Thursday, January 18, 2024

Higgs Boson did not Revolutionize Physics

David Berlinski wrote in a 2012 essay:
The discovery was announced; the story reported; and then there was silence. Physicists endeavoured, of course, to maintain the impression that they had discovered something of inestimable value. They were game. Writing in The Daily Beast, Sean Carroll predicted that the Higgs Boson would “revolutionize physics,” and if this is what physicists always say, then at least they seem never weary of saying it.

Lawrence Krauss, writing in The Daily Beast as well, gave it his best. Many years ago, Leon Lederman had designated the Higgs Boson as the God particle. No one can today remember why. The God particle? “Nothing could be further from the truth,” Krauss remarked. In this, of course, he was entirely correct: Nothing could be further from the truth.

In the end, Krauss, like Carroll before him, could do no better than an appeal to the revolution. The discovery of the Higgs Boson “validates an unprecedented revolution in our understanding of fundamental physics …” Readers of The Daily Beast are always pleased to uphold the revolution, no matter how revolting. Yet, the Standard Model was completed in the early 1970s,

From what I have found, calling everything a revolution stems from calling the Copernicus heliocentric model the Copernican Revolution, because the Earth revolved around the Sun. It was a weak pun. And then that was so important, it became the Scientific Revolution.

Finding the Higgs Boson just confirmed what people thought 50 years earlier. Not a revolution.

1 comment:

  1. My understanding is that the Higgs Boson was called the 'god particle' only as a foreshortened version of the original name 'the god damn particle'.

    Discovery of the Higgs was SUPPOSED to usher in a brave new world of physics, all mother nature's secrets of time and space would be laid bare 'yadda yadda yadda' it would revolutionize everything because (insert many more yaddas) and any day now the LHC would usher in new dimensions, micro black holes, and time travel, oh my! Ah, how quickly folks forget how over-hyped the Higgs was over a decade ago.

    Of course the truth is always more ugly than the PR pitch.
    The Higgs is functionally an artifact of a Monte Carlo simulation created by massively jiggling the collider data until it screams anything you like (even Sabine Hossfelder admitted this). When you screw with a sought for signal enough by sheer processing, you too can see Tinkerbell and Peter Pan...this hat trick was basically repeated for the LIGO project...with similar results: Huge claims, which lead to nothing.

    The Higgs was originally a fiction created to allow a paper on symmetry to be published, which could not happen unless some blessed prediction was made for the paper to pass review. So, a super heavy (untestable at the time, which is why it was invoked) particle was created around symmetry breaking, and it was thrown into the paper. Voila, it got published. Much like black holes, the Higgs particle is a more a creation of desperate myth created by accretion over time more than actual science, as there has been absolutely no indication the holy grail of particles has anything to do with giving mass to anything (much less how) except for the sheer number of pages in published papers. Since the discovery of the super duper ultra mega important Higgs... absolutely nothing has come of it. No one really even speaks its name anymore, It's now been over ten years for cripes sake. No new discoveries, no new physics, no symmetrical particles, no new dimensions, no new technologies, no new anything except quiet mutterings that they need an even bigger toy to play with at CERN because... well, reasons.

    Being that the Higgs was always wrapped around the axle of the whole 'super symmetry' bandwagon from its inception, which turned out to not actually exist (according to the LHC itself), I am sincerely amused anyone is still carrying a torch for a contrived particle that has no relation to what it was advertised as: An final explanation for what gives mass to particles.

    I am utterly beyond skeptical with the bullshit that passes for high energy physics. It has become nothing more than a 'god damn' paper publishing mill used to prop up useless doctorates of imaginary zoo particles in a field that really has no idea what it is doing much less what it is looking for.