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songjoong df: on 12/27/17 at 7:06am UTC, wrote cara menjadi reseller qnc jelly gamat Cara Menjadi Agen Qnc Jelly Gamat ...

Zeeya Merali: on 10/1/09 at 12:16pm UTC, wrote Hi Peter, I think the term "unparticle" comes from Georgi himself...

Peter Jackson: on 9/29/09 at 15:05pm UTC, wrote Zeeya Who admitted thinking up the name unparticle? Doesn't sound like...

Lawrence B. Crowell: on 9/1/09 at 19:50pm UTC, wrote The braney content involves a 4-flux across a D7-brane as outlined by...

Jason Wolfe: on 9/1/09 at 19:31pm UTC, wrote Optimistic, Would that be un-taxes payed against our un-salaries?

Optimistic: on 9/1/09 at 19:08pm UTC, wrote Maybe if we can find an un-universe constructed of unparticles, there'll be...

Jason Wolfe: on 9/1/09 at 18:42pm UTC, wrote Steve, I came up with a way to use manipulated p3-branes to manipulate...

Steve Dufourny: on 9/1/09 at 16:50pm UTC, wrote Hi Jason , Sorry I forgot to thank you about the Alcubier explaination,I...


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September 23, 2021

CATEGORY: Blog [back]
TOPIC: The Un-LHC [refresh]
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FQXi Administrator Zeeya Merali wrote on Aug. 31, 2009 @ 16:34 GMT
I’ve just come back from a trip to the LHC (more popularly known as “the black-hole machine,” of course). I arrived quite soon after the official announcement that the collider will re-start in November (or perhaps not, as those who believe that the LHC is being sabotaged by its future self claim), so I was pleased that I got a chance to visit the CMS detector before it’s all closed up again. (I was less pleased when I ended up getting locked down there by the overzealous security doors. Getting trapped in a physics experiment never ends well in fiction, as Bruce Banner and Jon Osterman aka Dr Manhattan, pictured, will testify.)

Aside from the usual chat about the LHC repairs, I met with Albert de Roeck who is co-ordinating the hunt for exotic particles with the CMS detector. By now, I thought that everything that could be said about the sort of things they are hunting for (the Higgs, supersymmetry, extra-dimensions, mini-black holes) has been said. But de Roeck was energised because he had just come out of a meeting with some theoretical physicists about the possibility of spotting a new entity, unlike any other that has yet been conceived. Proposed in 2007 by one of the founding fathers of supersymmetry, Harvard’s Howard Georgi, this weird type of matter is dubbed the “unparticle.”

Unparticles are close to my heart because last year I covered them in a story for New Scientist. “What exactly are unparticles?” you ask. That’s not such an easy question to answer. I must have asked about 30 different researchers, including Georgi, when I wrote the article and the answers I got ranged from “matter that’s unlike a particle,” to “something that can’t even be described because it is unlike anything we are used to thinking about.” One facet of their weirdness is that they have no fixed identity, but morph between having different masses, depending on how you measure them. So far, they have been invoked to explain dark matter and the asymmetry between matter and anti-matter in the universe, among other things.

Unparticles would only very weakly interact with ordinary matter (explaining why we haven’t seen them yet) and their shifting identity naturally makes them tough to pin down in accelerator collisions. If they exist, they won’t be seen directly, but like neutrinos, they will show up as missing energy in particle interactions. In the case of unparticles, this missing energy signature will be even more bizarre because it will seem to have been caused by a fractional number of particles. De Roeck is making sure that the CMS exotica team are ready to pounce if such signs are seen after the LHC starts up.

That said, unparticles are highly unlikely to exist. Since they were proposed they have been met with equal helpings of excitement and cynicism. While many (many) theoretical physicists have been feverishly writing papers analysing their possible effects on cosmology and various possible signatures at the LHC, others have rolled their eyes and criticise the whole unparticles program as a cheap way to generate new research papers and citations by jumping on a fantastical bandwagon.

A lot of the cynicism seems to derive from the motivation (or lack of motivation) behind unparticles. Although, as I mentioned, people are now looking at whether unparticles could explain various cosmic mysteries, Georgi didn’t originally posit them as a solutions to these problems—or indeed as solutions to any problem at all. Rather, he sat down and began pondering what sort of things could conceivably show up at the LHC that nobody had yet considered. It’s an upside-down approach to physics: thinking of things that _might_ be out there, just for the sake of it, without there being any _need_ for such entities to exist. But perhaps criticism of this approach is unfair—why shouldn’t profound answers about reality come about just because someone sat down and wondered “what if?” How many times has that happened in the history of physics? (That’s not a rhetorical question. I’m interested in the examples that you might have.)

So I found it interesting that despite the scepticism, both the CMS and ATLAS groups are now planning to begin an earnest quest for unparticles that will run alongside their searches for more conventional exotica (if that’s not an oxymoron). Both experimental groups have been using the LHC downtime to prepare their experiments for any eventuality—and the possibility of unparticles has added a bit of new excitement to their daily routine.

Right now, de Roeck isn’t placing unparticles at the top of his list of “things most likely to be found at the LHC.” But he doesn’t blame theorists such as Georgi for pondering about them. “It’s our fault really. We haven’t got the machine running and while they are waiting, theoretical physicists are bound to start thinking up ever more imaginative scenarios and possibilities,” he told me. “It’s up to us to start the experiment and show that these things aren’t there.”

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Jason Wolfe wrote on Aug. 31, 2009 @ 20:56 GMT

Contemplation of an "un-particle" sounds like either a hope or a fear that the particle physics model is going to break down above some energy. Maybe the physics rules will start to reflect some other set of rules.

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v wrote on Aug. 31, 2009 @ 21:15 GMT
It's nice to see that the LHC is uniting people in the search for answers - bringing together people from across the world and providing the opportunity for reasearch in areas that they wouldn't normally considered, even contrary, in the desire to know the unknown

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Jason Wolfe wrote on Aug. 31, 2009 @ 21:18 GMT
Wouldn't it just be a particle physics nightmare if, at high energies, the laws of physics could change in a way that is similar to how human behavior changes when they enter a new culture/environmet? What if Hadrons only behave like quark triplets up to a certain temperature, and then they begin to oscillate between being triplet or being doublets?

How many physicists would just throw up there hands in dismay, change their profession, move deep into the mountains and become Hillbillies?

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Jason Wolfe wrote on Aug. 31, 2009 @ 21:23 GMT

I agree; it gives us all hope that particle physicists work together to dig deeply into their research to try to unlock the secrets of the universe. I really hope that they get it running in November; the suspense is driving me nuts.

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Lawrence B. Crowell wrote on Aug. 31, 2009 @ 22:23 GMT
The unparticle is a bit of an oddity. The idea is that a massive particle has that mass regardless of the energy E^2 = p^2 + m^2 (c = 1). For E >> m the mass contributes little and so the scaling of the physics is approximately with energy or momentum ~ log(k/Λ), for Λ a renormalization cut off. This means the renormalization group can be applied at fairly high energy, and there is the general Zamalodchikov c-theorem on this. The unparticle is a particle who's mass scales with energy or transverse energy.

It is a bit of a strange idea, but it is one which ... well just might be right. If this turns out to be the case then renoralization group flows could be continued to energy domeains where conformal symmetry breaks down due to mass. Since mass is conferred to a particle through the Higgs field, it might be if the Higgs field is a composite or condensate state, such as with T-quarks, it just might turn out that the Higgs derived mass of particles does scale with energy.

Cheers LC

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Steve Dufourny wrote on Sep. 1, 2009 @ 11:14 GMT
Hi all ,

I doubt about Higgs ,who can convice me about that .I think really what only a weak percentage of experiments are interestings at thes colliders ,the rest is a lost of time and a business .

Furthemore it's dangerous to check these interactions beause we are youngs my friends in a universal scale .

The realism is important because the error is human ,there is too much energy in towards the limits ,all has the same maximum enegy quantity .Don't forget the conclusion of Einstein ,E=mc²....his equation wasn't finish but this equation shows us what it's important to understand this maximum energy in all things near walls and that in the quantum and the cosmological walls .

When the humanity wants to check things ,it's essential to understand all parameters and that to evitate the errors which can be very serioyus for our globality .

The consciousness is a driving force of our stability and our evolution .



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Jason Wolfe wrote on Sep. 1, 2009 @ 16:15 GMT
For the LHC to work long enough to give us the results that we want, something like ten thousand electro-magnets have to work perfectly. I wonder if they have back ups for these circuits? If so, how many backups for each circuit does it take to make sure the LHC remains usefully operational? Is it possible to calculate a failure rate for these circuits? If these electromagnets are startup reliable to within 1 in 10,000 (one failure in ten thousand), and there are ten thousand electromagnetic circuits, then we can expect at least one electromagnetic to blow everytime we start it up. If so, are there backups? If not, how are we ever going to get useful data out of this LHC machine?

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Steve Dufourny wrote on Sep. 1, 2009 @ 16:50 GMT
Hi Jason ,

Sorry I forgot to thank you about the Alcubier explaination,I saw it now .



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Jason Wolfe wrote on Sep. 1, 2009 @ 18:42 GMT

I came up with a way to use manipulated p3-branes to manipulate gravity using the Quaternion model. I have a brilliant concept. The problem is bringing it down to a level that can be explained and quantified. In a nutshell, I want to assume that branes can be manipulated using moulds. Next, I want to assume that the Cosmological pressure drives (1) the rate of flow of time and (2) the continued inflation of the 3D universe as a surface of a 4D expanding sphere (like an expanding balloon). If some region has a lot of mass-energy in it, it begins to sink (is less inflated). This causes curvature in 3D space or the appearance of gravity.

I want to treat the Cosmological constant as a gas with a flow rate through the p3-brane. If I take three branes 1), 2) and 3), with varying surface area (p3 volume) and the same shape (area of circle or volume of a hypersphere), I can force the same flow rate through each of these stacked branes. In doing so, the flow rate of the Cosmological gas through each of these spaces will cause their relative areas to be curved with respect to one another. This will produce the effect of a manipulatable gravity field within this combination space.

OK, I have taken some liberties. Most of this is well beyond our current level of technology. I guess that means we won't be zooming across space like they do on Star Trek for another millenia or two. Sorry.

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Optimistic wrote on Sep. 1, 2009 @ 19:08 GMT
Maybe if we can find an un-universe constructed of unparticles, there'll be un-taxes?

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Jason Wolfe wrote on Sep. 1, 2009 @ 19:31 GMT

Would that be un-taxes payed against our un-salaries?

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Lawrence B. Crowell wrote on Sep. 1, 2009 @ 19:50 GMT
The braney content involves a 4-flux across a D7-brane as outlined by Bousso and Polchinski arXiv:hep-th/0004134v3 . This has content in AdS_4xD7, for AdS_4 the anti-de Sitter spacetime with a Λ established by this flux. My paper has been posted here at:

which outlines some of this. My paper indicates how the value of this flux is established by a quantum critical point, or phase transition in quantum state.

Lawrence B. Crowell

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Peter Jackson wrote on Sep. 29, 2009 @ 15:05 GMT

Who admitted thinking up the name unparticle? Doesn't sound like brilliant PR for the paymaster somehow!

In answer to your non rhetorical question, and apart from science fiction, STR is probably the only big one, or certainly the biggest that started from just 'wondering'.

Perhaps it's eventual successor will too. One example which did so but may be too easy to be true is on

This also has major potential implications on LHC work and the 'photoelectron' clouds that build up around protons!

Peter Jackson

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FQXi Administrator Zeeya Merali wrote on Oct. 1, 2009 @ 12:16 GMT
Hi Peter,

I think the term "unparticle" comes from Georgi himself, but I could be wrong.

I will check out your "vixra" link too and Lawrence's essay entry mentioned above.

So, is your work on "Doppler Assisted Quantum Unification" keeping you from directing The Hobbit movie? ;-) (Sorry, I couldn't resist.)

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