Tony Smith: My Two Bets With TD
    By Tommaso Dorigo | July 12th 2012 08:28 AM | 10 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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    As I explained yesterday, I am in the process of receiving payment for a few bets on possible discoveries at the LHC. Two such bets were on between me and Tony Smith, a long time reader of this blog and a lawyer with deep interest in particle physics (and a few interesting ideas). Tony now concedes them. These are for a total of $200 and a bottle of Strega (an italian liquor); the latter has been agreed to be turned into a bottle of good wine, much closer to my taste. I will post here a picture of the wine as I get it; in the meantime, Tony agreed to write something to describe the heart of the matter to readers of this blog. So the text below is from him.

    It's OK to be wrong as long as you correct your mistakes as soon as you find them. 

    My father was in the mining business. He told me "never trust any geological model until you drill a hole and look to see what is really under the ground".  I am a lawyer. To try a case, I have to have a working model of the facts to the extent that I know them at the time,  but to be ready to change that model immediately when new facts emerge (as they often do quite unexpectedly). 

    Around 1981, I started to try to build a realistic physics model based on those principles. I started with N = 8 supergravity, but its naive 1-1 supersymmetry gave it too many particles and its SO(8) did not really fit the Standard Model gauge groups.  Then I tried to build a model around Division Algebras and Spin(8) with 3 generations of fermions and of W/Z bosons, but experiment said that 3 generations of W/Z was wrong, so I changed it to a model based on F4. 
    F4 was better than Spin(8), but it ran aground due to lack of complex structure, which led me to build an E6 model. 
    The E6 model was pretty nice (it can be seen as a bosonic string model with fermions coming from orbifolding), but it only had local Lagrangian structure and did not seem to give a natural Algebraic Quantum Field Theory (AQFT). To get an AQFT, I needed to use the 8-periodicity of Real Clifford Algebras. Since E6 sits inside E8 which lives inside the Clifford Algebra Cl(16), E8 and Clifford Algebra is the basic structure of my present model,  which has a lot of complicated details that give results that look roughly consistent with experiments up to the LHC Higgs search. 

    My Higgs sector is based on Higgs as a Tquark condensate with 3 mass states for the Higgs and for the Tquark. Since a Tquark condensate involves a quantum protectorate to allow it to be stable beyond the very short basic Tquark lifetime, I had in my model T0 and T0c mesons in which a low-mass-state Tquark, stabilized by the condensate quantum protectorate, combined with an Up or Charm (anti)quark, producing mesons with mass around 125 GeV or so. 

    The low-mass-state Higgs in my model was around 145 GeV or so, which is roughly where Gfitter says the Higgs should be if the Tquark mass is not fixed (and it would not be fixed in my model with 3 mass states for the Tquark). 

    Therefore, with the 2011 LHC results, I was happily identifying the 125 GeV digamma bump with my lowTquark T0 meson and the 137 GeV digamma bump with my lowHiggs. 

    The fact that the 2011 LHC WW cross section (for both CMS and ATLAS) was low (something natural for a T0 meson but not good for Standard Model Higgs) made me confident enough to bet with Tommaso Dorigo that the 125 GeV bump would not be Higgs. 

    The 4 July 2012 LHC results told me that I lost the bet because the 137 GeV bump went away in both CMS and ATLAS with the new data and as to the 125 GeV bump, even though the Tevatron announced on 2 July 2012 that it saw a low WW cross section and ATLAS on 4 July 2012 was still reporting a low WW cross section in agreement with CMS 2011 and ATLAS 2011, CMS showed a high WW cross section in agreement with a Standard Model Higgs. 

    CMS was able to find the correct result that ATLAS and the Tevatron missed because, as Tommaso Dorigo said in his blog, by CMS "... having put together more advanced multivariate search techniques and having analyzed in time for the announcement not just the two main channels but all the five important final states (W boson pairs, b-quark pairs, and tau-lepton pairs in addition to the two ... main channels ... [ digamma and Higgs to ZZ to 4l])...".

    Not only was my bet lost, but  my model was shown to have errors, so I must revise it 
    in at least two ways: 

    1 - There is no quantum protectorate extension of the life of the Tquark, so there are no Tquark mesons. 

    2 - The LHC indeed found the Higgs at 125 GeV, which is about 0.86 times the value calculated in my model. Since the high digamma strength in the 2012 LHC data could be due to the Higgs being connected with a Tquark condensate, it seems that the 125 GeV Higgs is really basically a plain vanilla Standard Model Higgs. 

    It is easy to do 1 (just as it was easy to get rid of high-generation W bosons many years ago)
    but it will take some work and rethinking to take care of 2, so thanks to LHC observations for telling me to get to work to try to get my model into better shape. 

    This is why I like physics: 
    You can use your imagination to devise models that (in your eyes) are beautiful but Nature (not the magazine) is always the boss, telling you though experiments like the LHC how dumb you were to do some of the things that you thought were so smart, and then you get a chance to correct your dumb mistakes and try to do better. 

    It is a life-long process that goes on as long as you have fun playing the game: Even if I get 1 and 2 done, that will not be the end of the road. 

    My model still has 3 Higgs mass states, with the 125 GeV Higgs being the low state. As to the middle and high mass states,  the LHC will have to say whether they exist or not.

    In the histograms below, I have colored the low mass state dots green 
    and some possible middle mass states cyan and high mass states magenta. 



    The middle (cyan) and high (magenta) possible peaks may go away with more data.  Maybe I can get another bet with Tommaso about that. 

    Whether or not the possible high mass Higgs excesses go away,  we now know that the plain old Standard Model is what Nature likes, so, what should physicists do in the future ? 

    Here are a few things to think about:

    Study the High Energy Massless Realm well above Electroweak Symmetry Breaking: What happens to Kobayashi-Maskawa mixing in a Realm with no mass ? How do you tell a muon from an electron if they are both massless ? Build a Muon Collider to find out. 

    If conventional 1-1 fermion-boson SuperSymmetry is not Nature's Way, can we get the nice cancellations from a more Subtle SuperSymmetry ? For that, my model uses a Triality-related symmetry between fermions and gauge bosons based on its 8-dim Kaluza-Klein structure, but in it the Standard Model fermion terms in 8 dimensions cancel the 8-dimensional Standard Model gauge boson terms so although the cancellation is clear in high-energy 8-dim space-time
    it is a subtle effect in the low-energy 4-dim physical spacetime part of the Kaluza-Klein. 

    What about Dark Matter and Dark Energy? My model uses the Spin(2,4) = SU(2,2) Conformal Group of Irving Ezra Segal to account for both, but it is experimental observation that counts. 
    My favourite experimental approach is that of Paul A. Warburton at University College London using terahertz frequency Josephson Junctions. 

    Since the Higgs came from Solid State Physics ideas of people like Anderson, look closely at Solid State Nanostructures (such as Nickel/Palladium that seems to be useful in Cold Fusion) to see whether they can show new ways to visualize the workings of High-Energy Physics of the Standard Model plus Gravity.


    Hi Tonny,

    I understand that Einstein had the equivalence principle as a guide in his superb mathematical construction.
    You are a mathematician, so I would like to ask you: what is the physical principle behind your model?


    Nice post.

    As to the "physical principle behind my model",
    with respect to its Higgs sector and
    particularly with respect to my proposal of another bet with Tommaso,
    here is my motivation:
    I think that the Standard Model has been vindicated
    and that there is only one Standard Model Higgs
    whose effective ground state is around 125 GeV
    that it comes from Higgs as Tquark-Tantiquark condensate
    (where the Tquark-Tantiquark pair is protected from decay
    by an Anderson Quantum Protectorate
    like Cooper Pairs (ElectronSpinUp-ElectronSpinDown) are protected
    as members of a superconductor condensate)
    the Higgs-Tquark-Tantiquark system
    has two somewhat stable excited states:
    around 200 GeV where the system encounters a Triviality Boundary
    around 250 GeV where the system encounters a Critical Point
    related to the Higgs VEV.

    Since I have not done detailed analysis of the stability of the excited states,
    I do not have a prediction for their cross-section at the LHC,
    but I would guess that they are substantially lower than would be
    expected for a single SM Higgs there.
    On a related topic,
    it may be that with the Higgs as a Tquark-Tantiquark condensate
    the net result of the Tquark part of SM Higgs cross-section for
    the 125 GeV ground state might be substantially different
    from the LHC analysis used in July 2012,
    thus accounting for the higher-than-expected observation reported in July 2012.


    PS - I do not hold the equivalence principle as a guiding light for my physics model because
    John F. Donboghue, Barry R. Holstein, and R. W. Robinett in Phys. Rev. D 30, 2561–2572 (1984) say:
    "... Using the techniques of finite-temperature field theory we renormalize the electromagnetic and gravitational couplings of an electron which is immersed in a heat bath with T≪me. By taking the nonrelativistic limit, we demonstrate that the inertial and gravitational masses are unequal. ...".
    They have a related paper in
    General Relativity and Gravitation 17.3 (1985): 207-214.
    Their work is for fermions. A similar result for bosons has been
    given by Igor Kulikov in section XVI.2 of hep-th/9609050

    But... what are the chances of you coming up with a model that has been missed by theorists with far greater technical competence than you and who devote their full time to creating theoretical models?

    Put another way, do you know the sufficient details of the standard model to then modify it?

    I suppose if what you do gives you some pleasure in life and helps you to live your life more fully, then fine.

    But... what are the chances of you coming up with a model that has been missed by theorists with far greater technical competence than you and who devote their full time to creating theoretical models?
    ha ha Unfortunately the old days of theoretical physics has been supplanted by sheer numbers of 'theoretical' people who aren't really any more technically competent.  Name these far greater 'technical' people.  
    As to the ad hominem attack comment by "Jonny"
    here is a bit of my personal history:

    When I discussed an early version of my model with Yuval Neeman
    many years ago, he said (here I paraphrase as it was a personal
    verbal conversation not written dow):

    If your model is internally mathematically consistent
    produces calculated values in substantial agreement with experiments,
    the model stands on its own and you do not need any credentials.

    On the other hand,
    no matter how many credentials (degrees, prizes, etc) you have,
    if your model is wrong, it is still wrong.

    Therefore, I will let my model stand for itself,
    and it is clearly available on the web for anyone with interest
    to study it to whatever extent they like.


    I like that take on it. Very down to Earth, and an actual answer to the question.
    Thanks for sharing.

    Very nice post, Tony. I've long been interested in your work (and similar work, for instance Geoffrey Dixon's), but I must admit that I find your style often quite difficult to follow... Reading the above helped a bit with the conceptual overview. And it's gracious of you to accept the judgement of experiment and man up to mother nature (and pony up your debts) -- I have a sneaking suspicion that there will be some independent model builders who won't find that kind of courage within themselves. (Not that I can't sympathize; it's hell to have your beautiful structure shattered by empirical evidence. But ultimately, that's the only way to learn new things, and that's what we're doing it for...)

    I'm glad you're where trying this sort of model building, of course they are potentially so many possibilities it was always possible even likely that you'd fail on the first tries, you have to go with you've knowledge of literature and intuition take you and see if the models you build successfully represent nature or not. I've been working lines somewhat similar to you, especially looking for alternative ways to fit the a standard model generation into E6. The way most common in the literature as to 2 Higgs particles an extra quark and 2 extra neutrinos and I don't believe it fits. (See for examples papers by S.F. King on ArXiv. In particular its been tried a lot and keeps coming up with predictions that don't match. I've been trying other ways to embed the standard model in E6, and at the moment fill most happy with a 15+12 decomposing of E6, with two extra quarks, A paper by Stephen Alder claimed computer based trials of symmetry breaking of E6 only realistic break into 15+12 at lowest energy.
    BDOA Adams, Axitronics
    I've been working lines somewhat similar to you, especially looking for alternative ways to fit the a standard model generation into E6. The way most common in the literature as to 2 Higgs particles an extra quark and 2 extra neutrinos and I don't believe it fits. Terravita