The Longest Now


Not even wrong: LHC edition
Tuesday October 13th 2009, 5:47 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

On committing to playing random card games to determine the future operation of the LHC as a mechanism for detecting reverse causality by a Higgs-abhoring Nature … generated by a Higgs-abhoring Nature, as seen by the failure of all potential Higgs-producing supercolliders.  Why would one play card games to determine whether or not to produce a Higgs boson?   So as to avoid the  “accidental” failure modes that we have apparently observed so far, which might result in loss of human life.

The article linked above describes a series of papers on reverse causality.  They postulate that some natural aversion by the Universe to the presence of Higgs bosons has led to the continued failure of the Large Hadron Collider, the bankruptcy of the Superconducting SuperCollider project, and any other projects that might conceivably have produced a Higgs.  They use a quirky choice of mathematics and grammar; but the authors are no cranks.   They are Holger-Bech Nielsen, one of the early creators of string theory, and Masao Ninomiya, one of the editors of International Journal of Modern Physics A — certainly respected in the right context, though given a certain distance today.

Fascinating, and an excellent candidate for Not Even Wrong.   Of course readers of this blog recall that after another couple of setbacks, the LHC will discover Higgs particles on December 21, 2012 .


3 Comments so far
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see, it’s all fun and games until your local public university library pays $11,640.00 for “International journal of modern physics A”, as we seem to have done. Grumble.

Comment by phoebe 10.15.09 @ 8:54 pm

Ah, I misread. It’s that much, give or take (a bit more, actually) for all the parts of “International Journal of Modern Physics.” Still, though. Using it as a self-publishing venue, if that’s what transpired, is uncool.

Comment by phoebe 10.15.09 @ 8:58 pm

It seems the papers have been published elsewhere as well. The preprints are certainly classified with non-crank physics on the physics arXiv.

It’s fascinating not only that the papers got published, but that they aren’t just theoretical; they strongly advocate for the LHC organizers to commit to a randomized set of trials to help them ‘recognize’ this sort of boundary-condition causality. In effect, the organizers would agree to having their hands bound by the outcome of a randomized game, which at very very low probability could say “never use the LHC above a certain energy range” or perhaps “turn off the LHC and dismantle the project”.

Perhaps this too is still theoretical; it seems surpassingly unlikely that they would agree to such an idea.

Comment by sj 10.16.09 @ 3:22 pm



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