Physics

The following is my email correspondence with Joy Christian. It shows how seriously he took my bait and how he quite agreed with my main point, namely that the “Quantum Crackpot Randi Challenge” should be earnestly attempted.

Summer conferences are just around the corner, and the LHC experiments are putting together O(1 fb) samples as we speak (in another post I will report on the progress of data collection at CMS, which has already collected over 650 inverse picobarns of useful data). It seems that this is a good time to make the point of where we stand with Higgs boson searches.

I am speaking, of course, of the Standard Model (C) Higgs boson, the only one which exists (maybe). Fancier concoctions, predicting five, eleven, or exp(pi) new scalars will be reviewed another day when I am under drugs.

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WTF. A pleasant, unexpected surprise awaited me in the CMS Times, the online periodical which reports on the status of the CMS experiment at the Large Hadron Collider, the research activities, the people participating in the experiment.
The fact that I am swamped by the too many activities I am involved in these days can be gauged by things like the following: I get to know about important new physics results coming from an experiment I am part of by... private communications from amateurs! Knowledgeable and informed ones, of course -but that's not the point.
The video “Why Quantum Mechanics is Weird” (25k views) won the 2005 Berkeley Video&Film Festival Best of Festival Award in Education. That is second place, behind a Grand Festival Award which went to a film on polar bears (much cuter than me talking for 27 minutes). In this blog, I will go through the math behind the video which provides a novel, entirely mathematical explanation for why causality is different between classical and quantum mechanics. Calculus done correctly in spacetime may turn out to provide the correct answer, completely philosophy-free, as it must be.

Why does local realism being wrong imply that non-local reality is true? Such is widely opined to be the only sober solution because it conserves good old reality, the scientists’ fort that is to be defended against the onslaught of magic.

However, reality with “spooky actions at a distance” is not non-magical either. Nevertheless, the issue is known as “non-locality in quantum physics”, never as “non-reality in quantum physics”. How about keeping localism and instead accepting that realism is a god of the gaps in retreat? Don’t like it? Well, how about at least not being so sure about it for starters?


Let us try to model the experiment described in “Disproving Local Realism” with help of tennis balls. 800 pairs of tennis balls are each prepared, say some instructions are written on them, and then split. One ball is always thrown to Alice on the left; the second flies to Bob on the right.

Every of the 800 trials starts with the preparation of a pair. When the left going ball is about half way to Alice, Alice randomly rotates a setup, called her “crystal”, either so that it is at an “angle” a=0 or a=1.

What if what we thought, and held most dear, about the fundamentals of physical science was wrong? That atoms and quantum particles were not what we believed them to be. That planets, star systems and the Universe itself had a far more intrinsic correlation to the material structure that fundamentally constituted those systems. What if our most cutting edge mainstream theoretical theories were completely off track? What if? This is what my own research in science has lead me to strongly question and it has been an interesting journey.

"CERN is a Lab of culinary splendor and architectural catastrophe and Fermilab is the other way around"

L. Lederman, "The God Particle"
Since Science 2.0 first came online, we have been excited about the Tevatron in Illinois because, statistically, by 2011 the famous Fermi experiment in Batavia,IL would have accumulated 10 inverse femtobarns of data and that means the Higgs, if it exists, would be somewhere in there.  If it could be found.