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Higgs or Not?
Today’s announcement from CERN does not send me scuttling off to eat the relevant pages of The Apophenion and The Octavo as I promised to do if the Higgs mechanism proves correct.
The CERN announcement, like many before it, seems to have a whiff of desperation about it, almost as if they need to justify their activities and maintain the excitement before the impending particle physics conference in Melbourne and another lengthy shutdown of the LHC.
The search for the Higgs boson has led to one of the most expensive and messiest series of experiments in history.
They appear to have evidence of some sort of a particle with an energy around 125GeV. However this particle only appears once every few trillion collisions and we can only infer its fleeting existence from its decay products as it only lasts for a vanishingly short time. This particle could well consist of a composite entity like a top-antitop meson rather than a truly new fundamental particle.
I have severe reservations about the Higgs Mechanism for many reasons: -
1) The Higgs Mechanism evolved to explain the surprisingly large masses of the W and Z bosons of the weak interaction compared to the mass of the photon which theoretically has a zero mass even though it carries momentum and energy. Theorists have attempted to extend the Higgs mechanism to explain the masses of all other particles with mass. The Higgs boson does not in itself confer the property of mass upon other particles. According to the theory of the Higgs mechanism, particles acquire mass through interacting with the Higgs field, their mass then simply represents the extent to which they couple with the field. The Higgs boson itself doesn’t normally manifest in nature, supposedly it only appears fleetingly when we supply enough energy to the omnipresent Higgs field for one to pop into existence.
2) We already have a most excellent theory of mass called General Relativity, this describes mass as spacetime curvature. Most importantly it includes both the inertial and gravitational components of mass. In Newtonian theory these two components just appear as co-incidentally identical. In General Relativity their fundamental equivalence forms the cornerstone of the theory itself. The Sat Nav system validates GR on a daily basis; it simply wouldn’t work properly if it didn’t account for the curvature of spacetime around this planet.
3) The Higgs mechanism can only perhaps explain the inertial component of mass, but not only does it fail to explain gravity but it ignores the fundamental equivalence principle of GR. In a Higgs based universe gravity would have to have some other mechanism, presumably the emission and absorption of so called ‘virtual’ gravitons. This would then require that mass carrying particles mysteriously coupled with the Higgs field and the graviton field in EXACTLY the same way, despite that the apparently massless photons remain subject to gravity.
4) Basically the attempt by particle physicists to explain mass and gravity with the same sort of Gauge Force model they use for electromagnetic interactions seems highly questionable, and the Higgs mechanism remains very far from proved.
You may well wonder why I bother with all this physics stuff, well as I explain in my books, my current Magical Theory also makes certain predictions about the structure of spacetime and particle physics in terms of a 3D time metric, and if these become falsified I'll have to build another magical theoretical framework.