synthetic zero

March 15th, 2009

A post for physics geeks:  I’ve suspected for a long time that the long-awaited “God Particle”, the Higgs boson, which, according to the Standard Model of particle physics is the origin of the mass of particles — may well not exist.  Why?  It’s nearly entirely handwaving, but it comes from my ideas about the nature of the measurement problem in quantum mechanics.  That is to say … Jonathan Tash and I speculated a number of years ago that the solution to the preferred basis problem of the Everett interpretation of quantum mechanics may well be that it is only in the basis that we happen to observe that you can have perception or awareness needed for what we call life; that is to say, if perception depends on feedback loops a la Gregory Bateson, those feedback loops would have to be able to “close”.  Our hypothesis was that the apparent structure of spacetime itself was/is induced by these feedback loops (on some sort of underlying substrate that was itself not necessarily local in structure and which did not have a spacetime structure in particular.)  However, if spacetime is induced by feedback loops, but, according to Einstein, one can interpret gravity as a bending of spacetime, then perhaps there is some relationship between these perceptual feedback loops and gravity (again, this is just my personal speculation and it is nothing more than handwaving, as I said, at this point).  If, somehow, gravity itself is related to the nature of closed feedback loops, then it may be that what we call mass has to do with global factors rather than created by a Higgs field.  However, I haven’t analyzed it further than this; it’s just an intuition, and a very vague one at that.  But, let’s just say I’m not entirely surprised that they haven’t found the Higgs boson yet; if they do find it, I suppose I’d be slightly disappointed (but again, since I haven’t done the analysis I’m not really sure if or whether it would really affect the more fundamental ideas Jonathan and I have bandied about.)  If the Higgs doesn’t exist, of course, it means there’s something fundamentally missing from the Standard Model — and I think it could be something along the lines of these feedback loops inducing spacetime. Who knows, however, it’s all just speculation (update: Jonathan wrote me just now to say he shares this intuition).

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  1. Patrick says:

    If they do find Higgs bosons, I predict the phrase “God particle” will be all over the mainstream media.

    If that happens, I will issue a press release to The Onion announcing detection of hypeon particles propagating via the hype field, and the resulting strong attraction between moron particles.

    ‘It is now known that hype charged media are actually composed of groups of bound fractionally hype charged morons. It appears that morons are truly fundamental entities of the media. We can’t prove this yet, but a key insight is that when multiple morons in close proximity are accelerated through cyberspace there are chain reactions of hyperon release. As Albert Onemug said when he predicted this, “This warps cyberspace, but anyways warped cyberspace accelerates morons. Same difference.” Because of all this, we now have great hope that we will be able to meet the needs of the world’s population, and it will be too cheap to meter! All we have to do is agree where to store hyperwaste decaying byproducts. We propose Las Vegas.(*) One last thing: previous reports from some confused experimentalists about instantaneous non-local moronic information exchange via the electromagnetic field makes no sense at all. That would imply an asymmetry which would break the law of conservation of degeneracy, and everyone knows moronic degeneracy is constant. Please don’t encourage those crackpots.’

    (*) Oh come on, you wouldn’t even know its there.

    April 2nd, 2009 at 4:05 pm

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