Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Why supersymmetry is wrong

I believe that supersymmetry SUSY is wrong, and no SUSY particles will ever be found.

Most theoretical physicists over the last 40 years have been telling us that SUSY particles will surely be found in the next big accelerator. How can I disagree with experts with a much higher IQ?

Simple. My main arguments are:

1. The theoretical arguments for SUSY are faulty.

2. Billions of dollars and the world's smartest people have been devoted to finding SUSY, and all efforts have failed.

3. Existence of SUSY would have a lot of surprising consequences that seem implausible to me, such as dozens of new particles.

One of the arguments for SUSY is a mystical belief in grand unification. That is, and the Big Bang singularity, there was just pure energy, and fermions and bosons were all the same thing. Physicists point to a long history of explaining nature by looking for symmetries that appear to be broken. And there is some very nice mathematics for dealing with supersymmetries, and a lot of people have faith all good math is good for something.

Sounds great, but science is all about explaining the real world, and fermions are nothing like bosons.

The SUSY proponents make it sound as if they are on the side of elegance and simplicity, but they are not. A SUSY universe would be vastly more complicated than the Standard Model.

You can ask: If God were creating the universe in order to make human life possible, what would be the most straightforward structure?

I am not sure that question makes any sense, but I sure don't see SUSY as part of the answer.

Someone might say "Your argument is just a hand wave. You have no proof that SUSY does not exist, or principle that prevents them from existing."

That's right, I don't. You can prove me wrong by just finding a SUSY particle. All you have to do is build a $10B particle smasher, and have 5k people run it for 10 years. But that has been done now, and no SUSY.

I am against quantum computing for similar reasons.

I have listed 5 arguments against quantum computers, and why the universe is not one.

Scott Aaronson claims to rebut the 11 arguments against quantum computers in his Democritus book, and presumably again in the new book he is promising. (Read this review, and you will see why he needs a new book.) He explains how some people are skeptical about wave functions with coefficient values of about 10-45, and how a quantum computer will depend on these being both extremely small and nonzero. Quantum mechanics has, in some cases, made predictions to 10-digit accuracy, but nothing like this. He says:
The obvious repudiation of argument 4, then, is that I can take a classical coin and flip it a thousand times. Then, the probability of any particular sequence is 2-1000, which is far smaller than any constant we could ever measure in nature. Does this mean that probability theory is some "mere" approximation of a deeper theory, or that it's going to break down if I start flipping the coin too many times?
It is one thing to say that a probability is very small, and then confirm it by noticing that it never happens. It is quite another to expect that a lot of fancy arithmetic on such numbers to represent a physical device that is going to factor a 200-digit number.

He gives this response to a negative Amazon review claiming that quantum computing is impossible:
Simple question: if Christian were right, then wouldn't it be even MORE worthwhile to try to build scalable quantum computers---since the failure of those computers to behave as conventional theory predicted would overthrow our current understanding of QM, prove Christian right to the entire world, and ignite a scientific revolution?
This is like saying, "if scientists are right about thermodynamics, then it is all the more worthwhile to build perpetual motion machines to watch them fail." Physicists have spent 20 years trying to build scalable quantum computers, and watching them fail. A better response to this commenter would have been to refer him to the Bell test experiments, as they have confirmed quantum mechanics without confirming quantum computing.

There are SUSY advocates who go on believing regardless of the evidence. SciAm reported:
It is not an exaggeration to say that most of the world’s particle physicists believe that supersymmetry must be true — the theory is that compelling. These physicists’ long-term hope has been that the LHC would finally discover these superpartners, providing hard evidence that supersymmetry is a real description of the universe…

Indeed, results from the first run of the LHC have ruled out almost all the best-studied versions of supersymmetry. The negative results are beginning to produce if not a full-blown crisis in particle physics, then at least a widespread panic. ...

What if supersymmetry is not found at the LHC, he asked, before answering his own question: then we will make new supersymmetry models that put the superpartners just beyond the reach of the experiments.
That is how it is with quantum computers, with the enthusiasts saying for 20 years that the super-Turing payoff is just out of reach.

1 comment:

  1. I completely agree. No "superpartner" particles have ever been found. Supersymmety, supergravity, superstrings, and string theory are incorrect models.
    Sadly, a lot of physicists have wasted their time looking in vain for stuff that simply doesn't exist