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Immanuel Kant on Supersymmetry: a Practical Evaluation

  1. Mar 15, 2010 #1

    marcus

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    http://arxiv.org/abs/1003.2967
    Immanuel Kant on Supersymmetry: A Practical Evaluation
    Alexander Unzicker
    4 pages
    (Submitted on 15 Mar 2010)
    "A short review of the motivations for supersymmetry in astrophysics and particle physics is given. Despite the amount of theoretical research conducted in the past decades, no observational evidence for supersymmetry has yet been found. While a large part of the community is expecting supersymmetry to be discovered in the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), some of the basic arguments in favor are disputed here. Since it is not excluded that the author's view may be biased by his research, he proposes a bet on the discovery of supersymmetric particles: According to the philosopher Immanuel Kant, the bet marks the difference between persuasion and conviction."

    An earlier paper by the same author may also be of interest:
    http://arxiv.org/abs/0912.0443
    How to Determine the Probability of the Higgs Boson Detection
    Alexander Unzicker
    4 pages, 2 figures
    (Submitted on 2 Dec 2009)
    "The Higgs boson is the most important, though yet undiscovered ingredient of the standard model of particle physics. Its detection is therefore one of the most important goals of high energy physics that can guide future research in theoretical physics. Enormous efforts have been undertaken to prove the existence of the Higgs boson, and the physics community is excitedly awaiting the restart of the Large Hadron Collider at CERN. But how sure can we be that the Higgs exits at all? The German philosopher Immanuel Kant recommended betting at such controversial questions, and Stephen Hawking announced a $100 bet against the Higgs. But seriously, online prediction markets, which are a generalized form of betting, do provide the best possible probability estimates for future events. It is proposed that the scientific community uses this platforms for evaluation. See also an online description www.Bet-On-The-Higgs.com."
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 18, 2010 #2
    Hmm... The 2nd paper should not be in the physics section of arXiv. It should be in scientometrics. Maybe online prediction market should one day replace peer review as an indicator of whether a subfield has promise. I'm wondering how string theory would do...
     
  4. Mar 18, 2010 #3

    marcus

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    :rofl:

    A quote from Kant's Critique of Pure Reason:


    The usual test, whether that which any one maintains is merely his persuasion, or his subjective conviction at least, that is, his firm belief, is a bet.
    It frequently happens that a man delivers his opinions with so much boldness and assurance, that he appears to
    be under no apprehension as to the possibility of his being in error. The offer of a bet startles him, and makes him pause. Sometimes it turns out that his persuasion may be valued at a ducat, but not at ten. For he does not hesitate, perhaps, to venture a ducat, but if it is proposed to stake ten, he immediately becomes aware of the possibility of his being mistaken - a possibility which has hitherto escaped his observation.
     
  5. Mar 19, 2010 #4

    ohwilleke

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    If the theory of scientific revolutions is right, the bets ought to be broken out generationally. If you young people favor one theory, and the old ones another, the young people are more likely to be right.
     
  6. Mar 19, 2010 #5

    marcus

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    :wink:

    True, if...
    But I wouldn't bet on the theory of scientific revolutions being right :biggrin:
     
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