aymé