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RECENT POSTS IN THIS TOPIC

Amrit Sorli: on 2/10/19 at 18:33pm UTC, wrote we demolish Higgs mechanism The statement “Higgs boson is giving mass...

Eckard Blumschein: on 10/18/13 at 19:18pm UTC, wrote Tom, "And 'reality' is ...?" Something conjectured that has left traces...

John Merryman: on 10/18/13 at 1:22am UTC, wrote Hi Jason! And does it get infinitely bigger, given an infinite number of...

Jason Wolfe: on 10/17/13 at 20:44pm UTC, wrote If you put it in a space-time continuum, it just gets bigger.

Thomas Ray: on 10/17/13 at 20:26pm UTC, wrote Eckard, Of uncertain origin, but attributed to Darwin: "A mathematician...

Thomas Ray: on 10/17/13 at 17:04pm UTC, wrote "Each time I am using notions like point, continuum, negative, imaginary or...

Anonymous: on 10/17/13 at 16:30pm UTC, wrote Tom, "mathematics is an axiom-based system. Arbitrariness is built into...

Thomas Ray: on 10/17/13 at 10:14am UTC, wrote Eckard, If mathematics were identical to physics, we would need no...


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FQXi BLOGS
August 25, 2019

CATEGORY: Blog [back]
TOPIC: Particle Physics and Art in Superposition [refresh]
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FQXi Administrator Zeeya Merali wrote on Oct. 8, 2013 @ 00:42 GMT
Covariance
Later today (or tomorrow depending on where you are based), the winner(s) of the Nobel Prize for Physics will be announced. At the time that I am writing this, the hot favorites are some combination of the theoretical physicists who predicted the Higgs mechanism. (Gerry Guralnik blogs for us about his role in the prediction.) Many are also calling for the ATLAS and CMS collaborations to be recognized for the discovery of the Higgs boson at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the underground accelerator that is so vast it crosses the border between Switzerland and France.

This brings to mind a question posed by artist Lyndall Phelps, whom I met a few weeks ago at the launch of her particle-physics inspired exhibition, Covariance, open now at the London Canal Museum. Phelps pondered what our descendants would make of these huge subterranean structures, if they stumbled onto them during an archeological dig. Whether or not they would fathom the purpose of such detectors, they will surely be struck by their beauty. On one of my visits to the LHC, CERN's research director, Sergio Bertolucci urged me to visit the underground heart of the accelerator before the detectors were finally closed off for data-taking, describing the experience of first encountering the machinery as "magnificent, like standing within a cathedral."

Bertolucci's promise was more than fulfilled when I saw the detectors. So I would not have envied Phelps the task she was appointed some months ago by the UK's Institute of Physics: to create a piece of art that evokes the majesty of such large-scale particle physics experiments. In collaboration with Ben Still, a particle physicist at Queen Mary, University of London (and an FQXi blogger and frequent podcast contributor), Phelps designed and built the Covariance installation (image, top right). The artwork is inspired by the Superkamiokande neutrino observatory in Japan, where Still works. It is a huge and impressive piece, made up of 1 km of brass rods, 28,000 glass beads, hundreds of acrylic discs and 36,000 diamantes. The installation is suspended in the circular brick space--about 30 feet in diameter--of a Victorian ice well.

Superkamiokande
I spoke with both Phelps and Still for this month's podcast. You can hear them discuss the themes that they hoped to bring out with the piece. The most obvious note that strikes you when you first see it is the rotational symmetry that mimics the structure of particle physics detectors (Superkamiokande image, right), along with the vibrant colours seen at the LHC, for instance, and in data from particle physics experiments. The underground location is also key to the power of the artwork. It not only captures the fact that such detectors are located below ground, but it creates a dark, quiet, contemplative space in which to experience the work.

Perhaps the most fascinating and unexpected aspect is Phelps decision to pay tribute to the female "computers"--the women who historically recorded data from bubble chambers--with her choice of materials and her technique for building the installation. Since Phelps and Still can express their aims better than I can, I shall let you listen to them on the podcast, where you can also hear more of my thoughts on the exhibit.

Covariance is the first artwork in the "Superposition" series of art-physics conversations initiated by the IOP. It is still open for viewing and, if you are near London, I heartily recommend you go along. Booking information is available on the blog that accompanies the installation.

Covariance up close


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FQXi Administrator Zeeya Merali wrote on Oct. 8, 2013 @ 10:52 GMT
Congratulations to Francois Englert and Peter Higgs for the Nobel win!

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Thomas Howard Ray replied on Oct. 8, 2013 @ 12:01 GMT
Ditto. Not a surprise, and comparable to Mendeleev's and Meyers's contributions to chemistry, which also should have won Nobel prizes. It's high time that due credit be given to theorists who fill in the blanks.

Tedious and often unglamorous, sure. Of lasting importance -- most surely.

Tom

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FQXi Administrator Brendan Foster replied on Oct. 8, 2013 @ 18:29 GMT
Let's not overlook the other important announcement here, which is that there's a new FQXi podcast!

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Thomas Howard Ray replied on Oct. 9, 2013 @ 12:08 GMT
Another superb job, Brendan and Zeeya. And thanks for the entertaining Halloween theme. :-)

I am beginning to really look forward to these podcasts, for leading edge news in a nice capsulized format.

Tom

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Eckard Blumschein wrote on Oct. 11, 2013 @ 10:10 GMT
Tom,

You are perhaps the one who can thoughtfully answer a question that I consider a mathematical one. I wondered when my radio told me that Olbers' paradox is still considered evidence for finiteness of the universe. I rather see this argument an outdated fairytale by E. A. Poe.

In my understanding, irrational numbers cannot be equated to rational ones.

A line or an area cannot be completely filled with infinitely many points, i.e. as many as you like, even if they were equally spaced. I know that Fraenkel supported G. Cantor who claimed the opposite. I am arguing that we can only observe the universe from inside, i.e. potentially infinite, and therefore the sky must be black.

Courious,

Eckard

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Thomas Howard Ray replied on Oct. 11, 2013 @ 10:51 GMT
"I wondered when my radio told me that Olbers' paradox is still considered evidence for finiteness of the universe. I rather see this argument an outdated fairytale by E. A. Poe."

Eckard, the argument is that because stars have a finite age, an infinity of stars of infinite age would render the universe forever bright. So even a static universe would have to be finite to explain the dark sky, because infinite stars distributed in infinite space implies infinite brightness. Poe's tale preceded the discovery of an expanding universe -- an expanding universe of finite volume with stars of finite age explains why the universe appears as it does.

"In my understanding, irrational numbers cannot be equated to rational ones.

A line or an area cannot be completely filled with infinitely many points, i.e. as many as you like, even if they were equally spaced. I know that Fraenkel supported G. Cantor who claimed the opposite. I am arguing that we can only observe the universe from inside, i.e. potentially infinite, and therefore the sky must be black."

I don't really understand this argument. Do you mean we live on the inside of a black hole? (Some theorists do claim so.)

Best,

Tom

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Peter Jackson replied on Oct. 11, 2013 @ 11:41 GMT
Eckard,

My screen wallpaper is the early universe Hubble Ultra Deep field shot which I've been analysing. Galaxies were interesting then, unlike the intervening period they had similar average morphologies to today, but a with significant overpopulation of quasars (very 'bright') and all considerably smaller and less dense! They are of course also far redder (with receding jets shifted out of the optical range). A rationale has emerged. Watch this space. (Yes Tom, the universe must be finite but unbounded. I tend to use the word 'cosmos' for the whole 'infinite' thing).

But the point is how they got this shot. They picked the blackest bit of sky around, took a really long exposure, found a star field, (deep field shot) picked the blackest bit of sky within it took a longer exposure, got the Xtra deep field shot, picked the blackest bit they could find..etc.

The fact is amplitude reduces with redshift (think of the wave height, so ratio, reducing) beyond the 'trigger energy' for our detectors to propagate a photon (or to 'register' one in 'old think'). However you wish to look at it, it looks black as the signal strength from the stars there, though still doing c on local plasma scattering, is too low for our detectors to register. Olbers paradox simply seems to use ancient false assumptions, and it's probably about time theory caught up with astronomy!

Peter

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Eckard Blumschein replied on Oct. 11, 2013 @ 17:45 GMT
Tom,

"Infinite stars distributed in infinite space implies infinite brightness." Really? Can you mathematically show this for an assumed unbounded in 3D and origin-less universe?

With black I did not allude to black holes. I meant seeing nothing due to the threshold of vision as Peter mentioned. For any resolution (any time of exposure), there is always a dominating black gap between two visible more of less bright stars.

Incidentally, can you please distinguish between unbounded and infinite?

Best,

Eckard

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John Brodix Merryman wrote on Oct. 15, 2013 @ 23:07 GMT
Tom,

"The even distribution of infinite stars will fill a finite volume of space with illumination if the stars have a finite age. In the total history of the Earth, allowing the planet is immortal (which we don't think it is) an infinite number of mortals *will* have occupied the planet."

"The stars are not all shining at the same time, if they have a finite age, just as all people are not living at the same time if they have a finite age."

You make your fourth dimension, time, infinite.

Regards,

John M

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Thomas Howard Ray replied on Oct. 16, 2013 @ 10:05 GMT
"You make your fourth dimension, time, infinite."

No, the time coordinate is continuous with the spatial dimensions.

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John Brodix Merryman replied on Oct. 16, 2013 @ 16:02 GMT
Tom,

I didn't say there was any disconnect, but your analogy; "allowing the planet is immortal," is not bounded. If you try to fit an infinite number of temporally(and spatially) finite entities into a finite space and time span, it overflows.

Regards

John M

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Thomas Howard Ray replied on Oct. 16, 2013 @ 16:22 GMT
"If you try to fit an infinite number of temporally(and spatially) finite entities into a finite space and time span, it overflows."

This would come as a surprise to Satyendra Bose.

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Amrit Srecko Sorli wrote on Feb. 10, 2019 @ 18:33 GMT
we demolish Higgs mechanism

The statement “Higgs boson is giving mass to itself” is not falsifiable; it does not pass the test of Karl Popper. The idea of the standard model that all elementary particles are mass-less is against “mass-energy equivalence” of Albert Einstein. Mass and energy are made out of the same “stuff”. Particles have energy and cannot exist in an “empty” space deprived of physical properties. Space is the primordial non-created energy of the universe. Mass m of the proton is structured energy of space E which diminishes the energy density of space in the center of the proton exactly for the amount of its energy: E = mc2 = (PPE – PSE) x V, where PPE is Planck energy density, PSE is energy density of space in the center of the proton and V is the volume of the proton, and c is velocity of the light.

Higgs boson is an artificial manmade momentary flux of energy released here and there in the protons collisions and does not prove the existence of Higgs field.

attachments: 2_Demolition_of_Higgs_Mechanism.pdf

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