Expect Tachyonic Neutrinos To Have Their Higgs AND Smoke It
    By Sascha Vongehr | September 30th 2011 01:18 AM | 13 comments | Print | E-mail | Track Comments
    About Sascha

    Dr. Sascha Vongehr [风洒沙] studied phil/math/chem/phys in Germany, obtained a BSc in theoretical physics (electro-mag) & MSc (stringtheory)...

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    Although I went on record that the reportedly faster than light neutrinos from CERN to OPERA will likely go away as mere systematic error, and although my very own resolution of the EPR paradox rejects superluminal phenomena even in non-local quantum entanglement, it is nevertheless quite possible that speeding particles are here to stay and perhaps expected (especially with neutrinos) for a number of reasons.

    After listing those reasons, I will remark on one of the common reactions against open-mindedness concerning the neutrino experiments. Next to “you are nuts” is the charge about hedging bets, of writing both ways so that in the end one may claim “told you so” no matter the outcome. We can respond to that in two ways. Most scientists will enthusiastically agree with the first, but the second is true Alpha Meme style “next level” so that you can ask the question I am used to by now: “What the hell did Sascha smoke again?” To give it away: The multiverse bong – I did inhale, just once, but that is with really good dope sufficient to get you hooked for the rest of your days. Modal realism with a side of conceptual dualities is the Salvinorin A among the available tokes.

    Salvinorin A: Trying to reach the realm that Wittgenstein ‘silenced’ about? Expect not to have been ready for it. I sure wasn’t. Modal realism is like that: The strongest, but few can handle it.

    Should we have Expected Superluminal Neutrino Phenomena?

    Two reasons come to mind:

    (1) Something like this is expected in many emergent gravity scenarios and gravity (general relativity) is expected to be an emergent symmetry for many varied and good reasons. I talked about this before and will come back to this in more detail with a post estimating the expected and by the new data indicated superluminal velocities, so lets keep this point very brief here.

    (2) In cutting edge modern theoretical physics (e.g. membrane universe), superluminal particles are connected with a temporary detachment from ‘our universe’, the latter meaning the perceived merely three dimensional one.

        (2.1) This would reveal itself via missing energy in collision experiments, which indeed the Large Hadron Collider is currently looking out for. Neutrinos are the very ones that have been discovered because of such missing energy (the energy is still not fully accounted for):

    (Image credit: David Darling.)

    Ethan: “Early in the 20th century, physicists learned in great detail how radioactive decay worked. An unstable atomic nucleus would emit some type of particle or radiation, becoming a lower-mass nucleus in the process. Now, if you added up the total energy of the decay products -- the mass and kinetic energy of both the outgoing nucleus and the emitted particle/radiation -- you had better find that it equals the initial energy (from E = mc2) that you started off with!

    For two of the three common types of decay -- alpha and gamma decay -- this was, in fact, observed to be true. But for beta decay, the kind shown in the diagram above, there's always energy missing! No less a titan than Neils Bohr considered abandoning the law of conservation of energy on account of this.”

        (2.2) Detachment is the more likely the more energy is involved and the less the detaching parts interact with (are “stuck to”) the rest of the universe via electro-magnetic interactions, strong force, and so on. Dark matter interacts extremely little but is not (yet?) available in high energy experiments. It is precisely neutrinos that are the very ones who interact extremely little via the mentioned forces.

    Ethan: “Because it's uncharged, neutrinos are only detectable through the same nuclear interaction that causes radioactive decay: the weak nuclear force. It took more than two decades to begin detecting neutrinos, due to how mind-bogglingly weak their interactions actually are. It wasn't until 1956 that the first detections -- based on neutrinos (okay, technically antineutrinos) from nuclear reactors -- occurred.”

    Hence, if one expected such effects because of (1) and had asked where to look, one could have expected it to show up in neutrino experiments first because of (2).

    Hedging My Bets, Usual Science, or Superior Insight?

    About “being chicken” and not coming out with a clear opinion on whether or not neutrinos speed, the “god-particle” exists, or super symmetry hides around the corner, two answers:

    A) First of all, science is not a pissing contest! Ok, ok, I take this back – of course science is mostly a pissing contest, but let us not get into that issue today. What I mean is, we are not here to put bets and win or lose, we are supposed to come up with useful hypotheses, and then we are also supposed to let experiment tell us; let the data decide what the best description is. We are not supposed to (read: supposed to not) cloud our rationality by letting strong emotions interfere. Keeping-face triggers some of the strongest emotions – it is why crackpots dig down their rabbit hole, why established scientists often hold back a whole field with their influence although they have little more to gain financially.

    B) However, there is a more fundamental answer: I am interested in the very foundations, in the most fundamental aspects of where science and philosophy had better be consistent. From this lofty vantage point, it is not only so that we could not care less about whether some Higgs particle exists or not (hey, many physicists do not care either), but more importantly, both options may be true simultaneously, even with on some level mutually exclusive scenarios, like for example neutrinos go faster than light and nothing ever goes faster than light!

    See, imagine that all our observations up to now are joined by a definite detection of faster than light particles and consider that this leads finally to a unified theory UT-1 (perhaps some string theoretical construct) that is consistent with everything we can measure. The whole thing T-1, that is universe plus UT-1 describing it from the inside, is consistent.

    Now imagine that all our observations up to now are joined by a definite proof for that nothing can go faster than light and this leads finally to a unified theory UT-2 (perhaps some circular theory of emergence with epistemic isolated strata) that is consistent with everything we can measure. Universe plus UT-2 describing it from the inside is one consistent thingy T-2 and thus possible.

    That those two structures T-1 and T-2 just described are both equally consistent (though obviously mutually exclusive) is the proper scientific ‘working-hypothesis’ in the light of modern physics, say for example beholding the amazing richness of the string theory landscape.

    As David Deutsch perhaps pointed out first unmistakably, a kind of ‘many worlds interpretation’ is by now an experimentally established scientific fact! I dare add that I deem my own work on the EPR paradox strong support for that position. If T-1 and T-2 are consistent, they are possible (in the sense of modal realism). This in turn would strictly imply that the ultimate experimental resolution between for example Higgs or no Higgs is not so much telling us whether there is a Higgs but constitutes merely a branching in the multiverse; one type of branches has the Higgs and those that do not are equally contend without it.

    Who in their right mind wants to bet their reputation on what is basically a coin toss?


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    Salvinorin A...had never heard of it. The plant Salvia divinorum is indigenous to Mexico, and since the compound was first isolated by a Mexican chemist almost 30 years ago, other chemists have had plenty of time to modify its structure and come up with more potent derivatives like 2-Ethoxymethyl salvinorin B.
    You are correct in pointing out the mere threshold strength: 2-Ethoxymethyl Salvinorin B is active already at 50 micro grams and LSD at 30, moreover, both last much longer. However, the first I do not know the effects off (are there reports?) and LSD effects are not so interesting. LSD lets you mostly in this world; it distorts it much, but you still know that you are in this world and will come down. Stuff like Diphenhydramine or DMT are philosophically more interesting - the first one you sometimes think nothing is unusual at all while actually going through crazy land, the second catapults you somewhere else entirely.
    Salvinorin A is the most potent naturally occurring hallucinogen known; threshold at 200 micro grams. But in terms of mixing it with modal realism and philosophy, it may be the most interesting. It transports you easily into a totally different reality that leaves people speechless.
    Well you apparently don't know relativity very well, Vongehr. To wit - the speed C is not the speed of anything in particular, but is a characteristic of spacetime. The simplest possible analysis - based on homogeneity, isotropy, and reciprocity (what's true of A in relation to B at speed V, is true for B in relation to A at speed -V) shows that a parameter with dimensions of a speed exists, and is either finite or not, and the only way to decide is by looking. When you look, it's finite. It's not the speed of neutrinos, it's not the speed of light, it's a physical parameter with the dimensions of speed that everything must obey.

    No one for example considered the point of view of the neutrino (other than Cohen and Glashow in their beautiful refutation of the OPERA result). What does something see when approaching the fundamental speed? The entire universe gets compressed into the direction of motion, the light form it gets progressively intensified, and progressively blue-shifted. Eventually the entire universe is just a fantastically blue-shifted and intense point in the direction of motion, with the rest of the sky inky, featureless black.

    Those are facts. You don't deal in facts. Nothing goes faster than C. If the neutrinos arrived early, they still did so at less than C, and that would imply light is massive, and it's not, and therefore the experiment contains a basic error somewhere. It is possible to reason from what is known, not from what one simply imagines.


    Cohen and Glashow in their beautiful refutation of the OPERA result
    C and G did the same mistake you did, namely assuming, against all indications of the data, that the speed of the neutrinos is constant. If you had read my previous posts, you would by now know (and I will post about this in more detail), that the data indicate an initial superluminal short distance before usual sub light speed.
    You are welcome to read more of my posts about relativity, so you do not need to tell people anymore how little you know about how far relativity has come since the last century.
    Well V, it was a bad cable. Apology accepted.


    Neither is that clear as yet nor is it even in anyway important for my article, but I guess it is just above your reading comprehension to understand deeper issues.
    Nobody expects the Tachyonic Neutrino! -- Monty Python paraphrase

    Hey Sascha Vongehr just want to say thanks for your interesting post and insigit into the data published. It seems many people here forget what science is about. Whether your interpretations are right or wrong is unknown, but at least you understand that science is about ideas and it is these ideas that keep things moving in the right direction. DRL is probably going to remain anomoyous as he is clearly not a physicists, but a fool with access to wikipedia. It is ironic that DRL insults your knowledge on GR when he has no idea how far physics as come.

    Keep down your insults - DRL is clearly a physicist abreast of the development when citing C and G - he is just obviously a rather conservative one who holds authority and orthodoxy in too much regard, and maybe he will turn out to be correct about it. His insulting me is enough.
    No, I just understand relativity in all its details.


    This is what I thought myself once - no - actually twice. There are several levels of understanding, and those that talk like you usually do not grasp the deeper issues.
    It's always fun watching people certainties about things

    Like because we have never seen superluminal light before

    The correct statement is we haven't seen superluminal light in nature.

    There are ways to contrive it which are completely consistant with current physics and perhaps before we all jump off the deep end we better check that some of the contrived ways are occuring in nature.

    With those experiments (there is one as far back as 1994) it isn't clear to me that one can really say that light (= photons) went superluminally rather than the pulse shape inside a medium that was prepared a long time before. Certainly they have not been able to show superluminal information propagation (if they could, they would). So, giving your comment a charitable reading, I think you are correct in pointing out that perhaps something somehow similar is observed with the neutrinos, but it is hard to imagine what. Surely nobody pumped the vacuum into an excited state all the way from CERN to GS before starting the muon beam.