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    The Say Of The Week
    By Tommaso Dorigo | November 21st 2009 03:15 PM | 2 comments | Print | E-mail | Track Comments
    About Tommaso

    I am an experimental particle physicist working with the CMS experiment at CERN. In my spare time I play chess, abuse the piano, and aim my dobson...

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    Particle Physics had a short fling with Numerology in its young years, but the two have never met again since then.

    TD

    Comments

    I wish your quote was actually accurate, but it may very well that many of our favorite arguments simply end up revealing our continuing obsession with numerology.

    Examples:

    M_nu ~ m_t^2 / M_GUT (Seesaw mechanism)

    Lambda ~ (M_nu)^4 (Neutrino mass -- dark energy scale)

    rho_baryons ~ rho_dark matter / 10 (Relation between the energy densities of dark matter and matter)

    The list can easily be extended with your favorite examples. Some of these, like the neutrino seesaw model, are an example of beautiful theory being built on a seeming coincidence of scales. Others, like the dark energy - neutrino mass correspondence may be deep physics, but we don't have any truly convincing ideas as to why it could have turned out that way.

    Let me propose my own quote:

    "The more data-starved a theorist is, the more likely to take comfort in the arms of Numerology."

    Close to this issue,
    I found the link of a lecture I followed one year ago:
    http://indico.cern.ch/contributionDisplay.py?contribId=2&sessionId=9&con...
    ...is that intriguing or too "horoscopes-like"?