Physics

Consider the following scenario. An initial measurement indicates that two indistinguishable particles – particles of the same type, carrying no kind of identity tag are headed northward and southward, respectively. The next (relevant) thing that is indicated by a measurement is that two particles of exactly the same type are headed eastward and westward, respectively. We also assume that the scattering is elastic no particles are created or annihilated in the meantime and that the pair of outgoing particles is in some sense the same as the pair of incoming particles: no other particle has entered or left the scene in the meantime.
I was waiting for the announcement in the Fermilab seminar of next Friday, but apparently despite I am still a member I am not well enough informed of what happens inside CDF, the experiment at the Tevatron proton-antiproton collider of Fermilab. So the paper is now public, and you can read the news in the Cornell arxiv: CDF sees an excess of muon pairs which is compatible with originating from the decay of B_s mesons.
Julian Barbour is an independent theoretical physicist who has gained some attention of late. Minkowski is dead. From my soapbox here, I will channel Minkowski in this gentlemen’s disagreement. Links to Julian’s work will be provided, they are worthy of your time. Nothing I say against Barbour’s ideas are personal, they are all technical in nature, as is my way. I have a bullet with “The Nature of Time” written on it. At this moment, I am not sure if it will kill the paper. I will have to find out and report the result at the end of this blog.

The Many Worlds Wiener Sausage is the first step in understanding the Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen (EPR) paradox. However, there are still three steps missing until we can resolve the EPR paradox correctly. One important step: Although it is a many-worlds model, with parallel universes and all that, and although it can reproduce certain quantum factors, it is not yet a quantum world!

While other sources (voluntarily not linked here, to avoid pissing off my collaborators) choose to be "on the news" these days, with a brand new exclusion plot of the Higgs boson obtained using almost one full inverse femtobarn of collisions which is not yet public but was made accessible by mistake on a Fermilab site, I will meekly point you out today to another result, which is by all means public and freely reproducible here (no reproach to Phil intended here -he acted in good faith and the fault is not his).
This instance of my "guess the plot" contest will be hopefully raising fewer controversies than the former one. You are asked to explain what the figure represents, possibly guessing the units on the x and y axes.

More advanced readers may know at a glance what this plot is and where it comes from. To them, I ask the favour to wait one day (to not spoil the game to the less knowledgeable users) before trying a harder challenge: by heart, explain the meaning of every single distribution shown -e.g. provide the correct key of the masked legend on the right.

This just to report progress on the Quantum Randi Challenge. It has changed a lot, so please have a look to see whether you think it is now attractive enough for you to help “internetizing” it, which is still highly desired.


The novelties:

1) The name changed to “Quantum Randi Challenge” because there is a surprising number of scientists out there who have their heads shoved deeply up … ok, forget it, whatever, pffft. (It is exactly this kind of PC “professionalism” that lets crackpots undermine science and academia in the first place, but whatever.)

The game of quantum mechanics is rigged, but I will let you in on the rules. The wave function has all the information usually written as complex values. Operators are used to grab out different values from the wave function. Once you agree to those ground rules, the uncertainty principle and its Silent Bob twin the certainty principle are set in stone. It is the product rule of calculus that does it all. It is not the Wizard of Schrödinger behind the curtain, it is Isaac Newton or his not so silent contemporary Gottfried Leibniz.

Many Worlds by Splitting a Wiener Sausage is extremely simple as far as models go. Before we can resolve the Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen paradox with it however, we need to understand what is still wrong with it.

It is “wrong” for a simple reason that I wrote about in several other posts, and anybody who understands the EPR problem to some degree should know the correct answer, regardless of whether they trust Bohm, or “believe Copenhagen”, or subscribe to locality, non-locality, many-worlds, objective state collapse into one world, whatever!

The DZERO collaboration has just produced an update of their analysis of the dimuon charge asymmetry using 9.0 inverse femtobarns of proton-antiproton collisions. The new result confirms the previously reported effect, raising the discrepancy with the Standard Model prediction to over four standard deviations.