Sunday, June 07, 2009

Hello from the SUSY 2009

As previously mentioned, I am here in Boston at the SUSY 2009, the 17th International Conference on Supersymmetry and the Unification of Fundamental Interactions. Since its inception 1993, the SUSY has become the meeting for everything around and everybody involved in physics beyond the Standard Model, from Supersymmetry and its breaking, via extra dimensions of any sort (large, universal, warped), String model building in general to Grand Unification and the phenomenology of Quantum Gravity (though mostly focussed on graviton and black hole production at the LHC). What was previously called the session on "alternatives" is now called "unconventional approaches." The word "alternative," it seems, is a bit worn out. The SUSY is a lively mix of experiment with theory, which is one of the reasons why I like it.

The meeting this year takes place at Northeastern University, where I had not been before. It is a nice place, very conveniently located, with a small but well maintained campus. (I took some photos, but unfortunately forgot the cable I need to upload them, so they will follow later). I had not known that Northeastern University was also where the first SUSY conference in 1993 was held. 

On Friday we had the first session of plenary talks with updates from the LHC and TeVatron, and a reception in the evening to get to say hello to familiar and unfamiliar faces. Every time I'm at the SUSY there seem to be more people. Maybe it's me getting old, but there are really a lot of young postdocs around this year many of whom are enthusiastic about their research and I'm sure they will make interesting contributions during their career. Most of them were crammed in the parallel sessions during the weekend. I too delivered my talk this afternoon (slides here), squeezed between SUSY breaking and degenerate vacua. I think it went reasonably well.

This evening, we also had a public lecture by Frank Wilczek from MIT (Nobel Prize 2004 together with David Gross and  David Politzer). Titled "Anticipating a New Golden Age," Wilczek explained what the LHC (The World's Largest Microscope) is and what it does, including the LHC Rap. He then went on to explain what Supersymmetry is and how it helps with the unification of the gauge couplings, expressing his conviction that Nature is giving us a clear sign that Supersymmetry is part of her workings (that part of the talk being identical to what he told at SciFoo last summer). He finished with the inspirational note that it's not only an exciting time to be a physicist, but an exiting time to be a thinking being - even if you are not actively working on these theories, we might be very close to unraveling some fundamental truth about reality. It was a very nice talk and I think the audience enjoyed it.

15 comments:

Andrei Kirilyuk said...

So everything is just fine in modern fundamental physics and promises to be yet much better with disproving what has been just fine by a completely new “fundamental truth”, according to Wilczek and our special correspondent. Although he rather represents the conventional mainstream, while she is rather within “unconventional approaches”. But lunches are free for all, and isn't it the best possible reconciliation? Looking at the ugly mess of contradictory and mutually contradicting theories and approaches at the conference, it is.

The scandal of those “supersymmetric” manipulations alone would be enough to ruin any honest science development. Fortunately, today's official science development is so far from any honesty... That's why one can have all those “symmetries” which are simultaneously there and not there, i.e. nature is supersymmetric and not at all at the same time! They first made “falsifiable predictions” about all those “superpartner” particles (grotesquely inconsistent from the beginning, but everything's permitted in post-modern science!), but when this explicit prediction was being increasingly falsified by experimental absence of predicted species, i.e. “a theory was disproved by experiment”, it was “interpreted” as still existing but “broken” symmetry. Look how convenient: it's not the theory that is broken by explicit and strong divergence from observations, but nature itself which is simply so “contradictory”, fundamentally and inexplicably (a “great tradition” of postulated but unexplained and inexplicable “quantum mysteries” thus gloriously continues!). They just can't get rid of a “symmetry” that was so “nice” mathematically and continue to underlie so many nice careers...

So if now really everything is thus permitted, any deviation from elementary logic and honesty, then why not to try also something “unconventional”? And they do, multiplying the number of redundant entities to infinity... Hidden dimensions, ghostly universes, innumerable “dark” species, and then why not “antigravity”? It's interesting that the absolute majority of these “unconventional”, always purely mathematical (and always inconsistent) abstractions can be brought to a quasi-complete “agreement with experiment” (though not without “broken nature” tricks): if there's a problem and a property is missing or looks strange, you just add a new entity (e.g. any “field”, metric, dimension, universe...) and then adjust its “free parameters” so that the contradiction is eliminated. And if there's a new one appearing, then you insert another new entity and a new “inexplicable” principle and so on until exhausted super-expensive experimental factories just cannot cope any more with such great theory verification. After which one only has the opposite problem: there are too many different theories which are all “confirmed by experiment” (up to inexplicably broken logic of mystery-based nature) and then the choice of the “true” one (the true lie) becomes really uncertain. Or it would be, because fortunately there is nothing objective in this objective science operation and a theory is recognised as the best one if it comes from the highest positioned and richest in quite material (rather than abstract-mathematical!) resources priest. This one is right, finally! In this sense, of course, Bee's bi-metric antigravity is right (and if it's not, then the third and fourth metrics will help!), but it just cannot be as right as mainstream supersymmetry and even “greater” discoveries promised by Wilczek. Really, only a truly unconventional science based on truth is limited and therefore as finite as the world it tries to explain, while that kind of science based on lie is definitely unlimited, in all its mainstream and “unconventional” versions (equally inconsistent).

And this is what practically all, now huge world's scientific resources, both theoretical and experimental, are spent for. Enjoy and take your pleasure because everything is just fine and will be even much better. The pyramid never falls and Madoff is eternal.

Phil Warnell said...

HI Bee,

Thanks for the run down on SUSY thus far. I took a look at that list of parallel sessions and it is indeed ponderous. Six days just doesn’t seem to be enough somehow. To be truthful I can’t fathom how one could retain much of anything if you went to a lot of the presentations. I suspect there must be a lot of picking and choosing going on based around what one is currently working on. Then again the way I’m built I would always wonder if I’d missed something enlightening or important.

One thing though I had a jump on SUSY for Frank Wilczek gave the same public lecture at PI late last year. I wasn’t actually able to get there, yet I’ve watched it on streaming video. I must say however it’s not quite the same as being there in person. The central thing I came away thinking after though was to realize the standard particle approach hasn’t yet been exhausted with it still giving much insight and expanding what we know. All these other approaches evolving strings, loops and what not are actually what one might call sub quantum theories. It just struck me that seeing that since there is more to be understood at this level of resolution isn’t it a bit premature and perhaps a little unwise spending a lot of effort exploring the level below before the former is clear. Seems a bit like attempting to explain the action of a tree at the molecular level before one has even realized it has leaves.

Best,

Phil

Arun said...

To be truthful I can’t fathom how one could retain much of anything if you went to a lot of the presentations.

Isn't the purpose to network, and to learn of other ideas, rather than to learn?

Bee, what is the Axis of Evil problem in gravitational physics?

Does "same metric, different connection"

a. offer a way to conveniently banish all those missing superpartners?

b. offer a way to information to leak out of a blackhole?

Bee said...

Dear Arun,

Ideally, both. The axis of evil refers to the Anomalous Alignments in the CMB (the pictures are unfortunately presently missing due to a server problem). Best,

B.

Bee said...

Andrei: a) There's no such thing as a free lunch.
b) I'd suggest you read the paper before you comment on it.

Bee said...

Hi Phil,

There was indeed a pre-meeting called BSM-LHC to accommodate even more talks. But I agree with Arun. It's not so much that I really learn a lot of details in these talks, it's more that it provides a sense of what's going on who is doing what, what's new, what worked, what didn't etc. For the details you can then go and look up the papers.

I too missed Wilczek's talk at PI which was why I went. Did you read his recent book?

Best,

B.

Uncle Al said...

All SUSY-related experiments (axion detection, SUSY partner channels in accelerators, proton decay, Type II supernovae, etc.) share one point of punctilious agreement: SUSY does not exist. The Standard Model arrives massless. Its Higgs mechanism conferring mass is a jury rig whose God Particle is also wholly absent from observation.

A universe of matter (versus antimatter) came into being through intense violation of conservation of baryon number, lepton generation number, and a hogshead of other internal symmetry-property conservations. Physics has NOTHING to rationalize observation and is unwilling to execute massed sector chiral vacuum background experiments that offer a trivial explanation. Cowards.

Phil Warnell said...
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Phil Warnell said...
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Phil Warnell said...

Hi Bee,

So it’s basically to discover if you’ve been missing out on something and to get a sense of the landscape you might say. I would guess sometimes it also a chance to recharge the batteries with the rush of others enthusiasm. Well that I can certainly relate to.

As for Frank Wilczek’s book (Lightness of Being: Mass, Ether, and the Unification of Forces) I’m aware of it, yet I have to say I still have to finish a few others on hand before I consider this. I’ve read a couple of reviews and it does seem interesting, especially in as it’s suppose to go deeper into what he refers to in the lecture as the grid. The end of one review says “This book is not for most general readers, but will be a hit with hard-core science buffs”, with another ending “This is a book destined for leisure reading by general audiences with an appreciation for physics”. I translate this to mean it’s not all glitz and glamour and may actually have some substance, so I guess I’ll have to pick it up.

Best,

Phil

P.S. Let's hope the third time is the charm. I should remind myself not to post after ten pm :-)

Plato said...

Appreciate the update on the meeting Bee.

Phil:Frank Wilczek’s book (Lightness of Being: Mass, Ether, and the Unification of Forces)

Since doing a little traveling myself right now, I usually treat myself to a few books for reading later on.

One I picked up was Howard Burton's book Bee mentioned here in this blog and of course the book above.

Should be interesting reading.

Best,

Thomas Larsson said...

In his Future summary from 2001 Frank Wilczek states that

"predicts a relatively light Higgs particle. The upper bounds extend to 130 Gev or so, but they are not easy to saturate, and I’d be happier with 115 Gev." (page 7)

"it will not be easy to reconcile limits tau_proton greater than 10^34 yrs. with straightforward models." (page 19)

"Of course, the ultimate test for low-energy supersymmetry will be to produce some of the predicted new R-odd particles. Even in the focus point scenario, there must be several accessible to the LHC." (page 20)

Unless the LHC becomes a total disaster, the experimental verdict will be in within a few years.

Plato said...

It seems there are hints in that article of Franks, of a movement toward a "definable moment" a Zeroth Law, that arose from a Newton or Einstein, to help with orientating perspective toward a Theory of Matter. This is spelled out in his First chapter of his book mentioned above.

Plato said...

.....to just finish first quote.

On the other hand, if we had the minimal Standard Model, a Higgs
particle of this mass would be cause for concern, since it would indicate that we live in a metastable vacuum!
Page 7 FUTURE SUMMARY

There is no doubt theoretical definitions need to be orientated as well according experimental processes that are currently revealing.

Reductionist modes reveal a direct attempt in my mind toward a perspective in the QGP that had to remain consistent with continued probes into the future.

Frank's "theory of matter" has to follow suit?

Plato said...

Just to conclude and to think of Frank's Theory of Matter and his focus point, it is within prediction I think also to consider theoretical definitions as being pointed to what that "focus point" shall be?

The paper by Hartnoll and his colleagues concerned the Nernst effect, which occurs when a magnetic field and a temperature gradient applied to a material produce a voltage at right angles to both. The effect is particularly pronounced in high-temperature superconductors. Conventional theory can predict the magnitude of the Nernst effect, but requires pages of laborious algebra. Hartnoll's team showed that AdS/CFT correspondence produces the same answer in just a few lines. It was the first time that AdS/CFT and normal approaches had been tested against a real experimental result in condensed matter physics - and the language of black holes came up with by far the more fluent answer.What string theory is really good for Bold added for emphasis by me. Not your prime source of info, but you can't erase "tidbits" that point to a larger picture.

This came up in a search function for information link I retained of Jonathan Feng under the Scientists May Soon Have Evidence for Exotic Predictions of String Theory issued by Northeaster University. There are only remnants of it now although I hold a direct quote of article that was leading perspective.

It is normal now? It is where Frank's "focus point" should be?:)

Best,