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The 2 Most Dangerous Numbers in the Universe are Threatening the End of Physics

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posted on Jan, 16 2016 @ 01:12 PM
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Great title huh? Obviously attention-grabbing, but what's this all about?

I found this article and it seemed like something that would spark a great ATS discussion. We have a bunch of geniuses and awesome folks here - okay okay, I'll stop fluffing everyone's feathers, but I do mean it


Great title huh? Obviously attention-grabbing, but what's this all about?

This article is discussing 2 main topics - 1) the mysteriously "very weak" strength of the Higgs Boson, and 2) dark energy.

The 2 Most Dangerous Numbers in the Universe are Threatening the End of Physics



A deeply disturbing and controversial line of thinking has emerged within the physics community. It's the idea that we are reaching the absolute limit of what we can understand about the world around us through science.

"The next few years may tell us whether we'll be able to continue to increase our understanding of nature or whether maybe, for the first time in the history of science, we could be facing questions that we cannot answer," Harry Cliff, a particle physicist at the European Organization for Nuclear Research — better known as CERN — said during a recent TED talk in Geneva, Switzerland. Equally frightening is the reason for this approaching limit, which Cliff says is because "the laws of physics forbid it."

At the core of Cliff's argument are what he calls the two most dangerous numbers in the universe. These numbers are responsible for all the matter, structure, and life that we witness across the cosmos.

And if these two numbers were even slightly different, says Cliff, the universe would be an empty, lifeless place.



Dangerous No. 1: The strength of the Higgs field




The first dangerous number on Cliff's list is a value that represents the strength of what physicists call the Higgs field, an invisible energy field not entirely unlike other magnetic fields that permeates the cosmos.

As particles swim through the Higgs field, they gain mass to eventually become the protons, neutrons, and electrons comprising all of the atoms that make up you, me, and everything we see around us.
Without it, we wouldn't be here.

We know with near certainty that the Higgs field exists because of a groundbreaking discovery in 2012, when CERN physicists detected a new elementary particle called the Higgs boson. According to theory, you can't have a Higgs boson without a Higgs field.

But there's something mysterious about the Higgs field that continues to perturb physicists like Cliff.

According to Einstein's theory of general relativity and the theory of quantum mechanics — the two theories in physics that drive our understanding of the cosmos on incredibly large and extremely small scales — the Higgs field should be performing one of two tasks, says Cliff.

Either it should be turned off, meaning it would have a strength value of zero and wouldn't be working to give particles mass, or it should be turned on, and, as the theory goes, this "on value" is "absolutely enormous," Cliff says. But neither of those two scenarios are what physicists observe.

"In reality, the Higgs field is just slightly on," says Cliff. "It's not zero, but it's ten-thousand-trillion times weaker than it's fully on value — a bit like a light switch that got stuck just before the 'off' position. And this value is crucial. If it were a tiny bit different, then there would be no physical structure in the universe." Why the strength of the Higgs field is so ridiculously weak defies understanding. Physicists hope to find an answer to this question by detecting brand-new particles at the newly upgraded particle accelerator at CERN. So far, though, they're still hunting.


Dangerous No. 2: The strength of dark energy




The distribution of dark matter is shown in blue and the gas distribution in orange. This simulation is for the current state of the universe and is centered on a massive galaxy cluster. The region shown is about 300 million light-years across.

Cliff's second dangerous number doubles as what physicists have called "the worst theoretical prediction in the history of physics." This perilous number deals in the depths of deep space and a mind-meltingly complex phenomenon called dark energy.

Dark energy, a repulsive force that's responsible for the accelerating expansion of our universe, was first measured in 1998. Still, "we don't know what dark energy is," Cliff admits.

"But the best idea is that it's the energy of empty space itself — the energy of the vacuum." If this is true, you should be able to sum up all the energy of empty space to get a value representing the strength of dark energy. And although theoretical physicists have done so, there's one gigantic problem with their answer: "Dark energy should be 10120 times stronger than the value we observe from astronomy," Cliff said.

"This is a number so mind-bogglingly huge that it's impossible to get your head around ... this number is bigger than any number in astronomy — it's a thousand-trillion-trillion-trillion times bigger than the number of atoms in the universe. That's a pretty bad prediction."

On the bright side, we're lucky that dark energy is smaller than theorists predict. If it followed our theoretical models, then the repulsive force of dark energy would be so huge that it would literally rip our universe apart. The fundamental forces that bind atoms together would be powerless against it and nothing could ever form — galaxies, stars, planets, and life as we know it would not exist.

On the other hand, it's extremely frustrating that we can't use our current theories of the universe to develop a better measurement of dark energy that agrees with existing observations. Even better than improving our theories would be to find a way that we can understand why the strength of dark energy and the Higgs field is what it is.


Concluding thoughts from the Article (there is much more in the article, I didn't include everything:




"We may be entering a new era in physics. An era where there are weird features in the universe that we cannot explain. An era where we have hints that we live in a multiverse that lies frustratingly beyond our reach. An era where we will never be able to answer the question why is there something rather than nothing."


Source:
Yahoo News - UK Finance (Interesting Section Choice?)

The TED Talk by Harry Cliff can be found here (and in the link to the article):

www.ted.com...


edit on 16-1-2016 by FamCore because: (no reason given)

edit on 16-1-2016 by FamCore because: (no reason given)

edit on 16-1-2016 by FamCore because: (no reason given)



+6 more 
posted on Jan, 16 2016 @ 01:27 PM
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I laugh at any notion that a field of science can come to an end. It becomes something new at that point. Sure the apparent reality does suggest these things, but about the things we know of - we are still in such darkness! Anyone remember the posts/articles about controlling gravity with magnets? That's still got a lot of room for discovery. I doubt we'll ever get to a point where we simply cannot go forward.
IMO, those phenomenon in physics which are utilized daily, i.e. electricity and magnetism, are not even close to being understood in such a way as to claim "there is no more beyond this".
If it's really come to this point then maybe we should start doing comparative research (FINALLY) on possibly scientific philosophies of ancient cultures such as the Vedas of India and Qabbalah. Many might be opposed to the very notion of mingling science with theses, but if there is really no way to push forward then it's at least worth a consideration.

I'd put forth that an exploration of Consciousness is the next frontier for physics. That is, the relationships between entities and their world. The interaction of mind and matter.

Silliness to give up now!



posted on Jan, 16 2016 @ 01:32 PM
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a reply to: Canamla

I agree - none of the fields of science could ever truly come to an end.

But the information presented here is absolutely fascinating - the world's brightest in these fields cannot explain what's going on - the particle colliders are helping us to discover so much more but I do fear that they could potentially "rip" a hole in the fabric of spacetime.

At the very least, if we discover new energy/power that has the ability to destroy, it will be weaponized and used on innocents like other dangerous technologies. Technology and science is amazing and we need it, but I do think we are playing with fire when we delve deep into these unknown territories.

Time will tell I suppose



posted on Jan, 16 2016 @ 01:46 PM
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We may be entering a new era in physics. An era where there are weird features in the universe that we cannot explain. An era where we have hints that we live in a multiverse that lies frustratingly beyond our reach. An era where we will never be able to answer the question why is there something rather than nothing."


That conclusion is interesting. Does it remind anyone of anything? Perhaps something that science has missed? Or thrown out? A "multiverse that is frustratingly beyond our reach."

Hmmmm. Anybody?

Perhaps they are "digging in the wrong place!"--Sallah in "Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark"


+7 more 
posted on Jan, 16 2016 @ 01:56 PM
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a reply to: FamCore

This is actually one of the arguments for intelligent design.

I don't mean to advocate for whatever ridiculous arguments are made against science in preference of religion.

I just thought it should be said since there is so much animosity toward that idea in preference of the conclusion that everything is random and meaningless.

"Every one who is seriously engaged in the pursuit of science becomes convinced that the laws of nature manifest the existence of a spirit vastly superior to that of men, and one in the face of which we with our modest powers must feel humble. In this way the pursuit of science leads to a religious feeling of a special sort, which is indeed quite different from the religiosity of someone more naive."

-Albert Einstein



posted on Jan, 16 2016 @ 02:15 PM
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The problem: science is at a point that is creates more questions than answers. And often those questions seem beyond our ability to answer.

Isn't this supposed to happen? The convergence of our deepest well of knowledge and the shallowest wells of artificial intelligence? The point where we hope to chain the beast in order to have it do our bidding?



posted on Jan, 16 2016 @ 02:26 PM
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a reply to: bigfatfurrytexan


The problem: science is at a point that is creates more questions than answers. And often those questions seem beyond our ability to answer.

They have been answered through black projects and the occult (fraternally held), sciences. Don't forget, there is much knowledge purposefully kept from "us".


+3 more 
posted on Jan, 16 2016 @ 02:29 PM
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originally posted by: Canamla
If it's really come to this point then maybe we should start doing comparative research (FINALLY) on possibly scientific philosophies of ancient cultures such as the Vedas of India and Qabbalah. Many might be opposed to the very notion of mingling science with theses, but if there is really no way to push forward then it's at least worth a consideration.

I'd put forth that an exploration of Consciousness is the next frontier for physics. That is, the relationships between entities and their world. The interaction of mind and matter.

Silliness to give up now!


The comparison has ALREADY been done in a highly quantitative way - with truly spectacular results. But I guess you never heard.....

The mathematics intrinsic to Kabbalah/Tree of Life HAS been correlated with fundamental discoveries in theoretical physics and with the group mathematics of the exceptional Lie groups, the largest of which (E8) has been shown to be embodied in the Tree of Life, whilst the 8-dimensional 421 polytope that represents its 240 roots has been shown to be isomorphic to the recent discovery of the inner form of the Tree of Life, now proved to be isomorphic to the Sri Yantra, the first four Platonic solids and to certain other less well-known examples of sacred geometries. Moreover, the mathematical connection between all possible levels of consciousness and the physics of superstrings has been discovered and described in great detail. Knowing what this map of consciousness is enables one to understand for the very first time the significance of the mysterious but beautiful number 496 at the heart of superstring theory. And many more things.....

The problem is, this research is too mathematical for most people, whilst academic physicists and mathematicians tend to flee away from any claim that links consciousness, religions and physics, less their study of it invites ridicule from their colleagues. So the work is ignored and the insights it provides into the connections between religion and science remain unknown. For those open-minded enough and mathematically skilled enough to study these discoveries (which you WON'T hear about in popular science journals because they shatter the materialistic paradigm of science), visit here. You will find that the Higgs field was described five years before Peter Higgs even proposed its existence (see news item #9 here. Far from coming to an end, particle physics will witness a revolution in a few years time when it uncovers evidence for particles within quarks, as described over a century ago, according to this website. This explains why LHC at CERN has failed to find their supersymmetric counterparts and solves the problems reviewed here by Harry Cliff: quarks acquire very little of their mass from their coupling to the Higgs field because most of their mass derives from the energy of their binding in bound states of three smaller particles yet to be discovered by CERN. The connection between the current paradigm in particle physics (Standard Model) and the mathematics of ancient, mystical representations of God has been discovered. It shows that the Standard Model is NOT fundamental, despite all its successes. Only when the particles inside quarks are detected by particle physics will it discover the divine paradigm.



posted on Jan, 16 2016 @ 02:31 PM
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These issues are very much part of the intelligent design argument in cosmology.

Science will evolve.

God stays the same.




posted on Jan, 16 2016 @ 02:40 PM
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It seems to me scientists get too focused on single ideas or things and fail to consider the effects of other fields and particles. Perhaps dark energy is what keeps the higgs field in a state of near-stasis. I don't think the human mind as brilliant as it can be will ever know all the secrets of matter and energy. I would prefer mystery to remain a part of my universe. My reason being that which we think we know we then tend to ignore and move on.



posted on Jan, 16 2016 @ 02:54 PM
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originally posted by: greencmp
a reply to: FamCore

This is actually one of the arguments for intelligent design.

I don't mean to advocate for whatever ridiculous arguments are made against science in preference of religion.


Agreed. You needn't subscribe to some set of mythology advocated by some narrow religion, nor need it be an either/or proposition. But what if religions are hinting at a basic truth of the multiverse that they don't fully understand? (those "naive people" in Einstein's view.) What's in that "multiverse" that is "frustratingly close?" Could it be us in a different form? And in its wholesale rejection of anything the slightest bit tainted by religion, has science thrown out the baby with the bathwater?

I'm not an advocate for Intelligent Design per se, but they don't call the Higgs Boson the "God Particle" for no reason. And a Simulation Theory (ala Ready Player One) fits the definition as well as anything else. The reason physics is reaching the point suggested by the OP is because its insistence on a Rationalist approach has led them to a dead end and trap of their own making.

I'm reminded of an old joke that appeared in "Car and Driver" or "Road and Track"--one of those car magazines years ago, that showed bald guys in the distance in lab coats and glasses with clipboards making careful notes as they drove cars off a cliff. The punch line is, "Oh, that's the Consumer Reports team testing cars again."

In other words, they're missing the point. If they got their heads out of their butts and looked around, they might actually find something, but they REALLY are pre-disposed to NOT find it--not because it isn't as real as the dim scratch of light made by a obscure particle on a negative, but because they don't like the very idea.

The next great breakthrough in physics, one as large as the discovery of quantum mechanics and relativity combined, will be done by someone who manages to cross that "frustratingly close" barrier to prove the "multiverse" actually does exist, we are part of it, and we've been going there since the beginning of time. And that will be a true revolution in human understanding that has the potential to change everything.



posted on Jan, 16 2016 @ 03:12 PM
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a reply to: FamCore

"It doesn't matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn't matter how smart you are. If it doesn't agree with experiment, it's wrong."

Richard P. Feynman



posted on Jan, 16 2016 @ 03:14 PM
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originally posted by: micpsi


The comparison has ALREADY been done in a highly quantitative way - with truly spectacular results. But I guess you never heard.....

The mathematics intrinsic to Kabbalah/Tree of Life HAS been correlated with fundamental discoveries in theoretical physics and with the group mathematics of the exceptional Lie groups, the largest of which (E8) has been shown to be embodied in the Tree of Life, whilst the 8-dimensional 421 polytope that represents its 240 roots has been shown to be isomorphic to the recent discovery of the inner form of the Tree of Life, now proved to be isomorphic to the Sri Yantra,


That's great stuff and thank you for it. The problem with it is the terminology. You may as well say "God said, Let there be light." To say something like "8-dimensional 421 polytope that represents its 240 roots has been shown to be isomorphic" doesn't have any meaning to most people. What the hell is a "421 polytope"?? It sounds like some sort of eastern astrological gibberish. And the "Kaballah/Tree of Life"? I'm sure people will jump on that one. You simply are not going to make any headway if you insist on using esoteric language such as that. You are speaking to such a small group of people that you may as well be speaking a foreign language.

The breakthrough in understanding I mentioned above is going to be by someone who can explain it in language that is understandable and does not alienate most of the population.



posted on Jan, 16 2016 @ 03:31 PM
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I really hope when we get out there we don't find the Universe filled with nerdy science math majors that can draw endless equations to explain every thing but whom also have never loved or been loved by another human being.



posted on Jan, 16 2016 @ 03:36 PM
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a reply to: schuyler


To say something like "8-dimensional 421 polytope that represents its 240 roots has been shown to be isomorphic" doesn't have any meaning to most people. What the hell is a "421 polytope"?? It sounds like some sort of eastern astrological gibberish.

It is. Like all religions the hier up the archy you go, the more complex their explanations.

If we have an once of common sense eventually we go, this is BS and move on.



posted on Jan, 16 2016 @ 03:51 PM
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originally posted by: schuyler

originally posted by: greencmp
a reply to: FamCore

This is actually one of the arguments for intelligent design.

I don't mean to advocate for whatever ridiculous arguments are made against science in preference of religion.


Agreed. You needn't subscribe to some set of mythology advocated by some narrow religion, nor need it be an either/or proposition. But what if religions are hinting at a basic truth of the multiverse that they don't fully understand? (those "naive people" in Einstein's view.) What's in that "multiverse" that is "frustratingly close?" Could it be us in a different form? And in its wholesale rejection of anything the slightest bit tainted by religion, has science thrown out the baby with the bathwater?

I'm not an advocate for Intelligent Design per se, but they don't call the Higgs Boson the "God Particle" for no reason. And a Simulation Theory (ala Ready Player One) fits the definition as well as anything else. The reason physics is reaching the point suggested by the OP is because its insistence on a Rationalist approach has led them to a dead end and trap of their own making.

I'm reminded of an old joke that appeared in "Car and Driver" or "Road and Track"--one of those car magazines years ago, that showed bald guys in the distance in lab coats and glasses with clipboards making careful notes as they drove cars off a cliff. The punch line is, "Oh, that's the Consumer Reports team testing cars again."

In other words, they're missing the point. If they got their heads out of their butts and looked around, they might actually find something, but they REALLY are pre-disposed to NOT find it--not because it isn't as real as the dim scratch of light made by a obscure particle on a negative, but because they don't like the very idea.

The next great breakthrough in physics, one as large as the discovery of quantum mechanics and relativity combined, will be done by someone who manages to cross that "frustratingly close" barrier to prove the "multiverse" actually does exist, we are part of it, and we've been going there since the beginning of time. And that will be a true revolution in human understanding that has the potential to change everything.


Yes, I'm not necessarily opposed to the multiverse either. Though, when coming from anyone who cites it that isn't reasonably well versed in brane theory, it sounds a lot like a desperate way to make the meaningfulness of the uniqueness of our cosmic variables just a roll of the dice.

Of course, in terms of our scientific method, it is entirely unfalsifiable which just caps the irony with a hint of sardonicism.



posted on Jan, 16 2016 @ 05:50 PM
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a reply to: FamCore

This simply helps demonstrates what I my self and many others all ready know. That is, that the standard model is pure BS.



posted on Jan, 16 2016 @ 07:08 PM
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originally posted by: VegHead
These issues are very much part of the intelligent design argument in cosmology.

Science will evolve. God stays the same.

Science evolves to keep up with the Absolute Unbounded Oneness's dirty tricks. The AUO just wants profitability within the system dynamic and will do everything it can to create new potentials for science to describe, chase after, spin its wheels regarding. The Higgs Boson number is exactly where no one predicted it would be; right between the theories of symmetry and multiverses. What happens if this number changes; do we vanish?
edit on 16-1-2016 by vethumanbeing because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 16 2016 @ 07:28 PM
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a reply to: vethumanbeing

what's "the AUO"?

"What happens if the Higgs Boson number changes... Do we vanish?"

^Great question!

the multiverse theory seems to be the one.. then the real question is, can the different dimensions affect each other or spill into each other?? great topic....



posted on Jan, 16 2016 @ 07:39 PM
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a reply to: FamCore

When we realize that this universe is only one of an infinite number of them then we may finally know something.

....And that is God!


“Of knowledge we have given you but little”



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