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Paul Borrill: on 8/7/13 at 21:32pm UTC, wrote Dear Marcoen, I have now finished reviewing all 180 essays for the...

Marcoen Cabbolet: on 8/7/13 at 13:10pm UTC, wrote Murat, Thanks for the kind words and for the rating. Best regards, ...

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FQXi FORUM
October 23, 2019

CATEGORY: It From Bit or Bit From It? Essay Contest (2013) [back]
TOPIC: An Essay Concerning Human Misunderstanding: Why It Cannot Be Inferred From Empirically Acquired Information That The Higgs Boson Has Been Observed by Marcoen J.T.F. Cabbolet [refresh]
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Author Marcoen J.T.F. Cabbolet wrote on May. 2, 2013 @ 14:59 GMT
Essay Abstract

A key step towards an understanding of nature is understanding what can be inferred from empirically acquired information. In that context, this essay critically analyzes last years claim that a new boson has been observed with the CMS experiment at the LHC - a claim that was followed up on in 2013 with the announcement that the newly observed particle is indeed a Higgs boson. It is argued that it is neither the case that the new boson has been observed directly, nor that the contended claim can be deduced from the research result. The response of the CMS collaboration to this criticism is presented, and countered with a final argument. The conclusion is then that the claim that the boson has been observed is an overstatement, and thus concerns rhetoric outside the framework of scientific discourse.

Author Bio

Marcoen J.T.F. Cabbolet has defended an interdisciplinary PhD thesis at the Vrije Universiteit Brussels, which presents a formal axiomatic system that is potentially applicable as a foundational framework for physics under the condition that matter and antimatter repulse each other gravitationally. His main interest is further research in that direction.

Download Essay PDF File

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Alan M. Kadin wrote on May. 2, 2013 @ 23:00 GMT
Marcoen,

Thank you for reminding us that much of the accepted information about physical systems is inferred and dependent on specific theoretical models. With respect to the Higgs boson, the evidence suggests an unstable particle with zero spin and mass/energy 125 GeV. But even apart from identifying this as the Higgs boson, do we really know that this is a single fundamental particle? Note that all other fundamental particles of the standard model have spin, and indeed, in my intuitive quantum picture (see "Watching the Clock: Quantum Rotation and Relative Time"), quantized spin is what turns continuous vector fields into discrete "particles". I would suggest that the observed particle should be a composite bound state of two spin-1/2 fermions, similar to a pi-meson.

Another object that is widely believed to have been observed is a black hole. But in fact, what has been observed in the galactic center is a small, high-mass object, which according to standard theory must have collapsed into a point singularity surrounded by an event horizon. But no event horizon has been observed, and the object is not black. I suggest in my essay that a self-consistent treatment based on quantum theory avoids singularities entirely, so that no black holes or event horizons should exist.

Alan

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Author Marcoen J.T.F. Cabbolet replied on May. 3, 2013 @ 07:54 GMT
Alan,

Thanks for commenting on my essay.

Your post touches on an interesting subject: the distinction between observational and theoretical terms. I know that the logical empiricists advocated to make a sharp distinction between these, but that it later was argued that all of our observations involve an interpretation in theoretical terms. In this respect I'm rather close to the logical empricists*, so that more than one theory can agree with experiment. The choice for accepting a theory in such a situation then becomes dependent on social factors.

In the present case the Higgs hypothesis agrees with experiment, but then you rightfully ask: how do we "know" it is fundamental? Surely, if one accepts the Standard Model one "believes" the Higgs is fundamental, but that is not the same as "knowing for sure". Al we can do is verify testable predictions of theories, so I guess your question is equivalent to the question: when do we know a theory is the final truth? I would say: absent divine intervention, we may never know.

Regarding black holes I agree with you. More in general, in my opinion modern physics contains several beliefs that have been accepted on a best explanation basis.

Best regards,

Marcoen

* ... although I have no answer to the question what then the language should be for describing observations. Bohr suggested to use the language of classical mechanics, but I don't know. Maybe system theory provides an answer?

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Leo Vuyk replied on May. 4, 2013 @ 08:02 GMT
Dear Marcoen,

The recent Large Hadron Collider (LHC) results, showing special values between 121-130 GeV for the predicted signal of the massive Standard Model (SM) Higgs, could be interpreted as the result of one or more different composite particle decay- and collision processes and not as the result of Higgs decay. In a recent Vixra paper I present alternative transformations after the LHC collision of (Non- SM) Proton particles interpreted as Quark- Gluon cloud collisions, into the observed production and decay results such as, gg into Di-Photons, ZZ into 4 Lepton or WW into LvLv .

See:

http://vixra.org/pdf/1112.0065v2.pdf

Best regards,

Leo Vuyk

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Leo Vuyk replied on May. 4, 2013 @ 08:19 GMT
Hi Marcoen,

perhaps also see my last year essay to Fqxi:

The Bouncing CP symmetrical Multiverse, based on a massless but

energetic oscillating (non SM Higgs) Vacuum Particle System.

http://www.fqxi.org/data/essay-contest-files/Vuyk_131
21461.pdf_The_bounc_1.pdf

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Edwin Eugene Klingman wrote on May. 2, 2013 @ 23:58 GMT
Marcoen,

As one of the curmudgeons, I too thank you for reminding us of what's really been seen at LHC. My theory predicted resonances, such as bottomonium, and apparently that's what they've seen. I've read that the di-photon statistics are diminishing, but I'm not sure about this. I was a little surprised that you didn't comment on the requirement that the Higgs be spin zero, for which there is as of yet no evidence.

Your topic is certainly an example of 'it from bit', if the Higgs enters reality based on the information that you relate.

Since the LHC apparently is not finding anything else, it's good they found something which could be identified as a Higgs. Otherwise there'd be a whole lot of 'splainin' to do.

Best,

Edwin Eugene Klingman

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Author Marcoen J.T.F. Cabbolet replied on May. 3, 2013 @ 08:22 GMT
Edwin Eugene,

Thanks for your comment.

I do not know if it would have been "not good" if the LHC would have yielded zero results: a negative result can also be important (just look at the Michelson-Morley experiment). But calling it an observation of a Higgs boson when it is merely an observation of decay products of a Higgs boson is not so good ...

Best regards,

Marcoen

PS: I purposely left out a discussion about spin.

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Philip Gibbs wrote on May. 3, 2013 @ 06:38 GMT
Marcoen,

Are you making the general philosophical point that we never observe anything directly, or are you concerned specifically with the observation of the Higgs boson?

Let me ask a specific question.

In one experiment particles are produced which decay into two photons. The photons travel away from the beam pipe and dislodge particles in the detector generating small flashes of light that are then detected by photo-multipliers and recorded as data on a computer. After many such events the experimenter performs some analysis on the data and produces a profile of the energy and angular distribution of the photons and find that it is clearly consistent with predictions from the Higgs boson and inconsistent with any other model anyone has predicted.

In a second experiment a distant star is glowing because ots atoms are hot making them produce photons as they change state. The photons travel across space arrive at an observatory on Earth where they enter a telescope and hit a sensitive CCD detector. There each photon dislodges electrons which produce a tiny current that is amplified and recorded in a computer. After many such events the data is used to build a picture of the star whose colour and luminosity and used to identify its type.

What if anything has been observed in each case?

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Author Marcoen J.T.F. Cabbolet replied on May. 3, 2013 @ 08:59 GMT
Phillip,

Thank you for reading and discussing my essay.

The essay specifically concerns the claimed observation of the Higgs.

You wrote "In one experiment particles are produced which decay into two photons." But then you are already assuming what has to be proven. If you observe only the photons, then you can't claim to have observed the particle they originated from.

My point is that there a difference between "discovery" and "explanation". Discovery is when I go into woods, catch a rabbit, show it, and say: it is furry, has four legs, two long ears, weighs 2.45 kg, etc. Explanation is when I say: look, I have found these imprints of paws and all my carrots are gone, so there must be rabbits around. From this point of view, the Higgs boson is the best explanation for the results, but it hasn't been discovered (= observed).

As to your specific question: in both cases only photons have been observed. But I think we must make a distinction between investigating how (macroscopic) physical phenomena can be explained with assumed/accepted laws of physics, and investigating what the fundamental laws of physics themselves are. These are two different ball games: one is pure physics, the other is, at least for a large part, speculative philosophy (as meant by Whitehead).

Best regards,

Marcoen

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Philip Gibbs replied on May. 3, 2013 @ 09:52 GMT
Marcoen, thank you for your answer.

To clarify further, can you tell me what results could be accomplished in order to observe or discover the Higgs boson?

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Author Marcoen J.T.F. Cabbolet replied on May. 3, 2013 @ 12:54 GMT
Philip,

We then get to the general philosophical point that you mentioned in your first post: I think existential statements in fundamental particle physics cannot be proven by experiments, since we can only measure properties of microsystems. So concretely, it is not possible to observe a Higgs boson by any experiment in a particle accelerator.

Best regards,

Marcoen

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Jeroen Cabbolet wrote on May. 3, 2013 @ 15:02 GMT
Marcoen,

As usual a very well written essay. As the saying goes: what a fool believes, he sees. As long as science is conducted by humans, science will suffer from human emotions. The search of proof for a theory or model that many support is too often tainted by enthousiasm and peer pressure. One rather gives his point of view the benefit of doubt than to pursue causes of abnormalities, which ultimately can proof one has wasted a lot of time and money and leads to confrontation with those in charge.

Kind regards,

Jeroen

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Jacek Safuta replied on May. 3, 2013 @ 19:43 GMT
Hi Marcoen, excellent job, thank you,

I decided to continue the post started by Philip and developed by Jeroen in order to not repeat the arguments. First of all I have to admit that I agree with you in 100%. However in the result our fate is to become curmudgeonly. And it does not matter that the same as Higgs we could question as well quarks etc. They have just given elegant explanation...

view entire post


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Author Marcoen J.T.F. Cabbolet replied on May. 4, 2013 @ 09:48 GMT
Hello Jeroen, Jacek,

Thanks for taking the time to read and discuss my essay.

@Jeroen: I agree with you that those who believe in and work within a certain physics paradigm most likely have a perception of the world that is colored by the language of that paradigm. But it is one thing to have a colored world view, and another thing to leave the framework of scientific discourse when conclusions are to be drawn from results. Things like enthousiasm and peer pressure should not be allowed to play a role, since then the border gets blurred between what we wánt to conclude and what we cán conclude. To put it bluntly: in my opinion, with the claim that the Higgs has been observed physics is moving towards junk science.

@Jacek: you wrote that a new Higgs religion has been born. I think it goes further than that; I think with the Higgs claim the heydays of the "Shut-up-and-calculate!" school of theoretical physics have arrived. You wrote that criticism is not enough, and that we should offer a viable alternative. I agree, Kuhn already in the 1970's suggested that a paradigm will not be rejected if no alternative exists. I did publish an alternative; see my paper in Ann. Phys. (Berlin) 522(10), 699-738 (2010). But it only applies under a condition under which General Relativity and the Standard Model are invalid, so before my alternative can seriously be considered it has to be tested whether or not the condition is valid in the physical world. And if reality doesn't satisfy that condition then my alternative is invalid also.

Best regards,

Marcoen

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Jacek Safuta replied on May. 4, 2013 @ 11:54 GMT
I cannot find your paper on the Internet. Could you please, give me a link or send via e-mail: jsafuta@tlen.pl

Thank you

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Joe Fisher wrote on May. 3, 2013 @ 15:29 GMT
It was difficult for me to grasp the point of this essay. After all, physicists have for years been describing exactly how and why supernovas occur, in spite of the fact that no astronomical observation of any real supernova has ever been made. It is physically impossible for any star to collide with any other star for in order to do so, a star would have to move faster than the light it had already emitted in the opposite direction to that of the light that already been emitted. See, light cannot penetrate light. All real stars must move at the one real default “speed” of light eternally. They never collide, just as thousands of real blind bats never collide as they exit a cave in the evening because they travel in one real direction at the same real speed.

The author’s concern that a man made particle might not have actually been seen to be identical to Higgs’ concept of a man made particle seems a bit picayune. Light devouring black holes have never been seen. Big Bangs have never been heard. CERN collided particles of energy unnaturally and unrealistically. So far, CERN has succeeded in producing unnatural, unrealistic unique particles.

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Author Marcoen J.T.F. Cabbolet replied on May. 4, 2013 @ 08:36 GMT
Joe,

Thanks for discussing my essay.

I agree with you that the physics literature is riddled with overstatements.

My point is that the conclusion that the Higgs boson has been observed is an overstatement; the conclusion should have been that the Standard Model has been found to be correct (which is equivalent to saying that predictions of the Standard Model have been confirmed). The point is then not trivial or picayune: the first conclusion (observation) implies experimental confirmation of the existence of the Higgs boson, while the second does not.

Best regards,

Marcoen

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Paul Reed wrote on May. 4, 2013 @ 06:12 GMT
Marcoen

“the first point is that it is not possible, not even in principle, to observe…”

The essence of this statement is correct in that:

-what determines physical existence at any given time is the physically existent state of whatever comprises it, which is a function of ‘properties’. Indeed, it might be that the ‘properties’ are actually what is being referred to as the particle, or it may be that there is an inert substance (or variety of types thereof ) which ‘carries’ these properties, and therefore constitutes the elementary particle(s) types. The differentiation of whatever is the ultimate substance(s) from what determines what is manifest (ie existent) at any given time is critical.

-the vanishingly small degree of alteration and duration involved, which differentiates one physically existent state from another, precludes any form of ‘observation’. It can only be detected conceptually, which is acceptable as proof provided valid presumptions and due process was involved. The point being that any experiment which purports to dealing with the elementary level of physical existence has to be treated with scepticism. This is not to say that what is identified is invalid, but it is highly likely not to involve the ultimate state of physical existence but a sequence of such states, albeit a ‘short’ sequence.

So as you indicate, though I would not comment on the specific case you refer to, there is a high risk that starting presumptions become self-fulfilling and, apparently, proven.

Paul

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Author Marcoen J.T.F. Cabbolet replied on May. 5, 2013 @ 10:03 GMT
Paul,

Thanks for your comment.

I think we must distinguish between substances and properties. If we allow a substance to "be" a property, then it can get weird. I think we are on an erronous path if we would say that, for example, an electron "is" its position.

I agree with your second point: one cannot measure directly what happens precisely in the microcosmos. As a consequence, we cannot "prove" a theory in fundamental physics: we can only verify its testable predictions.

And indeed, circular reasoning - assuming what has to be proven - has to be avoided at all times, as it only leads to apparent knowledge. It's an elementary mistake, although it is not always immediately obvious that one has made it. A logical analysis should reveal it, though.

Best regards,

Marcoen

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Paul Reed replied on May. 6, 2013 @ 05:10 GMT
Marcoen

“If we allow a substance to "be" a property, then it can get weird”

Indeed, but that depends on the ‘property’. I certainly would not be advocating spatial position as being included in this. It is just a thought. I do not know. What I do know is that when we refer to any reality, what we really are considering is a specific physically existent state of something (which involves a number thereof, and a range of types of something), which is one of a sequence (if we could differentiate it-but that is a practical problem). How this works in practice, in terms of ‘substance’ ‘property’ and cause of change, needs to be identified. I just think that in trying to do that with a ‘particle’ mind-set might miss the point/misinterpret what information is gained. Whereas focussing on physically existent state, which is what is manifest, is more likely to lead to the discovery of what is ultimately ‘there’ (ie substance) and therefore how it exists and what causes change, indeed, what changes.

No, we can prove it. Hypothesis, so long as it is effectively virtual sensing, ie not belief, is acceptable. Indeed, even in many cases where something was sensed directly, valid adjustments have to be made in order to compensate for known physical influences in order to extrapolate what really occurred (albeit at a higher level than what actually occurred). My point was to be wary of any assertion about ultimate physically existent states which is based on supposed actual observation/measurement, because there is no way in which we can differentiate reality, for real, to the level at which it occurs. Which if not understood from the outset, leaves substantial opportunity for flawed presumptions to be proven in a self-fulfilling cycle.

Paul

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Author Marcoen J.T.F. Cabbolet replied on May. 7, 2013 @ 13:20 GMT
Paul,

Your post is difficult to understand. Could you explain what you mean by "there is no way in which we can differentiate reality to the level at which it occurs".

Best regards,

Marcoen

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Anton Lorenz Vrba wrote on May. 4, 2013 @ 06:58 GMT
Marcoen, You raise a very important point, namely the overconfident language science, in general, has adopted. I presume this brazen language is necessary for science to obtain funding; politicians do not like uncertainty.

Other examples are "We create the conditions at the time of big bang" as if we know; we were there and recorded the conditions. As a inquisitive youngster, 50 years ago, I learned about black holes. The language used then always put a word of caution into the statements, i.e. we believe that black holes may exist and are in the centre of galaxies. This caution was at some time was over turned into the positive and arrogant language, black holes do exist - full stop. Other examples of assumptions that exist in the scientific mind as fact are gravity waves , dark matter and dark energy - the first inferred by theory alone the later two by theory and observation. For how many years are they searching for gravity waves? 20 years or more - never mind the billions spent.

The real question one should ask, if science has the courage to admit to the general public that they may have been wrong once new and better theories are discovered that no longer support the many assumptions.

Thank you for a thought provoking essay - short and sweat.

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Author Marcoen J.T.F. Cabbolet replied on May. 5, 2013 @ 11:54 GMT
Anton Lorenz Vrba,

Thank you for commenting on my essay.

I agree with that the physics literature is riddled with overstatements.

As others have pointed out, the "truth-finding model" of science1 is a mere ideal that does not correspond with the reality of these days. All too often, the "interest model" of science2 is far more accurate. And when that applies, then don't expect any admission of anything that jeopardizes the prominent and privileged position of top physicists3. I have witnessed it from close by; if you're interested, see my paper on a closely related subject.

Best regards,

Marcoen

NOTES

1 i.e. the idea that scientists are primarely concerned with truth-finding. This is the idea that the general public has of science.

2 i.e. the idea that scientists are primarely concerned with their self-interest (career, status, etc.).

3 Note that I'm not saying that there are no top physicists who are primarily concerned with truth-finding.

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Mikalai Birukou wrote on May. 4, 2013 @ 14:41 GMT
In a thread above you clarify what you mean by discovery, implying that higgs wasn't a discovery. Your quote: "Discovery is when I go into woods, catch a rabbit, show it, and say: it is furry, has four legs, two long ears, weighs 2.45 kg, etc." Let's then apply to this situation with rabbit the same level of logical rigour, which you demand in the essay.

You see on an object (rabbit?) thin short lines, and when your inbuilt eye-hand coordination program places your hand there, your have a particular sensation, a bit similar to the one, when you place hand on your head (assuming it is not bold). This combination of sensations, we, collectively, happen to call "fur". So, you say a rabbit is furry. But is it really fur?

Do the same exercise for all other characteristics, and you start wondering whether this approach is "ludicrous" (using a word from your essay), and counter-productive. May be this strict following of meticulous logic, having its own charm, is a sort of logical fallacy itself?

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Author Marcoen J.T.F. Cabbolet replied on May. 5, 2013 @ 12:40 GMT
Mikalai,

Thanks for your post.

The statements about rabbits are mere illustrations of the concepts "discovery" and "explanation". Attacking these illustrations as a means to refute the essay doesn't do it: it's a well-known fallacy. The crux is that the statements about rabbits are irrelevant for the content of the essay.

Nice try, but no cigar.

Best regards,

Marcoen

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Angel Garcés Doz wrote on May. 4, 2013 @ 17:43 GMT
with all the experimental data on the Higgs boson, which exist since its discovery, his essay seems unrealistic

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Author Marcoen J.T.F. Cabbolet replied on May. 5, 2013 @ 13:36 GMT
Angel,

The point of the essay is that the experimental data do not amount to a "discovery" of the Higgs boson. What has been discovered are properties of microsystems that can be described as properties of decay products of the Higgs boson. It is simply unscientific to call that a discovery/observation of the Higgs boson itself.

Regards,

Marcoen

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Angel Garcés Doz replied on May. 6, 2013 @ 07:52 GMT
I still think the lack of realism of their arguments. The Higgs boson, yes, that has been observed indirectly by the results of the decays, which you yourself acknowledge. Therefore it is an observation indirectly confirms that besides all the qualities of Higgs boson predicted in a theoretical, zero spin, etc.

Nor, so far, gravitational waves have been observed, but, who have observed the consequences of the existence of the same: binary systems with very high rotational speeds, neutron stars, pulsars. All these systems involve a loss of nergy, which calculated; fully coincide with the equations of Einstein's general relativity.

Furthermore, the existence of the Higgs boson, involving, for example the two following results:

For results that follow from my research (essay this year, and other items): sixty particles are "essential".

1)





Where:



And:



Is the logarithm of the order of the group M, or monster group

2) One of the particles responsible for dark matter (possibly there are three), the less massive:





Regards.

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Author Marcoen J.T.F. Cabbolet replied on May. 6, 2013 @ 10:47 GMT
Anton,

if I can find the time I will have a look at your essay and post a comment on your essay's page.

Regards, Marcoen

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qsa wrote on May. 4, 2013 @ 20:57 GMT
My gripe with these high end (super expensive) experiments is that there is no real INDEPENDENT experiment(to verify) which is the classically based acceptable system. The possibility of conflict of interest is there no matter.

Now, if you have an issue with Higgs experiment, wait until you see how we "measure" dark energy , dark matter, universe curvature and ... so on. All models based which lead to chicken and egg dilemma.

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Author Marcoen J.T.F. Cabbolet replied on May. 5, 2013 @ 14:33 GMT
Hi there,

The problem of the influence of vested interests is well known. I wouldn't know how to solve it, other than by focussing on truth finding and strictly staying within the framework of scientific discourse.

Regards,

Marcoen

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Lawrence B. Crowell wrote on May. 5, 2013 @ 16:13 GMT
Your argument is a form of Popper’s argument that empirical observation can never prove a theory. If you have a theory T that implies X then you have if T --- > X and the most empiricism can do logically is fail to find X so the modus tolens ~X --- > ~T. A theory may be falsified, never it is proven. We can with modal logic have X --- > ◊T, where ◊ means possibly or probably. The 5-σ statistics interprets ◊ as highly probable.

In the end it is true we measure quantum numbers, and particles are identified by their quantum numbers. One could then say we never measured a single particle of any type. However, I think this is taking the matter into overly positivist directions. I think that FAPP particles are detected, and that this holds for the Higgs particle as well.

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Paul Reed replied on May. 6, 2013 @ 06:39 GMT
Lawrence

“A theory may be falsified, never it is proven”

Leaving aside the semantics that a theory is proven, and it is hypothesis that has yet to be so judged. This statement depends on the reference ‘to all possibilities’, when it is a statement of the obvious. However, that is irrelevant, because physical existence does not encompass all possibilities, it is all that is...

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Author Marcoen J.T.F. Cabbolet replied on May. 6, 2013 @ 09:29 GMT
Lawrence,

Thanks for your comment.

Significance level is a concept from mathematical statistics; it is simply a ratio between areas under a function. In the present case, the hypothesis

124.7 GeV < E < 125.9

has been confirmed in a two-sided test with a significance of 5 sigma. If you want to interpret that as a probability, then that means that the probability that the peaks in the mass spectra at 125.3 ± 0.6 GeV are not due to random fluctuations is approximately 99.99999%. It means nothing else, so it does not translate to the statement that the probability that the Higgs boson exists is ca. 99.99999%. In other words, if you want to interpret the output of the experiment with a sentence like "it is possible that P and the probability is 99.99999%" then you must be careful to insert the correct proposition P after the modality 'it is possible that'.

Don't get me wrong: it is quite an achievement to have verified this prediction of the Standard Model. But what they have observed is a property of a microsystem, not a Higgs boson.

Best regards,

Marcoen

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Paul Reed replied on May. 7, 2013 @ 04:35 GMT
Marcoen

You may or may not have noticed from other exchanges that I do not agree with the underlying presumptions of QM, because they contradict the logic of physical existence as knowable to us. Which had that been understood properly in the first place, rather than the misunderstanding which has lead to it being characterised as ‘classical’/’old hat philosophy’, it would have been realised that this addresses the ‘bottom line’ of existence, ie what QM attempts to do. But on the correct basis, whereas QM in differentiating itself from the ‘old world order’ invokes a false presumption about physical existence.

However….and as per your last sentence, this does not detract from the fact that things are being discovered. It is really a matter of understanding how such fit together in accord with physical existence.

What I am concerned about is that you are confusing fundamentally different lines of argument, ie:

-invalid because there is a fault in the presumptions, due process, etc

-‘invalid’ because it is not completely proven yet

-‘invalid’ because of the inaccuracy of the English language

Now, the Higgs boson is surely, according to the theory, a “property of a microsystem”. And when people say they have “observed” it, I doubt if they really meant that literally. And every statement always, theoretically, carries a vanishingly small probability that it could encompass a fault, even after millions of years of proven validity. But all this is semantics/splitting hairs. The real issue revolves around is what is being identified really what it is being identified as, in other words is the model flawed but self-fulfilling, or does it really correspond to physical existence.

Paul

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Robert Bennett wrote on May. 14, 2013 @ 02:25 GMT
Yes, an inductive method can only SUPPORT, not prove or confirm any theory.

Overstatements like this are common in science today.

But what did you mean that we can't know the Higgs particle in itself?

The mind can know what's presented to it by the 5 senses, by which we know the

external properties, characteristics or accidents of objects.

But give us an example of a particle we know intrinsicly, in itself....

or anything we know in itself.

I thought someone would cover the logical contradiction posed by the Higgs claim

to be the source of mass for all particles - the 'God' particle.

If the claim is true, where does the Higgs get its own mass?

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Author Marcoen J.T.F. Cabbolet replied on May. 14, 2013 @ 13:22 GMT
Robert,

Thanks for commenting on my essay.

When I wrote that we cannot observe the particle itself, I was not hinting at Kant's famous distinction between a noumenon, a thing as it is in itself apart from how it is observed, and a phenomenon, the manifestation of a noumenon in human experience. What I meant is that an elementary particle, so also a Higgs boson, is simply too small for direct observation. E.g. things like tables, bears, needles, or any other macroscopic object subjectable to contact forces can be observed directly. However, for the experimental study of elementary particles one has to rely on measurement equipment that detects properties of microsystems: you can then observe those properties, but not the substance that is the carrier of those properties. So I was hinting at the distiction between substance and property.

Particles get their mass - at least according to the Standard Model - by interaction with the Higgs field. The Higgs boson is a wave in the Higgs field.

Best regards,

Marcoen

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Thomas Howard Ray wrote on May. 14, 2013 @ 17:12 GMT
Marcoen,

I suppose this puts you in the class of the "most curmudgeonly." :-)

As you yourself say, though, we never have observed any elementary particle "itself." We know -- even particle physcists know -- that elementary particles may not even exist. The general public? -- most don't know a boson from a boombox. That isn't the fault of scientists or a failure of science.

What we do know exists -- like the tracks of a unicorn -- is the product of physically real events. If one were speaking of cows rather than unicorns, one would be able to compare the hoof of a real cow with an imprint, which need happen only once; cow tracks thereafter imply cows.

Particle physicists, constructing the classes of tracks that make up the standard model, calculated those identities in advance of looking for them. So even even though experimentalists don't "see" the "thing" that leaves a track, nor even if there is a thing, they know when the tracks predicted by theory correspond to the evidence of physically real events.

Neverthless, your point is well taken and well argued.

Tom

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Author Marcoen J.T.F. Cabbolet replied on May. 15, 2013 @ 09:49 GMT
Thomas,

Thank you for commenting on my essay.

If we talk about cows, then we talk about something of which we already know that it exists. I'm not a biologist, but let us suppose that the imprint of a cow's hoof is a unique pattern that doesn't occur with any other animal. If you then observe such an imprint, you may say: I know that there is/exists a cow somewhere around. This is an application of the following logical scheme:

P Q, Q / P

It is a correct inference.

However, the case of the Higgs boson is different. You don't know that it exists: that is what has to be proven. You only know that IF it exists, THEN you will observe certain traces. But then you cannot say: I have observed these traces, thus the Higgs boson exists. It's a well known fallacy, which uses the logical scheme

P => Q, Q / P

And it doesn't matter how you pimp up the wording of the premises 'P => Q' and 'Q': it remains a fallacy.

Best regards,

Marcoen

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Author Marcoen J.T.F. Cabbolet replied on May. 15, 2013 @ 09:55 GMT
The first scheme in my previos post is not displayed correctly. It should be



Marcoen

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Anonymous replied on May. 15, 2013 @ 11:17 GMT
Hi Marcoen,

I think that the case of the Higgs boson hiding in the upper range of the energy field is analogous to a unicorn hiding in a nearly impenetrable thicket. If one doubts the existence of a unicorn, one cannot doubt that the tracks we observe leading from the thicket when we set it afire differ from any tracks we have detected from any creature known before. It really doesn't matter whether we call the result a Higgs boson or a unicorn, the theoretical prediction is that a hot enough blaze will produce the signature of a creature that might exist but has never before been seen.

I disagree with Rick that the LHC result is of the logical form modus tollens, rather than the positive modus ponens form you cite above. For this reason: If the LHC experiment failed, one could always say that the fire was not hot enough. The prediction wouldn't change, just the experimental parameters. The same is true of proton decay -- Georgi-Glashow originally predicted proton half life on the order 1 X 10^31 years and it now stands at least four orders of magnitude longer.

Don't misunderstand me -- I'm a theorist and have nothing to do with the experimental culture and I don't really care much for the particle zoo that the standard model has birthed. I just know that formal logic has nothing to do with that culture, either. What you see is what you get, and one only sees evidence of existence, not anything real in the sense of, say -- a hammer that one can put to use, or a physically existing unicorn that can be harnessed and saddled.

All best,

Tom

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Cristinel Stoica wrote on May. 22, 2013 @ 19:14 GMT
Dear Marcoen,

You defended your point very well, using the artillery of critical thinking, and I agree that we can be certain about very little. I can't name one thing about we can have absolute certainty. The Higgs boson is not singular in this respect. One can't be sure that the sun will rise tomorrow, or that it even raised this morning. Or even that there is a sun! When we look on the...

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Paul Reed replied on May. 23, 2013 @ 05:53 GMT
Cristi

Be careful to differentiate between the practical and the metaphysical when considering the difficulties of knowing. Contrary to Tom's view, objective knowledge is the equivalent of reality, for us. And that has nothing to do with perception/thinking, which has no affect on the physical circumstance.

Something exists independently of the mechanisms whereby we are aware of it. But we can only have knowledge of it, and by virtue of a physical process. So, while we must assume that there is the possibility of an alternative, this is irrelevant, because we cannot know it. We can know what it is possible for us to know, ie there is some definitive body of knowledge, but there are a number of practical difficulties in doing this. We will know, in any given situation, that we have 'got it right' by default, that is, after a sufficient duration, no new knowledge arises, despite efforts to discover such. At which point we can then deem that knowledge to be the equivalent of our reality.

Paul

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Author Marcoen J.T.F. Cabbolet replied on May. 23, 2013 @ 06:55 GMT
Cristinel,

Thanks for commenting on my essay.

It is not the case that there are no things about which we cannot be certain. Descartes' "cogito ergo sum" is as far as I know undisputed: for every individual it is an absolute certainty that he exists. But that's also where the consensus ends. So indeed there is very little about which we are 100% sure.

As I explained in an...

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Paul Reed replied on May. 23, 2013 @ 16:34 GMT
Marcoen

"for every individual it is an absolute certainty that he exists. But that's also where the consensus ends"

Really? So what is the difference between being aware of oneself and being aware of the rest of physical existence?

Paul

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Robert Bennett wrote on May. 23, 2013 @ 01:11 GMT
Marcoen,

"things like tables, bears, needles, or any other macroscopic object subjectable to contact forces can be observed directly."

My point was that even direct observation is circumscribed by the limitation of the 5 senses themselves. If we claim to know anything in itself, then we cannot discover anything more about it....since we allegedly know it intrinsically.

"Particles get their mass - at least according to the Standard Model - by interaction with the Higgs field. The Higgs boson is a wave in the Higgs field.'

- The Higgs boson or Higgs particle is an elementary particle - not a wave - of mass ~125 Gev.

- How can particles be particles when they move through a Higgs field before acquiring mass... that is, how can they be particles without mass?

- What experiment has observed the acquisition of mass by a massless particle moving in an Higgs field?

- How does Higgs mass creation differ from pair creation by convergent gamma rays?

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Author Marcoen J.T.F. Cabbolet replied on May. 23, 2013 @ 08:09 GMT
Robert,

I now see what you meant in your earlier post. I completely agree with you that sensory observation has its limitations. I side with Kant: by sensory observation we cannot possibly get to know what the thing-in-itself is. Locke made a distinction between primary and secondary properties: respectively, these are observable properties that are also properties of the thing-in-itself, and properties that are observable but that are not present in the thing-in-itself (like color). So from observation we get to know observable properties of a thing, but then we don't know whether these are primary or secondary, nor do we know from observation what the substance is that is the carrier of the properties.

If you want to be very strict about the language, then there are no "particles" or "waves" in quantum physics, only quanta. "Particles" and "waves" are concepts from classical theory. For quanta one can talk about particle-wave duality, i.e. sometimes it can be seen as a particle, sometimes as a wave. The Higgs boson is an excitation of the Higgs field. There is no experiment that has established that mass-having particles have acquired their mass by moving in the Higgs field. Some of your questions are quite philosophical; I have no answer. Maybe you should ask them to an expert in quantum physics; it would be interesting to see what he answers.

Best regards,

Marcoen

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Paul Reed replied on May. 23, 2013 @ 16:30 GMT
Marcoen

"I side with Kant: by sensory observation we cannot possibly get to know what the thing-in-itself is"

Yes we can. Because if we know how light works we can then reverse engineer what is received and discern what occurred which the light represents.

One, especially philosophers, might still want to argue that this is a function of light. To which you point out that science deals with the real world as it is manifest to us.

Paul

Paul

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Author Marcoen J.T.F. Cabbolet replied on May. 23, 2013 @ 18:10 GMT
Hi Paul,

I agree with you that IF we know how it all works, THEN we can reverse engineer an observation. But the problem is with the antecedent: we don't know how it all works, and Kant argued that we cannot ever get to know it.

You wrote that science deals with the real world, but note that even about that there is no consensus. Here is a quote from the quantum physicist Henry Stapp: "as every physicist knows, or is supposed to have been taught, [quantum] physics does not deal with physical reality. [Quantum] physics deals with mathematically describable patterns in our observations. It is only these patterns in our observation that can be tested empirically."

Best regards,

Marcoen

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Marcus Arvan wrote on May. 23, 2013 @ 21:51 GMT
Marcoen: you have a mistaken view about what it is to observe something. You suppose that to observe something we have to observe it *directly* (you say we haven't observed the Higgs boson because we've only observed its decays). But this is absurd. To observe something's decays to is observe *its* decays -- that is, it is to observe the thing *indirectly* by virtue of its effects.

A...

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Anonymous replied on May. 23, 2013 @ 22:41 GMT
Boy, for a guy who thinks the universe is an analog of 'Halo', you sure have a lot of opinions.

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Author Marcoen J.T.F. Cabbolet replied on May. 24, 2013 @ 11:49 GMT
Marcus,

Thanks for commenting on my essay.

However, you have a mistaken view about what it is to observe something. You suppose that to observe something we merely have to observe the thing *indirectly* by virtue of its effects. That is absurd. If some crackpot claims that unicorns exist because he has seen an imprint of a hoof in the woods, do you believe him? Of course not. Yet...

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John C Maguire wrote on Jun. 2, 2013 @ 20:15 GMT
Marcoen,

Very interesting and concise read. Much appreciated by someone who isn't entrenched in the world of Particle Physics. It seems to me that the notion of 'Irrational Exuberance' has not only infiltrated our economic-lives, but almost every domain of western culture (science included). While a certain amount of excitement and idealism is required to fuel progress, when taken to an extreme degree it only serves to cover up 'Inconvenient Truths' of models that aren't as complete/airtight as they proclaim themselves to be.

Take care sir!

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Author Marcoen J.T.F. Cabbolet wrote on Jun. 3, 2013 @ 07:35 GMT
John,

Thanks for your kind words.

I agree with you that the western system is in decay, I even believe that what we are witnessing are its last twitches.

I also agree with you that, in particular in science, enthousiasm is the driving force behind progress. But I hold that all communications about progress must nevertheless remain within the constraints of scientific discourse. Among other things, that means that one has to respect the border between what one *wants to* conclude, and what one *can* conclude. In the paper containing the Higgs claim, this border has been ignored, although the top physicists involved know precisely where it is. I consider it malpractise to say the least. The claim should be retracted.

Best regards,

Marcoen

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Anonymous wrote on Jun. 4, 2013 @ 17:04 GMT
As I remeber, it's been afewridesaround Higgs Boson, and some sources also stated that it has some indirect evidence of Higgs boson, the same with faster then speed of light neutrino. There are high level complexity in such experiments. Do you mean that there also politics?

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Koorosh Shahdaei wrote on Jun. 4, 2013 @ 17:16 GMT
As I remeber, it's been a few rides around Higgs Boson, and some sources also stated that it has some indirect evidence of Higgs boson. The same thing with faster then speed of light neutrino. There are high level complexity in such experiments. Do you mean that there are also politics?

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Author Marcoen J.T.F. Cabbolet replied on Jun. 6, 2013 @ 20:13 GMT
Koorosh,

Thanks for commenting on my essay.

As to your question: yes, politics have made their way into science (including physics). I have personally witnessed how decisions in the highest echelons were made out of pure self-interest, not at all in the interest of science. And I must add that for some this comes naturally.

Best regards,

Marcoen

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Hoang cao Hai wrote on Jun. 17, 2013 @ 02:32 GMT
Dear Marcoen

One theory is recognized to be true - that is, to have the ability to refute any criticism - and of course nothing is quite difficult to prove.

Higgs theory is not true - because it can not the absolute explain for mass.

To higg at : http://www.fqxi.org/community/forum/topic/1417

http://fqxi.or
g/community/forum/topic/1802

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Author Marcoen J.T.F. Cabbolet replied on Jun. 17, 2013 @ 12:27 GMT
Hi there Hoang cao Hai,

Thanks for providing the links to your essays. I'm rather pressed for time, but if there is a window of opportunity to read other essays I'll consider reading yours.

I'm not sure what you meant in your first sentence.

Do you mean that, in general, a theory is recognized to be true if it has withstood all criticism? And what do you mean by "nothing is quite difficult to prove"? Do you mean that everything is easy to prove? Could you elaborate on that?

Best regards,

Marcoen

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Hoang cao Hai replied on Jun. 25, 2013 @ 01:31 GMT
Dear Marcoen

A true theory will be able to refute any criticism - with convincingly by specific of demonstrated on the fact - therefore: nothing will be difficult to prove when we have a theory true. My Absolute theory that be such theory.

Hải.Caohoàng

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Anton Biermans wrote on Jun. 25, 2013 @ 07:04 GMT
Hi Marcoen,

Perhaps a more fundamental question than whether the Higgs boson exists or not is the question (I ask in my essay) to what the Higgs particle owes its mass to.

Regards, Anton

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Author Marcoen J.T.F. Cabbolet replied on Jun. 30, 2013 @ 09:36 GMT
Dear Anton,

Thanks for sharing your ideas with me.

I would like to note, however, that my essay is not about whether the Higgs boson exists or not: it is about whether it has been observed or not.

I agree with you that the question "how does the Higgs boson get its mass?" is a fundamental question too. I am enormously pressed for time at the moment, but if I have the opportunity I will read your essay.

Best regards,

Marcoen

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Hoang cao Hai wrote on Jun. 27, 2013 @ 03:51 GMT
Send to all of you

THE ADDITIONAL ARTICLES AND A SMALL TEST FOR MUTUAL BENEFIT

To change the atmosphere "abstract" of the competition and to demonstrate for the real preeminent possibility of the Absolute theory as well as to clarify the issues I mentioned in the essay and to avoid duplicate questions after receiving the opinion of you , I will add a reply to you :

1 . THE...

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Janko Kokosar wrote on Jun. 29, 2013 @ 14:39 GMT
In my theory, space-time is a consequence of rest matter. Section 4 in

Visualization of SR gives, that time runs only in rest matter, not in photons. Thus it build up time and thus space. Thus space-time is an emergent phenomenon.

But, explanation of Higgs boson gives, that Higgs bosons give mass to rest matter, otherwise rest matter would move with speed of light.

This second explanation is in contradiction with my explanation. Do anyone sees any explanation for this contradiction?

As second, is it possible that a boson with mass 125 MeV exist, it has the same spin as Higgs, but it does not create mass of the elementary particles?

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Author Marcoen J.T.F. Cabbolet replied on Jul. 1, 2013 @ 19:29 GMT
Dear Janko,

Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

Usually in classical theory, if two particles are different they have a different position. But you write that in your theory space-time is emergent. That means it is not fundamental. But what is then the distinguishing principle between different particles of "rest matter" (as you call it)?

As to your second question: according to the Standard Model, no such particle exists.

Best regards,

Marcoen

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Antony Ryan wrote on Jul. 1, 2013 @ 14:26 GMT
Dear Marcoen,

A very topical and relevant article. I like they way you've used something so recent as an example of what we consider observation. Original on here, but fundamentally important.

Here's my essay if you have chance to look - I'd appreciate any comments you have.

All the best,

Antony

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Author Marcoen J.T.F. Cabbolet replied on Jul. 1, 2013 @ 19:32 GMT
Dear Antony,

Thanks for your kind words.

I am rather pressed for time at the moment, but if I have the chance I will read your essay and comment on it.

Best regards,

Marcoen

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Antony Ryan replied on Jul. 5, 2013 @ 04:41 GMT
Hello Marcoen,

There are so many - it's a big task.

All the best in the contest!

Antony

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James Lee Hoover wrote on Jul. 3, 2013 @ 19:21 GMT
Marcoen,

If given the time and the wits to evaluate over 120 more entries, I have a month to try. My seemingly whimsical title, “It’s good to be the king,” is serious about our subject.

Jim

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Author Marcoen J.T.F. Cabbolet replied on Jul. 9, 2013 @ 15:06 GMT
James,

Thanks for taking the time to comment.

I quickly skimmed through your essay, and I see that we are both skeptical about this "it from bit" thing. I should give your essay full attention, but I cannot make any promises as I am really tied up at the moment.

Best regards,

Marcoen

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James Lee Hoover wrote on Jul. 14, 2013 @ 00:17 GMT
Marcoen,

."It is argued that it is neither the case that the new boson has been observed directly, nor that the contended claim can be deduced from the research result."

There is no doubt that many assumptions about physics are based on models with incomplete data, bias toward expected results, etc, including the anthropic principle. My essay makes similar claims.

Jim

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Author Marcoen J.T.F. Cabbolet replied on Jul. 15, 2013 @ 19:51 GMT
James,

It is true that assumptions are unproven. But we must distinguish between assumptions and conclusions.

The claim that the Higgs boson has been observed is a conclusion, not an assumption. Big difference.

Best regards,

Marcoen

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Vladimir Rogozhin wrote on Jul. 18, 2013 @ 20:51 GMT
Hello Marсoen,

Great actual «An Essay Concerning Human Misunderstanding ...» Reserch in the spirit of Descartes: «subjects all doubt». Gregory Gutner in the article "The ontology of mathematical discourse" said: "The event, which consists in grasping the structure, means understanding." Obviously, we must "grab" a structure to understand the foundation of the world.

Poet Alexander Vvedenisky said in 1930:

"Не разгляде
90;ь нам мир подробно,

Ничтожно все и дробно,

Печаль меня от этого всего берет».

Of course, physicists can break up the matter further, but when will we see the world as a whole?

Best regards,

Vladimir

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Vladimir Rogozhin replied on Jul. 18, 2013 @ 21:27 GMT
The machine malfunctioned...

"Не разгляде
90;ь нам мир подробно,

Ничтожно все и дробно,

Печаль меня от этого всего берет».

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Author Marcoen J.T.F. Cabbolet replied on Jul. 22, 2013 @ 07:35 GMT
Dear Vladimir,

Spasibo bol'shoe - Many thanks for your kind words and for the interesting poem of Vvedenisky.

By observation we see only aspects of the physical world. So if we want a clear and distinct idea of the physical world as a whole we need another source of knowledge. A discussion about that is included in my PhD thesis.

Best regards,

Marcoen

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Vladimir Rogozhin wrote on Jul. 18, 2013 @ 21:30 GMT
Не разгляде
90;ь нам мир подробно

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George Kirakosyan wrote on Jul. 22, 2013 @ 05:50 GMT
Hi Marcoen,

I am shocked with your short article!

We will change our impressions/opinions later. (I am very hope)

Now I am going to rate your work as a ,,Shocking,, !!!

George

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Author Marcoen J.T.F. Cabbolet replied on Jul. 22, 2013 @ 07:37 GMT
George,

Thanks for your comments.

Best regards,

Marcoen

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Chidi Idika wrote on Jul. 24, 2013 @ 01:32 GMT
Dear Marcoen,

I have read your blog almost complete than I have read any blog in this contest. And I have download of your essay to read. I must say you seem to have sound logical ground, than I expected. But first I'll read your essay.

It happens that I have a view of the "Higgs phenomenon" that you may want to see in What a Wavefunction is and I will most appreciate your critical comment.

Rate me if you like or don't, but I will be back here to rate you highly. For your audacity and for your clarity of thought in handling the objections. But do spare me a little of your precious time.

Regards,

Chidi

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Author Marcoen J.T.F. Cabbolet replied on Jul. 24, 2013 @ 07:43 GMT
Hello Chidi,

Thanks for the kind words.

I have scheduled some time this week to read other essays. I will then also read and rate yours.

Best regards,

Marcoen

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Manuel S Morales wrote on Jul. 25, 2013 @ 14:53 GMT
Hi Marcoen,

I simply loved your closing statement, "...the bottom line here is that the recent claim that the Higgs boson has already been observed is untenable." I have also come to the same conclusion as expressed in my peer-reviewed paper: Assumed Higgs Boson Discovery Proved Einstein Right

Anyway, I found your essay inspiring and most worthy of merit and I hope you make it to the finals.

Best wishes,

Manuel

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Author Marcoen J.T.F. Cabbolet replied on Jul. 25, 2013 @ 15:07 GMT
Manuel,

Thanks for the kind words.

If I can find the time I will have a look at your paper, but I cannot make any promises right now.

Best regards,

Marcoen

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Than Tin wrote on Jul. 26, 2013 @ 04:26 GMT
Hello Marcoen

Richard Feynman in his Nobel Acceptance Speech

(http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/physics/laureates/19
65/feynman-lecture.html)

said: “It always seems odd to me that the fundamental laws of physics, when discovered, can appear in so many different forms that are not apparently identical at first, but with a little mathematical fiddling you can show the...

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Author Marcoen J.T.F. Cabbolet replied on Jul. 28, 2013 @ 20:15 GMT
That Tin,

Thanks for posting a comment.

I just don't see how the comment pertains to my essay.

Marcoen

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Chidi Idika replied on Jul. 29, 2013 @ 00:42 GMT
Dear Marcoen,

I owe you one for insisting on proper "scientific method". Here, a scoring.

All the best,

Chidi

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Author Marcoen J.T.F. Cabbolet replied on Jul. 29, 2013 @ 07:22 GMT
Chidi, Thanks!

Regards, Marcoen

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Christian Corda wrote on Jul. 30, 2013 @ 10:49 GMT
Hi Marcoen,

Based on a recommendation of a common friend, I have just read your intriguing and provocative Essay. I think that the issue that the CMS collaboration anonymously agrees with you (This is the message of your footnote 1) confirms that the way in which sometimes scientists release overstated claims (see also previous claims by the OPERA Collaboration on the neutrinos faster than light) is based on a sort of "politics of making science spectacular". This is not necessarily a wrong issue, as it permits to popularize science and, in turn, to have a better attention and more financial funds from governments. On the other hand, it is also a good think that scientists like you recall people to stay grounded. In any case, I had lots of fun in reading your Essay. Thus, I am going to give you an high score.

Cheers,

Ch.

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Author Marcoen J.T.F. Cabbolet replied on Jul. 30, 2013 @ 18:56 GMT
Christian,

Thanks for the kind words and for rating my essay.

As to the popularization of science: of course I'm not against publications intended to draw the attention of the general public to recent findings. But even these popular articles would have to be written without overstating the conclusions. Else you get the situation that scientists boast about the level of professionalization in their research institutes and distantiate themselves from amateurs, yet in their popular papers they descend to the level of the crackpot, who claims that unicorns exist because he has seen an imprint of a hoof in the woods. That would be hypocrisy.

Best regards,

Marcoen

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Christian Corda wrote on Jul. 31, 2013 @ 05:37 GMT
Dear Marcoen,

I completely agree with your point of view.

Cheers,

Ch.

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Sreenath B N wrote on Aug. 1, 2013 @ 02:14 GMT
Dear Marcoen,

I have down loaded your essay and soon post my comments on it. Meanwhile, please, go through my essay and post your comments.

Regards and good luck in the contest,

Sreenath BN.

http://fqxi.org/community/forum/topic/1827

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Sreenath B N replied on Aug. 1, 2013 @ 14:11 GMT
Dear Marcoen,

Your, nicely argued, article is an eye opener to those who believe in the propaganda that the mass of the particle found by CERN would correspond with that of the Higg’s particle and hence the particle found by them is indeed the Higg’s particle. This declaration is rightly challenged by you. I hope the truth persists ultimately. Please, go through my article and post your comments on it in my thread. (http://fqxi.org/community/forum/topic/1827).

Best of luck,

Sreenath

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Author Marcoen J.T.F. Cabbolet replied on Aug. 1, 2013 @ 20:36 GMT
Dear Sreenath,

Thanks for your kind words.

The upcoming days I have scheduled some time to read other essays, so I'll read and rate your essay one of these days.

Best regards,

Marcoen

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Sreenath B N replied on Aug. 2, 2013 @ 03:40 GMT
Dear Marcoen,

I thank you for rating my essay and in turn I have given you a high rating.

Bet regards,

Sreenath

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Akinbo Ojo wrote on Aug. 1, 2013 @ 18:26 GMT
Dear Marcoen,

I had previously read and rated your essay without commenting since I was in virtual total agreement and you were right on target. But perhaps it helps to still state this all the same at least for encouragement.

What brought me here now was the brilliant exchanges with Chidi Idika. That was the work of a well-meaning objective critic which is what this forum needs more than flattery of one's work.

I would love to benefit from your criticism even if you don't score my essay. Mine though may be more philosophical than hard core math or physics. The nature of space I think supersedes the claims of finding the Higg's boson or what do you think?

Following additional insights gained from interacting with FQXi community members, I wrote on my blog a judgement in the case of Atomistic Enterprises Inc. vs. Plato & Ors delivered on Jul. 28, 2013 @ 11:39 GMT.

Best regards,

Akinbo

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Author Marcoen J.T.F. Cabbolet replied on Aug. 1, 2013 @ 20:41 GMT
Dear Akinbo,

Thanks for your encouraging words and for rating my essay.

One of the upcoming days I'll read and rate your essay.

Best regards,

Marcoen

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Akinbo Ojo replied on Aug. 6, 2013 @ 11:33 GMT
Dear Marcoen,

1)Thanks for your post on my blog. I think you should be honored as the Chief Objective critic on this forum because you don't engage in unnecessary flattery from what I have read from your comments on other essays rather your criticisms are fair.

2)I believe our positions will be harmonized in future since there are already areas of similarity.

3)You will need to find harmony between your model which has real numbers, Planck distance limit and Zeno's Dichotomy argument.

4)By 'bits of space' do you mean tiny pieces of extension (space) and not Bits, short for binary states?

5)If your set of real numbers represent POINTS since geometrically and mathematically points are like real numbers and your set of open intervals are "somewhat comparable to MONADS" as you say, can both not be binary states of each other, with one member joining the other set and vice versa?

Best regards,

Akinbo

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Author Marcoen J.T.F. Cabbolet replied on Aug. 6, 2013 @ 12:22 GMT
Dear Akinbo,

Thanks for the kind words.

1) I believe constructive criticism is an essential part of scientific discourse.

2) I agree that there are areas of similarity, but I do not know whether our positions can be harmonized. At some point it is alright to agree to disagree.

3) The model is more complicated than the example I gave in that post, but I have to work things out before it is publishable. I might throw in a line about Zeno, thanks for the hint.

4) The 'bits of space' are indeed tiny pieces of space.

5) To model the vacuum one makes use of a branch of mathematics called topology. Typically you use one set to model the set of all positions in the vacuum, and a second set to model the topological structure of the vacuum. See here for some background on topology. So basically I am developing a new kind of topological space.

Best regards,

Marcoen

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John Brodix Merryman wrote on Aug. 1, 2013 @ 19:37 GMT
Marcoen,

The point you make is one that needs to be repeated frequently, but it does so because the process of intellectual editing is essential to gaining any real grasp of a reality which bombards us with more information in a moment, then we will ever comprehend in a lifetime. It is reductionism of the reductionisms. Frequently I come across people who think only the last few decimals...

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Author Marcoen J.T.F. Cabbolet replied on Aug. 1, 2013 @ 20:55 GMT
John,

Thanks for commenting on my essay.

I completely agree with you that science has gone off on a tangent. The community has become too strongly compartmentalized, that is, has become divided into sections that are entirely focused at excessively narrow research topics. But I wouldn't know how to change that.

Best regards,

Marcoen

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John Brodix Merryman replied on Aug. 1, 2013 @ 23:03 GMT
Marcoen,

This is physics! Ask yourself; how, where and when does change usually happen? It happens in the breaks, the phase transitions. As the old saying goes, "Change happens one funeral at a time."

So then ask yourself; How do we know when such a break is going to happen and what should we do to prepare for it? As I've been saying, you know you are at the top of the wave when...

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Chidi Idika wrote on Aug. 2, 2013 @ 01:13 GMT
Dear Marcoen,

Just to say thank you for that exchange at my blog. Its important to me. And I will appreciate to know if or when you read my concluding post.

All the best,

Chidi

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John Brodix Merryman wrote on Aug. 2, 2013 @ 22:59 GMT
Marcoen,

It seems our conversation was in the window of what vanished. Did you happen to read my response to your observation of not knowing how to change the current situation in physics, if not, would you like me to restate it?

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Author Marcoen J.T.F. Cabbolet replied on Aug. 2, 2013 @ 23:23 GMT
John,

I haven't had the chance to read your reply. I would be glad if you could repost it.

Marcoen

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John Brodix Merryman replied on Aug. 3, 2013 @ 10:41 GMT
Marcoen,

I was hoping they hadn't actually lost those posts, as I'd several long ones.

You had said you didn't know how to change the situation in physics and I observed; This is physics! How does change happen? In the gaps. During the phase transitions. As the old saying goes, "Change happens one funeral at a time. "

Since we are a point where it is becoming obvious the...

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Author Marcoen J.T.F. Cabbolet replied on Aug. 3, 2013 @ 19:42 GMT
John,

Thanks for reposting your reply.

You wrote: "we are a point where it is becoming obvious the current model can't go on much further, before getting laughed off the stage". I think the opposite is the case: with the proclaimed observation of the Higgs boson, for the majority of physicists it has become obvious that they are on the right track with the Standard Model.

A replacement of the Standard Model is only possible by what Lakatos called a "clash between research programs". So not only an alternative theory is required, but also additional results demonstrating theoretical and empirical progression. But like in a clash between street gangs, there are absolutely no rules in such a clash between research programs: I have personally witnessed on dozens - note the plural - of occasions how professional scientists, including the Nobel laureate 't Hooft, have lied, that is, have made up things, in official documents to thwart challenges of the dominant paradigm. They all have what I call the 'quantum attitude': upon observation, that is, with a camera or a microphone in their face, they pose as scientists guided by truth-finding, yet in absence of such observation they are nothing but liars who, in their capacity of reviewers of funding proposals and papers submitted for publication, make up things to prevent the publication and development of views that are critical of the accepted paradigm. And they get away with it scot-free: it is an illusion to think that they will ever be held responsible for such actions in the current system. So absent any experimental result that proves the Standard Model wrong, its hegemony could easily be prolonged for another 1000 years.

Best regards,

Marcoen

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Peter Jackson wrote on Aug. 3, 2013 @ 22:30 GMT
Marcoen,

I've just checked for a response and bizarrely my post has vanished! Do let me know if you find it, I didn't keep a copy!

In any case I strongly support your position and case, and may even go a little further about particle physics (I discussed this within my 2011 essay).

I hope I also have a proof about particle structure which has proven robust in the optical and QM and relativistic regimes, deriving a resolution of the EPR paradox in my essay!

Do look and tell me if you think I'm going crazy, of if this may just signal the beginning of the end for outdated doctrine. Ignore the dense abstract, the rave reviews in the blog include; "groundbreaking", "clearly significant", "astonishing", "fantastic job", "wonderful", "remarkable!", "deeply impressed", etc. so just perhaps...? Mind you. two 7th places were passed over in the last two years so it may be buried again anyway. All points welcomed.

But this should be about yours, as the original one. Excellent, concise and precise. Good score going on. Very well done.

Best wishes

Peter

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Author Marcoen J.T.F. Cabbolet replied on Aug. 4, 2013 @ 18:01 GMT
Peter,

Thanks for the kind words.

I'll have a look at your essay on short time notice. By the way, I do not take up a position about your essay on the evidence of "rave reviews", nor on the evidence of results of other essays in earlier contests.

Best regards,

Marcoen

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Peter Jackson replied on Aug. 5, 2013 @ 16:36 GMT
Marcoen,

Good. Thank you. the quotes were to tempt you to read it. The past essays are precursers which build the foundations of the ontology, never originally about QM, and only testing the model on QM exposed a coherent alternative description was possible deriving the SR postulates.

To answer the question in my blog, yes, I suppose to most people a fundamental new view is needed, dropping a number of hidden foundational assumptions. It's only surprising at first due to unfamiliarity. As it makes all the anomalies and paradoxes evaporate one by one it becomes ever simpler.

I reply more fully on my blog in case you wish to explore this.

Thank you and best wishes for the final cut.

Peter

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Daryl Janzen wrote on Aug. 4, 2013 @ 00:05 GMT
Dear Marcoen,

You raise some good points that should really be said more often. Particle physicists don't observe particles, they find evidence that there were particles in a particular energy state. The notion of a theory's "predictive power", which you take issue with here, is something that has been blown out of proportion, as physicists often take such confirmations as proof of what they were looking for. If A then B. B, therefore A. This doesn't logically follow.

However, there's really more to it than that, which I was hoping you would have commented on in your essay. A theory, such as the Higgs mechanism, is supposed to have predictive power if it predicts something novel, which hasn't been observed yet, and there's no other real contender that anyone can think of. In that case, physicists find it acceptable to infer A from the observation of B. This was the case with the CMB, for instance, as with most of the Standard Model. So I was hoping you would say something about what else that observed peak could have been. I might have missed that in your essay, and if I did, I'm sorry. But if not, could you say something about that here? What would you have the 125 GeV peak produced by, if not the Higgs? I imagine there are other candidates, but haven't looked into the problem myself.

I look forward to your answer.

All the best,

Daryl

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Author Marcoen J.T.F. Cabbolet replied on Aug. 4, 2013 @ 18:24 GMT
Hi Daryl,

Thanks for posting your comments.

Indeed, I take issue with the fact that the claim of the CMS collaboration goes against elementary logic: it's a fallacy. It doesn't matter that the Higgs is the only contender at this moment: it remains a fallacy. You cannot say: these are traces of a Higgs boson, therefore the Higgs boson exists. Then you're assuming what has to be proven (it's a circular reasoning).

You are correct in your statement that I haven't said anything about what else that observed peak could have been. My essay is purely critical: I only question the conclusion of the CMS collaboration that the Higgs boson has been observed. So to provide somewhat of an answer to your question, I would say: the Higgs boson is currently the best possible explanation for the observed peak(s). But then we're talking about an 'explanation', not about an 'observation'. Big difference. If it's the best possible explanation, then it still might be the case that we find a better explanation at a later time. But if it's an observation, then that's final: then the Higgs boson exists, period. Then there is no other explanation for the observed peak(s). And in my opinion, they cannot make that claim.

Best regards,

Marcoen

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Daryl Janzen replied on Aug. 4, 2013 @ 20:37 GMT
Hmm... but we can only ever inductively infer the causes of the things we observe. We observe observables, not beables. That's the nature of science. Our inferences can never be proven, only falsified. That's why we look for as many ways of confirming our inferences as possible. I just don't understand: do you mean to take issue with the scientific method in general? Because if you do, you've got grounds to do so: as you said, A==>B does not mean observing B proves A. What if A=/=>C and we also observe C? There's got to be some A' that's compatible with both B and C.

But instead of hypothesis confirmation, what would you do? I really don't mean to sound negative. Maybe I've got this wrong somewhere...

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Author Marcoen J.T.F. Cabbolet replied on Aug. 5, 2013 @ 08:01 GMT
Hi Daryl,

Your "we observe observables, not beables" says it all: my point exactly. I cannot fathom why the top brass in physics thinks that they can go against such a basic principle.

I do not take issue with the scientific method in general: my essay is purely about the wordings in which the results are expressed. The devil is in the details - a change of just one term can put results in an entirely different perspective.

For me science is in the first place about testing rigorous speculation. So I'm all for hypothesis confirmation.

I see that our thoughts on the matter are on par.

Best regards,

Marcoen

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Lev Goldfarb wrote on Aug. 5, 2013 @ 19:35 GMT
Hi Marcoen,

Although I'm not a physicist, I agree with you and have already rated your essay.

Moreover, my research has led me to believe that, so far, all we have done in physics is related to the *numeric* computations associated with the 'natural' phenomena. What I mean by this is that if, as I'm led to hypothesize, the reality is not of numeric, or spatial origin, but of structural one (in a very specific sense), then the numeric characteristics cannot be taken too seriously, since they capture one (non-structural) side of reality.

Also I'm led to believe, for example, that not the "particles" themselves but the events which are currently seen as "interactions" are the more fundamental units of physical reality, where the "particles" are just various processes linking them.

Good luck in the contest!

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Lev Goldfarb replied on Aug. 5, 2013 @ 19:40 GMT
By the way, if you are interested, please participate in

https://www.researchgate.net/post/Is_there_a_solid_experimen
tal_support_for_the_general_assumption_in_Feynman_diagrams_t
hat_every_actual_particle_interaction_is_described_by_a_vert
ex_of_degree_3

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Author Marcoen J.T.F. Cabbolet replied on Aug. 5, 2013 @ 20:46 GMT
Lev,

Thanks for posting your comments.

In my theory material objects are fundamental, but there others who have postulated that events are fundamental. This is certainly the case in the process philosophy of Whitehead.

Best regards,

Marcoen

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eAmazigh M. HANNOU wrote on Aug. 5, 2013 @ 22:56 GMT
Dear Marcoen,

We are at the end of this essay contest.

In conclusion, at the question to know if Information is more fundamental than Matter, there is a good reason to answer that Matter is made of an amazing mixture of eInfo and eEnergy, at the same time.

Matter is thus eInfo made with eEnergy rather than answer it is made with eEnergy and eInfo ; because eInfo is eEnergy, and the one does not go without the other one.

eEnergy and eInfo are the two basic Principles of the eUniverse. Nothing can exist if it is not eEnergy, and any object is eInfo, and therefore eEnergy.

And consequently our eReality is eInfo made with eEnergy. And the final verdict is : eReality is virtual, and virtuality is our fundamental eReality.

Good luck to the winners,

And see you soon, with good news on this topic, and the Theory of Everything.

Amazigh H.

I rated your essay.

Please visit My essay.

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Author Marcoen J.T.F. Cabbolet replied on Aug. 7, 2013 @ 13:08 GMT
Armazigh,

Thanks for reading and rating my essay.

I'll do my best to visit your essay.

Best regards,

Marcoen

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Don Limuti wrote on Aug. 6, 2013 @ 14:52 GMT
Hi Marcoen,

I feel a little silly, I missed your excellent essay. It is underrated and I will do my best to remedy.

It feels good to be not alone in investigating the fundamentals of physics. I am with you that the very source of QM needs investigation. And we are very close on the details of motion at the quantum level. It was refreshing to read about the Higgs' "Information vs. Misinformation". A real current issue.

Thanks,

Don L.

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Author Marcoen J.T.F. Cabbolet replied on Aug. 7, 2013 @ 13:09 GMT
Don,

Thanks for your kind words.

Best regards,

Marcoen

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murat Asgatovich gaisin wrote on Aug. 7, 2013 @ 03:48 GMT
Hello!

With your criticism about the discovery of the Higgs agree. The rating is 10.

Regards, MA Gaisin

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Author Marcoen J.T.F. Cabbolet replied on Aug. 7, 2013 @ 13:10 GMT
Murat,

Thanks for the kind words and for the rating.

Best regards,

Marcoen

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Paul Borrill wrote on Aug. 7, 2013 @ 21:32 GMT
Dear Marcoen,

I have now finished reviewing all 180 essays for the contest and appreciate your contribution to this competition.

I have been thoroughly impressed at the breadth, depth and quality of the ideas represented in this contest. In true academic spirit, if you have not yet reviewed my essay, I invite you to do so and leave your comments.

You can find the latest version of my essay here:

http://fqxi.org/data/forum-attachments/Borrill-TimeOne-
V1.1a.pdf

(sorry if the fqxi web site splits this url up, I haven’t figured out a way to not make it do that).

May the best essays win!

Kind regards,

Paul Borrill

paul at borrill dot com

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