No Such Thing as Failure in Science

Interesting pair of papers, one from this week, and one from Nov 2012, on the “failure” of the Large Hadron Collider work to find any evidence of “supersymmetry” particles to support the standard model, and the idea that mass is not a particle property, and so maybe even the Higgs field / boson is a myth. No, really? It’s been said here before.

The best thing about this is the suggestion that maybe the “wrong turn” in particle physics was taken quite some time ago, several decades, so rather than fiddling with and knocking corners off existing theories, more radical new hypotheses really are needed. The latest paper is suggesting mass and length are not even real, and that falling back on (parallel) multiverses as a reason why we find the particular properties we do in this universe, is simply not satisfactory as any kind of explanation. And a lot more. Fascinating reads.

Mass was of course a fudge ever since Newton introduced it to explain inertial resistance to acceleration; Boscovich and Mach (and hence Einstein) recognised this of course. For a true physicalist model, dynamics are much more primary than anything like matter is to a materialist. So many other possibilities if we escape the materialist dogma.

Much too hard for any lay / amateur like myself to understand all the scientific (mathematical) arguments, but the all too human quotes of the practitioners are very illuminating. Disappointment and failure. No more jobs in particle physics, time to find work in neuroscience, etc. LOL.

What is also good about the two Simons Foundation source papers is that the comment threads are not hysterically polarised attack and defence. Several pointing out that “failure” is not the right way to look at scientific progress – unless you were involved in big-science funding justifications maybe – fair enough, but most finding the reports though-provoking and joining the dots with other sources of ideas. Progress.

[Hat tip to David Morey on Facebook for the links.]

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