Are Particle Physicists Wasting Time Inventing New Particles? No, but It’s Complicated – CNET

The reality is that much of the public, myself included, arent familiar with the nuances and vagaries of particle physics and the difficulties and problems beyond the Standard Model. It might not have been her objective, but Hossenfelders piece makes it seem as if the whistle has actually been blown: Its not just the public that does not comprehend particle physics, however the researchers themselves. Thats merely not true.The Large Hadron Collider outside Geneva, Switzerland.
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Penning viewpoint pieces “annihilating” entire fields and recommending theyre operating secretively is a dangerous game to play. Not just does it erode trust in particle physics but in science as a whole. It gives the impression scientists are voluntarily computing behind the scenes in an effort to get more cash rather than respond to fundamental concerns about the universe or health or biology or environment. My experience over the last decade has taught me the vast bulk of scientists are working ridiculous hours for pretty useless pay because theyre driven to open the secrets of the tiny corner of the cosmos we inhabit. Hossenfelder plainly has a great grasp of the ideas and can explain them in a engaging and interesting way. Do not take it from me. Her YouTube channel has more than half a million subscribers. She has real influence and can influence positive modification– she ought to be permitted to press back against the concept we need huge, brand-new, costly particle colliders. She should be free to be hesitant. We all need to gain from that.But we should also be mindful we do not suppress interest. Theoretical physics pushes on the limits of whatever we understand at the very edge of our technological capabilities. Thats wild. In doing so, naturally there are times scientists will be incorrect. When their forecasts or theoretical brand-new particles dont pan out in a method they expected, of course there are times. I d say this is the standard. A negative result is still a result. It does move the field forward, forcing us to reconsider searching for a greater truth. Does the world need– want?– a brand-new, expensive, mammoth particle collider to look for that reality? Just how much does it worth the search for dark matter? Do we desire to know the basic physics underpinning our truth? Those are questions worth asking; discussions worth having. To press particle physics forward into a exciting and brand-new realm, we must foster curiosity, stimulate brand-new concepts, create new particles when it makes sense and encourage brand-new methods when it does not.

On Sept. 26, the Guardians opinion section ran an article by astrophysicist and YouTuber Sabine Hossenfelder that declared particle physicists have been harboring a dark secret: They “do not think the particles they are paid to search for exist.” In a nutshell, Hossenfelder states that theoretical particles are being conjured up out of thin air to discuss some of the anomalous findings physicists have actually seen in particle colliders and high-energy physics experiments. One heading shouted “FORMER PARTICLE PHYSICIST ABSOLUTELY ANNIHILATES THE FIELD OF PARTICLE PHYSICS” and suggested particle physicists had a “filthy secret. Ambulance chasing is the concept a new result or anomaly in particle physics inspires dozens of scientific documents attempting to discuss the outcome, in some cases invoking new particles or building out new models. To push particle physics forward into a amazing and new world, we ought to promote interest, stimulate brand-new concepts, develop brand-new particles when it makes sense and motivate brand-new techniques when it does not.

The LHC did assist find the Higgs boson in 2012 but hasnt had any luck finding other brand-new particles. In October 2020, she published a YouTube video entitled “Particle Physicists Continue Empty Promises” in reaction to a Nature commentary talking about how the field planned to move beyond the Large Hadron Collider experiment. In the opening minutes of that video, she declares “today I desire to inform you how particle physicists are losing your money.
Peter Macdiarmid, Getty Images.
Other YouTube videos, extending back to 2019, consist of “Have We Really Measured Gravitational Waves?” (we have, as Hossenfelder explains at the end of her video) and “Particle Physics Discoveries That Disappeared” (they didnt vanish, as evidenced by the ability to make a video about them, however newer discoveries assisted researchers proceed to other experiments). The controversial takes have actually often caused unjustified individual insults and harassment for Hossenfelder by other scientists. Those attacks are what resulted in her publishing the piece in the Guardian, according to her blog. I connected to Hossenfelder for remark however did not receive a response.Hossenfelders hesitation of clinical results and theories is definitely required. Science is about fine-tuning our understanding in time as new outcomes yield new insights. In this way, Hossenfelders reviews of particle physics can be helpful. Theyre provided in a method thats out of the regular for scientists. Arguments dont constantly rage on YouTube or Twitter and even in the viewpoint area of a major publication– theyre generally taking place at scientific conferences and in the documents themselves.” In science, it is the evidence that counts. Not viewpoints,” Hossenfelder states in her gravitational waves video. Its unusual, then, to see Hossenfelder compose an opinion piece in The Guardian, reworking a few of the old arguments shes been making on her YouTube channel for years. The evidence reveals progress is being made, albeit slowly, because theories are often decades ahead of experiments, much like they were for the Higgs boson.Its essential for the field of particle physics to consider where resources are going and what projects are being moneyed. This procedure does not take place in secret. In reality, in July, the particle physics neighborhood came together in Seattle for the Snowmass conference, a long-lasting preparation exercise checking out the scientific chances for the next decade.” The focus is on neighborhood– everybody is welcome to take part– and on checking out the scientific chances for the coming years,” kept in mind Aida X. El-Khadra, a professor of physics at the University of Illinois..

This puts a great deal of pressure on researchers to publish and especially impacts those early in their careers and from varied backgrounds. As the funding for scientific research diminishes, as it has in locations like Australia, that pressure grows. Scientists get captured in the cycle of releasing to remain in a job. Theyre battling each other to endure. This is something Hossenfelder herself has experience with. She tweeted in August that the German Research Foundation had actually knocked back her most current funding proposal. She points out that a number of documents were not published quickly enough as being a potential factor for this. Publishing can suggest more cash. Yes, some particle physicists might “ambulance chase.” Might biologists or astrophysicists or materials researchers. Focusing on issues like ambulance chasing misses larger, systemic problems in particle physics. Its a field that struggles with problems similar to those in other STEM fields, especially when it pertains to diversity and inclusion, where women and PoC are underrepresented. And it eliminates the capability to have sincere, open dialogue about whether we need to develop brand-new, costly particle colliders– one of Hossenfelders enduring gripes..

Has the entire field of particle physics collapsed, thanks to the efforts of a previous physicist who is now speaking out? On Sept. 26, the Guardians opinion area ran an post by astrophysicist and YouTuber Sabine Hossenfelder that claimed particle physicists have been harboring a dark secret: They “do not think the particles they are paid to search for exist.” In a nutshell, Hossenfelder states that theoretical particles are being conjured up out of thin air to discuss some of the anomalous findings physicists have actually seen in particle colliders and high-energy physics experiments.

What Hossenfelder is recommending is proper: Particle physicists do need to take different approaches and conceive new methods to move the field forward. Ambulance chasing is the idea a brand-new result or anomaly in particle physics influences dozens of clinical papers trying to describe the result, often developing or invoking new particles out new designs.” Theorists certainly in some cases choose up speculative outcomes with poor analytical significance, however it is not a big problem,” said Ulrik Egede, a particle physicist at Monash University in Australia.
” Without any doubt, Sabine touches upon issues that ought to be discussed.”.
Thomas van Riet.

Worryingly, this claim motivated other publications to get on the debate. One headline yelled “FORMER PARTICLE PHYSICIST ABSOLUTELY ANNIHILATES THE FIELD OF PARTICLE PHYSICS” and recommended particle physicists had a “unclean secret.” But the reality is far less disconcerting (and needs far less Caps Lock.) Talking to particle physicists over the recently, its clear Hossenfelders claims rankled the field. “It really injures me,” Thomas Van Riet, a physicist at KU Leuven in Belgium, told me through email.Many view the framing of Hossenfelders post as unjust. Some believe it just consists of mistruths and incorrect details. The major concern Ive heard is how Hossenfelder provides particle physicists working “in personal” as if theyve been acting conspiratorially, keeping the fact about their work from the public. “Whats most irritating to me are the claims of what is said behind closed doors,” tweeted Djuna Croon, a theoretical physicist at Durham University, in action to the article.Hossenfelder mentions she used to be a particle physicist and has now “left the field.” This range, she composes, renders her “able and prepared to criticize the circumstance.” However, it may leave readers thinking that generally every working particle physicist is somehow untrustworthy.Its type of like a chef consuming at a restaurant besides the one they usually cook at. The restaurant they go to may provide boring, boring soup thats way overpriced. But then the chef says “this whole neighborhood of dining establishments is dreadful and they charge too much for soup,” despite the fact that theres a whole street of dining establishments offering cheap, scrumptious soup simply around the block. Simply put, tarring an entire field with a single brush is unjustified and does not catch the fact of the scenario. Thats not to state there arent good points in Hossenfelders piece and particle physicists dont dismiss all of her concerns. “Without any doubt, Sabine touches upon concerns that should be discussed,” said Van Riet. Its the method theyre provided that may be damaging.PriorsHossenfelder has been rattling cages in physics for some time. She has questioned whether huge particle colliders, like the one that may change the Large Hadron Collider, should be developed at all since we havent found these new particles researchers have actually been forecasting for years.


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