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The Standard Model of Physics (and other stuff)

December 14, 2010

Mohan, mdashf


OK, I have a good punch line. Knock Off. I am not even concerned how you do that.

I just did a lot of thinking and I felt good about it. I reminded myself who I am. You see the principle here. If I were to reject the principle the principle is to reject me, something like Gravity.

Takin about gravity;

I fell down under a tree from above a tree; it was a funny story from high school. I went to the top-top of the tree. If you ever observed this the largest guavas are found there, the ones that’s rightly ripened and biggest in size. Nobody goes there for fear of a free fall. But I wanted the adventure. So I invented a trick.

I thought I will offer the guava to some lady. I went to the top, quite top. SO up, it was almost thin, the branch and hardly any chance of balance, I survived, though I was going from one side of the tree to the other, imagine. So I took 3 or 4 large ripe guavas and came down, just a few feet above, I fell down, may be as a prank, because I saw a few ladies pass by the tree.

They all laughed, it’s a scene to see Manmohan falling on his own hip. Back then I did a lot of hip talk. SO it was amusing for them to laugh at me. But I was the winner, I said laugh all you can, here is what I have, I have the guavas. So I refused to give any to them, they were 6 ladies of my age and I had only 3 guavas.  It’s always about 3. I always end up in 3. Its magic, but not VOO DOO.

Little farther and I met the Tigress, the School Mistress, and she and others they saw these guavas so I gave two of em to these older ladies, my high school teachers. So I had only one left, which I kept for the lady, I had one for some one and if I remember I gave to ger. (ger is Girl, her is hurl) So this is how gravity really influenced my early life. Now back to standard model.

Here I GO. Standard Model is the successful portion of what we all know about our Universe, all the laws, forces, their interaction, the elementary particles, their composition and behavior, how they occur in nature, and last and the least, a list of everything we know about such. But it’s mostly customized for the need of the particle physicist.

People have started calling something a standard model of cosmology in line with standard model of particle physics, its actually not unnecessary, but the former is not as well developed as the later. In cosmology they do not have a Bible of standard model. In particle physics though, this bible is called a PDG Book where PDG stands for Particle Data Group, which spearheads all matters regarding compilation of our knowledge about the world of particle physics, our studies keep on evolving at a super fast rate and this necessitates a publication of this white draft every two years. 

This is a necessary possession for every competitive particle physicist, and it comes in a short form and in the xtra large edition. So if you want to know anything about particle physics this is the most learned place to look for it.

And I have lived with plenty of guys that compile this reference. One of them is Simon Eidelman. A very learned person who comes to KEK lab and works there. I met him when I was in KEK, for about 5 years. KEK is the short form for the Japanese of High Energy Accelerator Research Organization. In Japanese it’s called Ko Ena’ru’gi Ka’sa’ki ke’kyu ki’ka, if you want direction from Tsukuba Bus Stop from where this laboratory is exactly 10 kilo meters you ask the cab driver simply one thing, “Ko En” (in more elaborated version, Ko En ga iku ka?, will you go to Ko-En?).

So this international laboratory, which is a very famous laboratory in the world today, is located in the so-called science city of Japan, Tsukuba, which is about 60 kilo meters of Tokyo, in the 3 years of my residence in this city I lived in this entire region, so it’s only a matter of great attachment and culture for me.

I also lived in US for about 4 years in the city of Blackburg in Virginia, which is 4 hours drive from the Nation’s capital, Washington DC. I am quite familiar with this region as well as my numerous visits to all most all of east coast. Now some of you may not like this fact that I am telling you a lot of my personal stories but this is a given. It’s as given to me as my efforts towards doing particle physics itself. If I could give all that to you without describing anything personal I would not be the same person.

SO let’s go to particle physics lab in Japan. This is located in a place called Tsukuba, which in turn has numerous research institutes in the country, from earth research to chemical sciences to house architecture and they all have their respective research institutions and laboratories. 

To add to that they all come in the vicinity of the famed Tsukuba University or in local language the Tsukuba Dai Gaku. No wonder Japan is a leader in all sorts of technology and science research.  (This is one of the reasons why I am so vociferous in supporting something called the Vedanta University Project in Odisha) If we can have say a city like Tsukuba in the Puri Konark Marine Drive I would give up all the bad habits you allege I have.

Tsukuba University has many Nobel Laureates to its account, which is to say it is not as famed as Chicago University but it has made its mark in world academics today. You will all be proud if you can have a degree or an education from such glorious academic organizations. I have a very dear friend from Tsukuba University who worked in Fermi Lab and visited me when I was in KEK but its not quite necessary to know more detail. He also visited India and I took him to many places. Well let me give you a glimpse.

Dear Maruyama san: This is Manmohan Dash from KEK. I am now in Virginia since last one year. I hope you remember me. We had a visit to Bhubaneswar for WHEPP.

And also had a dinner at Tsukuba. We also met in Hawaii during DPF/JPS. If luck favors we’ll meet again in Fermi lab. I was just in touch with Dr Vaia Papadimitriou and Dr Brendan Casey from Fermi lab regarding the Lederman fellowship. I have published some of my work so far in my web site. If you get some time please have a look on it,

http://homepage.mac.com/dashm/ 

(is invalid now, mac.com charges $100 a year and gives you a 45 day notice before they scratch everything off their site)

Best Regards, Manmohan

Hi, Manmohan (Lu-lu (spelling is OK?))

Sure, of course, I remember you. It was very nice trip at Bhubaneswar. (And other dinners)

Recently, I am not at FNAL so often since I am contributing a different experiment, too. So, we cannot meet at FNAL most likely. (Sorry!)

Cheers, Taka

((2 years later, November 9, 2009))

Manmohan Dash さんは書きました:

(Manmohan san wa kakimashita, Manmohan wrote, actually it stick from somewhere I don’t know )

Dear Maruyama san, o-genki desu ka? Where are you now a days? Are you in Tsukuba??

Regards, Lulu

Hi, Lulu

Yes, I am fine. And you? In last year, I moved from Tsukuba University to KEK for my job.

If you are around Tsukuba, let me know. We could go dinner.

Cheers,

Taka Maruyama

But the idea is Tsukuba city is a place, which is on the international map for the reason of its academic and scientific prominence. Standard model is similarly a prominent understanding of all that is valid in physics. All the theory, experiment, data and methods they are all descried in all details in this data book compilation called PDG.

After I posted this article I came across this misunderstanding in a blogsite in word press. I just think it’s a pretty lack of understanding of what a standard model is. As I said you can go through all of the PDG book and see for yourself what a standard model really is, it contains in it everything we know so far that are validated by experiment including the famous QED,

(interaction of elementary matter particles and waves, such as behavior of electrons in a electromagnetic force field as understood successfully by applications of quantum mechanics)

and theory of relativity (special). Now gravity (general theory etc) is naturally excluded in particle physics, it’s especially applicable to such phenomena as Red shift of galaxies, cosmic waves and radiations etc. But here is the blog I just mentioned and my response to it.

“I was having a discussion the other day with a friend about the standard model of physics after the following quote was brought up in conversation:

“The standard model longs for the Higgs particle in order to be a sound theory.”

– Jos Engelen, Chief Scientific Officer of CERN.

Now my understanding of the Standard Model is that it is not a complete theory of the fundamental interactions such gravity as well as dark matter, it also fails to describe the non-zero mass of neutrinos – therefore does not fully complete the desctiption of leptons either. This means that the Model is only covering 3 of the 4 known interactions. ”

Mohan says:

Your comment is awaiting moderation.

December 15, 2010 at 3:27 am

Standard model is a hugely sound theory as it explains say, the electron, the proton, the mesons this and that. What you can say is, it’s not the theory of everything. Standard Model without the Higgs is still a hugely sound theory. (Quite well validated by experiment) Hawking eg, quite clearly mentions that we don’t have a theory of everything, M theory is the best, still it predicts billions of Universe, but standard model is not a theory in the sense of Theory of everything. It’s a great theory in that sense. In fact it contains in it so many great theories, including Relativity, can you say Relativity is not a sound theory, then how can you say Standard Model is not.

Iccz says:

December 15, 2010 at 12:19 pm

I agree it’s a hugely sound theory – in a sense, Mohan, however my point is that it is not complete – by that I mean we’re not near a unfied field theory.

M Theory is far from the best as it is not even a theory – I touch upon this in my post on String Theory – there is however a huge problem and that is neither M Theory or String theory provide us with any testable experimental predictions, they describe forces well mathematically but that’s about all, for that reason it is not a theory and it is not [by definition] science. M-Theory is certainly a possibility for a fundamental theory but it is not a theory and it is certainly not a great theory. It is a great set of mathematical explanation though.

Relativity holds up against current tests, but you can argue [theoretically] that it will need a rethink in the future.

All I’m saying is the standard model is not complete, which you do acknowledge – that which is not complete is not perfect, it is not a sound theory and it is that which means scientists still have the drive to reach perfection.

Mohan says:

December 16, 2010 at 10:38 am

(( I hear you are saying it like this. You saw a guy who did not at all look sound. May be you saw Einstein. That would be the way to say Einstein is what he is. It’s how some people (pepei) talk. But to argue he is incomplete and therefore not sound is to say something else, it is like we will never have a sound person or ( say ) Jesus Christ is a sound person because to me he makes sense. Science can not be argued on such precinct because there will always be someone who will invalidate such arguments. ))

About M theory, Hawking, in recent Grand Design, argues that this is a super theory of which string theory is a special situation (case), of course as a mathematical rigor, but that’s how theoretical physics has always been, like it or not.

As an experimentalist I know that string theory is not an experimentally testable theory as yet or may be (easy speak) in next 100 years. That does not mean we can not study science in that way. In fact it is over the bound to say that string theory is not science, it would be like saying Einstein is not a scientist because for 30 years he did not produce anything or he did not believe in quantum mechanics. String theory has been making progress based on Einstein’s work among others.

(of course when something goes wrong everyone tries to fall back on the giant, the phantom of the giant to be appropriate, but look at the bright side, that’s why Einstein is Einstein, he can rescue us after he is gone)

Also almost everything will be incomplete but we will keep on making progress (based on) science. Einstein kept most of the science in perspective and also his work made it quite easier for later day quant. mechanics and unification, which are essentially part of string theory, although not very much to my own liking. They should constantly invent new experimental ways to validate some of their work and put fewer burdens on the advocates of string theory.

This is the same story with standard model. It keeps all our (physics) understanding in perspective. It’s not as simple a model like say Bohr model or Rutherford’s model. It’s an accumulation of all of science understanding as excavated by all physicists from time immemorial, up until now. The progress of science has been necessarily turbulent. But look what we achieved in the 60s and 70s. It wasn’t understood back then. Now it’s pretty clear, QED, quarks, unification, new discoveries and invention, this and that. Plenty of stuff.

All of science has to go through rethink, ideally speaking, if it can go like that in some persons work we will have a new understanding otherwise things will be stagnant for several decades. Look at Richard Feynman’s work; he astoundingly reinvented all of Physics as much he could.

I am not very clear about M theory except how Hawking argues that it takes care of string theory one way, by removing several model dependencies, therefore several string theories, and by doing that, it arrives at billions of billion universes. So it’s better than string theory as it has all elements of string theory, say, the 11 dimensions but not like string theory which is not satisfactory or sound understanding, as you put, you should have been careful about standard model though.

That (all of the above) is why I say standard model is the most successful part of our understanding yet; it is to say standard model is the best science we have had so far.

Of-course standard model also includes the gravitation and CMBR etc and its called standard model of cosmology, so your idea that dark matter and gravitation isn’t included is somewhat erroneous. We are starting to explore dark matter now and it’s in the reach of present day experiments such as Xenon and CDMS, once they are successful they can try to relate with all our understanding, to enhance standard model, it may take at least 3 decades, if it happens before that it would mean we have more brilliant physicists at work than has ever happened, that’s something which has to occur on its own.

(You may read my blog here on word press at webmohan.wordpress about my arguments about standard model; I will append this commentary as I have already put my last one with some excerpts from your blog. Of course I have read your blog in totality lest you may think I am just taking things apart. If and when I have some time I will try to understand what you are saying in your other article about M Theory but as I said my ideas are not any clear except what Hawking said in his recent book)

Standard model itself is amenable to more understanding from such conceptions as super symmetry and Higgs. So we can say standard model had a brilliant achievement through discovery of Higgs, if that indeed exists and is discovered.

(Not completion as you say, completion is a theoretical terminology where as standard model is a theory validated by experiment so its theory, experiment and more, as mentioned in my blog )

It’s for string theorists to come up with smart work or perish as a group of dinosaurs. But to call it NOT science is one whole new paradigm. May be its evolving through your insight. I wish you might come up with groundbreaking insights. I contradicted you by saying that Standard Model can never be called as unsound. You say I did not acknowledge it’s not complete. I now acknowledge that you said so but it’s immature to assume that scientific understanding will ever be complete. Please read Weinberg on what he has to say on the meaning of a theory of everything, that is, in what sense it has to be complete. My idea is you have to define a sense and sense will never be complete, imagine it this way, there will always be a newer person with a newer sense.

In any case standard model as you proclaim suddenly does not become a sound theory, it is a sound theory trying to come to terms with its incompleteness because newer things are constantly coming up. It’s the best as of now and for a long time to come even in the case of failing to unify completely. It’s like Einstein himself, for 500 years. With Einstein the personal tendencies are that of one person, for standard model its that of 1000 persons and more.

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