# Insights My Superparticle Bet with Frank Wilczek - Comments

#### atyy

OK, to bring this back to something serious, can I ask garrett what his take on naturalness is?

That really was the deeper reason for thinking there is something else, not necessarily supersymmetry, but something that will make physics natural.

And naturalness seems a reasonable, if not absolute requirement. It is also the spirit that lies behind the cosmological constant problem.

It comes from the belief that our current theories are effective theories, and probably wrong. So it is the opposite of egoistic thinking. This comes out of the Wilsonian understanding of quantum field theory, which was a revolution in that after that physicists said "we understand quantum field theory". In fact naturalness seems like a rather "humble" position, because after Wilson physicists no longer "arrogantly" think that our tremendously successful theories hold at all energies.

As Preskill wonders in his blog, "Could Wilson have steered us wrong?" http://quantumfrontiers.com/2013/06/18/we-are-all-wilsonians-now/

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#### lethe

Do the right thing and graciously extend the term of the bet a few more years to the end of the LHC run.

#### marcus

Gold Member
Dearly Missed
That 40 second surfing YT that atyy pointed out connected to a nice YT about "kiting" and to a 90 minute graphic lecture to general Maui audience about unification in E8, good visuals, intuition, lively tone, questions from audience

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#### strangerep

Do the right thing and graciously extend the term of the bet a few more years to the end of the LHC run.
IIUC, Garrett is doing the "right thing", as you put it. I.e., offering a new bet. For now, it is Frank's job to do the "right thing", and pay up. Then a new bet could be made.

@garrett : if Frank does pay the current $1K, and you both feel like increasing the new wager amount to$10K, I'll underwrite \$8K of your side of the new bet. Oh, but the new bet needs to be phrased more carefully, mentioning "5-sigma", etc, and "found by at least 2 independent experiments". There's some knowledgeable experimental particle physicists around here who could probably help to tighten up the wording of the new bet.

#### arivero

Gold Member
But are you drawing attention to the matter in question, or are you actually drawing attention to YOU?

Let's be frank here. Your notoriety has more to do with you, than with what you have produced. The media jumped on the sexy story of a "surfer" who suddenly came up with an idea that prominent physicists suddenly took notice. If this were someone else with less intriguing of a background, I would put it to you that it would gather very little traction in publicity.

So are you really drawing attention to supersymmetry? Does it REALLY need this kind of attention, considering that the LHC has been in the front pages, and the publicity surrounding its search for supersymmetric particles has been in the news prominently?
Zz.
I'd say, it needs exactly THIS KIND of attention. For one thing, susy in 30 years has been ritualised and there is no way to approach the topic from fresh point of views; and this is the thing that we need. So histories that revolve about alternative thinking can be at the end, if they inspire the adequate random student, more profitable that the histories about the standard view of susy coming from the LHC.

It is true that Garrett's models, as Connes's or Furey's and of course a lot other "alternative", have failed to be super symmetric. This is M-isterious; how can they always come to the same kind of structures that SUSY, to objects, such as triality, that actually are in the core of the requisites for a theory to be supersymmetrical, and end which a theory which is unable to exhibit susy?

#### Jeff L Jones

Gold Member
"And, many years previously, I had won a bet with two string theory grad students (who have since left the field) about superparticles showing up."

I think technically, our bet expired Burning Man 2010, so it was still open as of the time you made the bet with Wilczek ;-p

Also, I never worked directly on string theory, just supersymmetry. (Although Sean did a bit.)

Incidentally, the last paper I published was a 2-loop analysis of how the SUSY partners affect SU(5) gauge coupling unification in supersymmetric extensions of the Standard Model that go beyond the ordinary minimal one people call the MSSM.

http://arxiv.org/abs/0812.2106

I have to admit, by the time I was done with this paper, I had realized that the case for supersymmetric gauge coupling unification is a bit weaker than I'd once thought. (For the most basic case, it works better at 1-loop than 2!) But it's nevertheless an interesting coincidence; taken together with how naturally it solves the hierarchy problem and provides an easy dark matter candidate, I still think there's a decent chance we may yet find it at LHC.

I'm happy to settle our bet next time I see you, unless you want to go double or nothing? I guess you've got bigger fish to fry now, but I'm still game if you want to make it 2 margaritas ;-) I hope Wilczek also goes double or nothing with you!

#### arivero

Gold Member
I think you should be more concrete about the kind of particle. As some of you can remember, my opinion is that the first charged slepton was discovered in 1947, and the last of the six was nailed by 1985. So it should be clear that composite theories, including composite higgs, are out of the question, even if technimeson loops were able to cancel the fermion loops of the cuadratic divergence of the Higgs. Only genuine susy particles should score in the bet.

On other hand, you can not claim the Higgs scalar sector to be susy, because N-doublet models can also generate it without supertpartners. It should be clear if the players are going to accept any new scalar as a susy particle.

At the end of the day, perhaps a bet for new physics is easier to settle than a bet for susy.

#### garrett

Gold Member
There are physicists of all different races, genders, sexual orientations, proclivities, shapes, sizes... I don't see how it is at all relevant to this discussion that I like to surf for fun and exercise.

#### garrett

Gold Member
I think you should be more concrete about the kind of particle. As some of you can remember, my opinion is that the first charged slepton was discovered in 1947, and the last of the six was nailed by 1985. So it should be clear that composite theories, including composite higgs, are out of the question, even if technimeson loops were able to cancel the fermion loops of the cuadratic divergence of the Higgs. Only genuine susy particles should score in the bet.

On other hand, you can not claim the Higgs scalar sector to be susy, because N-doublet models can also generate it without supertpartners. It should be clear if the players are going to accept any new scalar as a susy particle.

At the end of the day, perhaps a bet for new physics is easier to settle than a bet for susy.
I agree that there's a lot of wiggle room. In fact, a semi-humorous possibility is that a new particle is seen and declared to be the superpartner of an unknown particle.

It was easiest to put it in the hands of a reasonable arbiter.

#### garrett

Gold Member
Jeff Jones! It's pretty funny that you would show up to comment here, as one of the previous superparticle bettors. I didn't know you had done further research on SUSY --- interesting paper. I'll bet you're one of the first in what will be a growing population of people denying they were previously string theorists. ;) But, from what I remember, you had drunk quite a bit of the cool-aid. Thanks for coming and commenting here on this PF thread. I might be willing to take on more superparticle bets, but for higher stakes. :)

#### Jeff L Jones

Gold Member
Jeff Jones! It's pretty funny that you would show up to comment here, as one of the previous superparticle bettors. I didn't know you had done further research on SUSY --- interesting paper. I'll bet you're one of the first in what will be a growing population of people denying they were previously string theorists. ;) But, from what I remember, you had drunk quite a bit of the cool-aid. Thanks for coming and commenting here on this PF thread. I might be willing to take on more superparticle bets, but for higher stakes. :)
Well if string theorist means "person who believes string theory is valid and important for physics" then sure... I'm a string theorist. I don't deny having drunk the kool-aid, I just can't claim that I was a string theorist in what I'd consider the correct sense of the word, which means "someone who has published research on string theory".

I saw myself following in the footsteps of other particle phenomenologists and model builders like Nima Arkani-Hamed, who aren't string theorists in the sense of having helped develop string theory itself any further, but tend to accept the validity of string theory as a given and use it as a guide to decide where to direct more practical research efforts (like trying to figure out what we'll see at LHC or what the nature of dark matter is).

#### Davephaelon

@garrett:

I have to admit that I jumped on the supersymmetry bandwagon back in the mid 90s, with my own speculative take on the theory. So it's disappointing that no superpartners have shown up. However, a couple of years earlier I had another idea, not requiring supersymmetry that would explain why there are 3 families of fundamental particles. Seeing that your E8 Lie group based theory can't accommodate the 3 generations, perhaps this idea could be worked into your theory to make it more viable.

I sent you a personal email this morning with a short description of the idea, and links to my website.

Dave Schroeder

#### Davephaelon

Garrett,

Sorry about my ignorance. When I mentioned my primitive layman's explanation for 3 generations as a possible help to your E8 theory, I was completely unaware that you had submitted a proposed solution to this issue, nearly a month ago, and that there was an entire thread devoted to this new development in the Beyond The Standard Model section here.

I started reading that thread this morning, and I have to say that there is a vast amount that I need to learn before I could even hope to grasp what it's all about. But reading the Scientific American 2010 article "A Geometric Theory of Everything" that you co-authored with James Weatherall, was just the ticket for a layman like me, though I fell asleep, before the 2nd page, as it was late in the evening.

#### garrett

Gold Member
Superparticle bet: Max Tegmark​, Frank Wilczek​, and I agreed on an extension, now decided by discovery of a superparticle by July 8, 2016.

#### atyy

9 sigma with corrections for look elsewhere, and independently replicated?

#### garrett

Gold Member
"Discovery" in this context means 5 sigma.

#### strangerep

Superparticle bet: Max Tegmark, Frank Wilczek, and I agreed on an extension, now decided by discovery of a superparticle by July 8, 2016.
Heh, since he didn't pay up on time I guess you will be within your rights to require an extension if superparticles are found at 5 sigma by that date, on the grounds that more data acquired within a year or two thereafter might reverse the conclusion.

#### jedishrfu

Mentor
I like the notion of bets but also think its been overdone. Each bet ups the ante from before.

Now if your bet winnings were for a noble charity then the news would help the charity as well, everyone wins and altruism triumphs again.

#### ConanTH

I see ZapperZ put "surfer" in quotes. Does the mean garrett isn't a real surfer? Surely this video isn't video faked?
What's next? Where I put the period and question marks will also be examined this closely?

Maybe you should try reading my post backwards. There might be hidden messages in them.

Zz.
Well, you've started it. Your comments reek of negativity towards Garret. If you don't like him just say so.

Bets are stupid.

#### Demystifier

2018 Award
Bets are stupid.
Unless the mean (expected) value of the profit is positive.

#### Hornbein

The Pacific Science Institute link is broken.

#### strangerep

Bets are stupid.
Oh c'mon -- it's just a bit of fun. Since when is fun stupid?

#### Demystifier

2018 Award
Since when is fun stupid?
All the best things in life are free and stupid.