Thursday, December 06, 2018

CERN produces marketing video for new collider and it’s full of lies

The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) just completed its second run. Besides a few anomalies, there’s nothing new in the data. After the discovery of the Higgs-boson, there is also no good reason for why there should be something else to find, neither at the LHC nor at higher energies, not up until 15 orders of magnitude higher than what we can reach now.

But of course there may be something, whether there’s a good reason or not. You never know before you look. And so, particle physicists are lobbying for the next larger collider.

Illustration of FCC tunnel. Screenshot from this video.

Proposals have been floating around for some while.

The Japanese, for example, like the idea of a linear collider of 20-30 miles length that would collide electrons and positrons, tentatively dubbed the International Linear Collider (ILC). The committee tasked with formulating the proposal seems to expect that the Japanese Ministry of Science and Technology will “take a pessimistic view of the project.”

Some years ago, the Chinese expressed interest in building a circular electron-positron collider (CEPC) of 50 miles circumference. Nima Arkani-Hamed was so supportive of this option that I heard it being nicknamed the Nimatron. The Chinese work in 5-year plans, but CEPC evidently did not make it on the 2016 plan.

CERN meanwhile has its own plan, which is a machine called the Future Circular Collider (FCC). Three different variants are presently under discussion, depending on whether the collisions are between hadrons (FCC-hh), electron-positions (FCC-ee), or a mixture of both (FCC-he). The plan for the FCC-hh is now subject of a study carried out in a €4 million EU-project.

This project comes with a promotional video:



The video advertises the FCC as “the world’s biggest scientific instrument” that will address the following questions:

What is 96% of the universe made of?

This presumably refers to the 96% that are dark matter and dark energy combined. While it is conceivably possible that dark matter is made of heavy particles that the FCC can produce, this is not the case for dark energy. Particle colliders don’t probe dark energy. Dark energy is a low-energy, long-distance phenomenon, the entire opposite from high-energy physics. What the FCC will reliably probe are the other 4%, the same 4% that we have probed for the past 50 years.

What is dark matter?

We have done dozens of experiments that search for dark matter particles, and none has seen anything. It is not impossible that we get lucky and the FCC will produce a particle that fits the bill, but there is no knowing it will be the case.

Why is there no more antimatter?

Because if there was, you wouldn’t be here to ask the question. Presumably this item refers to the baryon asymmetry. This is a fine-tuning problem which simply may not have an answer. And even if it has, the FCC may not answer it.

How did the universe begin?

The FCC would not tell us how the universe began. Collisions of large ions produce little blobs of quark gluon plasma, and this plasma almost certainly was also present in the early universe. But what the FCC can produce has a density some 70 orders of magnitude below the density at the beginning of the universe. And even that blob of plasma finds itself in a very different situation at the FCC than it would encounter in the early universe, because in a collider it expands into empty space, whereas in the early universe the plasma filled the whole universe while space expanded.

On the accompanying website, I further learned that the FCC “is a bold leap into completely uncharted territory that would probe… the puzzling masses of neutrinos.”

The neutrino-masses are a problem in the Standard Model because either you need right-handed neutrinos which have never been seen, or because the neutrinos are different from the other fermions, by being “Majorana-particles” (I explained this here).

In the latter case, you’re not going to find out with a particle collider; there are other experiments for that (quick summary here). In the former case, the simplest model has the masses of the right-handed neutrinos at the Planck scale, so the FCC would never see them. You can of course formulate models in which the masses are at lower energies and happen to fall into the FCC range. I am sure you can. That particle physicists can fumble together models that predict all and everything is why I no longer trust their predictions. Again, it’s not impossible the FCC would find something, but there is no good reason for why that should happen.

I am not opposed to building a larger collider. Particle colliders that reach higher energies than we probed before are the cleanest and most reliable way to search for new physics. But I am strongly opposed to misleading the public about the prospects of such costly experiments. We presently have no reliable prediction for new physics at any energy below the Planck energy. A next larger collider may find nothing new. That may be depressing, but it’s true.

Correction: The video in question was produced by the FCC study group at CERN and is hosted on the CERN website, but was not produced by CERN.

229 comments:

1 – 200 of 229   Newer›   Newest»
David Bailey said...

Sabine,

Thanks for that frank assessment - it is great to encounter a high energy physicist admitting that to sell yet another collider project to the politicians, you basically have to tell lies! We haven't had our mini black holes (possibly just as well) or a particle that can justifiably be called the 'God Particle', from the current LHC!

On a more technical point, I understand that the LHC has detectors tuned to look for particular particles - such as the Higgs. Does that mean that the LHC could be generating sorts of other particles that end up simply ignored?

JeanTate said...

There is a small something between the lies and “no reliable prediction of new physics below the Planck energy”: stronger tests of the Standard Model. Of course, an FCC may be an exceedingly expensive, inefficient way to do those tests, compared with more focused devices (what do you need to bring down the uncertainties on the various g-2 anomalies, by two orders of magnitude, for example? Probably not an FCC).

Sabine Hossenfelder said...

Jean,

Higher precision measurements of standard model are not new physics, not unless you want to re-define "new physics" for political reasons.

Sabine Hossenfelder said...

David,

The LHC groups do a lot of general-purpose checks that look for all kinds of particles, though certain kinds of models are being used to figure out if their algorithms are good at identifying certain signals. They are also now broadening their search with machine learning algorithms.

Generally, if you were to produce heavy particles in copious amounts you'd notice even if you don't measure them because you'd be missing energy, not to mention that such particles would screw up the predictions for the standard model. There are of course types of particles that the LHC just isn't sensitive to. Low-energy, weakly-interacting things, eg (think: axions and similar stuff). You do other experiments for those. High-energy physics is not an answer to everything.

akidbelle said...

Hi Sabine,

marketing is a nickname for lies.. I am sure you know.

Naively, I still believe there was a time when seeking truth led to success...
Now of course you physicists all know what to search... Particles... then this is necessarily true.

Best :)
J.

JeanTate said...

Sabine,

When you put it like that, indeed there’s no new physics. Especially when you add in the fact that, AFAIK, there are no established alternatives (“new physics”) in theory-land which claim to predict at least some of the g-2 anomalies, say. This is in contrast to, say, Dark Matter, and its several non-mainstream alternatives.

Sabine Hossenfelder said...

Jean,

Sorry, I mistyped my earlier comment, it should have been "Higher precision measurements of standard model parameters are not new physics."

"New physics" is anything that's not in the standard model. Supersymmetry, extra dimensions, WIMPs, axions, technicolor, GUTs, quantum gravity, and all that.

Alexander said...

it's a small thing, but did you want to say " ... full of lies" in the title?

marten said...

It is not the first time that I feel concerned.

Phillip Helbig said...

"it is great to encounter a high energy physicist admitting that to sell yet another collider project to the politicians, you basically have to tell lies!"

Who is the high energy physicist (or, rather, high-energy physicist, unless they've been smoking some weed)? Sabine? Maybe she is a physicist with high energy, which is not the same thing as a high-energy physicist. (Yes, one of my pet peeves are missing hyphens in two-word adjectives.)

"We haven't had our mini black holes (possibly just as well)"

No serious scientist ever suggested that we would.

"or a particle that can justifiably be called the 'God Particle', from the current LHC!"

Again, a stupid name, but do you see it in official CERN literature?

Sabine Hossenfelder said...

Phillip,

A quote from the above-mentioned website:


"[The FCC-hh] will allow physicists to study particles even heavier and more mysterious than the Higgs boson, the ‘God particle’ discovered at the LHC in 2012 that underpins our fundamental understanding of the laws of nature. Just as the creation of the LHC led to major scientific and technical breakthroughs with commercial applications in fields as diverse as medicine, magnet technology, superconductivity and power distribution, the development of future particle accelerators will drive potentially even greater innovation between academia and industry."

Sabine Hossenfelder said...

Alexander,

I don't know. Does it make a difference?

Mike Stay said...

"Full of" or "filled with". https://dictionary.cambridge.org/us/grammar/british-grammar/full-or-filled

eathummus said...

Hello "and it’s full with lies" should be ""and it’s full of lies."

Sabine Hossenfelder said...

Thanks, I fixed that.

Steven Mason said...

Sabine wrote: I am strongly opposed to misleading the public about the prospects of such costly experiments.

Thank you for saying that. But being an American, I can tell you that I've been misled by "promotional marketing" since I was born, and I am quite used to it.

The US has wasted obscene amounts of money on many misguided ventures. As for the public, well, at least half of the public seems to prefer being ignorant and irrational. We elected a president who is a pathological liar. Most people - and most politicians - have no clue what critical thinking is.

When our current particle accelerators outlive their usefulness, maybe they can be retrofitted into some kind of amusement park ride, perhaps a maglev roller coaster.

Steven Mason said...

eathummus wrote: "it’s full with lies" should be ""and it’s full of lies."

I thought that "full with lies" might be correct German syntax, and Sabine was doing a literal translation in her head. I enjoy seeing variance in language syntax, even when it's an "error."

One time I complained to a friend that she wasn't really listening to me and I asked her to pay attention. Instead of saying, "Okay, you have my undivided attention," she accidentally said, "Okay, you have my undevoted attention." It's one of the funniest things I've ever heard.

Steven Mason said...

Phillip wrote: a stupid name (the God Particle)

To be fair, it was never intended to be a smart name. It was sort of an inside joke. The physicist who coined the term originally wanted to call it "the Goddamn Particle" because of the difficulties associated with it. I guess you could say that the Goddamn Particle and the God Particle are stupid jokes, but as I keep saying to Sabine, I appreciate humor wherever I can find it.

Phillip wrote: Maybe Sabine is a physicist with high energy

You see? You're a funny person too.

Mr Homais said...

At some sufficiently huge energy level, that FCC thing might just discover the Sabinon or the Hossenfelder boson, and then these billions of euros will have been money well spent. We can't take the chance to miss those !

David Bailey said...

Philip Helbig,

In connection with mini black holes, you wrote "No serious scientist ever suggested that we would"

However, 2 minutes with GOOGLE came up with this:

https://phys.org/news/2015-03-mini-black-holes-lhc-parallel.html

Not only mini black holes, but parallel universes in extra dimensions!

sean s. said...

Their advertising strategy seems to be throwing a whole bunch of crap at the wall and seeing what sticks. That's not likely to work, but they're operating on pure hope anyway ...

sean s.

Mitchell said...

Jean Tate said

"AFAIK, there are no established alternatives (“new physics”) in theory-land which claim to predict at least some of the g-2 anomalies"

If you go to arxiv and do an advanced search of hep-ph for keyword "g-2" in the abstract, you will find hundreds of theory papers proposing to explain g-2. Almost always, it is explained by new particles and it's part of a larger framework explaining other things too.

rms said...

CERN as enabler:
https://fcc.web.cern.ch/eurocircol/Page1Slideshow/CERNEnabler.png

yeah right. that venerable three gear design will work wonderfully..
really smart, people. best and brightest stuff.

paola said...

The video in question was produced by the FCC study group, not by CERN. It is oBviously addressed to politicians and not fellow physicists and uses the same arguments as those used to promote the LHC in the 90's.

Paola Catapano, Head of Audiovisual Productions, CERN

Bill Brockman said...

I admit to thinking it was a big mistake the US didn’t build the Suoerconducting Supercollider after $2 billion. Apparently it was the right call.

Lawrence Crowell said...

The FCC will probably do little to illuminate our understanding of quantum gravity. It will not address most fundamental questions about the relationship between quantum mechanics and gravity. With heavy ions though the quark-gluon plasma is by QCD~AdS connected in ways to these questions. We may not have direct quantum gravity, but QCD may be S-dual to gauge-like gravity, or the gauge bosons that in an entanglement are gravitons or graviton-like. It might also illuminate issues with CP physics, and there are hints of things with b-quark physics.

It is a gamble, and it is hard to say where this will go. Nature has a way of sometimes throwing curve balls that cause us to say, "that's odd" which might lead to something new.

Marco Parigi said...

Hi Sabine,

Fantastic post and very thorough. The only thing I don't understand is your statement:

"I am not opposed to building a larger collider."

Surely with so much tax payer's money involved, if it requires hyping, exaggeration and lies to give a hint of the value for money it might garner (or might not), that would extend to it being morally wrong to be okay with in the case that you know the truth of the matter.


I am against building a new collider. The primary reason is that it is very likely to be an even bigger embarrassment to the physics community than the LHC is in terms of having billions of Euro spent with no new physics to show for it.

But it is in the hands of Governments that I do not pay tax to, and it won't give jobs to me or my children anyway, so... good luck with the physics, I guess.

regards

Marco

Sabine Hossenfelder said...

Phillip, Davis,

In hindsight it's easy enough to say "no one ever took this seriously". I worked on this topic for my PhD and let me tell you that people totally took it seriously at the time. I stopped working on after my PhD for reasons I lay out in my book, but most of my colleagues who did similar work continued pretty much up to the day until the LHC had eventually ruled it all out. Most of these people are tenured now - for busily writing papers about something that has zero relevance to the description of nature. The reason my book hurts is that I know what I am talking about.

Traruh Synred said...

It is unfortunate that one is expected to say what you'll find to get funding, when the real reason for doing it is that we don't know.

The interesting discoveries have been those like psi, charm, upsilon, etc. that where surprises and had little to do with the 'rational' for building the machine.

Things like the Higgs are of course important, but it was after all expected. Not finding it would have been weird.

The rational used by SLAC for the SPEAR machine that read to the 'November Revolution' was not any better -- perhaps even worse.

The B-factors and Babar had predictions of CP violation and found what we expected. Oh Hum...

PS. You don't mention super B factory Japan might build. It probes the rare decay frontier. Predictions are pretty solid -- one hopes they'll be wrong...

A friend of mine applying for grad school at Berkeley wrote one line for his essay: I like physics not bull shit. He got in!

Too bad we can't get away with that on grant applications.

Sabine Hossenfelder said...

paola,

The video uses the same arguments as those used to promote LHC in the 1990s, which means it's a list of promises that didn't pan out, promises that you shouldn't have made already in the 1990s. The LHC hasn't answered any of those questions and there is no good reason to think the FCC will. Why do you think it is appropriate to tell a bunch of lies to politicians, to whom you say the video is addressed, who have no way of gauging the correctness of these claims?

naivetheorist said...

bee:

David Bailey commented " to sell yet another collider project to the politicians, you basically have to tell lies!". This mis-identifies who is being lied to. Politicians are not the ultimate target at whom the lies are aimed; they are merely the intermediaries. it is the public is the intended target of the lies since they ultimately determine the selection of the political 'leaders' in democratic societies (e.g. the current prevalent right-wing political agenda is not being imposed by politicians in opposition to the views of the voters; it implements the views of those citizens - as much as Trump can be blamed for U.S. policies, 40% of U.S. voters consciously agree with him and will continue to do so until they feel that they are being personally adversely affected by those policies).

naive theorist

Phillip Helbig said...

"One time I complained to a friend that she wasn't really listening to me and I asked her to pay attention. Instead of saying, "Okay, you have my undivided attention," she accidentally said, "Okay, you have my undevoted attention." It's one of the funniest things I've ever heard."

From a letter of recommendation: I strongly recommend this candidate with no qualifications whatsoever. :-)

Phillip Helbig said...

In connection with mini black holes, you wrote "No serious scientist ever suggested that we would"

However, 2 minutes with GOOGLE came up with this:

https://phys.org/news/2015-03-mini-black-holes-lhc-parallel.html

Not only mini black holes, but parallel universes in extra dimensions!


This is something different, not the widely touted "black holes created at CERN will swallow the Earth".

Mighty Drunken said...

I love the concept of large particle accelerators but I do think it would be wise to delay building the next one so we can fund more focused experiments. I believe we are at a juncture in particle physics where it is harder to know which are the good ideas and which are the bad ones.

We can concentrate on exploring the current mysteries like dark matter and neutrino mass. We could start doing more physics in space, with better particle detectors and experiments to test low acceleration regimes (MOND?).

At least experiments like this will, at worse, rule out lots of hypothesis. Some positive results could help us home in on new physics.

Philippe Mermod said...

Dear Sabine,

I didn't notice any lies in the video, only questions which the FCC potentially could try to address.

Regarding the heavy neutrinos via seesaw, there are in fact models with very few assumptions which,remarkably, can explain at once neutrino masses, dark matter, and matter-antimatter asymmetry, see the papers by Shaposknikov et al. (eg https://arxiv.org/abs/hep-ph/0505013). In such models there are two heavy neutrinos in the mass range 1-100 GeV, right in the region which can be probed by eg the SHiP experiment and, notably, FCC-ee at the Z pole!

Unknown said...

so, according to you,
1) what should such a video say?
2) what should the new research Frontier be?


I can think of multiple justifications for such BS in a video like this, all falling within the bag of "that's how things work in our society".

Sabine Hossenfelder said...

Unknown,

A video about a new scientific instrument whose funding is being discussed should leave the watcher with an reasonable impression what the instrument will do. The FCC will make more accurate measurements of the properties of particles we know already. That's as much as we can say with certainty. If we are lucky, the FCC will find something new, but we have no reason to think this should be the case. If we are very lucky, it will find something new that may give us a hint how the baryon asymmetry came about or what dark matter is made of. Either which way, it will certainly not probe the origin of the universe, which is just nonsense.

Of course the physicists watching this see nothing wrong with this. Because they know it's bullshit. And they have gotten used to this bullshit, so they think it's just business as usual. The moral corruption that has happened here is remarkable.

Look, I have a lot of public exposure and I can tell you that most people have no idea how to gauge these claims. To first, second, and third approximation they assume that scientists mean what they say. The same tax-paying non-experts also feel cheated now (unsurprisingly) because the LHC didn't deliver what they were told it would. Now CERN (or people at CERN anyway) repeat the same stories again asking for some more billions. Seriously? Don't you see how highly damaging this is for the trust in scientists by large?

C. M. said...


It seems to me that you are looking for some kind of planned research.
It is very difficult to predict in advance whether an experiment will falsify or "confirm" a theoretical framework.
Let the particle physicists free to investigate the fields they consider promising.

Sabine Hossenfelder said...

C.M.,

That is not correct. I am happy to let particle physicists investigate whatever they think is promising but I will not tolerate that they mislead non-experts about the prospects of these investigations.

rms said...

and yet, I do not think the point is how they lie (and lie big), the interesting thing is that they seem to not care anymore, it's like they are not even trying. to spend 4 Meuro to more or less disguise the simple message "we are too big to close, just through us money" and come up with such low low quality BS is amazing.
or perhaps they are leading the path. in the end it is as elsewhere in "science" but, like everything CERN, on steroids. after all they claim they invented the web and now we have porn everywhere, you have to concede that. perhaps in 5-10 years every scientific project will ask for money equally shamelessly, for its own sake.
look! they are even offering phd's for "quantitative modeling of socioeconomic impacts" (one assumes many and all positive): give us money to demonstrate how good we are at spending money!

Yehonatan Knoll said...

Sabine,

False advertisement is the least problem here. More than half a century of accelerators physics has produced almost nothing but papers. On accelerator physics. The first time the SM was confronted with a phenomenon which could not have been tested in accelerators, it completely collapsed (I'm referring to so-called neutrino oscillations). Theoreticians will, sooner or later, find a fix of that, resulting in... yet more papers.

The peasants couldn't speak Latin, and so medieval theologists could go about with counting angles on the head of a needle, financed by their promise to eternal life in heaven. You have to decide - are you a moral theologist (but a theologist nonetheless) or a Latin speaking peasant. You can't have both.

JeanTate said...

Thanks, @Mitchell. I am quite unfamiliar with that literature. And find it a bit forbidding ... Do you know if any of those g-2 papers make firm predictions about what an FCC would find? Ditto on other open questions, such as those in neutrino physics?

More generally, wouldn’t a tiny fraction of the cost of an FCC be better spent on neutrino physics? My fave is efforts to detect then study relict neutrinos, such as PTOLOMEY; nicely tying lab physics with cosmology.

Steven Goldfarb said...

Dear Sabine,

I am confused. If you are a scientist, yourself, then you must understand the need for null results in any kind of exploration. But, maybe I am just being naïve here, and this is meant to be a parody?

As you know, our universe can only be understood through exploration and the vast majority of our measurements turn up null results. That's science. That is how we advance our understanding of nature. We don't just say, "I think that won't work," and then not do the measurement. What is your opinion of Michelson-Morley?

The studies performed by the LHC since the discovery of the Higgs boson have included a plethora of measurements of the properties of that boson, allowing us to better understand its compliance with theory. Of course, it would be more interesting if it did not, but we don't really have control over that, now, do we?

Other measurements have put very important limits on new beyond-standard-model theories, including SUSY. Not making those measurements and noting these results would be a travesty to science. Your statement that we are not going to find anything with the FCC may very well pan out to be true. In fact, the odds are in your favour. Making the leap to say that we should thus not explore is either making a parody of science or any extraordinarily stupid mistake.

Do we know what Dark Matter is? Dark Energy? No. And it could very well be that the FCC won't give us the answers. But, scientists are not promising in this video or any other proposal that it will. We are only promising to use whatever means we have to try to answer those questions and we are arguing that this is a logical next step. That is how science works.

I know you know that, but the people you are writing to may not. So, please try to be more responsible in your future writing. Thank you.

Sabine Hossenfelder said...

Steven,

"Your statement that we are not going to find anything with the FCC may very well pan out to be true."

I did not make such a statement.

"So, please try to be more responsible in your future writing"

Please explain how you think it is irresponsible to spell out the truth.

David Bailey said...

Philip Helbig replied to me thus:

"This is something different, not the widely touted "black holes created at CERN will swallow the Earth"

However originally, I made no reference to the idea that a mini black hole could swallow the Earth - simply the claim that they might be created by the LHC. The claim that such an object might destroy the Earth would hardly have been used to justify the making of the LHC!

I presume that such holes would be so small that they would decay by Hawking radiation before they could absorb additional matter and become dangerous.

I can't really avoid the conclusion that the LHC was sold by hype created by physicists, and that the citizens of the EU did not get value for money.

Marco Masi said...

Quite so. And I'm wondering if there are also other "Sabine Hossenfelder" (or "Peter Woit" or "Lee Smolin" alike) in the field of biology, medicine and IT? Because similar arguments can be made with regards to other big science projects as well. Such as the human genome project, stem cells, cancer research, the human brain project and, of course, AI or quantum computing, just to mention some. It is about something that goes beyond the LHC, it is a widespread tendency one observes in several modern scientific 'mammoth' enterprises. What is at stake is not only money but the longterm credibility of science.

Sabine Hossenfelder said...

Marco,

I can't tell what the promises are of experiments in those other fields. But seeing how it's going in my field, I am certainly worried that they are equally over-advertised. I talked to some people who were involved with the human brain project and at least in that case it seems to be the case. Yes, the longterm credibility of science suffers from this.

Tommaso Dorigo said...

Cone on Sabine, you look a bit like a person with an agenda to me at this point, not a knight with a sword of truth. You did cast a lot of discredit on the FCC with your post, and you know that. You can do better than giving those two one-liners to Steven Goldfarb, he is not just another of your readers and you might consider being more argumentative with e.g. him, if you want to raise the bar of the discussion here. I have the strong impression that you don't.
Best,
T.

Phillip Helbig said...

"However originally, I made no reference to the idea that a mini black hole could swallow the Earth - simply the claim that they might be created by the LHC. The claim that such an object might destroy the Earth would hardly have been used to justify the making of the LHC!"

True. However, "black holes" and "LHC" in the same sentence almost always refers to this outrageous claim.

"I can't really avoid the conclusion that the LHC was sold by hype created by physicists, and that the citizens of the EU did not get value for money."

On what grounds?

To paraphrase/quote from memory Robert Pirsig, the TV scientist who says "our experiment was a failure; we didn't find what we expected" is suffering mainly from a bad scriptwriter. If you already know what you will find, you don't need to do the experiment. A null result is a result, an important result. If anything, there is a problem that it is more difficult to get null results published.

"and that the citizens of the EU did not get value for money."

CERN is not an EU institution. Not everything with "European" in it refers to the EU. In any case, the LHC is certainly value for money, except for people who don't value science. Yes, one can debate about where to spend the money, but I see no reason to say that the LHC wasn't worth it.

There are many European institutions. In addition to those in the Venn diagram in the link, there are the EBU, ESA, ESO, etc.
It's complicated.

Another view: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Template:Supranational_European_Bodies.

Question: Is it always possible to draw a two-dimensional Venn diagram?




Sabine Hossenfelder said...

Tommaso,

I do have an agenda, and I have stated it pretty clearly: Stop lying to the public.

That Goldfarb person came here and boldly proclaimed I said something I clearly never stated. Why would I bother wasting time on him.

We all know you are a particle physicist and have stakes in the issue. I am not remotely surprised that you don't like me saying publicly what everyone in the business has known for decades.

The FCC people discredited themselves. I merely drew attention to it.

sean s. said...

Come on, Tommaso! Everybody has an agenda; a knight with a sword of truth has an agenda. You have one; I have one; everyone does.

Sabine did not discredit the FCC; advocates for the FCC misrepresented what it could be used for and Sabine rightly pointed that out. Brava! to her for that.

The “two one-liners” Sabine gave to Goldfarb were on point; why should she belabor it? Goldfarb should have stopped after his first three words.

sean s.

Anonymous Snowboarder said...

Perhaps 'lies' might be a bit strong, misleading/mischaracterizations might be a better and more diplomatic choice.

Though I've been a supporter of Tevatron before and then the SSC, it seems pretty clear we are hitting diminishing returns pretty hard now. At the same time, projects at JLab, BNAL and others in the nuclear area fight for far smaller scraps. Maybe it is time to spread the wealth a bit? NSLS II and others like it as one example have tangible benefits at a fraction of the cost of LHC sized facilities.

Wolfgang Keller said...

Beforehand: I agree that marketing such a project with seemingly false claims is of "sketchy style" - I don't want to discuss this further.

But as far as I understand your book, the huge problem in particle physics is that we lack data that might concretely guide us further to a grand unified theory (so that we don't have to "invent" mathematical contraptions like supersymmetry which are of mathematical elegance but unluckily arguably fictional in terms of particles). It was hoped that the LHC might be able to provide this data - a hope that has at least not satisfied its past hype (except for the concrete discovery of the Higgs boson).
So I see no alternative to building a larger collider that could possibly give us experimental data on which we can base a theory for physics beyond the standard model.
But I am not a physicist...

David Bailey said...

Philip Helbig quoted this with approval:
" A null result is a result, an important result. If anything, there is a problem that it is more difficult to get null results published."

All I can really say, is why didn't the physicists promoting the LHC explain to the citizens of the EU ahead of time that the LHC might produce the most exciting result of all - the NULL result (plus the long predicted Higgs particle)?

I did science (in a much less exalted field) and I can assure you that the last thing I wanted was the NULL result!

Mitchell said...

Jean Tate said

"Do you know if any of those g-2 papers make firm predictions about what an FCC would find?"

They explain the anomaly with a new particle (Z' boson, extra Higgs, etc), so the basic prediction is that the new particle shows up in other ways. (In that regard, it's interesting that along with a "muon g-2 anomaly", there's also a "proton charge radius" mystery for muonic hydrogen.)

The most recent post at the particle physics blog "Resonaances" has a bit on the g-2 situation (just bear in mind that along with the muon g-2 anomaly, he's also talking about a newer, smaller, less robust "electron g-2 anomaly").

Unknown said...

who cares about this particle physics and cosmology......it has nothing to do with a meaningful life on this planet....its just welfare for the technocrats and mathamatical eggheads that the governments approve of.....

Unknown said...

"That particle physicists can fumble together models that predict all and everything is why I no longer trust their predictions."

It's exactly the same with so-called "Climate Scientists".

Sabine Hossenfelder said...

Wolfgang,

First, thanks for reading the book.

Second, what experiment is most promising to invest on is a difficult decision to make. We can only make it wisely if we look at the facts rather than let ourselves be guided by wishful thinking. That's why false advertisement like the above is a problem. People who don't understand the theories believe it. Even those who understand the theories are influenced by the overly optimistic outlook. I know they don't want to hear it, but cognitive biases and motivated cognition does influence the way we make decisions. Even as scientists. Especially in large groups.

Sure there are other ways you can invest money in experiments in the foundations of physics. Telescopes on earth or satellite missions, eg. Or you can do high precision measurement at low energies rather than aim at high energies. I also am somewhat baffled that not the whole world is running to try and reproduce the DAMA measurements because, hell, they've been measuring potentially new physics for more than a decade, but no one is paying attention.

I am not in a position to evaluate what's the best thing to do overall. I'm not a money person and there are many factors to consider which I don't feel competent to judge. I'm just a theoretical physicist and hence you will not be surprised to hear that I believe we would be well advised to spend some more on theory development.

As I lay out in my book, theory development especially in high-energy physics is presently working badly. You can construct "predictions" for anything you want, therefore those predictions are utterly worthless. This needs to change. If theorists can come up with better predictions we would be in a much better position to gauge the promise of a larger collider. Also, theorists are really cheap compared to large colliders.

Without that I think we'd be better off focusing on dark matter. In that case, at least we know it's there.

Best,

B.

Tommaso Dorigo said...

Sabine,

you are badly wrong, I have no stakes whatsoever in the issue. We also both know that to attract attention in a blog you need to overstate things - and you did so here. Yet whoever kindly points it out gets mobbed. I never liked that mechanism in my own blog, I thought you didn't either. Also, I repeat the concept: you seem to have no desire to raise the bar of the discussion here, but to be "popular", so I'll gently leave.

Cheers,
T.

Soup said...

Here's how the universe began:
Gen. 1:1 KJV In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth.
That's good enough for me. Stop this nonsense.

Sabine Hossenfelder said...

Tommaso,

You have not made a single scientific remark, yet you complain about the "bar of discussion". You claim that I overstate something but do not say what. The only thing I take away from this exchange is that you don't like what I say. That doesn't remotely surprise me.

For those of you who don't know Tommaso, he is a particle physicist and member of the LHC CMS collaboration.

Rob van Son (Not a physicist, just an amateur) said...

I heard a story that many physicists think most benefits for the limited money would have been gotten from expanding gravitational wave detectors instead of particle accelerators. However, the story goes, those who had invested their time and career in particle detectors won the day.

Sounds plausible, but I have no way to confirm such rumors.

Steven Mason said...

Neither Steven Goldfarb nor Tommaso have directly addressed the points Sabine made about the misleading statements in the marketing video. Goldfarb offers a patronizing speech about science and suggests that Sabine's points might be a "parody" and irresponsible. Tommaso refers to them as an "overstatement." But they don't address the specific points.

If you think Sabine is wrong, by all means point it out. But you've got to start with the points she made about the video.

SRP said...

My only suggestion here is to put off planning a new accelerator using scaled-up versions of today's technology and spend a few tens of millions on wakefield and other advanced concepts that could drastically reduce the cost of reaching higher energies. Only if these are ruled out as impractical in the medium term should conventional scaled-up accelerators be initiated.

psyclonus said...

Thanks for your article I enjoyed the recap. Perhaps you aren't familiar with an old tradition dating back to the time of the alchemists. The idea is for scientists to promise sensational and probably impossible things to the wealthy in hopes of getting funding, which is then used to stock the lab and do real work. In this case CERN proposals promise nonsense, as you point out, but in the end of the day the operation acts as a subsidy for scientists and real work can be done - things like the world wide web and software have been the most obvious products coming out of CERN with real tangible effects on the world but there are other more subtle ones as well, mostly networking and sensor technologies but also visualization tools and educational resources. Sure, the ideas of a theory of everything, a god particle, understanding "the early universe" and "dark matter" are not exactly compelling to the skeptical scientist - but they have proven compelling to the money printers - and so they have their purpose in advancing science.

David Bailey said...

Psyclonus wrote:
" things like the world wide web and software have been the most obvious products coming out of CERN with real tangible effects on the world but there are other more subtle ones as well, mostly networking and sensor technologies but also visualization tools and educational resources."

Can you really justify the $13.5 billion to build the LHC and approx $1 billion annual running costs in terms of spin-offs?

In any case, I would say that the development of computers has come from a wealth of small developers and a few large companies such as Microsoft. Inventing HTML and the web was just one more step on top of the wealth of computer insights that have got us where we are today - assembly language, operating systems, computer languages (such as Fortran and C), the concept of virtual memory, the idea of graphical user interfaces, etc etc. Possibly the biggest driver of the computer industry right now, is the games industry!

Sabine Hossenfelder said...

Psyclonus, David,

From all the stupid arguments to build a larger collider, that Berners-Lee was employed at CERN when he set up the WWW is the most stupid one.

To begin with, it's well-documented that he had been thinking about the topic before working there. Physicists had nothing to do with that.

Second, if he hadn't done it then, he or someone else would undoubtedly have done it soon thereafter. He wasn't the only one on the topic, he just happened to be the first.

Third, one may even speculate that if the www had not been designed with particle physicists in mind, and instead drawn on some more insights about sociology, psychology, economics, and international law, then we would be better off today.

Fourth, even leaving all this aside, if you are thrilled by this development, you may be better off investing money into data infrastructure, because arguably the whole collider thing was entirely superfluous.

Similar considerations hold, btw, for various other technologies that were accidental byproducts of certain physics projects. We'd have been financially better off had we invested right away into data processing. It's the same issue with the argument that mammoth science projects make useful contributions to education. Sure they do. But if you want to invest into education, there are better ways to do it. And please spare me the gospel of serendipity. There's no evidence it's actually true.

Best,

B.

Rolf said...

Your most negative statement abut FCC's promotion
of a new collider is:

> A next larger collider may find nothing new. That may be depressing, but it’s true.

Where exactly does the promotional video or the material
on the FCC website claim anything different? Two senior scientists
at CERN agreed on that statement in the comments.

If they did not claim anything different, for what statement exactly did you berate the
members of FCC as "liers"? What exactly is their lie?

annie said...

What a monumental financial fart! There's more important things to spend many tens of billions of ecu's on. We have a world of hurt to fix, I cannot imagine why a bunch of scientifically illiterate politicians would ever give the go ahead for such a huge expenditure excepting some satanic reason.

Sabine Hossenfelder said...

Rolf,

I have spelled it out very clearly and do not understand why you want me to repeat what I already said.

The video raises the impression the FCC will test the above mentioned points, dark matter, dark energy, baryon asymmetry, beginning of the universe. For the first three we have no reason to think it will happen, which the video "forgets" to mention, for the last it's just nonsense.

Everyone who knows the facts agrees on that. Somehow, though, the matter never seems to be clearly communicated to the public.

Do you think it is okay if scientists behave this way? Do you think it's okay that instead of apologizing for misleading people about the promise of costly experiments, they attempt to justify their deception because it's only aimed at "politicians"?

Rob van Son (Not a physicist, just an amateur) said...

Dear Dr Bee,
"We'd have been financially better off had we invested right away into data processing."

I am afraid things are not that simple. Benefits are generally surprising. GR and GPS, QM and weather forecasts, Electricity and the telephone.

Someone (I forgot who, age etc.) once asked the hypothetical question about Queen Victoria asking her advisors for a technology to address all her subjects in all parts of the empire giving them a blank check. What could her advisors answer? Not giving money to an obscure theoretician like Maxwell or the experiments of Herz.

Fundamental science is very expensive, always has been. The benefits have always been unpredictable.

In case of the WWW. That had been invented before, with Project Xanado. It was a total failure. In many respect, it was the environment of CERN that had the requirements that looked like what the world needed. Just as nowadays the whole Big Data revolution was pioneered in high energy and astrophysics.

Btw, the yearly economic turnover of the WWW in terms of wages and revenues seems to be in the trillion $ range.

Sabine Hossenfelder said...

Rob,

That's right, things are not so simple. Saying that a particle collider is a good investment, because Berners-Lee happened to be employed at CERN when he invented the www is a gross oversimplification. I was neither speaking about GR not the GPS, QM or weather forecasts, Electricity or the telephone. I was speaking about the argument that a particle collider is a good investment, because Berners-Lee happened to be employed at CERN when he invented the www.

Steven Mason said...

psyclonus wrote: things like the world wide web and software have been the most obvious products coming out of CERN . . . the operation acts as a subsidy for scientists and real work can be done

Perhaps we would get a Bigger Bang for our buck if we put all theoretical physicists to work as examiners at patent offices. It's a real job, not a subsidy, and Einstein got some real work done. :-)

JeanTate said...

Sabine,

Re: I also am somewhat baffled that not the whole world is running to try and reproduce the DAMA measurements

At least one group is trying to do exactly that, per these recent astro-ph preprints:
https://arxiv.org/abs/1812.02000 "ANAIS-112 sensitivity in the search for dark matter annual modulation"
https://arxiv.org/abs/1812.01472 "Performance of ANAIS-112 experiment after the first year of data taking"
https://arxiv.org/abs/1812.01377 "Analysis of backgrounds for the ANAIS-112 dark matter experiment"

The first part of the abstract of the last one: "The ANAIS (Annual modulation with NaI(Tl) Scintillators) experiment aims at the confirmation or refutation of the DAMA/LIBRA positive annual modulation signal in the low energy detection rate, using the same target and technique,"

JeanTate said...

Thanks @Mitchell! :)

That Resonaances blog post is really good, particularly Mad Hatter/Jester's comment on 21 June. And it all lends support to cases for doing detailed work on low energy phenomena, rather than chasing some new high energy frontier. Or, put another way, an FCC would do little to shed light (ha!) on an awful lot of the (apparent) particle physics anomalies.

Sabine Hossenfelder said...

Jean,

I know. I didn't say no one does. But given how old the DAMA story is and how comparably inexpensive the check, very little interest. Similar thing for LSND btw - took forever to check. It's hard to avoid the impression that's because no one really "expects" there to be a "real" signal.

Rolf said...

> Somehow, though, the matter never seems to be clearly communicated to the public.

"The matter" is the fact, that the collider might find nothing new, right?

On their website the project's coordinator is quoted as:
"Going up to 100 TeV is a bold leap into completely uncharted territory that would probe new energy scales, where fundamental new physical principles might be at play..." and then some of the questions in the video are addressed.

"MIGHT BE" not "are"! It IS pointed out that there might be
no answers to the questions they state, i.e. that there might
be nothing new.

"Lier" is a serious insult. It really hurts.
Where's the lie?

Sabine Hossenfelder said...

Rolf,

I was commenting on the video, not the website, as the title of the blogpost says. You are not doing yourself any favors attempting to water down what's happening here and what, in fact, has happened for 20 years.

Look, I regularly speak to non-experts and journalists about the prospects of building particle colliders. Most of them are baffled to hear that there is no good reason to think a larger collider should see anything new, and that there was indeed no good reason to think the LHC should solve any major mystery besides finding the Higgs. They are so baffled, indeed, that before the LHC as a matter of fact did not see any of the promised new particles (besides the Higgs) where they were supposed to be, no one was listening to what I was saying.

And since people always try to misquote me, let me emphasize once again that I did not say, not here and not elsewhere, that a large collider will not find anything new, and that I did not say that the next LHC run will not find anything new. It might happen. We don't know. I simply say there's no good reason to think it will happen.

David Bailey said...

Rolf wrote:

"Lier is a serious insult. It really hurts. Where's the lie?"

I would say that HEP is so very remote to most people that it is possible to lie in the way you use language. Take the phrase "God particle" - invented by a scientist Leon Lederman, not a PR man! The average man could only assume that the discovery this particle would revolutionise science (and presumably also technology) - perhaps in the way Maxwell's equations did (and most are only dimly aware of electromagnetism), not just complete a theoretical pattern of particles, all with absurdly short life times. We all used to believe that science was scrupulously honest and upright - just as we thought of religious leaders - and way above such mere politics. Support for expensive physics experiments trades on a residual sense that even if what they do is beyond comprehension, it is honest, and when they ask for resources they are making an honest case free from exaggeration.

If you want to see what could happen to science, look at the fall in respect for the Catholic Church after the numerous sexual abuse scandals.

Rolf said...

> I was commenting on the video, not the website, as the title of the blogpost says.

That is not correct: you also commented the website, quote from your blogpost:
"On the accompanying website, I further learned that the FCC “is a bold leap into completely uncharted territory that would probe… the puzzling masses of neutrinos.”"

Where's the lie?
If you cannot give a direct comprehensible answer,
you should apologize yourself.

@David
OK they use the term "God particle" on their website. That is
a sensationalistic wording. Sabine can criticise this.
But it clearly does not justify to badly insult them as liars.

Steven Mason said...

David wrote: Take the phrase "God particle" - invented by a scientist Leon Lederman . . . the average man could only assume that the discovery this particle would revolutionise science . . . we all used to believe that science was scrupulously honest and upright.

As I pointed out in an earlier comment, Lederman meant God Particle as a joke. Any "average person" who read Lederman's book would know the term was a joke, and any average person who reads science articles about the Higgs boson would understand why it is important. "Revolutionary" is a relative term. I don't know if you meant to imply that Lederman wasn't being scrupulous, honest or upright.

As I said before, even if you think it's a bad joke, it certainly generated some interest in the Higgs boson and physics in general. It's not the worst thing in the world for average people to get interested in physics because of a joke. The worst that could be said about it is Lederman coined the term so he could have a catchy title for his book and generate more sales.

I admit I feel annoyed about catchy book titles that are misleading and aren't jokes, and seem to prey on desperation, such as "The End of Alzheimer's" or "A Parents' Guide to Preventing Homosexuality."

Sabine Hossenfelder said...

Rolf,

The video raises the impression the FCC will test the above mentioned points, dark matter, dark energy, baryon asymmetry, beginning of the universe. For the first three we have no reason to think it will happen, which the video "forgets" to mention, for the last it's just nonsense. Those are lies.

Let me give you a comparison. Suppose this wasn't a video about a collider but about a car. The advertisement video tells you "accident-free for 50 years" and "flies you to the moon and back". Well, the first may be correct if you're lucky, the second is just nonsense. According to you, that wouldn't count as lying. It counts as lying in my book. I doubt it would pass any consumer-rights check, at least not in the EU, and for scientific experiments costing billions we should have similar non-deception standards.

I don't know what your problem is with me also commenting on the statement about the neutrino-masses from elsewhere. Frankly, your attempt to find something objectionable about my blogpost is pathetic. Have I insulted your heroes?

Rolf said...

> Let me give you a comparison. Suppose this wasn't a video about a collider but about a car. The advertisement video tells you > "accident-free for 50 years" and "flies you to the moon and back".

In your comparison FCC's use of the expression "God particle" corresponds to a car ad which
calls a standard car "Rocket Car!" (which is sensationalistic language, analogous to God particle)
but without claiming that is "flies you to the moon and back"
or other outright lies. Intelligent laymen will realize that
"God particle" is not meant in a religious sense and "Rocket car" not in the
sense that it is a real rocket.

Your argument seems to be "my car ad is analogous
to the FCC video/website material and lies in its second statement, therefore
the FCC video also lies". Right? If yes then your argument fails
because, as outlined above, the FCC video/website's arguments
contain no argument that is analogous the the car ad's second statement.

> Frankly, your attempt to find something objectionable about my blogpost is pathetic.

Sadly, Tommaso was right, he wrote here:
>> We also both know that to attract attention in a blog you need to overstate things - and you did so here. Yet whoever kindly >> points it out gets mobbed.

Sabine Hossenfelder said...

Rolf,

The video doesn't say anything about the God particle and I have no idea why you are going on about this now.

The video speaks of testing the "95% of the universe" for which my car-analogy is "accident free for 50 years" (may happen, but no reason to think it will) and the "origins of the universe" which corresponds to "flying to the moon and back" (won't happen). If that does not answer your question why I say it's lies, I can only conclude that you do not actually want an answer.

But while you are here, do you think the FCC will actually tell us what the origin of the universe is? Do you think it'll tell us what dark energy is? You don't think that's misleading, you don't think it's lies? Then tell us why not. Go ahead, Rolf, make your case. I am looking forward to it.

Neither you nor Tommaso have added any scientific information that people need to judge the promise of such an experiment. And neither, for that matter, has the video. I did. It was me who had to add the explanation that the FCC-video should have delivered. It is beyond me why you think it's okay of scientists to produce misleading advertisements like this.

Further, you now insist that me replying to your accusations with the patience of an angel should count as "mobbing". Interesting, Rolf. What's next? You will prove that I'm the antichrist because I spell out that the public has been mislead and is still being mislead and you don't want to hear it?

David English said...

As a layman, I wonder...

How many things have been discovered by accident...as a result of high aspirations we may not find what we wanted, but we may find something unexpected.

From my past readings, I have reached an understanding that we cannot generate energy sufficient to reach new discoveries in particle physics. I have never perceived that notion as a hard-stop.

Moving forward is important. In this day and age, over-promising and enthusiastic selling share a blurred line.

Steven Mason said...

Rolf wrote: sensationalistic language, analogous to God particle

Am I the only "intelligent layman" here who understands that God Particle was a joke? To claim that God Particle is sensationalism is, ironically, sensationalistic. :-)

Rolf, Sabine has described the lies in the video. Your comments would be more interesting if you addressed them.

In your first comment, you asked "Where's the lie?" Sabine said she clearly described them, and even though she's not fond of repeating herself she offered a summary to you. In your next two comments you kept asking "Where's the lie?" In your fourth comment you seem more interested in having a petty argument about Sabine's car analogy than in any of the lies she's pointed to.

Could you please address the specific lies Sabine has described? If Sabine is wrong on those points, show us how. Even if you think "lie" is too strong a word, please address her specific points.

Humorous digression: Speaking of sensationalism and lies, Donald Trump has miraculously or accidentally managed to say something that is neither sensationalistic nor a lie, when he referred to himself as Tariff Man.

Steven Mason said...

David wrote: over-promising and enthusiastic selling share a blurred line

It's off topic, but I've been pondering the problem of how the risks of catastrophic climate change should be presented and discussed with the general public and with politicians. Not just the risks, but what we should do to mitigate the risks.

When climate scientists point out the risks - especially the worst-case scenario risks - that makes it all too easy for some people to say it's alarmist. If anyone talks about cutting back on fossil fuels, that makes it all too easy for some people to say it's anti-business and anti-people. Some people think climate scientists have an agenda or ulterior motives. Some people - I won't say who - say climate change is a hoax perpetrated by China.

Most people don't understand long-term risk probabilities, and when scientists try to talk about them, some people interpret it as "over-promising" or "enthusiastic selling." Speaking of which, I can't remember the last American election that wasn't being sold as The Most Important Election Of Our Lives.

Steven Mason said...

Sabine wrote: The advertisement video tells you "accident-free for 50 years"

Now you've got me wondering how the probability of car collisions compares to the probability of particles colliding in an accelerator. :-)

David Bailey said...

Rolf wrote:

"OK they use the term "God particle" on their website. That is
a sensationalistic wording. Sabine can criticise this.
But it clearly does not justify to badly insult them as liars."

Obviously the "God Particle" relates to the LHC, not the FCC, but I suppose the real problem is that these accelerators aren't something that the vast majority of people would wish to own (collectively), nor is there any reasonable chance of any technological consequences from whatever is discovered, if anything. That means that the only way to get them (i.e. their politicians) to agree, is to use intense PR. Of course they used 'sensationalistic wording', because telling the honest truth would have been a disaster.

As a former chemist, I have a healthy sense that some scientific questions are worth exploring for their own sake, but not on a time scale of 10^(-25) seconds, and at a cost of tens of billions of dollars. I mean how long will this wild goose chase continue - you can't make an infinite energy beam, so there will always be justification to construct the next, yet larger, more powerful machine!

Obviously it is frustrating that high energy physics hasn't been wrapped up in a TOE, but it would seem Nature works in a different way. If the decision were up to me, I would certainly say NO to the FCC! If the money were put into space exploration, at least people can share in many of the discoveries.

Rolf said...

>But while you are here, do you think the FCC will actually tell us what the origin of the universe is? Do you think it'll tell >us what dark energy is?

I will do so below.

>You don't think that's misleading, you don't think it's lies?

No!

OK, also in response to Stephen here is an explanation why
the statements Sabine disagrees with most strongly, are not misleading.

Sabine's statement "Particle colliders don’t probe dark energy." is mistaken,
they might well do so, e.g. by detecting the scalar particle of the dark-energy field.
See e.g. here:
https://arxiv.org/abs/1604.04299
for an example how this might pan out at the LHC, of course it might also
happen at an FCC.

Sabine is right that the FCC cannot directly "simulate" the origin of the universe.
But it is possible (not at all certain, but as I showed, the FCC website - and certainly also not the video, which only contains questions - does not claim this) that discoveries at the FCC enable the construction of a new theory of particle physics of a similar scope as the standard model. Such a theory will very likely
teach us a lot about the early universe, just as the standard model did (as laid out e.g. in Weinberg's popular book "The first three minutes").

@David
> nor is there any reasonable chance of any technological consequences from whatever is discovered, if anything.

I agree, and this is indeed a valid argument against approving the FCC.

> That means
> that the only way to get them (i.e. their politicians) to agree, is to use intense PR.

I agree. But intense PR is not per se lying. And the fact that you realize that it
is 100% pure basic research, demonstrates that they do not obscure this fact.
They really don't.

> Further, you now insist that me replying to your accusations with the patience of an angel should count as "mobbing".

Your statement
> Frankly, your attempt to find something objectionable about my blogpost is pathetic.

a. rather than your patience shows that you lost your temper
b. is the classic mobbing line on a school yard: "You're pathetic!"

@Steven Show your face, am I right or not?

Sabine Hossenfelder said...

Rolf,

Well, you are pathetic. This has nothing to do with "temper". Please imagine I intone that with a dull and bored voice. You are trying to argue a video doesn't say what it says, even after I told you repeatedly what's wrong about what the video says. It's hard to beat that in terms of denial.

When I asked whether you think the video is misleading I didn't mean if you personally feel mislead. Sorry in case that was unclear. The question is whether you think that people who do not already know that the FCC will most likely only deliver more precise measurements of some masses and decay rates would be well-informed by the video. You already know that, eg because you read my blogpost.

As to the supposed test of dark energy. I am afraid I have to inform you that this paper is misleading too. What you can test at the LHC is the coupling of certain scalar fields to normal matter, yes. Those scalar fields' potentials could also contribute to dark energy. But the LHC won't tell you anything about that. If you don't know what I mean, think about this: The Higgs is a self-interacting scalar field. What has its discovery told us about dark energy?

David English said...

@ Steven Mason

Re: Anthropogenic Climate Change, and how to communicate the dangers (I assume you mean "CAGW" when you say "Climate Change").

No-one in their right mind will deny that the Earth's climate is changing, and that it is a good idea to have a clean planet.

The problem with the CAGW message is that the predictions have not been matched by observation, climate models don't account for all climate influences (we probably don't even know all climate influences) and the Earth has undergone massive climate change without the help of humans (Snowball Earth, Laurentide Ice Sheet).

I remember being terrified by the notion of human caused climate change. It is certainly plausible. The need to create solid arguments in favor of CAGW led me to research that moved me to the middle of the question- there is more to know before societal policies should be put into play.

Carbon fuels have done so much to advance humanity that any argument in support of limiting carbon fuel usage had better be rock-solid, and there must be a good solution in place (as of today, renewable power cannot sustain modern society). Those that oppose carbon also seem to oppose nuclear, opening the door to anyone susceptible to "Engineered Malthusian Cycle" conspiracies.

In a round-about way, the discussion is not so off-topic. Important matters are at hand- understanding the universe, and protecting our home are very important. Successful messaging for both will (simply and irrefutably) demonstrate relevance and achievability.


PS. Information re: what Carbon Fuels have done for humanity used to be available on the net as an excellent white paper. I can't find the paper, but this link has a graphic that is worth pondering:

https://cornwallalliance.org/2013/01/standard-of-living-the-real-hockey-stick/


David English said...

"Speaking of which, I can't remember the last American election that wasn't being sold as The Most Important Election Of Our Lives."

I remember reading a great quote about this. A quote presented as being very old... something along the lines of, "since the beginning of elections, if the other side wins, the world will end".

David Bailey said...

@Steven Mason

You wrote:
"It's off topic, but I've been pondering the problem of how the risks of catastrophic climate change should be presented and discussed with the general public and with politicians. Not just the risks, but what we should do to mitigate the risks. "

Perhaps they should also promote the views of this physics Nobel Laureate:

https://www.mediatheque.lindau-nobel.org/videos/34729/ivar-giaever-global-warming-revisited/laureate-giaever

Steven Mason said...

David wrote: some scientific questions are worth exploring for their own sake, but not on a time scale of 10^(-25) seconds, and at a cost of tens of billions of dollars . . .

I envision a future in which we no longer waste trillions of dollars and millions of lives each year on wars and defense, crime and punishment, poverty, political idiocy, etc. A world in which billions of highly educated, curious people will say, "Gee, what are we going to do with all the tremendous discretionary time and resources at our disposal?" One obvious answer might be, "Let's do some hardcore science, baby!"

If it turns out that humans are too stupid to figure out how to stop wasting so much of their potential, then "exploring questions for their own sake" is a moot point. At that point we'll have to accept that we looked for intelligent life in the universe, and we couldn't even find it here.

I currently put the odds at 50/50 that we'll either mess things up for ourselves out of sheer stupidity or create a Great Renaissance that maximizes human potential. Does that make me a pessimist, optimist, or realist?

awesome said...

Isn't it an evidence that capitalism and science don't mix?
The way the system works is a joke. Soon scientists will be replaced completely by advertisers because it seems that the money goes to those who is better at lying networking and bribing and not at science. And I'm serious because that's what the system favours.

I remember when they advertised lhc it looked like it's going to solve all the problems of humanity( or at least in physics). The results are insignificant compared to a scale and the costs of experiment. Oh that's because lhc wasn't big enough we just need a bigger one. Sure.
It's just shameless begging at this point.

Steven Mason said...

Rolf wrote: @Steven Show your face, am I right or not?

For whatever it's worth, I think there are misleading statements in the marketing video. Now that you're starting to address those statements, I find the discussion more interesting. Sabine admits that she can be "grumpy," but I encourage you to stay focused on the specific points.

We expect misleading statements in marketing, but as everyone can see, Sabine expects higher standards in science. There are TV commercials that seem to promise that guys will be popular with girls if they drink a certain brand of beer. Should particle physicists try to sell colliders by saying "size matters"? :-)

Steven Mason said...

David wrote: there is more to know before societal policies should be put into play

That's one approach and it seems sensible. But the risk to that approach is that by the time we "know more," it may be too late to do anything about it.

This pickle, or Catch-22, is loosely analogous to conundrums of crime. For example, some people are in a situation in which they face a credible threat from a known person - e.g. an abusive ex-husband who threatens to kill an ex-wife - but there is nothing the police can do until the person commits a crime. The police have to "know more" and have "rock-solid evidence" before they can put "societal policies into play."

In the #MeToo Age, how much rock-solid evidence do we need before society ruins a person's career and life because of sexual abuse allegations? In the US we've been having a debate about restrictions on guns. We argue over whether it's better to have a war on drugs or decriminalize them and treat it as a medical issue. For Pete's sake, we even argue about e-cigarettes having flavors. All of these things have a common theme: preemptive societal action.

The risk of catastrophic climate change is different because it's a global existential risk, and there's a risk that waiting to "know more" might put us over the tipping point.

Let me offer a variation of the Trolley Problem: If there was a one in five chance that a runaway trolley was going to kill a hundred people, would you divert the trolley to a track that would definitely kill one person? (You can change the parameters of the problem to one in ten chance, a 50/50 chance, a thousand people, etc.)

David wrote: what Carbon Fuels have done for humanity . . .

Oh, you don't need to sell me on what fossil fuels have done for humanity. The burning question now is: What are the risks of continuing to burn tremendous amounts of fossil fuels, and should we do anything to mitigate those risks even when we're not certain?

Steven Mason said...

David Bailey wrote: Perhaps they should also promote the views of this physics Nobel Laureate . . .

That perspective has always been a part of the discussion/debate. Indeed, that perspective is one of the reasons we haven't yet taken any serious mitigating action.

Just as no one can claim there is incontrovertible evidence that we need to take serious mitigating action, no one can claim there is incontrovertible evidence that we don't need to take serious mitigating action. Where does that leave us, David?

If you consider the worst-case scenario of catastrophic climate change and compare to the worst-case scenario of taking serious mitigating action, where does that leave you?

If we make a mistake, which mistake is easier to justify?

Steven Mason said...

David wrote: Important matters are at hand- understanding the universe, and protecting our home are very important.

Can't explore the universe if we wreck our home. :-)

David English said...

Steven, I admire your conviction.

I'm not interested in disguising politics as science.

Falker said...

Ok, it’s a bit late now.
Sabine is right.
This video is just bullshit, period.
The justification and the edifying discourse about science that some CERN members advocate change nothing about the fact that this communication strategy remains bullshit.
Instead of justifying their deception, it would be more relevant to be aware why bullshit is no laughing matter (https://aeon.co/ideas/why-bullshit-is-no-laughing-matter).

Physicists and communication people perfectly know that many non-scientific minds (including politicians) are curious and interested by science, for various reasons. They think they can eternally exploit such symbolic ressources and treat the public as stupid, ignorant and naive, and that bullshit can be useful. They should do exactly the contrary but it turns out they can’t.

Steven Mason said...

David English wrote: I'm not interested in disguising politics as science.

Good. Neither am I.

What are your thoughts about the way I framed the issue? In particular, my point about the risks of waiting until we know more. Do you agree it's a risk?

By the way, what is my "conviction"? The last time I checked, I was still trying to figure it out. You could save me a lot of trouble if you tell me what it is, and thanks in advance for admiring it. :-)

Panos Charitos said...

Dear Sabine,

Thank you for commenting on our video. I hope that you will have a chance to read the Physics Volume of the FCC study and get a clear picture of how different colliders hosted in a new tunnel can address outstanding questions like those are referred to in our video.

I am afraid that your summary of the scientific potential offered by the different FCC modes (FCC-ee, FCC-hh, FCC-he) doesn't accurately present to your readers what can (and can't) be done with this research infrastructure. Let me add that independently of our video there are now the fist collider searchers for dark energy while FCC is not only an energy-frontier machine.

Moreover, I believe that accusing a scientific institute of deliberating lying to the public is not the right use of words. As scientists we should think twice before spreading such strong and unfounded accusations.

In the meantime your readers may also be interested on a new video that we just produced highlighting the value of collaborative aspect of this project: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eCIe0PZAQMU

Finally, I would welcome any ideas for a future film presenting the physics case of future colliders as I am aware of the promotional films you have produced.

Kind regards,
Panos Charitos

Sabine Hossenfelder said...

Panos,

"I am afraid that your summary of the scientific potential offered by the different FCC modes (FCC-ee, FCC-hh, FCC-he) doesn't accurately present to your readers what can (and can't) be done with this research infrastructure."

That's correct, but that wasn't my intention. It should have been your intention.

"I believe that accusing a scientific institute of deliberating lying to the public is not the right use of words. As scientists we should think twice before spreading such strong and unfounded accusations."

The video under discussion documents that my accusations are well-founded. You are deliberately misinforming people. To make matters worse, instead of apologizing, you now double down on it and tell me to better not draw attention to the problem.

"I would welcome any ideas for a future film presenting the physics case of future colliders as I am aware of the promotional films you have produced."

Wonderful. I am happy to help if I can. Please send me an email to hossi[at]fias.uni-frankfurt.de

Best,

Sabine

DrD said...

Dear Sabine

I enjoy very much reading your word battles in the comment section, with as much glee as admiration.

But I wondered if this lengthy activity comes at the expense of doing other, maybe more impactful, things like writing other posts or doing research (or watching a movie or resting).

Just wondering.

How do you view this investment?

- Daniel Saraga

Panos Charitos said...

Hi Sabine,

We obviously have different views on this issue but rest assured that you don't monopolise the sensitivity about communicating and reaching out to the public.

Kind regards,
Panos

Steven Mason said...

Daniel wrote: But I wondered if this lengthy activity comes at the expense of doing other, maybe more impactful, things like writing other posts or doing research (or watching a movie or resting).

Daniel, do you realize how paternalistic you sound?

Isn't there something more impactful you could be doing than reading non-impactful, lengthy word battles?

By the way, I wouldn't call it a word battle. Sabine responds to people who try to tell her she's wrong. Are you suggesting she should just ignore them? Sabine doesn't enjoy repeating herself, but that comes with the territory.

Just wondering. :-)

Steven Mason said...

Panos wrote: rest assured that you don't monopolise the sensitivity about communicating and reaching out to the public.

I don't know what that means. Are you implying that Sabine is trying to monopolize the discussion about the collider?

Psmith said...

A huge portion of the field called "systems biology" into which several billion dollars have been sink is utter junk.

Cristian Baldenegro said...

By reading the comments, I cannot understand how your argument has been misconstrued as "I think nothing good would ever come out of the FCC, let's all stop working on collider physics". I think we can motivate an FCC-like machine while being (intellectually) honest to the general public as a community.

Steven Mason said...

Psmith: A huge portion of the field called "systems biology" into which several billion dollars have been sink is utter junk.

I doubt there is any field of scientific study that is immune from some dead ends and waste. Is there a particularly wasteful and fruitless project you have in mind, an example that illustrates your point? You've piqued my interest.

Steven Mason said...

Cristian wrote: By reading the comments, I cannot understand how your argument has been misconstrued as "I think nothing good would ever come out of the FCC, let's all stop working on collider physics".

That's why I make the small extra effort to quote what I'm responding to. Quoting doesn't eliminate misunderstandings and misconstruing, but it reduces it quite a bit.

Roberto Kersevan said...

"After the discovery of the Higgs-boson, there is also no good reason for why there should be something else to find, neither at the LHC nor at higher energies, not up until 15 orders of magnitude higher than what we can reach now"

Says who? That is, at best, your personal opinion.
The CDR of the FCC about to be published is split up in several volumes.
The one dealing with the proposed experiments and the scientific case is rather detailed, and full of interesting things to study and discover.
I am appalled, literally, that a scientist in a field bordering philosophy, like quantum gravity, has the nerve to tell a community of other scientists which have made plenty of discoveries and technological advances in the last half century that "there is nothing to discover after the Higgs boson".

It seems to me that the blogger has some personal issue with the particle physics community... or am I wrong?
Talking about the cost of the FCC program, it is of the order of 1-2 Euro/year/capita... I would hardly call it "expensive".

Roberto Kersevan said...

@awesome

"The results are insignificant compared to a scale and the costs of experiment. "

??? Pure nonsense. This is 100% fact-free rhetoric.

What costs are you talking about? The LHC plus its 4 bigger detectors has cost the equivalent of a couple of Euros/capita to the citizens/taxpayers of the member and participating countries.
Funding of the CERN budget is well known and documented.
What are you talking about?

Sabine Hossenfelder said...

Roberto Kersevan,

Are you by any chance this Roberto Kersevan, who happens to be working for the CERN technology department?

"I am appalled, literally, that a scientist in a field bordering philosophy, like quantum gravity, has the nerve to tell a community of other scientists which have made plenty of discoveries and technological advances in the last half century that "there is nothing to discover after the Higgs boson"."

You just fabricated a quote that you assigned to me. Is that how you guys at CERN lead arguments? Did you even bother reading what I wrote?

"The one dealing with the proposed experiments and the scientific case is rather detailed, and full of interesting things to study and discover."

Interesting things, like the origin of the universe?

Roberto Kersevan said...

@blogger

"Roberto Kersevan,

Are you by any chance this Roberto Kersevan, who happens to be working for the CERN technology department?"

Yes. I am an informed participant to this discussion, contrary to the person who started the discussion.

"I am appalled, literally, that a scientist in a field bordering philosophy, like quantum gravity, has the nerve to tell a community of other scientists which have made plenty of discoveries and technological advances in the last half century that "there is nothing to discover after the Higgs boson"."

You just fabricated a quote that you assigned to me. Is that how you guys at CERN lead arguments? Did you even bother reading what I wrote?"

I never said it was a quote of your text, did I?
It was my interpretation of you statements. Do you ever bother to re-read what you write?

What did you mean when you wrote this?

"That particle physicists can fumble together models that predict all and everything is why I no longer trust their predictions."

""The one dealing with the proposed experiments and the scientific case is rather detailed, and full of interesting things to study and discover."

Interesting things, like the origin of the universe?"

Yes, one of the many things.

Also, please correct the wrong statement or yours, about the chinese version of the FCC.
It is called CEPC for e-e+ and SppS for the hh version: the project DID get some funding for R&D after 2016... in fact the chinese are probably going to build their machine before CERN does, although their design is not as advanced as CERN's.

Sabine Hossenfelder said...

Roberto Kersevan,

You clearly accused me of saying something I did not say. I suggest you not repeat such silly attempts.

Yes, the Chinese plan did get some funding for a design study is my understanding. Whether the thing will actually be built is still unclear though.

"What did you mean when you wrote this?

"That particle physicists can fumble together models that predict all and everything is why I no longer trust their predictions."


I meant what I wrote, as I usually do. Ask a theoretical physicist to come up with a prediction for new physics at X TeV, they will come up with one. Those predictions are worthless.

"Interesting things, like the origin of the universe?"

Yes, one of the many things.


Nice, then please tell us how the FCC is going to test the origin of the universe.

Roberto Kersevan said...

"Those predictions are worthless. "

????
Like it would have been worthless to ask physicists the essence of the mysterious "fluid", they called it "ether" at the time, which supposedly allowed the propagation of EM waves, at the end of the 19th century, right?
Then two experimenters came, Michelson and Morley, and... guess what?... by experimenting they discovered that the ether did not exist.
Your equivalent skeptic back then would have said: "why bother to build the 'expensive' interferometer? There's nothing to discover..."

Predictions in physics are never worthless, provided they have some mathematical, logically solid, background. Hypothesis are made and most of the time they are not confirmed. It is the essence of the scientific method, at least in particle physics it has always been like that.
Why did you choose theoretical physics, then?

"Nice, then please tell us how the FCC is going to test the origin of the universe."

Test???? Who said "test"?

Read carefully!... it's written on the video images...
It reads... very beginning of the video you've linked:

"How can we EXPLORE the origins of the universe?"

... later they write:

"How did the universe begin?"

The word "test" is nowhere to be found in the video!

Is that how you guys at wherever place you work lead arguments? :-) (see? that was easy...)

Cheers.

Sabine Hossenfelder said...

Roberto,

"it's written on the video images...

I was not asking about the video, I was asking about your statement according to which there are many "interesting things to study and discover". I asked "Interesting things, like the origin of the universe?" you affirmed this with a clear "yes".

So, now, please tell us how you think the FCC will "study and discover" the origin of the universe, as you just told us.

"Predictions in physics are never worthless, provided they have some mathematical, logically solid, background."

Then please tell us what is the "mathematical, logically solid" argument that the FCC should see dark energy or study the origin of the universe. A reference will do.

And while you are at it, please also tell us the "mathematical, logically solid" argument according to which the LHC should have seen dark matter and/or supersymmetry already.

This isn't the early 20th century. The M&M experiment didn't cost 10 billion Euro. If experiments become that costly, you have to be very careful about where to put your money. Misleading the public about the value of predictions will not result in well-informed decisions.

Roberto Kersevan said...

@blogger:
"So, now, please tell us how you think the FCC will "study and discover" the origin of the universe, as you just told us."

Be my guest:

https://indico.cern.ch/event/656491/timetable/?view=standard

... like the third presentation, "Physics at FCC"?

... where there's plenty of presentation made by knowledgeable scientist which explain the how's and the why's.... machine and experiments, and the scope of research which would be possible were the FCC machines to be built.
You don't like it? Too bad.
... but don't call "lies" what lies are not. There is not a single "lie" in the short video you have linked. Also... calling it "marketing" is a demeanor, bordering the insult. Nobody "markets" anything on FCC. The FCC conceptual study program in its present form is sponsored/funded in large part with EU money, the Horizon 2020" program (which funds many other R&D programs, by the way). It is the EU, the sponsor, which requires the study group members to make public their research and funding... in order to show to the European taxpayer how the money they pay for such R&D is spent. Nothing else. Nobody gets rich "at the FCC" for doing what he/she does... in fact there is not even an "FCC" per se... all pariticipants from the 100+ universities and labs scattered around the globe do it with any additional bonus or pay, it is part of their job and, often, it is IN ADDITION to the activities that they already carry out at their home institutions.
The video is hosted on the CERN website because of this... for visibility, and also because the head of the FCC study group is a CERN scientist, so it makes sense that it is hosted here:

https://fcc.web.cern.ch/Pages/default.aspx

Is that clear enough? I can expand more, if not.

"Then please tell us what is the "mathematical, logically solid" argument that the FCC should see dark energy or study the origin of the universe. A reference will do."

That's easy... two examples amng the many possible, one for FCC-ee the other for FCC-hh:

https://arxiv.org/pdf/1601.06640.pdf

https://indico.fnal.gov/event/7633/session/13/contribution/27/material/slides/0.pdf

My conclusion is that you simply are not in the loop (for whatever reason), have clear pre-conceived objections to this kind of research, and therefore do not accept that others push for them. A rather narrow-minded point of view IMHO.

I ask again: why did you choose science, then?

Roberto Kersevan said...

@blogger

"This isn't the early 20th century. The M&M experiment didn't cost 10 billion Euro. If experiments become that costly, you have to be very careful about where to put your money. Misleading the public about the value of predictions will not result in well-informed decisions."

Don't be silly! The M&M experiment was state of the art then, exactly the same way the LHC is state of the art now, and FCC expands on this.
There have been very costly experiments then... just think about the mission to central Africa in order to take photos and proof of the deflection of light by sun's gravity, just before WW-I. Who could afford such a mission in area so remote that they weren't even on maps?
In the field of gravitational waves, the scientists have built, over several decades, few experiments, the 2 LIGOs, VIRGO, etc... at times where other skeptical scientist like you were citing Einstein saying the it will be impossible to detect such infinitesimal effects like spacetime distortion generated by an incoming gravitational waves... and guess what?... several billion dollars/Euros/yen/etc... later the Gwaves have been detected, and now the equivalent of the FCC guys want to build a Gwave detector IN SPACE!... which would cost easily 10 billions:

https://www.elisascience.org/

The last part of you comment above is simply incredibly naive!

... "Misleading the public about the value of predictions will not result in well-informed decisions"

... misleading who? The public? Decisions by whom?... the public? Since when the public decides about science policy?
The whole discussion here has started, you've started it, on the pretense that the short video FOR THE PUBLIC was a lie, which clearly it is not... there's not a single word written or in audio which backs your conclusion... so, please... you stop misleading YOUR public.

I understand that if you write a book and do not put some sort of conspiracy, like the FCC scientists lying to mislead the public and suck billions upon billions from their wallets, it is difficult to sell copies of the book... but there is a limit to the inaccurate statements a scientist can write on a scientific subject... do you understand this simple concept?

Cheers.

Sabine Hossenfelder said...

Roberto,

I looked at the slides of the presentation "Physics at the FCC" by Joshua Rudermann. It does not say anything about the origin of the universe.

"Is that clear enough? I can expand more, if not."

Yes, please go ahead. Tell us how the FCC will "discover and study" the origin of the universe (as you said), and how it will tell us something about dark energy and dark matter, as the video mentions.

I looked at arXiv:1601.06640. For all I can tell, it does not contain any "mathematically, logically sound" (your words) predictions, it instead merely says that the FCC will probe various parameter regimes at higher energies. That is correct of course, but I am asking for the "mathematically, logically sound" reason that the FCC should see new physics.

I also looked at Mangano's slides that you mention,

https://indico.fnal.gov/event/7633/session/13/contribution/27/material/slides/0.pdf

but it does not contain any such reasoning either. Unsurprisingly, because there aren't any. The slides merely list the usual naturalness-based reasons that were already listed 20 years to explain why the LHC should have seen new physics by now.

I chose to study science because I am interested in understanding how the universe works. How about you?

("blogger" is the platform you are commenting on, not my name)

Roberto Kersevan said...

@sabine
"Tell us how the FCC will "discover and study" the origin of the universe (as you said), and tell us something about dark energy and dark matter, as the video mentions. "

I am not here to make a tutorial on collider physics, but as the energy in the center of mass of the collisions increases the "equivalent temperature" increases and approaches the temperature which modern theories postulate to be present few instants after the big bang. I agree with you that the popular view that the LHC (or RHIC before the LHC) "re-creates the conditions of the big bang" is a gross over-estimation, 'cause space-time was born at the BB, while now the quark-gluon plasma is created in vacuum... but it is true that the quark-gluon plasma is a form of matter which has existed "soon after" the BB... so, increasing the energy of the collider, i.e. going from LHC to FCC is a logical, scientifically sound path to future discoveries. Will such discoveries come for sure? Not at all... but that has been the path of mankind since the invention of fire and the wheel... :-)
If you know of a way to create the quark-gluon plasma without colliding multi-TeV proton bunches against each other then send to us your idea, or come at CERN... there's a need for new brains... plus you are a woman and we want to increase that number... see dedicated efforts from the FCC in this direction... like the diversity program.

"I chose to study science because I am interested in understanding how the universe works. How about you?"

Originally it was the same, but over the years I've become good at designing and building machines which allow the scientists like you to check "true" or "false" their theories.
Most of the time the theories are "false", of course, which is normal.

"("blogger" is the platform you are commenting on, not my name)"

I understood that... thanks!! :-) ... but you are the blogger here, right? :-)

Sabine Hossenfelder said...

Roberto,

Thanks for confirming that you address me as "blogger" not by accident but to deliberately insult me.

"I agree with you that the popular view that the LHC (or RHIC before the LHC) "re-creates the conditions of the big bang" is a gross over-estimation...

Indeed. In other words, saying that the LHC (or the FCC) will, as you put it, "study and discover" the origin of the universe is nonsense. Glad we settled that. For this reason, the video should not raise the impression. As an aide, I also think CERN employees should not go around and make such nonsense statements in public.

"going from LHC to FCC is a logical, scientifically sound path to future discoveries"

Extrapolating from the past, it's a sound path to further non-discoveries.

"You are defending the indefensible, sabine. There are clear mathematically logical reasons, with ample theoretical basis in known physics, to pursue higher energy colliders for the study of the origin of the universe. "

Where are they, your "mathematically logical reasons"? Please spell them out, I am still waiting.

" but is says something about particle accelerator physics and dark matter!... which was another one of your objections."

Yes, there are many papers and talks which "say something about particle accelerators and dark matter". That's not the same as a mathematically logical reason why that particle accelerator should see dark matter. I am still waiting to hear what reason you could possibly have in mind.

The paper arXiv:1712.07135 does not list any reasons, it merely repeats the stories from 20 years ago which didn't work out.

"The whole discussion here has started, you've started it, on the pretense that the short video FOR THE PUBLIC was a lie, which clearly it is not... there's not a single word written or in audio which backs your conclusion... so, please... you stop misleading YOUR public."

The FCC will not tell us anything about the origin of the universe or dark energy, and there is no reason to think it will tell us anything about dark matter or baryogenesis, all of which are points that the video brings up.

Either the physicists who made (or, more likely, commissioned) the video did not understand the physics or they deliberately lied. I think the interpretation that it was a deliberate lie is the nicer one. If you want to make a case that they just have no clue about high energy physics, please go ahead.

"there is a limit to the inaccurate statements a scientist can write on a scientific subject... do you understand this simple concept?"

Judging by the enormous number of inaccurate statements you have managed to produce so far, I have my doubts that such a limit exists.

Roberto Kersevan said...

@sabine

"The FCC will not tell us anything about the origin of the universe or dark energy, and there is no reason to think it will tell us anything about dark matter or baryogenesis, all of which are points that the video brings up. "

Says who? This is your opinion, which goes against the opinion of 1000s of particle physicists, theory and experiment.

You are entitled to your opinion, of course, but do not dispense it as if it were the 10 commandments... OK, you've written your contrarian book and, as that guy said... "everyone will be famous for 15 minutes"... you got your 15', let's move over. Nothing better to do during your day? C'mon.

"Judging by the enormous number of inaccurate statements you have managed to produce so far, I have my doubts that such a limit exists."

Not a single one of mine was inaccurate, contrary to yours! ... you are simply delusional sabine! ... like for example your unsubstantiated statement about the impossibility to do neutrino physics with colliders such as the FCC? Are you kidding me? C'mon!

The best of the best in your comments so far is this, anyway:

"Again, it’s not impossible the FCC would find something, but there is no good reason for why that should happen."

So... it is not impossible.. but above you flatly stated that it is... impossible... and even if it were possible there is no good (i.e. "sabine likes it!") reason why that should happen. Sabine spoke, and all the gazillion scientists who've spent their lifetime career on this subject are idiots... they are just trying to get money duping the public with misleading (but, sad for sabine, very accurate and truthful) videos.

Have a nice continuation of the crusade, Dr. Sabine Hossenfelder.
I stop here, I am disgusted and fed up.
Cheers.

Roberto Kersevan said...

@sabine

"Either the physicists who made (or, more likely, commissioned) the video did not understand the physics or they deliberately lied. I think the interpretation that it was a deliberate lie is the nicer one. If you want to make a case that they just have no clue about high energy physics, please go ahead."

Oh!... forgot this.
They deliberately lied.
They have no clue about high energy physics (strange... those two guys went to Stockholm and got that Prize thanks to the same guys who have no clue about high energy physics... strange, uh?).

It used to be Godzilla vs The World now it is Sabine vs The World.
Sequels are often dumb and boring.

Cheers.

Sabine Hossenfelder said...

Roberto,

""The FCC will not tell us anything about the origin of the universe or dark energy, and there is no reason to think it will tell us anything about dark matter or baryogenesis, all of which are points that the video brings up. "

Says who? This is your opinion, which goes against the opinion of 1000s of particle physicists, theory and experiment."


That's an appeal to popularity. Where are the "mathematical, logically solid" reasons that you promised us?

"Not a single one of mine was inaccurate, contrary to yours! ... you are simply delusional sabine! ... like for example your unsubstantiated statement about the impossibility to do neutrino physics with colliders such as the FCC? Are you kidding me? C'mon!"

You said that the FCC would "study and discover" the origin of the universe which you yourself later agreed is wrong. You also told us something about "mathematical, logically solid" reasons that it would test dark energy and dark matter and baryogenesis. Unfortunately, you have not managed to come up with any such reasons.

You have also started out with falsely claiming that I said "there is nothing to discover after the Higgs boson", which I never said. It is possible of course that the FCC would see something new - I am not a prophet. I am merely telling non-experts that there is no good reason for why this should happen, something that they should know to be able to judge the promise of investing large sums of money into a future collider.

You now further falsely accused me of speaking of the "impossibility to do neutrino physics with colliders" something that I likewise never said and would never say. It is possible, of course, there is just no good reason for why it should happen. It's also possible the vacuum spontaneously decays tomorrow and kills us all.

You would be well advised to read my book. You are a prototypical example of the problems I am talking about.

JeanTate said...

@Sabine: you did not talk about whether an FCC could provide tests of neutrino physics, but others did, including me. Albeit rather indirectly. Maybe Roberto mis-read?

Sabine Hossenfelder said...

Jean,

Yes, I did. It doesn't have a bold-faced header (because it's not mentioned in the video), but it's the 3rd to last and 2nd to last paragraph of the blogpost.

JeanTate said...

Sabine,

I mis-spoke (mis-wrote?). My scope was the comments on your blogpost, not the blogpost itself. I should have been clearer, apologies. That said, Roberto has seriously mis-chacterized what you wrote, on neutrino physics and much else besides. Quite an eye opener for me; I’m used to seeing this sort of thing from some of those who ardently support certain “alternative physics” ideas, but never expected to see it from people like Roberto. :(

Roberto Kersevan said...

@sabine

"You now further falsely accused me of speaking of the "impossibility to do neutrino physics with colliders"

No?


I copy-paste from your inane text above:

"In the former case, the simplest model has the masses of the right-handed neutrinos at the Planck scale, so the FCC would never see them.

:-) good job Sabine!

"I am merely telling non-experts that there is no good reason for why this should happen, something that they should know to be able to judge the promise of investing large sums of money into a future collider."

Sure!... Investing large sums of money... where can one buy FCC stocks? NY or London stock exchange?

There is a limit to decency in this blog, Dr?

Roberto Kersevan said...

"That's an appeal to popularity. Where are the "mathematical, logically solid" reasons that you promised us?"

Done it already... with links.
You don't like them, your choice, but don't say I didn't provide them, ok?
Enough lies.

Roberto Kersevan said...

"You would be well advised to read my book."

I'd rather make an equivalent donation to some charity.

"You are a prototypical example of the problems I am talking about."

People who behave like you simply try to carve their own popularity spot.
Fans of chemtrails and aliens in area 55 do the same.
Now it is the terrible lobby of the inept fcc physicists who do not know physics, different target same smearing method.
A serious physicist, especially one trained in physics like you, would reasonably post his/her reservations on arxiv, for instance... so that his/her peers could respond appropriately... but Sabine instead has chosen the smear and hide method... "read my book"... C'non... you've got to be kidding me?

Roberto Kersevan said...

"I am not a prophet"

Oh yes! You are!

You even have several followers, like all respectable prophets.

Cheers.

Roberto Kersevan said...

@sabine
"The neutrino-masses are a problem in the Standard Model because either you need right-handed neutrinos which have never been seen,"

Never been seen so far... that's why people would like to build a more powerful accelerator... to "see" them.

"...or because the neutrinos are different from the other fermions, by being “Majorana-particles” (I explained this here).

In the latter case, you’re not going to find out with a particle collider;"

No?
According to this world reknown expert right-handed neutrino could be seen at FCC-ee:

https://arxiv.org/abs/1411.5230

Who's going to be more reliable... Sabine or the expert??
Mmmh... that's an easy one...

Have a nice reading.

Roberto Kersevan said...

@Sabine

". It's also possible the vacuum spontaneously decays tomorrow and kills us all."

Hey!... that's a great script for a book and Hollywood movie... unfortunately a similar bogus argument has already been tried but someone as skeptical about LHC as you are, remember the story of the mini black holes which have destroyed the world?
What did you think at the time about that story?... Tell me... plausible? Possible?

Roberto Kersevan said...

@Sabine
"Indeed. In other words, saying that the LHC (or the FCC) will, as you put it, "study and discover" the origin of the universe is nonsense. Glad we settled that."

????
You clearly have either one of these:

1) vision problem, can't read properly;
2) a huge problem comprehending written English. I never said that.

Let me know which one it is, I'll adapt myself accordingly.

Roberto Kersevan said...

"but never expected to see it from people like Roberto"

Why? Explain, please.

Steven Mason said...

From my layperson perspective, Roberto is being somewhat evasive and he's misconstruing some of the statements Sabine has made. Also, Roberto indulges in ad hom remarks. Call me naïve, but it always surprises me when scientists do that.

The best way to show someone is wrong is to show that their wrong. I would like to see Roberto address the points that Sabine keeps repeating.

Mark B. said...

NASA is constantly 'finding water on Mars,' although how you find something that you've already located is a mystery to me. Of course, it's all PR to keep the money coming. They do geology while claiming that they're searching for life that they know isn't there. To the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars, all told. NASA is little more than an employment program for engineers.

Sabine Hossenfelder said...

For those of you who have not followed, Roberto Kersevan is a CERN employer and he has come here to tell us that the claims made in the video are accurate. As he has detailed above,
he insists the FCC will "study and discover" the origin of the universe.

He later agrees that this is "a gross over-estimation" but then disagrees that he agrees. Fyi, even "a gross over-estimation" is still misleading because the origin of the universe isn't simply about higher energy densities, it's entirely different physics. The FCC will say nothing about it. Zero, zilch, nada.

Roberto Kersevan from CERN has then taken on to proclaiming that he is sure there are some "mathematical, logically solid" reason why the FCC would see the other things mentioned in the video (dark energy, dark matter, baryogenesis), but has failed to produce any such reasons.

That's unsurprising because there aren't any such reasons - everyone who actually works on the topic knows that.

After that he has retreated to personal insults, fabricated statements I did not make, and now produces lots of fog in which he denies what he previously said. He is also demonstrating that he is not able to parse simple conditional clauses.

That's your tax-money at work.

If you didn't previously understand why I say particle physics has a problem, hope that clarifies it.




Roberto Kersevan said...

@dr Sabine Hossenfelder

"That's unsurprising because there aren't any such reasons - everyone who actually works on the topic knows that. "

Actually, by mere coincidence, I've received yesterday evening a copy of the short form of the "physics case" for the 3 versions of FCC, ee, hh and ep, which will be presented for the European Strategy Plan (or whatever it is called), early next year.
Obviously it's all stuff void of any mathematical foundations, with no hope to elucidate baryogenesis, matter-antimatter asymmetry, zero, zilch, nada...

Ah... before I forget: you can write 50 times in the same message that I work at CERN, that doesn't mean that what I write here is CERN policy, I speak for myself. Even you should be able to understand that, I guess.

The only one who has retorted to insults is you, dear doctor:

"Either the physicists who made (or, more likely, commissioned) the video did not understand the physics or they deliberately lied.
I think the interpretation that it was a deliberate lie is the nicer one.
If you want to make a case that they just have no clue about high energy physics, please go ahead."

What are these?... compliments?

You and your blog are just a perfect, textbook example of Galileo gambit.
Congratulations.





Roberto Kersevan said...

@Steven

"I would like to see Roberto address the points that Sabine keeps repeating."

Done it already, if you can't se it, or pretend not to see it... it is not my problem.

For instance: dr. Sabine Hossenfelder has wrongly stated: "Particle colliders don’t probe dark energy. "

Wrong: particle colliders can probe dark energy, not directly like astrophysical/cosmological observations do, but they can.
There's plenty of theoretical papers giving a logical and mathematical background to it, which deal with that (Dr. Sabine Hossenfelder knows that, but omits to tell it to her readers, blatantly lying).
In addition, there is not only theory behind it... there are also experimental data which probe the dark energy sector, taken at the present LHC. This is just one of the many examples:

This workshop:

https://indico.cern.ch/event/507783/

... down the list you can find at least one presentation for ATLAS and one for the LHCb experiments and their search for dark matter candidates.

So: what can we DEFINITELY and WITHOUT ANY DOUBT answer to dr. Sabine Hossenfelder's statement "Particle colliders don’t probe dark energy"?
It's bullshit.

Roberto Kersevan said...

@Steven

"I would like to see Roberto address the points that Sabine keeps repeating."

Yes, the video!

It lasts 1'17". It would be really difficult to believe that someone could tell the number of lies that dr. Sabine Hossenfelder claims in such a short time.

Let's go through it:

1. One big eye with "How do we focus on the fundamental questions?" written on the screen;
2. "How can we explore the origins of the universe?";

Are these fundamental questions? Surely they are. Is this a lie? No.

3. "Designing the Future Circular Collider";
4. The video then shows the location of the collider's tunnel, and "plunges" into one of the deep experimental pits, with computer-generated images. At this point we are already 30+ seconds into the video;

Lies so far? ZERO... am I right?

5. "300 m deep";
6. "8000 superconducting magnets";

Additional lies here? 0

7. "What is 96% of the universe made of?";

Another important fundamental question, isn't it? Is it a lie? No.

8. "The world's biggest scientific instrument";
True? Yes.
Lie counter still at zero.

9. "What is dark matter?";
10. "Why is there no more antimatter?";

Two more fundamental questions, against which theory and experiment have struggled since more than 1/2 century. Are these lies? No.

11. "How did the universe begin?"... with view of one of the detectors, and one simulated collision in it;

One more question. Is it a lie? No.
Dr. Sabine Hossenfelder doesn't like it? Who cares.

12. "The Future Circular Collider";
13. "Expanding our horizons";

Lies here? None. A machine like the FCC would, without doubt, expand our horizons.

Is the video claiming that the FCC would answer to all these questions with absolute precision? No. Does it claim that it would "test" (as dr. Sabine Hossenfelder has written) the birth of the universe? No, it doesn't.

14. Final screen... with logos of the FCC design study, EuroCirCol, Horizon 2020 credits.

Lies here. 0

End of video.

Total number of lies? 0

One statement: FCC: expanding our horizons. The only STATEMENT among many QUESTIONS.
Do we agree on this? Where are these famous lies, hinted at by dr. Sabine Hossenfelder? Nowhere to be found, other than in her prodigious book of revelations.

Will the FCC explain where 96% of the universe comes from or it is made of? This is not said anywhere in this video, and you almost certainly won't find it in other CERN or FCC videos as well. If it happens it is a mistake and should be corrected, of course.
The community of scientist rotating around CERN has never promised anything, other than the equivalent of expanding the horizons of knowledge.... which it has done.
Over 60+ years of existence, CERN has demonstrably discovered a million things that very few people know of, thanks to the multitude of other experiments which are carried out on CERN's premises and accelerators, far from being only LHC science!... anti-matter, heavy-ion, nuclear medicine, astrophysics, nuclear physics, materials science, big data and databases, data mining techniques, accelerator science and technology, etc...

...

Roberto Kersevan said...

@Mark B

" They do geology while claiming that they're searching for life that they know isn't there."

Actually, NASA looks for presence of life on Mars in the past... that there is no sign of life now seems clear to everybody, NASA included.
For you discovering that life was present on Mars millions of years ago is a small, unimportant thing? You are entitled to your opinion, but then I'd like to know what kind of fundamental questions you'd like to have answered. Please, enlighten me.

Roberto Kersevan said...

@Steven

"I would like to see Roberto address the points that Sabine keeps repeating."

Dr. Sabine Hossenfelder said that the nature of dark energy cannot be elucidated using accelerators, didn't she?

Sure...

https://ep-news.web.cern.ch/content/searching-dark-energy-particle-colliders

Another one bites the dust.

Cheers.

Sabine Hossenfelder said...

Roberto,

I am familiar with Clare's work. I already said above that what her paper (and the CERN Newsletter) are about are couplings to light scalars. There is no reason such scalars would be found at the FCC and even if we wouldn't know whether they make up dark energy.

How you think a link to a CERN newspage counts as an argument is beyond me.

Your attempts to find fault in what I am saying merely demonstrate you don't know the first thing about BSM pheno to begin with. No one who knows anything about the topic would go and proclaim that a collider will "study and discover" the origin of the universe.

We are also still waiting for the "mathematical, logically solid" reasons that you promised us.

Roberto Kersevan said...

@dr. Sabine Hossenfelder, PhD in theoretical physics:

"There is no reason such scalars would be found at the FCC and even if we wouldn't know whether they make up dark energy.

How you think a link to a CERN newspage counts as an argument is beyond me."

WOW!... the killer argument!... on a blog for laypersons I have cited a link to the newspage of the experimental physics department of the european center for particle research... that's not good enough for dr. PhD sabine.
That mirror you're climbing is about to finish, sabine!

Cheers.

P.S.: don't like the "newspage", is not enough for you? Here you go:

Title: "LHC signatures of scalar dark energy"
Authors: Philippe Brax, Clare Burrage, Christoph Englert, and Michael Spannowsky
Journal: Phys. Rev. D 94, 084054 – Published 31 October 2016

https://journals.aps.org/prd/abstract/10.1103/PhysRevD.94.084054

A one-liner, first one of the abstract, says it all (concerning who's right and who's wrong in our discussion):

"Scalar dark energy fields that couple to the standard model can give rise to observable signatures at the LHC."

You will have a hard time convincing me, or anybody with a modicum of knowledge in science, that the 4 authors would not be capable of backing their conclusions with solid mathematical and physical foundations... and yet publish on PhysRev D? Can you? I bet not.

Now the laypersons reading your unfortunate blog will not be able to check that what I'm saying is correct and you are wrong, since the articles on Physical Review D are not free, one must have an expensive subscription. Is that better? Are you happy?

You can still claim, though, that I "insulted" you, playing the poor woman attached by the evil man from the evil, incompetent, big-science lab... it's the politically-correct escape route for you! Hurry up sabine!

JeanTate said...

Roberto,

I’ll write at greater length later, on why I never expected to see language/logic/discussion like some of what you have posted here, from people like you.

For now, I echo Steven Mason’s comment, particularly re the ad hominem attacks. Attacking the argument, even fiercely at times, is what I expect from scientists (I regard you as a scientist, and hope you do too); attacking the person who makes an argument, well that to me is beyond the pale (excessive intake of a certain alcohol besides).

Sabine Hossenfelder said...

Roberto,

As I already told you, I know the paper. Rather than quoting a sentence from the abstract that you like, why don't you explain us why the FCC should see dark energy, or quote the relevant part of the paper that explains it? We are all waiting for your "mathematical, logically solid" reasons. Go ahead, and please spare us further obfuscations.

No, referring to a News Article on your own institution's website that happens to combine words you would like to see together is not an argument.

Roberto Kersevan said...

@dr. Sabine Hossenfelder, PhD

"We are all waiting for your "mathematical, logically solid" reasons. Go ahead, and please spare us further obfuscations. "

No problem, sabine! :-)

http://cdsweb.cern.ch/record/2627837/files/ATL-PHYS-PUB-2018-008.pdf

"Spectroscopy of scalar mediators to dark matter at the LHC and at 100 TeV", https://journals.aps.org/prd/pdf/10.1103/PhysRevD.92.075006

"Quark-gluon tagging with shower deconstruction: Unearthing dark matter and Higgs couplings", https://journals.aps.org/prd/abstract/10.1103/PhysRevD.95.034001

"Closing up on dark sectors at colliders: From 14 to 100 TeV", https://journals.aps.org/prd/abstract/10.1103/PhysRevD.93.054030

This papers should keep you busy at least until January 7th, 2019... when I'll be back from vacation.

Enjoy the reading, sabine!

-------------

P.S.: Question: are you, dr. Sabine Hossenfelder... hater of high-energy particle colliders..., by any chance related to the Sabine Hossenfelder first author of the paper "Quasistable black holes at the Large Hadron Collider", https://journals.aps.org/prd/abstract/10.1103/PhysRevD.66.101502

... where she (you?) and co-authors hoped that the LHC (unde quasi-stable mini-black holes?

Mmmmh... yeah!... I think that's you!
I see that LHC was fine then... but it is Satan now.

Nice try Sabine... :-)

Later.

Roberto Kersevan said...

@sabine

"No, referring to a News Article on your own institution's website that happens to combine words you would like to see together is not an argument."

Listen, sabine. Your time playing with my patience is approaching the end.
When I quoted the news article I was responding to the self-defined "layperson" Steven.

Do you think I should have quoted to him the paper on Physical Review D?
How low can you go in your messianic battle against the evil CERN physicist?
Time's up, sabine!

Happy holidays season to you and all readers of the blog... I'm done.

Roberto Kersevan said...

@sabine

"quote the relevant part of the paper that explains it? We are all waiting for your "mathematical, logically solid" reasons. Go ahead, and please spare us further obfuscations."

I have quoted the relevant part of the paper.
The mathematically logically solid reasons are called "formulae", and are numbered in the linked article. There are 26 of them: 16 in paragraph 2 and 10 in par.3.

You know perfectly well that your blog has a limit of 4096 characters, no figures allowed, so it is very puerile of you to ask me to quote extensively or elaborating further when doing so is physically impossible.

Stop hiding yourself, sabine... read the formulae! Read the paper! Stop the nonsense!

Roberto Kersevan said...

@sabine

" (excessive intake of a certain alcohol besides)."

That would explain many things... I didn't think about this possibility.

Sabine Hossenfelder said...

Roberto,

That's right, I am the author of the paper you mention. I know what I am talking about when I say that all those BSM predictions for the LHC are worthless.

No one has any doubt that physicists write papers, in abundance, about probing the dark sector with accelerators. Listing papers is not an argument for why a collider should see any of that.

Everyone who understands why particle physicists thought that the LHC should see signs of dark matter or supersymmetry also understands that these arguments have been falsified by now. You don't seem to have gotten the memo. Maybe talk to some of your colleagues in the theory-department.

It is clear by now that you have no argument, you merely produce empty words.

Steven Mason said...

Mark wrote: NASA is little more than an employment program for engineers.

You make valid points. But to be fair, NASA is a blend of science and politics. There are all sorts of political/national defense factors involved in any nation's space programs. Some of these factors are more justifiable than others.

I'm inclined to opine that a manned mission to Mars, before mid-century, is not justifiable. Such a mission can only be justified politically, not scientifically, and even then, the political justifications are dubious at best.

It's harder for me to opine on unmanned missions to planets. At a fraction of the cost of manned missions, they satisfy a human itch to explore and develop new, high-tech gadgets. They might pave the way to exploiting natural resources in our solar system. One could counterargue that we should instead focus on figuring out how to live in a sustainable way on Earth before we gallivant about the solar system.

Denis Boers said...

It is sad to witness a CERN scientist flying off into a Trump-like rage. And in writing no less.

Steven Mason said...

Part 1 of 2:

Roberto wrote: Ah... before I forget: you can write 50 times in the same message that I work at CERN, that doesn't mean that what I write here is CERN policy, I speak for myself. Even you should be able to understand that, I guess.

Before I wade through the substantive/factual part of the exchange between you and Sabine, I'll address the personal part.

Roberto, once again you are misconstruing what Sabine said. Pointing out (50 times???) that you work at CERN does not mean you are representing CERN policy, at least not in any official capacity. The way I see it, Sabine is pointing out that you might have something at stake in this discussion and there is a possible conflict of interest.

It's necessary to be aware of the possibility that people with vested interests sometimes are biased, and sometimes they mislead and lie. It can be a fine line between healthy skepticism and cynicism.

When you toss out ad homs like "Even you should be able to understand that, I guess," that tends to make me more skeptical. The use of gratuitous ad homs damages a person's credibility. Sticking to the facts under discussion enhances a person's credibility.

This isn't the first time you've misconstrued and insulted Sabine. That makes me wonder if you don't care how your insults damage your credibility, or if you're not aware that they damage your credibility. Or maybe you think insults are an effective strategy of debate.

Steven Mason said...

Part 2 of 2:

Roberto wrote: The only one who has retorted [sic] to insults is you, dear doctor

You're in denial that you've used ad homs and insults. More on that in a moment, but first let's consider your example of an insult from Sabine:

Sabine wrote: Either the physicists who made (or, more likely, commissioned) the video did not understand the physics or they deliberately lied. I think the interpretation that it was a deliberate lie is the nicer one. If you want to make a case that they just have no clue about high energy physics, please go ahead.

Roberto wrote: What are these?... compliments?

It's neither a compliment nor an insult. Defenders of the video have denied that it contains or suggests any lies. Sabine doesn't mince her words; she'll use the word "lie" when most people might use polite euphemisms. Sabine has been very specific about the lies, and even if you think it's too strong a word, it's easy enough to address her specific points without "resorting to insults."

As for Sabine's barb about physicists not having a clue, it wasn't so much an insult as it was an attempt to underline the absurdity of continued denials about the lies in the video. Sabine doesn't think the physicists involved with the video are clueless about physics. That's why she said "lying is the nicer interpretation." Sabine is just prodding you guys to address the lies she's pointed out.

Roberto, from the start, you have insulted Sabine. I'll quote from your first comment:

Roberto wrote: I am appalled, literally, that a scientist in a field bordering philosophy, like quantum gravity, has the nerve to tell a community of other scientists. It seems to me that the blogger has some personal issue with the particle physics community.

These gratuitous ad homs were followed up with this haughty statement:

Roberto wrote: Talking about the cost of the FCC program, it is of the order of 1-2 Euro/year/capita... I would hardly call it "expensive".

Let's review: From the beginning, you have used insults. You deny that you use insults. From the beginning, you've made questionable statements about expense and other things. In your first comment, you didn't address a single point of fact that Sabine had made. When Sabine prodded you to address her points, you call it an insult. Even if I concede that Sabine's prodding was blunt, there is method to her madness. She's just trying to get you to address her points. What are you trying to accomplish with your insults?

I've got no vested interest in who is right or wrong about this video. I'm still open to the possibility that you have valid points to make, but I'm pointing out that you've damaged some of your credibility.

Given your strange denials that you have insulted Sabine, I'm feeling strongly biased against you right now. I'm going to give myself some time to cool off before I look at how you've responded to the specific points Sabine has made about the video.

Steven Mason said...

Roberto wrote: I see that LHC was fine then... but it is Satan now . . . that's not good enough for dr. PhD sabine . . . How low can you go in your messianic battle against the evil CERN physicist? Time's up, sabine! . . Now the laypersons reading your unfortunate blog . . . You can still claim, though, that I "insulted" you, playing the poor woman attached by the evil man from the evil, incompetent, big-science lab...

While scrolling through comments, histrionic dreck like this just pops out.

Do not presume to insinuate that we are being duped by Sabine's "unfortunate blog." Given your initial evasiveness and denials about your insults, I'm disinclined to accept you as a model of objectivity and self-awareness.

Would it shock or surprise anyone if scientists attempt to market a new collider by making, shall we say, optimistic statements about what it might do? Would it bother anyone if scientists challenged those optimistic statements?

When it comes to expensive projects funded by public money, I expect "optimistic" marketing and a robust debate about the merits of the project. It just so happens that Sabine has higher expectations for scientific marketing than I do. I can't fault her for that.

Roberto, I don't appreciate someone in your position marketing this project as inexpensive. I don't buy the oft-used specious argument that just because it'll cost me only a few dollars, there's no reason to question the project. Laypeople don't need protection from challengers like Sabine. She's not trying to impede scientific progress or spoil anyone's party. Nor is she a disgruntled, rogue physicist that can be dismissed out of hand (which is what you tried to do when you mentioned Sabine's "personal issues" in your initial comment).

If you think robust challenges to expensive projects represent a threat to scientific progress, go ahead and make your case or write your own book. Sabine has written a book about some of the problems with the way science is done. You can challenge her book, point by point.

Steven Mason said...

Roberto wrote: This papers should keep you busy at least until January 7th, 2019... when I'll be back from vacation . . . Listen, sabine. Your time playing with my patience is approaching the end . . . I'm done.

So which is it? Are you returning or are you done? It's that darn uncertainty principle playing with us again!

Arun said...

Roberto,
I as part of the tax-paying public have to weigh the money spent on a likely futile search for dark matter at CERN vs. e.g, plowing the same money into efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Roberto Kersevan said...

@steven


"Roberto, I don't appreciate someone in your position marketing this project as inexpensive."

1) I am not MARKETING anything! I am simply dispelling fake news, those spewed on this blog by sabine;

2) The project IS inexpensive under all possible points of view. A serious cost-benefit analysis shows that. Projects like this create wealth, they DO NOT destroy it. That's a fact, not my opinion. You don't like facts? Your problem, steven.


"I don't buy the oft-used specious argument that just because it'll cost me only a few dollars, there's no reason to question the project."

And in fact the whole discussion has only marginally gone on the cost issue. I have participated because I am sincerely fed up about fake news... 10 years ago it was "stop the LHC before it generates black holes which will devour the planet"... enough!
I don't know what you do for a living, but I would never come to discuss with you and put questions based on rumors and/or outright inventions and ask you to stop doing what you do, as an expert in your field.

"Laypeople don't need protection from challengers like Sabine."
Oh yes they do!... otherwise they would not be laypersons (with respect to that particular subject).

"She's not trying to impede scientific progress or spoil anyone's party."

She's trying quite hard, in fact... she's written a book on it, for Christ sake!!!

"Nor is she a disgruntled, rogue physicist that can be dismissed out of hand (which is what you tried to do when you mentioned Sabine's "personal issues" in your initial comment)."

Sorry, steven... it was a knee-jerk reaction... you know, she starts saying that the scientists at cern LIE, are incompetent, dupe the taxpayers, etc... on the basis of a 77" video where what she claims is nowhere to be found????

"If you think robust challenges to expensive projects represent a threat to scientific progress, go ahead and make your case or write your own book."

There is nothing "robust" in spewing fake news. Try again with other arguments.

"Sabine has written a book about some of the problems with the way science is done. You can challenge her book, point by point."

I have not commented her book!... I have commented her fake news about the video (then I've commented other issues, which have come out during the discussion).
You asked me to provide proof of my counter-arguments: I have debunked the video's claims of her word by word, I have given links to peer-reviewed papers which disprove her claims that dark energy cannot be tested/investigated using particle colliders... this you neither mention if nor at least acknowledge it... why? I have my idea about why...

Anyway... discussion is over. You like fake science and proof-less statements? Go on and read her blog. You don't like it? Mark one weekend of September 2019 and come to Geneva for the two-day open doors at CERN... then you'll see how your taxpayer money is spent, if you are a citizen of one of the member countries.

Cheers, and happy holidays.

Roberto Kersevan said...

@steven

"Would it shock or surprise anyone if scientists attempt to market a new collider by making, shall we say, optimistic statements about what it might do? Would it bother anyone if scientists challenged those optimistic statements? "

YOU should bother if a badly informed, preconceived scientist spews insulting accusations without a base, yes... you should.
She's not challenging anything. It's a "this won't work, that won't work either" kind of arguments. She's a theoretical physicist and mathematician... why doesn't she dispute modern particle physics and new projects/proposals (FCC is not a project yet) by submitting papers to the journal where she already publishes?... Physical Review and the rest?

Judging by what she has written here so far, she knows close to nothing about how cern works, how FCC is designed, how FCC detectors are designed, etc.. and yet you are giving her all the credit, and point your fingers at those who know.
Stockholm syndrome, textbook case.

Roberto Kersevan said...

@steven

" Sabine doesn't mince her words; "

Me neither... and yet you see insults in my words, even when there are none, and skip the real insults she's written here.

You are a partisan.

Roberto Kersevan said...

@steven

"Roberto wrote: I am appalled, literally, that a scientist in a field bordering philosophy, like quantum gravity, has the nerve to tell a community of other scientists. It seems to me that the blogger has some personal issue with the particle physics community.

These gratuitous ad homs were followed up with this haughty statement:"

There is no gratuitous ad hominem here. Why are you making things up?
Not one of the things I've written is false. She does research in quantum gravity, and is interested in philosophical matters... ask her!... and she DOES tell a community of scientists working in a field she knows nothing or very little about how things should be.
The fact that she has a personal issue with the particle physics community comes from this, for instance:

"I'm a theoretical particle physicist and I doubt the value of theoretical particle physics."

You know who wrote this?
It is published here...

https://www.nature.com/articles/nphys4079

... go read the abstract, if you can't read the whole paper.

So: correct your statement, please. There is no ad hominem attack in the text I've written and you have pasted here above.

Denis Boers said...

Sabien,

Roberto's fit of rage is actually a first rate confirmation of much of what you wrote in the book . You owe him a resounding "thanks".

Roberto Kersevan said...

@steven

"She's just trying to get you to address her points. What are you trying to accomplish with your insults? "

Steven: your game's over.
I have addressed her points MANY times. I have replied to your "layperson" suggestion for me to reply to her points and I have done it, by linking a newspage at cern... the result was:

1) YOU did not acknowledge me doing it (as a matter of fact here you re-iterate the false statement that I have never addressed her points);

2) She has made fun of me saying that it was "beyond her" how I could reply to her points using a link to a newspage at cern... which is a completely bogus argument since she claims to know personally the work of the scientist interviewed in the newspage article... which, if true (I don't believe it, anyway) would disprove her argument that I didn't address her points, since that paper (a series of papers, of which I have subsequently given the links on peer-reviewed jounals) does exactly that... it shows that particle colliders can probe the dark energy sector (previously I had given links to presentations/papers about the dark matter sector).

On the base of this evidence (read above) I hereby declare you are a blatant liar as well... my patience with the "layperson" has a limit.

Cheers.

Roberto Kersevan said...

@steven

"The way I see it, Sabine is pointing out that you might have something at stake in this discussion and there is a possible conflict of interest. "

Conflict of what?????
FCC is a design study program which aims at building a series of machines, using the same tunnel (in the most effective configuration, electron-positron collider first followed by superconducting proton-proton collider later)... the sooner this could be done at cern is.... 2035.
My last day of work at cern will be in early 2025... what vested interest could I have?
What are you talking/hinting about, steven?

My only "vested interest" is to conceive, design and build performing accelerators, which would allow the incompetent scientists who know nothing and lie about the video (her words, you never took the distance from that) to discover new laws of nature by testing existing and/or yet to discover theories. I have done that since the end of the 80s, working at 7 different labs.

What a shameful life full of "vested interests" I carry on, uh?

Cheers.

Roberto Kersevan said...

@dr. Sabine Hossenfelder

"Roberto,

That's right, I am the author of the paper you mention. I know what I am talking about when I say that all those BSM predictions for the LHC are worthless."

You are not god, no above-the-average world expert, sabine! "Worthless" is your (so far) unsubstantiated take on the argument. Nothing else.
A suggestion: never fly too high, above your cruising altitude... if you know what I mean.

"No one has any doubt that physicists write papers, in abundance, about probing the dark sector with accelerators. Listing papers is not an argument for why a collider should see any of that."

Well, this sentence proves that you are ignorant of the history of particle physics as well!... CLAP! CLAP! CLAP!

Proof: you have stated (mis-stated) above that neutrino physics can better be done with other machines, not colliders like the FCC... (i.e. higher-energy colliders).
Case study: how was the tau netrino discovered?
I cut-and-paste from wikipedia (for the "laypersons" that may eventually be interested to read more on this):

"The tau was anticipated in a 1971 paper by Yung-Su Tsai.[5] Providing the theory for this discovery, the tau was detected in a series of experiments between 1974 and 1977 by Martin Lewis Perl with his and Tsai's colleagues at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC) and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBL) group.[2]
Their equipment consisted of SLAC's then-new e+e− colliding ring, called SPEAR, and the LBL magnetic detector.
They could detect and distinguish between leptons, hadrons and photons. They did not detect the tau directly, but rather discovered anomalous events".

This short excerpt dispels all your fake news in two sentences. New theory (your equivalent back then would have said "they are worthless"), new machine (your equivalent back then would have said "won't work, too expensive, build something different"), indirect discovery of the existence of the tau (you... "there is no sound theory behind").

"Everyone who understands why particle physicists thought that the LHC should see signs of dark matter or supersymmetry also understands that these arguments have been falsified by now."

They have not been "falsified"! What the hell are you talking about????
So far SOME supersymmetry theories' predictions have been tested to some degree of precisions (X standard deviations,usual figure of merit). It is not that supersymmetry per se has been "falsified".
Again, you know very little about the history of particle physics, it is clear!... 'cause research in that field has always proceeded that way, and we can't say, about one century later, that discoveries have not been made, can we? C'mon!

"You don't seem to have gotten the memo. Maybe talk to some of your colleagues in the theory-department."

YOU eventually talk to someone in MY theory department!... you are hilarious, sabine! What is it that you are trying to do? Some psychology experiment? Exchanging roles? What's your problem???

"It is clear by now that you have no argument, you merely produce empty words."

Yeah!... sure!... "no argument... merely empty words" like...

http://cdsweb.cern.ch/record/2627837/files/ATL-PHYS-PUB-2018-008.pdf

https://journals.aps.org/prd/pdf/10.1103/PhysRevD.92.075006

https://journals.aps.org/prd/abstract/10.1103/PhysRevD.95.034001

https://journals.aps.org/prd/abstract/10.1103/PhysRevD.93.054030

You should have understood by now that your modus operandi may be convincing for some layperson who are unaware of the details of the matter, but not with me... why do you keep on going that way, then?
It's sad to see you doing that, sabine.
Sure, it increases the traffic on your blog, is that the reason? I can't think of anything else.

Roberto Kersevan said...

@sabine

"Sabien,

Roberto's fit of rage is actually a first rate confirmation of much of what you wrote in the book . You owe him a resounding "thanks"."

See sabien? Your modus operandi works! :-)

Fake news always pay, in the short term! ...that's a well-known marketing/political strategy.

Sabine Hossenfelder said...

Roberto,

That's right, I am not god. This may be the first correct statement you have made, congrats. I have explained in my book exactly why those predictions are worthless. You don't have to believe my arguments, though, you just have to look at the data. It agrees with me. I know that hurts.

We are still waiting to hear how you think the FCC will "study and discover" the origin of the universe.

We are also still waiting to hear all the "mathematical, logically solid" reasons why the FCC will probe dark matter and baryogenesis. Where are they?

You continue to further construct things I did not say, this time about neutrino physics. I don't know if you are really unable to comprehend basic English grammar or if you just pretend to.

You have produced lots of references that document that physicists invent particles and then calculate what would happen if those particles were produced at the LHC or FCC. No one doubts that those papers exist. I am asking why believe that the particles exist, not the papers.

If you read my book (or my blog, for that matter), you'll find I did speak with people from the CERN theory department.

"They have not been "falsified"! What the hell are you talking about????"

Good, let me be more precise, they either have been falsified, or they are not falsifiable.

By now I have the impression you really do not have the faintest clue what I am even talking about.

Roberto Kersevan said...

@dr. Sabine Hossenfelder

"We are still waiting to hear how you think the FCC will "study and discover" the origin of the universe."

Done. Many times already. Blindness must be terrible, I'm sorry for you.

"We are also still waiting to hear all the "mathematical, logically solid" reasons why the FCC will probe dark matter and baryogenesis. Where are they?"

Done. See, for instance... as one of the numerous possible examples... the 36 formulae, with solid tens of peer-reviewed papers in reference, in the article I've linked, published on Phys Rev D (if that was the journal, no time to check it now).
Not only physical blindness, which would be bad... you are also affected by intellectual blindness. You pretend not to see what is put in clear light in front of you. You asked for mathematically logically sound basis?... I've given it to you. You don't like it?
Who could care less.

"By now I have the impression you really do not have the faintest clue what I am even talking about."

You are certainly right, sabine! :-)

You know it all.. the only... the one!

If I buy your book "I'll see the light!".

How do you spell "pathetic arguments" in German?

In French they have this way of saying "ne pas peter plus haut que son cul"... you should try it sometimes.

Cheers.

Roberto Kersevan said...

@dr. Sabine Hossenfelder

"No one doubts that those papers exist. I am asking why believe that the particles exist, not the papers. "

???????
Mind boggling argument to say the least!
Someone with your CV saying this? I am speechless!

Why believe? Because there are solid mathematically and logically sound foundations to believe it... (which, incidentally, is what you said not to be the case).
Believe that particles MAY exist, on the basis of such arguments, because it has worked in the past, so there is a good reason to apply a strategy which sometimes has worked in the past.
Do you have better ideas on how to proceed? Put them forward. You don't. Discuss about something else, possibly avoiding to call liars those who think differently.
Is that clear enough for you this time? Probably not...

En passant let's note that finally you now acknowledge the existence of the papers which I have brought in support of my thesis... so far you've been asking over, and over again about them... and I've been feeding them to you again and again... as if I never cited/linked them. Split personality anyone? That's scary.

What game are you trying to play, sabine?

Roberto Kersevan said...

@arun

"Roberto,
I as part of the tax-paying public have to weigh the money spent on a likely futile search for dark matter at CERN vs. e.g, plowing the same money into efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions."

Dear arun (if that's your real name and not just a nickname).

1) There is nothing "futile" about doing the research that we do here!
2) Look at the objects around you: without particle accelerators most of today's objects/gadgets would simply do not exist. Nothing based on micro-electronics ("who cares about the Schroedinger equation?") just to make an example. No computers. No Iphones. No magnetic resonance diagnostic. No X-rays. No positron-emission tomography. No cryogenics-based superconductors (nuclear resonance at hospitals)... and so on, in an endless list.

3) The money spent on dark matter or dark energy research on planet earth is a small, minute fraction of what is already spent on the same planet in efforts to reduce emissions of GHG.... so adding the former to the latter would not change much, actually nothing at all.

4) You won't certainly read what I am going to say now on dr. Sabine Hossenfelder's blog... but research done at CERN today can be applied directly to what you suggest we should rather be doing, such as:

a) CERN is developing, and will install soon, a new special kind of high-temperature superconducting cable, using MnB2 (magnesium diboride) which has applications to transporting with very low losses and at low costs the "excess" electricity generated by e.g. wind turbines or photovoltaic power plants;

b) another example is visible, as a commercial product, on the roof of the airport in Geneva: thousands of square meters of the roof's surface have been covered with extremely efficient thermal solar power panels, which are used in all seasons to heat and refresh the air of the airport, avoiding the emission of thousands of tons of GHGs. The technology has been developed and commercialized originally by a start-up company that until few months ago was based on the Swiss part of the CERN campus, based on technology developed in the group I am working in right now.

Want more info on aid/support to spin-offs by CERN (your taxapayer money, that is)?

Just look at this: https://kt.cern/startups

Cheers.

Roberto Kersevan said...

@denis boers

"It is sad to witness a CERN scientist flying off into a Trump-like rage. And in writing no less."

It is sadder yet to see someone with no clue use such silly arguments.

Sabine Hossenfelder said...

Roberto,

I did not ask about papers that were written about hypothetical particles. Everyone knows those exist in the thousands. I am asking about the supposed "mathematical, logically solid, background" (your exact words) to think any of those particles will be produced at the FCC.

You just said the same thing again:

"Why believe? Because there are solid mathematically and logically sound foundations to believe it... (which, incidentally, is what you said not to be the case)."

Indeed, there aren't any logically sound reasons. And, interesting enough, you haven't been able to find any.

"Believe that particles MAY exist, on the basis of such arguments, because it has worked in the past, so there is a good reason to apply a strategy which sometimes has worked in the past."

Ah, the "it has worked in the past" argument. I address that in my book. It's logical nonsense of course. And even if you cannot follow why I say that, it has, as matter of fact, not worked. You are either in denial about this or don't know the first thing about BSM pheno.

"Do you have better ideas on how to proceed? Put them forward. You don't. Discuss about something else, possibly avoiding to call liars those who think differently.
Is that clear enough for you this time? Probably not..."


Ah, there is again the "criticism" that I supposedly don't have better ideas. I already explained here why that's both wrong and stupid.

Summerisle said...

I'm a pp experimentalist and I've followed this discussion with interest. I wasn't quite sure what to make of the promotional video but I don't think its full of lies. It is a scientific marketing video based on a highly optimistic view of what could be achieved with that collider.

The FCC would certainly address some important topics. As in the video, baryogenesis is one of them. The FCC will likely be able to determine if the EW phase transition is first or second order. If the EWPT is strongly first order it may help to explain baryogenesis - quite a breakthrough.

I don't have a problem with the video being positive about the FCC. However, its up to the rest of the community to provide counter arguments. For example, continuing with baryogenesis, EW baryogenesis is certainly an interesting approach to baryogenesis. However, it is only one among many paradigms for baryogenesis, the topic itself being quite a theory Wild West. It isn't even the most fashionable approach these days. Baryogenesis via leptogenesis enjoys that accolade.

Similar arguments for and against the FCC's optimism can be made for each of the topics covered in the video.

The major finding of FCC searches is likely to be the null hypothesis, as is the case with most searches (and, as has been pointed out, null results are very useful). We have an extremely well tested theory which makes predictions of what will be seen at the FCC and its likely that the FCC will confirm the correctness of the SM up to another order of magnitude in energy scale. The FCC simply does not a "no lose theorem" as the LHC did and there's nothing wrong with embracing this. The major argument for the FCC IMO is that it is an exploration machine which can open a substantial discovery window for new physics. We're pretty rubbish at being able to judge what is promising or otherwise at colliders. We would finally get to hear the data itself tell us how the landscape looks for 100 TeV collision.

The big issue for me is whether exploration is best achieved by a massive new collider (which by, construction, would overwhelm the ecology of the field). There are other possible approaches to exploration. For example, massively increasing investment in smaller scale experiments with a unique reach beyond that of conceivable colliders. A similar investment could be made in new accelerator technologies, a potential game changer for accelerator energies. A FCC has the advantage in being to characterise as well as discover new physics. A 10 sigma effect at a future g-2 muon would be ground-breaking and would finally see the SM broken after 50 years of trying! However, it would likely lead to a lot of head-scratching trying to figure out the underlying physics behind the observation. It would be challenging to even estimate the scale at which the new physics occurs, not a problem with, eg, an observation of an exotic resonance at the FCC. Also, I don't know the extent to which more investment would extend the sensitivity of experiments like g-2 muon. I'm similarly ignorant about the state of technologies such as plasma wakefield acceleration and how one can expect progress to scale with funding.

For me, its not obvious where to go next.

Steven Mason said...

Roberto wrote: My only "vested interest" is to conceive, design and build performing accelerators

You wrote a long-winded denial of having any vested interest in accelerators, only to admit at the end that you have a vested interest in accelerators.

Roberto wrote: There is no gratuitous ad hominem here. Why are you making things up?

I've already asked why (or how) you could be in such denial. You indulge in ad homs, insults and emotional fits, and you categorically deny all of it. You give yourself an out with the disclaimer that it isn't "gratuitous."

Like I said before, I'd bet this isn't the first time someone has pointed out that you resort to insults, and it isn't the first time you've denied it. It's not possible that Sabine's criticisms of the marketing of the collider has brought out the devil in you. Apparently it doesn't take much to set you off. I'm telling you it harms your credibility.

Roberto wrote: What a shameful life full of "vested interests" I carry on, uh?

Yet another melodramatic response. "Vested interests" are not necessarily "shameful." I only mean that they have to be taken into account as a possible source of bias. That's Science 101. When I disagree with someone, I would expect him to take my vested interests into account.

Roberto wrote: I have replied to your "layperson" suggestion for me to reply to her points

Yes, and it took me, a layperson, to goad you into addressing her points more specifically. That's hardly something for you to crow about. I shouldn't have had to goad you at all. You should never have wasted time with all the posturing, ad homs and insults.

Roberto wrote: YOU did not acknowledge me doing it

I wasn't aware that you desired any further encouragement from me. Okay, here it is: Thank for you addressing Sabine's points.

But Roberto, as everyone can plainly see, you and Sabine are having an ongoing discussion. If you see this as some kind of debate, it isn't clear to me that you've won it. I will continue to read the exchange, with interest.

And by the way, I'm not sure why you keep referring to me as a "layperson" with scare quotes. Do you have doubts that I'm a layperson in the field of physics?

Just so you know, I'm an engineer. I majored in science at university (many decades ago) but later changed to engineering. For my entire adult life I've read science journals and books. So yes, I'm a layperson in the context of any scientific discussion.

That being said, there are actual physicists who participate in this blog.

Steven Mason said...

Summerisle wrote: I don't think its full of lies. It is a scientific marketing video based on a highly optimistic view of what could be achieved with that collider.

What you refer to as "highly optimistic views," Sabine refers to as lies. Sabine has higher expectations for marketing expensive scientific projects.

It's not clear to me why anyone wants to have a serious argument about Sabine's preference to use the blunt term "lie." Sabine prefers not to use vague euphemisms.

My sister had a recent experience with a guy on an online dating service. It turned out that his picture and self-description were highly optimistic views of himself. In person he looked much older and heavier. When she referred to them as lies, I couldn't disagree with her. :-)

Summerisle said...


"It's not clear to me why anyone wants to have a serious argument about Sabine's preference to use the blunt term "lie." Sabine prefers not to use vague euphemisms. "

Steven - I'm not using a vague euphemism. I think the contents of the video are highly optimistic. However, they are are far from being lies. A FCC would have a unique sensitivity to certain types of WIMPs, it would measure the Higgs self-couplings and have an ability to observe a first order EW phase transition (thereby addressing baryogenesis) etc.

If one wishes the use the term "lie" then this should be supported by the facts. Its not in this case.

Do *you* think that Sabine is right to use the word "lie" ? If so, why ?







Sabine Hossenfelder said...

Summerisle,

I already said this above, but for your convenience let me repeat it:

Suppose this wasn't a video about a collider but about a car. The advertisement video tells you "accident-free for 50 years" and "flies you to the moon and back". Well, the first may be correct if you're lucky, the second is just nonsense.

The FCC video does exactly the same and I think it is perfectly justified to call this lying.

As I said above, the other interpretation is that the people who commissioned the video do not understand particle physics.

Yes, that's right, a bigger collider could measure the Higgs-self coupling and tell us more about EWSB. That's what the video should reasonably have said.

Summerisle said...



Sabine - I don't agree with your analogy. At what stage is something said which is equivalent to "flies you to the moon and back" ?

Also I'm not sure that mentioning the Higgs self-couplings works on a video for the general public.

Sabine Hossenfelder said...

Summerisle,

The FCC will not tell us anything about the "origin of the universe" - that's just plain nonsense.

Roberto Kersevan said...

@steven

"You wrote a long-winded denial of having any vested interest in accelerators, only to admit at the end that you have a vested interest in accelerators."

????
The end of the year was close, only 1 week to go, and you didn't want to let that "most stupid comment of the year award" go to someone else.
Now it's yours, congrats.

Roberto Kersevan said...

"A similar investment could be made in new accelerator technologies, a potential game changer for accelerator energies."

That's finally a good point in the sea of silly comments so far.
CERN, since we're talking about this, is deep into that too.
Advanced design for high-energy e+e-mail linear colliders... CLIC, and plasma wave acceleration, AWAKE.
So far the later has reached "few" GeV/m gradients, but it is still in is I, much to come in 2 years, after the end of long shutdown 2.

Also, for completeness it would be v worth to mention the efforts of the lab in anti-matter research, with AD and ELENA... too bad LS2 has come a bit too early to leave Gbar and the other experiments a go at measuring the effect of gravity on very slow anti-protons, and the physics that could be done with them.
Third, there's a new proposal to convert LHC to a GammaFactory, we very recently proceed with dedicated machine runs the feasibility of it, first in the SPS and then in the LHC.

If you have better ideas on other fancy/new acceleration techniques please go ahead and make a proposal... new ideas are welcome.

Roberto Kersevan said...

"My sister had a recent experience with a guy on an online dating service. It turned out that his picture and self-description were highly optimistic views of himself. In person he looked much older and heavier. When she referred to them as lies, I couldn't disagree with her. :-)"

The killer argument!
Your're very funny.

Roberto Kersevan said...

"Yes, that's right, a bigger collider could measure the Higgs-self coupling and tell us more about EWSB. That's what the video should reasonably have said."

Sure... the laypersons to whom the video was addressed would have immediately understood the technical jargoon... "we ask your money to measure the highs self coupling and more about EWSB".

You are funnier than Steven with his "my sister got to online dating and was duped, and therefore I have the right to be cynical".
What a couple.

Summerisle said...


Sabine

To the general public, any measurements which has some sensitivity to what went on in the early universe is related to the origin of the universe.


To me, this is an issue of wording rather an attempt to deceive.

Roberto Kersevan said...

"The FCC will not tell us anything about the "origin of the universe" - that's just plain nonsense."

We go back to square one: says who?

Roberto Kersevan said...

"And by the way, I'm not sure why you keep referring to me as a "layperson" with scare quotes. Do you have doubts that I'm a layperson in the field of physics?"


????
Not at all, I don't... it's Dr. Sabine which was objecting to me replying to you as such... do you have a problem following the discussion?

Steven Mason said...

Roberto wrote: most stupid comment of the year award

I'll be happy to admit I've made a stupid mistake, and accept your award, if you'll kindly explain why my remark was stupid. If you refuse to explain, that means it's just another one of your gratuitous insults.

Roberto, it's plain to see that you think anyone who disagrees with you or even questions you in this discussion is stupid. Even when you talk to a fellow physicist, you write hysterical nonsense like this:

???????
Mind boggling argument to say the least!
Someone with your CV saying this? I am speechless!

I've never encountered a physicist, or any scientist, remotely like you.

Frederic Dreyer said...

@Sabine
The title of your blog post is " CERN produces marketing video for new collider and it’s full of lies", which is an extremely loaded accusation to make towards fellow scientists. Nevermind the fact that this title is itself a "lie" since the video was not produced by CERN, admittedly your main scorn is with the questions "How can we explore the origins of the Universe?" and "How did the universe begin?", which appears on screen for about 6% of the duration of this very short video, so it is hardly "full of" lies either. Those are questions and not statements anyway, so it's quite a stretch to call it a lie too. It seems to me you have as much of an agenda as that of the CERN employees whose view you dismiss as biased.


More generally, I think there are certainly reasonable arguments that can be made against funding a 100 TeV FCC, but it seems quite disingenuous to use a short promotional video to attack the validity of one of the main future avenues for particle physics. Instead, how about reading the 700 page report prepared last year

https://arxiv.org/html/1710.06353

and make an in depth criticism of that?

Sabine Hossenfelder said...

Summerisle,

"To the general public, any measurements which has some sensitivity to what went on in the early universe is related to the origin of the universe."

You are actually defending such a dramatically wrong statement? Wow. You come here as a scientist to proclaim that the "general public" is so dumb they will not notice that collider physics will not tell them anything about how our universe originated?

What will you do if they later come asking what you learned about the origin of the universe? Will you go and say, "Oh, well, we never said it would actually tell us how the universe originated! Sorry in case we left you with the impression, but thanks for the money anyway."

The statement about the "origin of the universe" has, of course, nothing to do with the FCC in particular. So according to you, the LHC too teaches us something about the origin of the universe. Why don't you tell us just what it is?

"this is an issue of wording"

Yeah, right. Like that car that flies to the moon and back. Is an issue of wording. Because for the general public cars are somehow related to things that fly to the moon and back. Close enough, I guess.

The "issue of wording" here is that scientists deliberately chose their wording so as to make bombastic and wrong claims about what the public is supposedly going to learn from pouring money into their projects.

Sabine Hossenfelder said...

Ah, Roberto,

We are still waiting for your "mathematical, logically solid, background" (your exact words) to think that the FCC will see dark matter particles or tell us anything about baryogenesis.

You also still have not enlightened us how you think it will "study and discover" (your exact words) the origin of the universe.

All you have produced so far are insults and obfuscations.

"Sure... the laypersons to whom the video was addressed would have immediately understood the technical jargoon... "we ask your money to measure the highs self coupling and more about EWSB"."

Laypeople aren't remotely as dumb as you claim they are. They do, for example, understand perfectly well that the LHC has not found dark matter or taught us anything about the origin of the universe, or about the matter anti-matter asymmetry. And yet, physicists go and repeat the same things to ask for more money for a larger collider.

Sabine Hossenfelder said...

Frederic,

Let us see what we have here. Another particle physicist who attempts to find fault in me pointing out the obvious, namely that particle physicists lie to get money.

That's right, the video turns out not to have been produced by CERN, it was produced by members of a study group the head of which is at CERN and it is hosted by the CERN websites and its message has been endorsed by the head of CERN's A/V production. I added a correction to the blogpost to correct this - it is information that arguably is not possible to obtain from the video itself.

I can only guess that you did not actually read my blogpost and therefore missed it.

"your main scorn is with the questions "How can we explore the origins of the Universe?" and "How did the universe begin?", which appears on screen for about 6% of the duration of this very short video, so it is hardly "full of" lies"

Seriously? THAT is what you think of as an argument? "Oh, it's only 6% bullshit." Maybe we should write this down as an official threshold? In particle physics, anything less than 6% bullshit doesn't count as lying.

"It seems to me you have as much of an agenda as that of the CERN employees whose view you dismiss as biased."

Of course I have an agenda and I have very clearly stated it: I want scientists to stop lying to the public.

Regarding the FCC report, I looked at the recent one. I have no idea why you think I may possibly want to provide "in depth comments" on a 900+ pages document.

Roberto Kersevan said...

"if you'll kindly explain why my remark was stupid. If you refuse to explain,"

Done it Steven... go play your game with someone else.

"I've never encountered a physicist, or any scientist, remotely like you."

That's good, don't you think?
At least it dispels the myth of the devious Cern scientists all deceiving the world with videos full of lies.

Roberto Kersevan said...

@dr. Sabine Hossenfelder

"scientists deliberately chose their wording so as to make bombastic and wrong claims about what the public is supposedly going to learn from pouring money into their projects."

Fake news, more fake news from the doctor!! Hear! Hear!

Sabone: scientists didn't choose anything. Videos like this are left to the press department. I told you this, Frédéric told you this, probably someone else told you this.

Talking of wrong wording, the thing at the core of the issue here, you use "pouring", as if at Cern we would work in gold plated offices, with 8-14 working hours... have you ever visited Cern in your lifetime?
There are 100s of offices hosted in "temporary buildings" from the time of LEP construction.
We just stopped and retired from operation Linac2, after 40 years of operation... how about that as return on the money "poured" from the taxpayers?

"Pouring" 2 Swiss francs per year per German citizen is "pouring money"?... the equivalent of 1/2 hour parking fee downtown Geneva?

Are you capable of pulling out a correct, balanced, fake-news-free statement from time to time?
You are shameless.

Roberto Kersevan said...

"Laypeople aren't remotely as dumb as you claim they are. They do, for example, understand perfectly well that the LHC has not found dark matter or taught us anything about the origin of the universe, or about the matter anti-matter asymmetry."

Says who? You?
Who cares?

Stop the nonsense... most people unfortunately don't even get/understand the difference between energy and power, which are basic quantities as compared to barionic matter or neutrino flavors... what the heck are you talking about?

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