Are foundational issues the same as BSM?

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  • #1
friend
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I wonder if theories concerning the foundations of quantum mechanics, quantum field theories, and relativity are the same as Beyond the Standard Model concerns. Quantum Gravity is trying to find theories that encompass both QM and GR. So perhaps this is the same as trying to find an foundational theory for both. Would such a foundational theory be acceptable here in Beyond the Standard Model forum? If not, where would foundational theories belong? Thanks.
 

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  • #2
marcus
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I wonder if theories concerning the foundations of quantum mechanics, quantum field theories, and relativity are the same as Beyond the Standard Model concerns. Quantum Gravity is trying to find theories that encompass both QM and GR. So perhaps this is the same as trying to find an foundational theory for both...

The focus is on *professionally researched* foundational theory. You are right that Quantum Gravity is an effort in that direction. The aim is a quantum theory of the spacetime geometry in which matter lives. Once that goal is reached the door will be open to rebuilding the quantum field theory of matter on new geometrical foundations.

So the ultimate goal of the professional research that gets reported and discussed here, including QG, has always been a fundamental theory of both Geometry AND Matter fields.
I sort of hope that QG will lead to a new understanding of what Geometry is, but also a new understanding of what Matter is----perhaps that at the quantum level they are both the same thing. So it would at last be understood how it is that they interact so closely and affect each other.
 
  • #3
friend
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I have my doubts that they will unite gravity and quantum theory without a better understanding of the foundations first. I think they will have to start from scratch based on some general principle that encompasses everything (perhaps logic). And show from that how QM and GR are derived. It seems difficult to believe that they could just guess at the math and be sure it's correct when they cannot directly measure things at the scale of quantum gravity. Are we even sure that QG is even measureable in principle?
 
  • #4
marcus
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...when they cannot directly measure things at the scale of quantum gravity. Are we even sure that QG is even measureable in principle?
According to you, friend, what scale are the fluctuations in the CMB? It seems to me that they have *angular* scale---measured in fractions of a degree of angle. A wide range of angular scales.
 
  • #5
unusualname
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According to you, friend, what scale are the fluctuations in the CMB? It seems to me that they have *angular* scale---measured in fractions of a degree of angle. A wide range of angular scales.

Yes, but that depends on your cosmological model, the CMB may be a red-herring wrt to QG if inflation is false
 
  • #6
friend
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Yes, but that depends on your cosmological model, the CMB may be a red-herring wrt to QG if inflation is false

It might even depend on what type of inflation - slow role or otherwise.

Correct me here if I'm wrong. But I think I remember LQG to be based on spin form networks that are a speculation about what spacetime itself is made of - I don't think it's a pure derivation from QG and QM, right? Also, CDT is also a guess on what spacetime is like, not a direct derivation, right? If so, then these seem to be based on principles they think may be common to QG and QM, but not purely derived from them. And so they are attempts at what is foundational to QG and QM, right? So is BSM really chasing after foundational issues?
 
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  • #7
marcus
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...I think I remember LQG to be based on spin form networks that are a speculation about what spacetime itself is made of...
Over the years, I've often quoted Rovelli to the contrary.
It's not about what Nature is "made of", it's about how she responds to measurement. That's a paraphrase---he said it more emphatically with more examples.
That was at a seminar given by CR, Ashtekar, and Laurent Freidel, I think it was in 2006-2008 and would still online at the ILQGS.

I think Niels Bohr made essentially the same point about Quantum Theory in general. It is not about what it is but about how it responds to measurement---i.e. what we can say, what bets we can settle, what statements we can verify.

Early universe phenomenologists seem to think they can get testable predictions out of Loop. It might even be possible to constrain or rule it out by CMB polarization observations. You have to make up your own mind. I'll get a link to some 60 papers relevant to that.

As you know, testable scientific theories are never verified, they simply survive testing until it is shown that they need to be replaced or improved.
 
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  • #8
unusualname
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Hi friend,

foundational questions about QM are usually very distinct from what serious theoretical physicists are trying to do with regards to quantum gravity. I mean, most of the prominent string theorists accept copenhagen + decoherence interpretation in their work, or maybe a few like to think MWI is the better idea.

The point is that foundational questions don't arise in their intricate calculations, you could probably even argue that bohmian pilot waves are consistent!

At no point in the foundations of string theory are the questions of randomness v determinstic qm considered - they are irrelevant to the mathematics.
 
  • #9
marcus
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Early universe phenomenologists seem to think they can get testable predictions out of Loop. It might even be possible to constrain or rule it out by CMB polarization observations. You have to make up your own mind. I'll get a link to some 60 papers relevant to that.

As you know, testable scientific theories are never verified, they simply survive testing until it is shown that they need to be replaced or improved.

Here's the link I promised. It is for papers related to early universe phenomenology, appearing in 2009 or later:

http://www-library.desy.de/cgi-bin/spiface/find/hep/www?rawcmd=FIND+%28DK+LOOP+SPACE+AND+%28QUANTUM+GRAVITY+OR+QUANTUM+COSMOLOGY%29+%29+AND+%28GRAVITATIONAL+RADIATION+OR+PRIMORDIAL+OR+inflation+or+POWER+SPECTRUM+OR+COSMIC+BACKGROUND+RADIATION%29+AND+DATE%3E2008&FORMAT=www&SEQUENCE=citecount%28d%29 [Broken]

http://www-library.desy.de/cgi-bin/spiface/find/hep/www?rawcmd=FIND+%28DK+LOOP+SPACE+AND+%28QUANTUM+GRAVITY+OR+QUANTUM+COSMOLOGY%29+%29+AND+%28GRAVITATIONAL+RADIATION+OR+PRIMORDIAL+OR+inflation+or+POWER+SPECTRUM+OR+COSMIC+BACKGROUND+RADIATION%29+AND+DATE%3E2008&FORMAT=www&SEQUENCE=ds%28d%29 [Broken]

As of today this gets 63 papers and they are ranked by cites so you get some older ones first because they have been around longer---so have had more time to be cited.

Unusual, the message I get from your post is that it doesn't matter what your ideology is. :biggrin: If that's the gist, I would agree. What matters is not your ideology but whether independent professional theory-testers think your theory is testable.
 
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  • #10
friend
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Over the years, I've often quoted Rovelli to the contrary.
It's not about what Nature is "made of", it's about how she responds to measurement.
...
I think Niels Bohr made essentially the same point about Quantum Theory in general. It is not about what it is but about how it responds to measurement---i.e. what we can say, what bets we can settle, what statements we can verify.
...
As you know, testable scientific theories are never verified, they simply survive testing until it is shown that they need to be replaced or improved.

Yes, that makes sense. Of course our theories must be about what we can measure since we can never verify any theory about what nature is.

But this only brings up the question about what we base our theories on when we want to make predictions about what we cannot directly measure, a.k.a. quantum gravity perhaps. It seems then we can only be guided by our intuition or reason. But that might lead us to a rather difficult dilemma. What happens if we were to derive physics from some sort of undeniable form of reasoning or logic? If that theory were falsified, then reality becomes illogical. But what recourse do we have if we can not measure what we predict? Indeed, what recourse do we have in our theorizing other than to rely on intuition and reason? How could we ever know that any theory we came up with was unique since if we can never know what the universe IS?
 
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  • #11
marcus
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... But what recourse do we have if we can not measure what we predict?
That's somewhat hypothetical, but it does not apply to Loop. The predictions derived from LQG discussed in the literature involve measurements which are possible to make. You can check some of the papers by phenomenologists (in particular those who not from Loop community and are just as interested in positive as negative results).

There should be some 63 papers there. Please let me know if you have trouble with the links and I will hunt up some different ones. Not all are phenomenology so you have to inspect to see which ones relate to observational tests.
 
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  • #12
unusualname
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Yes, that makes sense. Of course our theories must be about what we can measure since we can never verify any theory about what nature is.

But this only brings up the question about what we base our theories on when we want to make predictions about what we cannot directly measure, a.k.a. quantum gravity perhaps. It seems then we can only be guided by our intuition or reason. But that might lead us to a rather difficult dilemma. What happens if we were to derive physics from some sort of undeniable form of reasoning or logic? If that theory were falsified, then reality becomes illogical. But what recourse do we have if we can not measure what we predict? Indeed, what recourse do we have in our theorizing other than to rely on intuition and reason? How could we ever know that any theory we came up with was unique since if we can never know what the universe IS?

omg, calm down, you sound crayz! [sic] :OK, Descartes already solved this, there surely isn't a BAD GOD in charge of things.

or..., chillax man, the next stage of particle physics is just 'round the corner
 
  • #13
audioloop
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I have my doubts that they will unite gravity and theory without a better understanding of the first. I think they will have to start from scratch based on some general principle that encompasses everything (perhaps logic). And show from that how QM and GR are derived. It seems difficult to believe that they could just guess at the math and be sure it's correct when they cannot directly measure things at the scale of quantum gravity. Are we even sure that QG is even measureable in principle?

i similar thoughts like yours.

I derivation from QG and QM, right? Also, CDT is also a guess on what spacetime is like, not a direct derivation, right? If so, then these seem to be based on principles they think may be common to QG and QM, but not purely derived from them. And so they are attempts at what is foundational to QG and QM, right? So is BSM really chasing after foundational issues?

and derived from general relativity and special relativity.
 
  • #14
friend
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That's somewhat hypothetical, but it does not apply to Loop. The predictions derived from LQG discussed in the literature involve measurements which are possible to make. You can check some of the papers by phenomenologists (in particular those who not from Loop community and are just as interested in positive as negative results).

Perhaps you've answered this already. But is LQG a pure derivation from QM and GR? Or, is it more as I suspect, an educated guess to postulate some more fundamental principle as the foundations of both? Hey, as long as they don't claim that it is the result of some undeniable logic, we should feel safe with their hypothesis, right?
 
  • #15
unusualname
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Unusual, the message I get from your post is that it doesn't matter what your ideology is. :biggrin: If that's the gist, I would agree. What matters is not your ideology but whether independent professional theory-testers think your theory is testable.

Well also I think it's important whether colleagues think you're sane or not.
 
  • #16
marcus
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Well also I think it's important whether colleagues think you're sane or not.
Right! Otherwise grants and jobs will not be forthcoming for a large percentage of the community's recent PhDs and postdocs.
I think we can take that for granted as an unstated assumption.
http://sites.google.com/site/grqcrumourmill/
As you can see things are looking pretty good in that regard.
These should all be familiar names to anyone who follows Loop research:
==quote==
2012 Postdoc Positions:
...
Cambridge U., DAMTP (philosophy of cosmology) - Offer to: David Sloan (Utrecht; accepted)
...
Louisana State U. (loop quantum gravity & cosmology) - Offer to: Edward Wilson-Ewing (Marseille; accepted)

Penn State U. (Fundamental Gravitational Theory, GR/QC) - Offer to: Yasha Neiman (Tel Aviv; accepted), Thomas Cailleteau (LPSC, Grenoble; accepted), Marc Geiller (APC, Paris; accepted), Norbert Bodendorfer (Erlangen - Nuremberg U.)

Perimeter Institute (quantum gravity, cosmology, ...) - Offer to: Flavio Mercati (Zaragoza), Philipp Höhn (Utrecht; accepted), Ryszard Kostecki (Warsaw; accepted)
...
Warsaw U. (loop quantum gravity) - Offer to: Emanuele Alesci (Erlangen; accepted)

2012 External Fellowships:

Francesca Vidotto Grenoble -> Utrecht (Rubicon Fellowship)
William Nelson Penn State U. -> Nijmegen (Marie Curie)
Muxin Han Marseille -> Marseille (Marie Curie)

2012 Tenure Track/Faculty Positions:
...
Hanno Sahlmann APCTP, Pohang -> Erlangen - Nuremberg U. (faculty)
James Ryan Potsdam, Max Planck Inst. -> UNAM, Mexico (tenure track) - declined
Razvan Gurau Perimeter Inst. -> CNRS, France (research position)
Leonardo Modesto Perimeter Inst. -> Fudan U., Shanghai (faculty)
==endquote==
 
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  • #17
friend
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Well also I think it's important whether colleagues think you're sane or not.

As I recall, there was a mathematician whose sanity they question but whose mathematical proof was flawless. I don't remember his name. He had a Beautiful Mind.
 
  • #18
unusualname
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As I recall, there was a mathematician whose sanity they question but whose mathematical proof was flawless. I don't remember his name. He had a Beautiful Mind.

Yeah, hollywood hype, it was an economics award remember, not a mathematical one, even Nash thought his embeddings ideas were his best work http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nash_embedding_theorem

anyway, no one cares, you seem to want fundamental QG research to tackle fundamental QM foundations - but it doesn't, and some of the major figures have spoken about this, eg Witten at the end chapter of Brian Greene's 'The Elegant Universe', and Polchinski in a guest blog article http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/c...blogger-joe-polchinski-on-the-string-debates/
 
  • #19
friend
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Right! Otherwise grants and jobs will not be forthcoming for a large percentage of the community's recent PhDs and postdocs.
I think we can take that for granted as an unmentioned assumption.

Oh yes, of course. That's the whole point of physics. We certainly don't want anyone to succeed in deriving physics from undeniable logic. How ridiculous! That's crazy! That would be the end of all that funding money.
 
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  • #20
marcus
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Hi F.
I'm afraid you may have distorted the meaning of what I said by taking out of the original context and connecting it to your "undeniable logic" idea, which is entirely unrelated to what I was talking about with Unusualname.

I emphasized the importance of a theory being testable by observations/measurements that can really be performed (Loop QG is testable in this sense according to people whose job it is to invent and study tests of theories.)

Unusual responded (I imagine jokingly or at most half seriously) to the effect that it is also important to have the good opinion of colleagues.

Actually we know this can be a bad guide in many cases because colleagues with a rival approach can be envious, or resentful, or in denial about the value of a given line of investigation.

but as a practical matter you have to have enough respect and credibility in the wider scientific community to earn a living. So I replied to Unusual's post to reassure him that the Loop QG program is doing tolerably well in the respect/acceptance category.
==quote==
Well also I think it's important whether colleagues think you're sane or not.
Right! Otherwise grants and jobs will not be forthcoming for a large percentage of the community's recent PhDs and postdocs.
I think we can take that for granted as an unstated assumption.
http://sites.google.com/site/grqcrumourmill/
As you can see things are looking pretty good in that regard.
These should all be familiar names to anyone who follows Loop research:
==quote==
2012 Postdoc Positions:
...
Cambridge U., DAMTP (philosophy of cosmology) - Offer to: David Sloan (Utrecht; accepted)
...
Louisana State U. (loop quantum gravity & cosmology) - Offer to: Edward Wilson-Ewing (Marseille; accepted)

Penn State U. (Fundamental Gravitational Theory, GR/QC) - Offer to: Yasha Neiman (Tel Aviv; accepted), Thomas Cailleteau (LPSC, Grenoble; accepted), Marc Geiller (APC, Paris; accepted), Norbert Bodendorfer (Erlangen - Nuremberg U.)

Perimeter Institute (quantum gravity, cosmology, ...) - Offer to: Flavio Mercati (Zaragoza), Philipp Höhn (Utrecht; accepted), Ryszard Kostecki (Warsaw; accepted)
...
Warsaw U. (loop quantum gravity) - Offer to: Emanuele Alesci (Erlangen; accepted)

2012 External Fellowships:

Francesca Vidotto Grenoble -> Utrecht (Rubicon Fellowship)
William Nelson Penn State U. -> Nijmegen (Marie Curie)
Muxin Han Marseille -> Marseille (Marie Curie)

2012 Tenure Track/Faculty Positions:
...
Hanno Sahlmann APCTP, Pohang -> Erlangen - Nuremberg U. (faculty)
James Ryan Potsdam, Max Planck Inst. -> UNAM, Mexico (tenure track) - declined
Razvan Gurau Perimeter Inst. -> CNRS, France (research position)
Leonardo Modesto Perimeter Inst. -> Fudan U., Shanghai (faculty)
==endquote==

This has nothing to do with methodology (whether you imagine people proceeding by "undeniable logic" or by educated guesses and analogy with what has worked in the past). It simply is the practical matter of respect and acceptance by peers.

These are just the Fall 2012 appointments. The past year or so has seen a run of them, including a significant number to faculty or comparable research positions. I can't list all---some that come to mind are Bianchi to Perimeter, Giesel to Erlangen, Engle to Florida Atlantic, Singh to LSU, Hellmann to MPI-Potsdam, Meusburger to Erlangen, You Ding to BNU-Beijing..as I say, this is not a complete list.
 
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  • #21
strangerep
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[...] What happens if we were to derive physics from some sort of undeniable form of reasoning or logic? If that theory were falsified, then reality becomes illogical.
No, it just means that your "undeniable" form of reasoning or logic is wrong, or you have used incorrect inputs to the logic.

I think it was Feynman who said something like "it doesn't matter how smart you are -- if experiment contradicts your theory then you are wrong".

(Hmm, I think I hear ZapperZ approaching with his philosophy-murdering axe... :-)
 
  • #22
friend
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It may be a bit philosophical, but I think it is still a good question: How foundational are the issues in BSM? I've not seen a good place to pose questions about foundations in PF. But I thought this question would be of interest here. I'm beginning to think that QG won't be adequately addressed without answering the foundations of physics. Why is the universe both QM and GR? I think this is the same as asking what fundamental principle should give rise to both? That seems extremely foundational. And it would be nice to see a well motivated principle and some undeniable reasoning as the basis of all physics. Ultimately I think it has to be logical. For otherwise we're suggesting that at some basic level reality is somewhere not logical, and that's untenable.
 
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  • #23
marcus
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Friend, as long is is not YOUR thinking, but is something that gets featured at major conferences and has professionals writing research papers about it it seems appropriate to BSM.

Your original question isn't philosophy. BSM discussion includes professionally-researched bids to subsume QM and GR in a general relativistic quantum field theory of geometry and matter.
Loop is a step in that direction: get an empirically testable quantum theory of geometry (and then add matter.)
...Quantum Gravity is trying to find theories that encompass both QM and GR. So perhaps this is the same as trying to find an foundational theory for both. Would such a foundational theory be acceptable here in Beyond the Standard Model forum?

It already is accepted to discuss efforts towards that goal as long as professionally researched.

The focus is on *professionally researched* foundational theory. You are right that Quantum Gravity is an effort in that direction. The aim is a quantum theory of the spacetime geometry in which matter lives. Once that goal is reached the door will be open to rebuilding the quantum field theory of matter on new geometrical foundations.

So the ultimate goal of the professional research that gets reported and discussed here, including QG, has always been a fundamental theory of both Geometry AND Matter fields.
...

Another example is the idea that Sabine Hossenfelder just came up with where Planck's [STRIKE]h[/STRIKE] goes to zero at high energy. So nature is neither strictly quantum nor strictly classical, in her picture. She posted this on arxiv recently and we've discussed it here (mainly her and Demystifier). That's a good example of a fledgling theory that comes to grips with a "foundatiional" = fundamental issue. I'll get the link.

Here is the Hossenfelder thread:
https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=632220
I can't imagine how anything could be more "foundational". It denies that nature is fundamentally quantum. Quantum theories are only effective. A nonzero hbar is the result of symmetry breaking.
Hossenfelder is a pro, whose specialty is QG Phenomenology. She has already organized two international conferences on the Experimental Search for QG and her third one is coming up next month.
http://www.perimeterinstitute.ca/en/Events/Experimental_Search_for_QG/Experimental_Search_for_Quantum_Gravity%3A_the_hard_facts/ [Broken]

Friend, you asked a straightforward question which I think can be easily and clearly answered.
 
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  • #24
strangerep
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Another example is the idea that Sabine Hossenfelder just came up with where Planck's [STRIKE]h[/STRIKE] goes to zero at high energy. So nature is neither strictly quantum nor strictly classical, in her picture. She posted this on arxiv recently and we've discussed it here (mainly her and Demystifier).
Question: since that paper hasn't yet been published in a refereed journal, doesn't that mean it's outside the PF guidelines? I know that the BTSM forum tolerates more latitude, but I'm wondering where demarcation lies. (?)

[Don't get me wrong -- I'm perfectly happy to discuss anything Bee comes up with. I'm just wondering about the strict application of PF rules to such cases.]
 
  • #25
friend
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Friend, as long is is not YOUR thinking, but is something that gets featured at major conferences and has professionals writing research papers about it it seems appropriate to BSM.

I thought the policy was not to advocate speculative theories. So if someone always put his theory in the form of a question, would that be allowed on PF? Or if someone developed a relatively easy theory from well accepted principles, would that be acceptable on PF? Otherwise, I think you're limiting the scope to theories that have been worked on for 10, 20, 30 years without success from professionals who seem to have a financial interest in keeping their research programs alive. Is that even a recipe for success?
 
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  • #26
arivero
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There is some confusion here. Fundational questions are not Beyond SM, in the same way that fundational questions in math are not Beyond Algebra or Beyond geometry.

The confusion comes because occasionally some axiom of fundational theory implies that some particle in the BSM world can or can not exist. Or some convergence could work only for four dimensions. Or for ten. Still, the comparision with math should be a guide: you can have you intuitionistic or your formalistic approach, and some approach can even invalidate some theorems, but it is not the same subdiscipline. Perhaps the best example is Zorn Lemma, which you need for the theory of Hilbert spaces, but it can be questioned on the basis of foundations; nobody in algebra -at least. not practicioner- thinks that they are a subfield of foundational mathematics.

To be noted also, that this subforum applies the most flexible interpretation of BSM, as it includes a lot of Beyond Astrophisics, and even a bit of Beyond General Relativity... Technically, to be BSM you must include the SM. If you do only quantum gravity, it is not BSM. If you just hint how to include the SM, you are a candidate for BSM. Of course in this view, the real BSM theories are a narrow fied: Pati-Salam, GUT groups, N=1 SUSY, and perhaps Kaluza-Klein. Amusingly, you can notice that these topics are not between the favorites of the audience here; if this lack of anchor favours more or less content in the forum, I am undecided.

To put a definite example, if I raise a question on the gauge content of Doplitcher-Roberts version of local quantum field theory, which is a very crude fundational question, I am sure it will be -correctly- moved out of this forum. Where? It will be random, depending of the moderator.
 
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  • #27
strangerep
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me said:
[...] I know that the BTSM forum tolerates more latitude, but I'm wondering where demarcation lies. (?)
Never mind. The BTSM guidelines clearly allow papers uploaded to the arXiv.

(BTW, the guidelines actually say "databases like arXiv". Does viXra qualify as "like arXiv", or is it considered too feral?)
 
  • #28
Hans de Vries
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Never mind. The BTSM guidelines clearly allow papers uploaded to the arXiv.

(BTW, the guidelines actually say "databases like arXiv". Does viXra qualify as "like arXiv", or is it considered too feral?)


What would you do if you were a moderator?

Would you want to put that literally in your guidelines or in a response to a question?
and were would that leave you with your moderation responsibilities/duties?

At the end it's all about Community Building. What you want here is a community of
professional researchers. Such a community is self moderating and knowledgeable
enough to judge subjects on it's own. When you have such a community then you
can relax your guidelines, like allowing papers from arXiv.

Your moderation goals would be directed at building and protecting such a community.
It's not hard to chase professional researchers away and yes, they do need protection.

One way to chase researchers away is letting this become a place were the opponents
of, all to obvious, crackpot theories fight it out arguing who has the real TOE. You don't
want to get involved in those kind of arguments. Another way to chase them away is
allowing them to be attacked by novices with no background knowledge but merely with
a bad gut feeling (even so if your own gut tells you the same thing)

You want to create a place and community which people are happy to visit and contribute
to and you want them to feel that their visits and contributions are meaningful.


Hans.
 
  • #29
mitchell porter
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vixra is out of bounds for this site. But it would be good to have a vixra forum.
 
  • #30
friend
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There is some confusion here. Foundational questions are not Beyond SM, in the same way that foundational questions in math are not Beyond Algebra or Beyond geometry.

The confusion comes because occasionally some axiom of foundational theory implies that some particle in the BSM world can or can not exist. Or some convergence could work only for four dimensions. Or for ten. ...

Wasn't it David Hilbert that suggested that physicists should try to axiomatize the laws of physics? And what are axioms if not the foundations of a theory? When people try to extend the SM, aren't they proposing new axioms for physics? I don't think you can propose physics beyond the standard model without proposing new axioms.
 
  • #31
friend
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What would you do if you were a moderator?

Would you want to put that literally in your guidelines or in a response to a question?
and were would that leave you with your moderation responsibilities/duties?

At the end it's all about Community Building. What you want here is a community of
professional researchers. Such a community is self moderating and knowledgeable
enough to judge subjects on it's own. When you have such a community then you
can relax your guidelines, like allowing papers from arXiv...

Einstien was a file clerk in a patent office when he published is theory of special relativity. Since he was not a professor, he would not even be allowed to publish on the arXiv.
 
  • #32
arivero
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When people try to extend the SM, aren't they proposing new axioms for physics?

Think in reversal: if any extension of the SM, or whatever extension of physics, where formalised already as equivalent to a new axiom, then the whole field of foundations of physics should not be needed. Moreover, consider the math example again: obviously any math paper is about adding new theorems to the corpus. So, how is it that foundations of mathematics exist as a separate field in mathematics?

There is even an intermediate field that can be seen between foundations and practice, that of rigorisation. Classical work such as Araki-Haag-Kastler or Streater-Wightman are near to foundations, and some people can even consider it as work on the topic.
 
  • #33
arivero
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And friend, do not mistake me. I am not telling that foundations is not physics, I am telling that it is not BSM. Actually, I think that it was an error to put BSM in this subforum, instead of the particle physics subforum. It was due to the shine of string theory at the time of the creation of the forums, I think, that most participants here understood BSM as "anything including quantum gravity", while BSM means "anything including the standard model".
 
  • #34
friend
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Hi F.
I'm afraid you may have distorted the meaning of what I said by taking out of the original context and connecting it to your "undeniable logic" idea, which is entirely unrelated to what I was talking about with Unusualname.

I emphasized the importance of a theory being testable by observations/measurements that can really be performed (Loop QG is testable in this sense according to people whose job it is to invent and study tests of theories.)

Unusual responded (I imagine jokingly or at most half seriously) to the effect that it is also important to have the good opinion of colleagues.

Actually we know this can be a bad guide in many cases because colleagues with a rival approach can be envious, or resentful, or in denial about the value of a given line of investigation.

but as a practical matter you have to have enough respect and credibility in the wider scientific community to earn a living. So I replied to Unusual's post to reassure him that the Loop QG program is doing tolerably well in the respect/acceptance category.

This has nothing to do with methodology (whether you imagine people proceeding by "undeniable logic" or by educated guesses and analogy with what has worked in the past). It simply is the practical matter of respect and acceptance by peers.

I was being a little facetious in my response. Of course it's always nice to have consensus on theory. But fundamental questions remain that leave open the validity of present theory: why is the universe quantum mechanical, why is it generally relativistic, why is the speed of light a constant, why the internal symmetries of the SM, why 3 space dimensions and one time dimension, why the 20 or so constants of nature, etc.? Could this all break down at high enough energies? Would there be any way of testing it? The present paradigm of curve fitting (finding math to fit the data) is fundamentally inadequate to explain things we cannot test (and may not ever be able to test). I suppose the only theory able to satisfy is a theory based on reason alone. That would have to be satisfactory, for otherwise, we would find ourselves arguing with reason itself. Have we all given up faith that this is even possible at all? Are there any research programs attempting it?

I find myself wondering: what if someone were able to derive all of physics from logic alone (yes, it sounds like a dream, but what if)? What would the "professionals" think of that? And what would everyone think of these professional? I find it hard to believe that reality is really as complicated and hard to understand as the professionals are making it out to be with their complicated math and procedures. I'm confident that the underlying theory is relatively simple, and everything proceeds from that. Yes, of course, that remains to be proved. But I intend to work on it, and I think I'm making progress. Too bad I can't share it with you. I'm sure this is the community that would appreciate it. I suppose anyone could send me a Private Message if you want details.
 
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  • #35
Hans de Vries
Science Advisor
Gold Member
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Einstien was a file clerk in a patent office when he published is theory of special relativity. Since he was not a professor, he would not even be allowed to publish on the arXiv.
That's not really correct (and JB will give you 5 points for the Einstien) but anyway:

I'm personally not particular against discussing work published on the arXiv or viXra but
from a moderation viewpoint it makes no sense to give a carte blanche to all and everything
put on viXra. This would simply be abused because everybody is allowed to put anything
on viXra.

If for example something on viXra can lead to an interesting technical discussion on, say,
Lie Algebra or QCD calculations then there wouldn't really be an objection and the typical
authors on these subjects on viXra are generally allowed to discuss these subjects on
moderated sites. Why? because the level of knowledge of these people on the subjects
is recognized just like Einstein's knowledge was recognized by the professional physicist
of his days.

Hans.
 

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