# B Unelegant, Unnatural, Ugly BSM theme books

1. Nov 1, 2017

### haushofer

I'm still wondering about my earlier question, which I'll repeat here since it seems relevant for this topic:

To which extent is finetuning (and hence naturalness) an artefact of doing perturbation theory? Are there exactly soluble QFT's which suffer from naturalness/finetuning problems?

I mean, how would finetuning of the Higgs mass show up in a non-perturbative formulation of the SM?

I thought the question is appropriate here, so I don't start a new topic. Without wanting to hijack this topic of course ;)

2. Nov 1, 2017

### atyy

There is an interesting discussion in https://www.google.com.sg/url?sa=t&...0D0sQFgg6MAY&usg=AOvVaw2-LVf2T6qnYUCeZ5kTGnKa.

Last edited: Nov 1, 2017
3. Nov 1, 2017

### star apple

Great article. The first thing that came to my mind was how come physicists didn't focus more on nonperturbative scheme instead of proposing supersymmetry to handle the quadratic divergences. Supersymmetric particles won't exist in nonperturbative scheme just like virtual particles are just side effect of perturbation theory that is not there in lattice QFT. Unless they think perturbation method could be chosen by nature intrinsically?.

4. Nov 1, 2017

5. Nov 1, 2017

### star apple

Please share how you understand the paper. There is a passage in page 3 that got me puzzled: "In brief, the quadratic divergences are completely irrelevant for the naturalness and fine-tuning problems involving the physical parameters."

How do you interpret the statement? Does it mean nonperturbative approach doesn't or does remove the Higgs Hierarchy Problem? And when it mentioned "gauge hierarchy problem".. did it mean the higgs?

Also the paper was written in 1983.. a time when we still didn't have a cellphone. So it was ancient. Now after more than 30 years.. is there any update to it.. or new jargons being used now.. for example like relativistic mass no longer used now. Something similar in the terms used in the paper? atyy? anyone?

Thank you.

6. Nov 1, 2017

7. Nov 2, 2017

### star apple

Haushofer mentioning about nonperturbative approach yesterday bothered me a bit about the electron's gyromagnetic ratio that perturbation can produce a value to better than one part in 10^10, or about three parts in 100 billion. I was supposed to mention this yesterday so let me ask about it. After reading the archives about nonperturbative approach. I found this message of yours written in April 4, 2011 in message 78 of https://www.physicsforums.com/threads/non-perturbative-qft-without-virtual-particles.485597/page-4

rogerl asked: "In Hierarchy Problem, the Higgs can have planck mass because of quantum contributions. So what they do is propose that the virtual particles of Supersymmetric particles can cancel the very large quantum contributions in the Hierarchy Problem. Why do they have to take drastic measure and radical idea just to get rid of the large contribution if virtual particles are just multivariate integrals. Why didn't they just go to lattice methods to solve it?

atyy replied: "That's an interesting question. I don't know. My understanding is that the underlying theory is given by special relativity, quantum mechanics, Wilsonian renormalization, and the standard model Lagrangian. I would guess that the fine tuning problem is a heuristic argument based on Wilsonian renormalization, so it should have a counterpart in a lattice language.

Also, is there such a thing as non-perturbative QED? Unless a QFT is asymptotically free or safe, isn't it by definition only perturbatively defined? According to http://www.sciencedirect.com/scienc...02d57ae15e181b9774e884147a99780a&searchtype=a , QED is likely not asymptotically safe. The only question then is how we choose to name the terms in a particular perturbation expansion."

atyy. It's been 6 long years since you wrote the above. Please update us of your understanding now. So do you think the Higgs Hierarchy Problem has a counterpart in lattice language? And after so many results in the LHC and half a dozen years of pondering about it.. so is there such thing as a non-perturbative QED? What do you think? What's new in your thinking now compared to 2011?

8. Nov 3, 2017

### star apple

According to an expert/professor (Demystifier). Finetuning and naturalness are not artifacts of doing perturbation theory. Also for instance, if you study SM on the lattice, you have to choose some UV cutoff on the lattice. The physical quantities may strongly depend on that choice, which can lead to a fine tuning problem.

So with the nonperturbative approach not a solution of the Higgs Hierarchy Problem and crossed out, we are back to:

1. Supersymmetry (example of Naturalness)
2. Extra Dimensions (Randall RS1, RS2)
3. Natural Finetuning (Lubos')
4. Multiverse Anthropic principle
5. Scale Symmetry (is this an example of Naturalness?)

Let me ask you. When a grenade explode in the ground. Does anyone every ask if it's caused by Naturalness (simply by formula) or by Multiverse? It may sound silly.. is it not. So if we eliminate these three. We have left:

1. Extra Dimensions (Randall RS1, RS2)
2. Scale Symmetry (is this an example of Naturalness?)

If we don't have Extra Dimension. We are left with Scale Symmetry.

But is an exploding grenade caused by Scale Symmetry where the distances of the grounds and the size of the grenade were created on impact?

What seems to be missing in the choices are Anthropic principle without Multiverse.. or in other words Intelligent Design.. but let's not use these words as the words automatically denote mindlessness.. let's use the word "programming" instead... that's right.. the Standard Model parameters could be programmed that way instead of coming from naturalness or extra dimensions or multiverse.. is it not?

What could still solve the Higgs Hierarchy Problem is if the Higgs is a composite.. is this still possible?

Again someone please share whether scale symmetry is an example of naturalness because I can't decide. Thanks.

9. Nov 17, 2017

### jakob1111

@star apple regarding you original question: You can find a list of books in the same spirit as Woit's and Smolin's here, and essays written in a similar spirit here.

10. Nov 20, 2017

### Urs Schreiber

A list with pointers to where this idea has been voiced is on the nLab here: universal exceptionalism.

11. Nov 21, 2017

### ohwilleke

It is always good to learn new terms.

12. Nov 21, 2017

### star apple

Lubos is as knowledgeable as Witten and one of the most powerful defenders of superstring theory and supersymmetry.. but I thought superstrings and supersymmetry were about naturalness where they were looking for certain Calabi–Yau manifold configuration to explain the constants of nature (is this not the goal of superstring theory?) but in Lubos article https://motls.blogspot.com/2017/04/like-james-bond-nature-loves-to-walk.html, why was he supporting unnaturalness? Was he saying that we were just lucky that in one shot (without any Multiverse scenario), all the constants of nature in the form Calabi–Yau manifold configurations lined up to produce our universe.. like we were just lucky to win a 1 in a billion raised to 10s lotto??

13. Nov 22, 2017

### Fra

Which laws fit perfectly together? ;-) This is the problem with the thinking reflected in your comment.

I think sometimes there is confusion between understanding the process of learning vs understanding knowledge. For some of use that think elsewise this is not a myth, its just the modest requirement of putting things into evolutionary perpective.

The task at hand is to find these laws, and which guiding principles we use.

What seems unnatural and unexplainable is only because we do not yet see the evolutionary development. For example, human existence may seem unnatural to some, but if you understand it in the evolutionary perspective it is rather natural. Evolution is as natural as anything gets.

Sabine put it clearly on her blog against naturalness though:

"But note that changing the parameters of a theory is not a physical process. The parameters are whatever they are."

This was i think a clear statement, which is why i like it - however i disagree with it.

If we look at "theory" as human science knows it, it unquestionably IS a physical process in theory space. We can call learning, inference, or abduction of best explanation etc.

Then step 2 is to ask, how an atom nuclei "know" which theory to obey? You might think that it must ahve obeyed the same laws even 100 years ago, when human sciences has not yet understood it? Yes of course, this is true. But thing are more subtle. If we think that the laws of physics are universal they apply also to complex systems, and the BEHAVIOUR of complex systems. And if you also think about how microcausality can be implemented with any reasonable soundness, then it seems to be how absurd it is to think that atomic structures will "OBEY" rules written in the sky? That if anything is an irrational idea. Instead it seems to be the only way to have some causality is that these rules must be litteraly encoded in the microstructure. This all leads to the idea of evolution of law if you add an principle of equivalence that the "laws of physics" (or more correctly, the rules for self-organisaiton) must be the same on all complexity scales. The problem though is to understand what the real core of physical law IS? Maybe it is NOT a fixed mathematical structure? Maybe the core of the law is relations between structures? And that is also a possible fallacy to think of thse as existing in a gigantic space of possible structures.

Its not fair to say this is a myth, it is rather a fairly new idea and unexplored one.

I do not see any conceptually sound reason behind those ideas. To me it sounds like some version of the old "mathematics beauty" argument or similar things.

Obviosly, if string theories out of the landscape could simply PICK the RIGHT solution, that describes our universe and unifies all forces, then the critique against the landscape would fade. But right now, the insight seems to be that the existence of this problem is telling us something about our strategy for navigating in theory space. In short, we seem to be lost according to the map, but not in reality. So the way we charted the map seems wrong.

/Fredrik

14. Nov 22, 2017

### star apple

The Microsoft Windows operating system or the MacOS operating system doesn't uniquely pick out a certain company data. Because Windows and MacOS are operating system and programmable.. if Superstring theory is also an operating system and programmable. Does this makes Superstring theory a success even now? It's only a failure because string theories out of the landscape couldn't simply PICK the RIGHT solution to use your words.. but do the Microsoft Windows and MacOS pick out a certain company solution (like the company profile and data of Mercedes Benz).. it doesn't so could Superstring Theory be similar?

15. Nov 22, 2017

### Urs Schreiber

There is no known mechanism in string theory that would dynamically prefer Calabi-Yau compactifications over other compactifications. The interest in CY-compactifications was entirely driven by the prejudice that nature should feature one unbroken supersymmetry at low (here: weak breaking scale) energy. For more see the string theory FAQ: "Does string theory predict supersymmetry?"

Last edited: Nov 23, 2017
16. Nov 22, 2017

### Urs Schreiber

The entry starts out with the words "The philosophical sentiment..."

17. Nov 22, 2017

### Fra

Assuming i get your analogy, that is probably what some strain theorists hope, but the problem i see is...

Nothing wrong with a "hypothesis space"
because that is how an actions and inference under uncertainly works.

The pathology is that a rational inference system would be unable to generate more hypothesis than we can manage to test or even handle. In an intrinsic inference bounded resources for computing and encoding will always make sure the map of hypothesis space is managable. Anything else should intuitively be an evolutionary disadvantage. This always ensures naturality.

In my eyes this merely shows that string theory with its nice things unfortunately is not the right system. To find rational measures om the landscape that after scaling naturally explains the standard model probably requires some extra constructing principles.

Maybe these are found and added to string theory to tame the landscape though. Then in restrospect we woll understand the fine tuning issue and landscape in new light.

/Fredrik

18. Nov 22, 2017

### Urs Schreiber

Are you aware that the space of solutions to all other theories of nature that we know is much larger than the landscape of type II flux compactifications? The solution spaces to standard theories, such as general relativity or Yang-Mills theory, are continuous spaces of infinite dimension, hence of cardinality at least that of the real numbers. So a claim that the space of IIB flux compactificatins is a finite number such as $10^{500}$, implies that it is tiny compared to what is to be expected from a space of solutions to a theory of nature. Even if finite numbers of this form "feel large", they are negligible compared to the cardinality of the continuum.

It is worthwhile to soberly think about what it would really mean if there were a unique string vacuum, or maybe two or three. It would be the Hegelian dream of all of nature derived uniquely from pure thought become real. While it is (or was) fun to hope that this is the case with string theory, it makes no sense to speak of a "problem" if it turns out not to be the case. That would be like speaking of a problem if you don't win the billion dollar lottery. It would have been great if you did, but now that you didn't this just means the situation is normal as it was before you bought the lottery ticket.

19. Nov 22, 2017

### Fra

I think for people like some of us on here, this is the kind of "problem" that motivates us. So for me it IS a problem, although we can agree to put the "problem" in an appropriate geeky context which only a fraction of us care about. We sure have bigger - but less intriguing - problems on earth.
Your odds comparasion i agree with. It isnt the first time i hear that exact analogy. But there is only one way and that is forward.
I am glad you bring up cardinality and measures. You are indeed touching upon the core of the problems here. In fact i have been thinking alot aout this, and the problem of how to compare "evidence" and an inferential abstraction is one of t he things that has led my to my current stance to all this.

Many problems root in the fact that it is ambigous to compare infinities that you have in a formal expression. But infinities are really defined by means of limits, and in contiuum mathematics i feel that very often one has lost the original track of this limiting procedure, and their order and "rate". You can of course fix this, but there is alot of degrees of freedom in these models that are nonphysical, and to the point were we confuse ourselves with what we are doing. You have similar problems in the foundations of probability theory and inference. When you try to build inferences, one has to be quite anal about counting, because if you want to compare two sets of evidence and both sets are infinite, then something is wrong. The nyou have to find a the integration measures on hte spaces that are tuned so that they comply to the underlying limiting procedures. One of the problems of infinities is imo that we have lost the physical track of the real degrees of freedom, and we are LOST among the huge mathematical degress of freedom. Especially if you start out from a classical system (lagrangian) you ahve this baggage of uncountable sets in there, moreover in a disastrous mess! My goal is to make a reconstruction, not starting from classical mechanics, but from an abstraction of inference. Continuum models will obviously still be preferred in large complexity limit, but its is just a gigantic mess to start with uncountale sets from square one.

/Fredrik

20. Nov 22, 2017

### martinbn

How does this work of string theory is supposed to contain the other theories like GR?