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Woit's idea of a Better Holy Grail

  1. Mar 25, 2004 #1

    marcus

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    -----quote from Woit, March 19 blog----

    The Holy Grail of Physics

    It's pretty common these days for people to refer to successfully quantizing general relativity as "the Holy Grail of Physics", but it seems to me that there is a different problem that better deserves this name:

    "Why does the vacuum state break electroweak gauge symmetry?"

    If we could answer this question, we'd probably understand where masses of particles come from, as well as just about all of the undetermined parameters of the standard model (except for a couple ratios of the strengths of the gauge interactions). The exciting thing about this problem is that we have good reason to expect experiments to give us some new clues about it in 2008 when data from the LHC begins to come in...

    -----end quote---

    any comment?
     
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  3. Mar 25, 2004 #2

    marcus

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    Last edited: Mar 25, 2004
  4. Mar 25, 2004 #3

    marcus

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    -------another quote re a different Holy Grail----
    ...Gross and others seem intent on ignoring the failures of string theory, desperately hoping that superpartners will pop out of the LHC, thereby providing at least some vindication of the train of reasoning that lead to string theory. What will be interesting to see will be what Gross et. al. do when this doesn't happen. Will they drop string theory? Quite possibly the LHC will revolutionize physics by showing us what is really causing the spontaneous breaking of the electroweak gauge symmetry. If this happens, everyone will abandon string theory and start working on this, 1984-2008 then becoming a period in the history of physics that particle theorists try and not think about.
    -----end quote----

    does anyone wish to comment?
    It sounds like a radically different perspective. The LHC, instead of finding superpartners (comfort, if not firm corroboration, for our leading theory) might find clues to why or how this symmetry is broken. Can anyone picture what such clues might be, or speculate as to how clues might appear? Does anyone share this perspective or is Woit alone in adopting it.
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2004
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