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The First Particle Physics Evidence of Physics Beyond the Standard Model?

samzenpus posted about a month ago | from the new-way-of-thinking dept.

Science 97

StartsWithABang writes It's the holy grail of modern particle physics: discovering the first smoking-gun, direct evidence for physics beyond the Standard Model. Sure, there are unanswered questions and unsolved puzzles, ranging from dark matter to the hierarchy problem to the strong-CP problem, but there's no experimental result clubbing us over the head that can't be explained with standard particle physics. That is, the physics of the Standard Model in the framework of quantum field theory. Or is there? Take a look at the evidence from the muon's magnetic moment, and see what might be the future of physics.

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Annoying header graphics (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47718853)

I hate it when I open a page, it just starts with a huge image, and you have to scroll down to the actual stuff.

Re:Annoying header graphics (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47719071)

Aww poor little snowflake.

Re:Annoying header graphics (1)

bjohnso5 (1476817) | about a month ago | (#47719079)

So you hate every Medium post, ever?

Re:Annoying header graphics (4, Insightful)

Tuidjy (321055) | about a month ago | (#47719139)

I certainly hate this post.

Headline ending with a question mark? Check.
Big image that insists on occupying the whole screen! Check.
Self-promoting claim of being the first, when there was evidence of something not being quite right with the Standard Model as early as the 90s? (I'm no physicist, but I read it on Slashdot)
And finally, there is no new data. They are setting up an experiment, which will not bear fruit for years.

Re:Annoying header graphics (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47719547)

An idiot following every piddly complaint with "check"

Re:Annoying header graphics (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47719727)

An idiot following every piddly complaint with "check"

Check!

Re:Annoying header graphics (1)

mitzampt (2002856) | about a month ago | (#47722751)

We accept cash only

Re:Annoying header graphics (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47719143)

Then pull the page src, ID the host the add is coming from and add it to your /etc/hosts file to resolve as the loopback device. Problem solved, unless you are running Microsoft Windows, then well you are on your own. I have not run Windows in years so no clue how to do it in windows.

Re:Annoying header graphics (4, Informative)

RaceProUK (1137575) | about a month ago | (#47719273)

Exactly the same, it's just the file is C:\Windows\system32\drivers\etc\hosts

Re:Annoying header graphics (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47723409)

The Win hosts file path +4 informative? This [mvps.org] is informative! :) Block ads and other nasty stuff via hosts file on Win/Mac/Linux.

Re:Annoying header graphics (2)

koreanbabykilla (305807) | about a month ago | (#47720349)

loopback is slow. you want to have it resolve to 0.0.0.0. I'm sure APK will come along and educate you soon lol

Privacy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47723017)

Right up until the ad people start using your block list to fingerprint you.

Re: Annoying header graphics (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47719303)

I hate it when I open a page and the first comment is some aesthetical rant that contributes nothing.

I grew up in the all text interweb of the 90s and usually prefer it that way as well, but I actually love medium's format and most of the articles that I find there.

Re: Annoying header graphics (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47719487)

The 90s, really? I bet you're also one of those really annoying young punks that say, "back in the day."

Re: Annoying header graphics (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47719823)

So, you hate pretty much every Slahdot Story there has ever been and ever will be.

Re:Annoying header graphics (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47722057)

I hate it too when I start reading, then suddenly the page jumps and I lose my place because an image above just loaded and repositioned everything.

Morgan_Feeeman_Says (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47718871)

I always figured the Standard Model was narrated by John Cleese, and the weird stuff was narrated by Ricky Gervais

Re:Morgan_Feeeman_Says (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47719527)

Not Morgan Freeman, Gordon Freeman. We are talking particle physics here.

Re:Morgan_Feeeman_Says (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47721663)

And now, a reading of Richard Feynman's 'Quantum Electrodynamics' by Gilbert Gottfried.

Re:Morgan_Feeeman_Says (2)

newcastlejon (1483695) | about a month ago | (#47723541)

Not Morgan Freeman, Gordon Freeman. We are talking particle physics here.

Yes, but Gordon Freeman would be a terrible narrator (unless you can tune in to his inner monologue [accursedfarms.com] ).

Neutrino Mass (5, Informative)

habig (12787) | about a month ago | (#47718903)

I'm a bit biased, but consider finding non-zero neutrino mass (via neutrino oscillations) as the first "beyond the standard model" evidence. Slashdot carried that story in its infancy, way back in 1998.

Also worth pointing out that TFA is talking about an experiment in construction that hopes to push the g-2 result past 5 sigma. It's not there yet, although 4.something sigma is still pretty darn good. Just 14 years late to the party.

While you're at it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47719525)

While you're at it, let's have a look at the "inflation" madness. Our universe behaves nothing like an "explosion", being almost perfectly uniform instead. And we have that pesky idea that everything had to get into place very fast. So we invent "inflation"...and it sticks, for some reason. There is zero point zero behind the notion. But it continues to pass muster and get repeated by anyone who is anyone. Inflation makes no sense. But it keeps religion^h^h^h^h^h^h^h^h^h the Big Bang alive.

Re:While you're at it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47719603)

Lack of inflation doesn't necessarily invalidate Big Bang or the light speed limit. Any flaw in the method we use to determine macroscopic distances will do.

Re: While you're at it (2)

James Buchanan (3571549) | about a month ago | (#47719677)

But explosions are not uniform. If anything, they are chunky. They are not instantionus. The wavefront takes time to initiate, form and travel. Therefore not uniform.

Re: While you're at it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47720415)

Congratulations. You figured out my second point -- that the Big Bang also makes no sense.

Re: While you're at it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47720761)

Which is why no scientist has taken it seriously in decades. Perhaps you should do a bit more research on expansion, even though it is still referred to as "the Big Bang" because, really, does it matter if it is instant or minute fractions of a second?

Start without me (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47723359)

I don't play semantic BINGO. Start without me.

Re: While you're at it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47721931)

explosions are not uniform because of multiple factors. like the propagation time of the detonation wave through the explosive which will cause variations in speed and density of the expanding cloud of gas. Also a factor is the casing and atmospheric environment.
 
If your expanding from a perfect "zero point" the density and distribution of the resulting cloud of material should be uniform.
 
The whole premise of the Big Bang is that everything came from a single point of pure energy. For a period of time the Universe should have been perfectly uniform, then the random motion of the matter would have caused clumping that would lead to local clumping due to gravitation attraction of the matter.
 
.

Re: While you're at it (1)

hey! (33014) | about a month ago | (#47721975)

You realize calling the Big Bang an "explosion" is a metaphor, right?

Re: While you're at it (1)

budgenator (254554) | about a month ago | (#47722989)

The flaw is your visualizing a universe and imagining something inside exploding, rather than nothing exploding into something. For the most part, the human mind can't understand that shit, it's all jabberwocky

Twas bryllyg, and ye slythy toves
Did gyre and gymble in ye wabe:
All mimsy were ye borogoves;
And ye mome raths outgrabe.
Jabberwocky [wikipedia.org]

just the maths is understandable.

Re:Neutrino Mass (5, Informative)

Roger W Moore (538166) | about a month ago | (#47719923)

As someone who has not been involved in neutrino physics (at least until very recently) I'd agree that neutrino oscillations are the first physics discovered that is beyond the Standard Model. In addition even if the g-2 experiment gives a 5 sigma discrepancy it tells you very little about what any possible new physics - to do that you have to produce the new particles directly and study them.

The corrections to the muon g-2 experiment are now so high order that they involve QCD loops. These are non-perturbative and incredibly hard to calculate correctly so all a 5 sigma discrepancy may mean is that the theorists have got the calculation wrong. Indeed this has happened before with a 3 sigma g-2 'signal' going away after an error in the theory calculation was found by the student of one of my departmental colleagues.

If I show my bias then I would say that the best chance of new physics is the new LHC run starting in March 2015 where we have almost twice the energy of the previous run and higher luminosity. This should at least double the reach of the LHC for new physics over the next 3 years. After this run any sensitivity gains to new physics will come from increasing luminosity and so take far longer to achieve, perhaps giving one more doubling of the reach but over the next ~15 years and with a lot of work involved since the high luminosity LHC upgrade has incredible background rates!

Re:Neutrino Mass (5, Interesting)

Entropius (188861) | about a month ago | (#47721083)

Lattice gauge theorist here -- we're working on that.

I agree with your interpretation -- this very well may just mean that the QCD part is hard and the theorists didn't correctly estimate systematic errors from it. However, there's quite a push in the lattice community to actually calculate the messy nonperturbative parts, so there's hope that this will be sorted out from the theory side alongside the new Fermilab experiment.

Re:Neutrino Mass (1)

strikethree (811449) | about 2 months ago | (#47726243)

Sir, I feel really weird saying this, but I feel that I must.

You are an awesome person. What you do is awesome. Your attitude is awesome. You and others like you are some of the most important people in the world.

I would also like to thank you for all of the years that you have spent on Slashdot sharing information freely with us. There are others like you here, such as boristhespider, who share such incredibly amazing information.

I want to thank you sir. You have made my world a better place. Have a great day.

Re:Neutrino Mass (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47721449)

I'm a bit biased, but consider finding non-zero neutrino mass (via neutrino oscillations) as the first "beyond the standard model" evidence. Slashdot carried that story in its infancy, way back in 1998.

There's nothing in the standard model that rules out a neutrino mass: the other leptons have mass and it was only observational evidence that placed an upper bound on the mass of the neutrino. In fact, it's the standard model that predicted neutrino flavor oscillations would occur between massive neutrinos; oscillations that have now been observed in the diurnal variation in the solar neutrino flux.

-JS

Desensationalised (4, Interesting)

pjt33 (739471) | about a month ago | (#47718909)

I admit not having read the clickbait (this is /. after all), but I presume that the real story behind it is that an experiment to measure the muon magnetic moment has recently moved [sciencemag.org] from Brookhaven to Fermilab to get access to more energetic muons. They're hoping to start measuring data in 2.5 years.

Re:Desensationalised (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47719181)

... clickbait (this is /. after all)

modded "Troll"

I presume that the real story behind it is that an experiment to measure the muon magnetic moment has recently moved [sciencemag.org] from Brookhaven to Fermilab to get access to more energetic muons.

modded "Insightful"

Your post has an elegant symmetry...you must be a theoretical physicist!

Re:Desensationalised (1)

pjt33 (739471) | about a month ago | (#47719329)

"This is /. after all" was intended to refer to "I admit not having read", but now that you point it out I suppose it is fair to say that most of the stuff posted is clickbait. I couldn't say in general whether that's because it's submitted by the authors of the links or because submitters can't be bothered to track back to the less sensational source.

Re:Desensationalised (1)

wjcofkc (964165) | about a month ago | (#47721045)

Clickbait? I think perhaps I don't understand this term like I thought I did. Could you define it for me?

The article itself is well written and more informative than most science articles I read. Also, there are no ads.

Re:Desensationalised (1)

Anonymice (1400397) | about 2 months ago | (#47742897)

Because the summary isn't a summary, it's an introduction that just ends in questions and begs you to click through to find out the answers.
"I thought it was just a steaming pile of turd ice-cream. What I saw next blew my mind!"

Re:Desensationalised (1)

wjcofkc (964165) | about 2 months ago | (#47744007)

Okay, I see what you mean. It's too bad the summary is running people off. It really is a good article.

Goddammit! (2, Interesting)

severn2j (209810) | about a month ago | (#47718919)

I'm not a physicist, but I do find this kind of stuff interesting enough to know that the headline is a big deal, but now I see that firstly, its another Starts With A Bang advertisement and secondly, the headline end with a question mark, so without reading the article, the answer is going to be no, there's no evidence.. *sigh*

Re:Goddammit! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47718981)

Ayup, physics is the new spam.

Re:Goddammit! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47719753)

The First Particle Physics Evidence of Physics Beyond the Standard Model?

According to the great physicist, Ian Betteridge, no.

Re:Goddammit! (4, Interesting)

pla (258480) | about a month ago | (#47719927)

so without reading the article, the answer is going to be no, there's no evidence

...Except for that pesky 4+ sigma deviation between the expected and measured value of g for a muon (and a brief mention of a new Fermilab experiment to push that to 7 sigma). Other than that, nope, no evidence at all.

Nothing to see here (if you have no soul whatsoever), move along (and let the real scientists do their thing so you can have your hoverboards and replicators 50 years from now). ;)


I do have a question for the serious participants in this discussion, however... Since the Muon counts as 40,000 (200^2) times more sensitive to unexpected effects than the electron, why not work with the Tau instead, which should have a whopping 1.2e7 times more sensitivity?

Re:Goddammit! (4, Insightful)

towermac (752159) | about a month ago | (#47720099)

I'm going to guess that's because the muon has a lifetime of 2.2 microseconds, whereas the tau has a lifetime so short I can't even type the number, making the muon far easier to study.

Re:Goddammit! (4, Interesting)

severn2j (209810) | about a month ago | (#47720313)

so without reading the article, the answer is going to be no, there's no evidence ...Except for that pesky 4+ sigma deviation between the expected and measured value of g for a muon (and a brief mention of a new Fermilab experiment to push that to 7 sigma). Other than that, nope, no evidence at all.

Well, yeah okay there's that. But as others have said, that's not new information. I should have said there's no new evidence.

The point of my moan is that this is yet another puff piece from StartsWithABang that frames itself as "Holy shit! Earth shattering breakthrough occurs!" when it actually hasn't. I find that annoying and something that seems to be happening more and more lately.

Re:Goddammit! (1)

Lawrence_Bird (67278) | about a month ago | (#47720753)

It is very sexy to posit PBTSM. And those physicists working in SUSY have seen their world continue to close in as the acceptable SUSY parameter space continues to shrink so there is a vested interest in keeping hope alive.

Just as Diract started out with a g of 2 and then QED improved on that and others further, I find it far more likely someone finds a higher order correction which has been overlooked than PBTSM.

warning: medium.com source (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47718925)

Yep it's yet another link from that abhorrent site known as medium.com

Proceed at your own risk.

No, there is no evidence of BSM yet (5, Interesting)

Xerxes314 (585536) | about a month ago | (#47718927)

I am a particle physicist, and I have worked directly on this problem. The uncertainty in the hadronic contributions to the vacuum polarization and light-by-light scattering are large enough that the supposed BSM signal is not significant.

That is, you can do nice high-order paper-and-pencil calculations of Feynman diagrams when the particles involved are electrons and muons, but there are important cases where the particles contributing to this effect are composite: hadrons (which are made of quarks). Since you cannot do calculations on hadrons without considering how the hadron is composed of quarks, you can't avoid getting into strongly coupled quantum chromodynamics (QCD). See here for further discussion: Hadronic Light-by-Light [washington.edu] .

That means you can't do your calculation on paper, you have to use a supercomputer and something called lattice QCD. Unfortunately, it's easier to crank out a thousand crappy model calculations of BSM that is supposedly showing up than to properly fund studies of the theory uncertainties. As a result, the precision of the theory values are not good enough to establish whether the muon magnetic moment is consistent with the Standard Model or not.

That said, it's still an interesting place to look, and somebody will work out all the uncertainties eventually. In a few years, there might be something to talk about seriously.

Re:No, there is no evidence of BSM yet (2)

Maury Markowitz (452832) | about a month ago | (#47718989)

The good news is that such an experiment is likely far, far less expensive than the LHC. Therefore it is also more likely to happen.

Someone needs to write a paper on the inverse relationship between CAPEX and chance that the experiment is carried out. Of course, that relationship is likely identical to many, many others.

Re:No, there is no evidence of BSM yet (4, Informative)

Xerxes314 (585536) | about a month ago | (#47719595)

Actually, the good news is that the experiment is definitely happening! They moved the ring to Fermilab last year and are busy setting it up to run. You can read more about it here: Muon g-2 at Fermilab [fnal.gov] . They even have a Facebook page [facebook.com] .

Re: No, there is no evidence of BSM yet (1)

jd2112 (1535857) | about a month ago | (#47719365)

I read as "No evidence of BDSM yet".
I had no idea that subatomic particles were in to that...

Re: No, there is no evidence of BSM yet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47719969)

I read as "No evidence of BDSM yet". I had no idea that subatomic particles were in to that...

See your mistake there was to not realize that subatomic particles are in everything.....

EVERYTHING

Re:No, there is no evidence of BSM yet (1)

Roger W Moore (538166) | about a month ago | (#47719963)

If there is no evidence of BSM physics yet then how would you classify neutrino oscillations?

Re:No, there is no evidence of BSM yet (1)

Xerxes314 (585536) | about a month ago | (#47722143)

The SM doesn't specify what the neutrino masses are; they're free parameters just like the quark masses. Some people might be surprised that they're nonzero, but I'm not one of them. Personally, I think some of those some people are feigning surprise so they can pretend nonzero neutrino masses count as BSM, which is a bit silly.

Re:No, there is no evidence of BSM yet (1)

Roger W Moore (538166) | about 2 months ago | (#47736397)

Actually that's not correct. The SM specified neutrino masses as zero just as it does the photon and gluon masses...or would you argue that those are free parameters as well? However I'll grant that this is not exactly a major change which is why I asked specifically about neutrino oscillations. This introduces 4 entirely new free parameters which were never included in the SM and while oscillations require that neutrinos have a mass the reverse is not true i.e. even if you give neutrinos a mass they do not have to oscillate. Hence I see no possible way that you can call this anything but new physics beyond the SM.

Betteridge's Law (3, Funny)

otherwhere (79937) | about a month ago | (#47718933)

Re:Betteridge's Law (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47718967)

Any headline which ends in a question mark can also be answered by the word yes.

In this case the headline isn't a question but rather a statement with a question-mark at the end.
Perhaps the correct response should be to ignore it rather than try to answer it.

Re:Betteridge's Law (2)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about a month ago | (#47718995)

Oh, Really?

wonkey_monkey writes with news that paradoxes are fun.

Re:Betteridge's Law (2)

the_other_chewey (1119125) | about a month ago | (#47719555)

Oh, Really?

No, really.

Re:Betteridge's Law (1)

blue trane (110704) | about a month ago | (#47723857)

So does that mean that "Oh, really?" could also have been answered "yes", thereby disproving the statement that any headline question can be answered with "no"; or is the "no" denying the truth of the original assertion.

Re:Betteridge's Law (1)

Max Littlemore (1001285) | about 2 months ago | (#47749513)

Yes.

Gravity? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47718951)

...direct evidence for physics beyond the Standard Model.

You mean, like, gravity? Just do the typical: "Hey, we'll add a new, ad hoc particle!"

Re:Gravity? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47719163)

Gravity is not outside the 'standard model'. The 'standard model' is mostly how we interpret the world with quantization and speed of light limit. The speed of light limit says that we can't observe ANYTHING---we can only measure fields. And quantization says that those fields are granularized into quanta (since if they weren't, energy could go infinite). That's pretty much all for the standard model.

From there, we can make precise measurements of field properties and see how those properties evolve (kind of like the game-of-life!). Persistent structures in that game-of-life we call ``particles'', the not-so-persistent structures (game of life often creates a LOT of completely random shapes), we call unstable particles, etc. And yes, some physicists went overboard with calling such noise `particles'---leading to hundreds of pointless classifications.

Gravity fits right in there... Except until recently, we were clueless as to how the gravity field functions (e.g. is it a ``particle'', or something more obscure...).

Why gravity is treated as a force? (1)

little1973 (467075) | about a month ago | (#47718969)

Why do physicists insist on treating gravity as a force? Since Einstein, we know gravity is the curvature of space-time. It may be represented as a force in calculations but in reality there is no force.

If gravity is not a force then do we really have a hierarchy problem? For eg. shouldn't Newton's constant, G, be some kind of average curvature of space-time between two bodies and be calculable from this curvature?

Obviously, if this is the case, G has nothing to do with Fermi's constant and we should not compare the two.

Re:Why gravity is treated as a force? (4, Informative)

Maury Markowitz (452832) | about a month ago | (#47718993)

> Why do physicists insist on treating gravity as a force?

Because everything else works that way.

> Since Einstein, we know gravity is the curvature of space-time

No, since Einstein we know that Einstein's model is that gravity is the curvature of space-time.

Before Einstein, we thought it was a force between objects, or objects and a space-filling field.

There's no reason to suggest one model is inherently "more correct" than the other. Personally, I *like* the geometric model more, which almost certainly means it's wrong.

Re:Why gravity is treated as a force? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47723741)

There's several good reasons to suggest geometrical rather than particle-mediated gravitation including the universality of free fall (an accelerometer in free fall "down" to a massive object does not register an acceleration any more than an accelerometer in free fall far from any massive objects registers an acceleration) and the nonlinearity of gravitation (which is one big reason quantum gravity theories have been unsuccessful).

It's hard to recover all the observed properties of General Relativity and even harder to recover all the theoretical ones in a model that is anything like a relativstic QFT, let alone anything remotely Newtonian.

The major "problem" with GR is its fundamental principle that there is no pre-existing geometry against which any other experiment may be made -- that is what frustrates extremely high energy particle physics theory, and motivates a compatible theory of gravity that allows for a fixed geometrical background at all scales. It's not that such a theory would necessarily be "more correct" than GR but rather that it almost certainly would mitigate the current non-calculability of extremely short-range particle-particle interactions.

The flip side is that the major problem in high energy physics is that it relies upon the flat space metric being valid across the region in which an interaction takes place. In very highly curved spacetime that assumption is invalid: neighbouring local regions of flat space are too small to contain the whole interaction.

Semiclassical gravity gives quantum field theories a nice region of locally flat space in which to operate. At the moment semiclassical gravity is an excellent effective theory down to the curvature well inside an astrophysical black hole's event horizon, with the caveat that the AMPS firewalls paper has shown that either gauge/gravity correspondence (notably AdS/CFT) is wrong, or unitarity is wrong inside the horizon, or that flat space vanishes just inside the event horizon. (An alternative easy to reject because of semiclassical gravity's success is that it is not actually an effective field theory *outside* the event horizon).

Quantum field theory in curved spacetime has been an interesting line of research on and off for some years -- the idea is to generalze particle physics to non-flat space. It also raises the questions of whether unitarity is always valid, about whether there is a natural notion of a particle valid everywhere, and whether there is always a unitarily equivalent representation of the algebra of observables. The last has arisen in GR, and has led to fixes with interesting coordinate systems, although it is not clear that could necessarily be the case here. Ditching unitarity and allowing unitarily inequivalent representations are both almost like ditching causality.

Comparisons include things like causal dynamical triangulation, loop quantum gravity, and so forth, which would mostly relegate GR to a low-energy approximation of a more difficult to calculate theory, but provide a way for quantum mechanics to cope with the no-preexisting-geometry rule.

There are of course several quantum gravity approaches which fix a background (ditching no-preexisting-geometry) and try to achieve the geometrical effects within their frameworks (condensation of string vibrational modes or interactions across branes, for example).

Re:Why gravity is treated as a force? (1, Interesting)

Electricity Likes Me (1098643) | about a month ago | (#47719027)

Because it is a force? A force is anything which transfers momentum and energy around. Which gravity does.

Moreover, what seems so obvious to you that gravity is the curvature of space time? What does that mean? Because it is in no way obvious. For example, if gravity is spacetime curvature, then it doesn't really pull on things in 4D spacetime since we've already defined it away. So why do things appear to move down gravitational wells? Are they elastically colliding with a sheet of space time? Why aren't they normally deflected by it?

Finally, it doesn't matter what new theory shows something is or isn't. It has to verify old theory. And old theory says that gravity looks and acts, in the human range of experience, like a conventional force identical to any other. So whatever it is, it has to be simply back down to confirming our everyday experience.

Re:Why gravity is treated as a force? (1)

Prof.Phreak (584152) | about a month ago | (#47719179)

There's no such thing as "force" (well, Jedi might disagree). The famous F=ma, doesn't show up in relativity nor quantum mechanics.

Re:Why gravity is treated as a force? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47720017)

There's no such thing as "force" (well, Jedi might disagree).

What?!!?!

Then how does your ass get up from your chair?

The famous F=ma, doesn't show up in relativity nor quantum mechanics.

Those are mathematical models that describe how we observe reality to behave. They are not reality.

Read a story about dropping a bowling ball on your foot. Then actually go drop a real bowling ball on your foot. You're stuck at the story step.

Re:Why gravity is treated as a force? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47721077)

The whole concept of force implies magic action from a distance. Unless you believe in magic, there's no such thing as "force". (and no, fields are NOT "force").

Re:Why gravity is treated as a force? (1)

blue trane (110704) | about a month ago | (#47724063)

What about mirror neurons? The brain can act on the story, producing an effect that feels the same as actually dropping a ball on your foot.

Take a placebo for asthma, then actually take asthma. Studies show that the perceived effect is the same. Thus, if you believe in it enough, your brain can fool you into believing any model.

Next program those models in holodecks, and you can actually experience a ball falling on your foot, when you're only "reading" a holonovel.

Re:Why gravity is treated as a force? (4, Informative)

TeknoHog (164938) | about a month ago | (#47719449)

Gravity can be formulated as a gauge theory, like the other forces in Standard Model. It's just a different mathematical representation of General Relativity, and it also captures the gravity-as-curvature idea quite neatly. You don't see it that often because the math gets a little tricky, unless you use something like Geometric Algebra [cam.ac.uk] , which made it easy enough for Master's courses.

Re:Why gravity is treated as a force? (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about a month ago | (#47720793)

Gauge theory? Wake me up when the Gravity Gauge is on 'Empty'.

Weee!

Re:Why gravity is treated as a force? (2, Interesting)

visualight (468005) | about a month ago | (#47720137)

It is confusing isn't it? Again and again someone demonstrates gravity with a sheet and a ball, and again and again there is someone looking for or talking about the 'graviton'.

Another one: The presenter starts off with an illustration of space and time being -the same thing: "space-time". But then goes on to explain space only, or time only, or both but each in their own silo.

My approach to understanding this has been to watch every documentary I can, distill the common, repeated 'truths' and extrapolate a mental image from that. I think space and time are -literally- the same thing (the perpetual expansion of space -is- the passage of time), gravity is -not- a force, there was no big bang, nor was there inflation.

Ok, the last bit is somewhat radical so I'll explain a bit. The universe (space) is always expanding, slower when there is nearby matter with mass, faster when there is not. When galaxies are so far away from each other space expands so rapidly there is a "breach", covering a huge astronomical area, in which energy/matter rushes in uniformly, slowing down the expansion.

I have no math skills and might be completely wrong, but it feels right and I'll probably hold on to this mental model until/unless there is some clear irrefutable proof otherwise. Really, I don't see that happening because (lol) no one is every going to investigate the scenario I just described.

Re:Why gravity is treated as a force? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47721125)

I think the Universe works similarly too. I think virtual particles or vacuum energy are just smaller unquantized units of radiation, that do not have the energy level high enough to create a particle in a field.

Imagine you have a non-infinite Universe filled with virtual particles, and you just spontaneously put a ball in that space. What will happen to that space and that ball? You will have a "force" of virtual particles interacting with that ball, and impeding the momentum of the particles of that ball, which always travel at the speed of light. That difference in time and space is gravity. Gravity does not attract, it only appears to be an attractive force, because all "space" around that ball are pushing an equal amount of force back.

I also suspect that spacetime comes from energy. As particles decay, more energy fills the void of spacetime. This would have the implication that time changes. A fun side effect is that acceleration appears to be the same force as gravity, and if time changes, so does your apparent acceleration. Universal expansion explained.

Whoa there: many corrections! (5, Interesting)

Roger W Moore (538166) | about a month ago | (#47720285)

Since Einstein, we know gravity is the curvature of space-time. It may be represented as a force in calculations but in reality there is no force.

How about I turn that around and say that Einstein showed gravity can be modelled by the curvature of space-time but in reality it is a force? The fact of the matter is that, at a fundamental level, we have no clue what gravity is. However you can represent it very well by a spin-2, mass-less particle which couples to a particle's 4-momentum (the caveat being that you cannot make this theory work without an energy cut-off at some scale for which there is no justification). Until we solve quantum gravity we simply do not know what gravity really is but, if I were to bet, I suspect the latter is closer to the truth but needs some correction for the quantum structure of space-time which is something we have no clue about.

If gravity is not a force then do we really have a hierarchy problem?

Yes, and if anything it would be worse. The current problem comes about because we cannot scale the Higgs corrections up to the Planck-scale where we know there is new physics. If we remove that scale then we have a theory which has no upper scale limit and so should generate infinitely large corrections to the Higgs mass i.e. we go from an incredibly unlikely 1 in ~10^34 chance of the corrections giving such a light Higgs to a zero percent chance of the theory giving a light Higgs, or any Higgs with a non-infinite mass.

Obviously, if this is the case, G has nothing to do with Fermi's constant and we should not compare the two.

You are getting your 'g's and 'G's confused. In the muon g-2 experiment the 'g' is the muon's anomalous magnetic dipole moment. This is a precision test of Quantum Electrodynamics. The high order corrections to this will involve Fermi's constant (G_F) due to W and Z loops but these contributions will be incredibly small and were this any other experiment I would have said negligible but perhaps not in this case given the incredibly high precision involved. Neither of these constants have anything to do with the gravitational constant (G) nor the local acceleration due to gravity (g). So we are not comparing the two.

Re:Why gravity is treated as a force? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47720483)

Why is time treated as a dimension? It's a force.

Mixed feelings (3, Interesting)

opusman (33143) | about a month ago | (#47718987)

Honestly, I really love the Starts With a Bang blog, and have been reading it for years.

But I do have to wonder why every single post is announced on /. these days.

We already have RSS, we subscribe, we know about it. By the time /. has caught up I've already read it, usually 24 hours ago.

Is /. getting a paid for these posts? Inquiring minds want to know.

Re:Mixed feelings (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47719083)

Honestly, I really love the Starts With a Bang blog, and have been reading it for years.

But I do have to wonder why every single post is announced on /. these days.

We already have RSS, we subscribe, we know about it. By the time /. has caught up I've already read it, usually 24 hours ago.

Is /. getting a paid for these posts? Inquiring minds want to know.

Can you tell me how other news aggregation sites work otherwise? Common Sense would like to know.

The internet is quite large. Huge in fact. And Slashdot with it's News for Nerds moniker, has a pretty damn big job of dumping info under that umbrella.

It was a bit easier back in the day when you could fit the computer book section of any bookstore into a bathroom stall. Today, it has its own wing.

Re:Mixed feelings (1)

mdsolar (1045926) | about a month ago | (#47719223)

The story was submitted by a user called StartWithABand.

Re:Mixed feelings (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47719339)

you should be happy some of us eat from the feeding trough call /.

as a neanderthal, i like to read too and sources like this may or may not already be on my list of pique's.

It's in the Bible (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47719019)

The book that has all the answers. How come no one thought to look there??

It's in the Bible (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47723421)

Because everyone was looking in the Koran?

Hover Board (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47719099)

It is very hard to get excited about this stuff without some real world application.
If going beyond the standard model can help us build a hover board then please keep funding these scientist people.
I believe the hover board will be the first step to build a true (wingless) flying car which we will need to enable transport between the beer volcanoes and stripper factories.

Re:Hover Board (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47722981)

We already have too many (literal) idiots who can't drive without endangering themselves and others, and you want them FLYING in the same 4-dimensional space you're using?

I don't, unless all the flying cars are completely automated...

StartsWithABang clickbaiting again? (3, Insightful)

vinlud (230623) | about a month ago | (#47719271)

It's the holy grail of modern pseudo-scientists: getting an angreement with a former major geek site, allowed to directly post articles. Sure, there are unanswered questions in it, ranging from dark matter to the hierarchy problem to the strong-CP problem, but still they swallow the clickbait until they find another method to squeeze the last remaining bit of income from this community. Or is there? Take a look at the evidence from user StartsWithABang, and see what might be the future of Slashdot.

Re:StartsWithABang clickbaiting again? (1)

strikethree (811449) | about 2 months ago | (#47726273)

Have you actually read through the discussion in here that was spawned by this article? It is like a sea of stars are shining. So much information, so much intelligent discussion... and we get to see it all. Absolutely amazing. You can not find the quality of discussion about this stuff anywhere else where normal humans congregate. I feel like my understanding of the universe and certainty of direction has been solidified by seeing all of this.

I am surprised you were modded to 4 considering that you just called some of the real scientists posting here pseudo-scientists. Sure, there are a lot of ignorant people here like myself. Some of us are even posting about our ignorance... but there are real scientists posting here. And they are kind enough to correct the ignorance among us in a kind and serious manner. I feel your words are misplaced.

Oh the irony I percieve.... (1)

CFBMoo1 (157453) | about a month ago | (#47719393)

When people use the biggest of things to see the smallest of things.

Better title needed (1)

maroberts (15852) | about a month ago | (#47719893)

Physics: Boldly going where no muon has gone before.

Physics: a momentous time for muons.

Physics: do muons follow Standards?

etc

Another 'Hello' magazine style article (2)

jandersen (462034) | about a month ago | (#47720201)

Could we flag this kind of articles with a warning, please? I'm getting tired of glossy gossip that's more suited for a write-up about soap-stars and Big Brother. Give us a hex-dump or a wall of equations to look at, not chatty nonsense trying to invoke a sense of "Woooh, mysterious!!!!"

Re:Another 'Hello' magazine style article (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about a month ago | (#47720949)

Grumpy grampy today?

You want, say, another article on whether Apple/Google/Facebook/Oracle/Lotus Notes is the antichrist?

Or another article suggesting that Africa/America/Germany/Qwghlm is the start and fundamental cause of the Apocalypse?

Hey, these threads at least have have some coherent responses. (Present company excluded, of course).

Re:Another 'Hello' magazine style article (1)

jandersen (462034) | about 2 months ago | (#47726493)

Today? I'm ALWAYS grumpy grampy!

No, I just want to see scientific fact presented as if it is scientific fact. Telling about science doesn't need to be pepped up - the subject is already exciting, as opposed to the disturbed love lives of Big Brother contestants, and people on /. are interested in "News for Nerds", or so I've heard. There was once, when a nature program on telly or a scienticif article would be exactly that: exciting facts about nature; compare David Attenborough standing waist deep in a swamp to todays programs with repeated slow motion replays of lions downing a baby gnu and an idiotic soundtrack. Now, if you tell me you prefer the latter, you might as well seek treatment at Dignitas in Switzerland.

Re:Another 'Hello' magazine style article (1)

messymerry (2172422) | about 2 months ago | (#47735805)

...and if you would be so kind Mr. Anderson, please give us a link to your wall of equations. Sincerely, Mr. Smith

kind of like the late 1800s (1)

peter303 (12292) | about a month ago | (#47720771)

Newtonian mechanics and Maxwell's equations explain just about everything we observe, except for a "few loose ends" like radiation and finite black-body radiation, etc.

Re:kind of like the late 1800s (1)

blue trane (110704) | about a month ago | (#47724227)

Newton's mechanics can't build a GPS. Things we use everyday use physics Newton's alone can't predict or preduce.

Re:kind of like the late 1800s (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47725113)

rekt

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