Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Philosophy Wire: Higgs research is published and reveals more dogmatism than one would expect…

ATOM SCIENCE BIGAnimation2Philosophy Wire by Spiros Kakos [2012-09-12]: The paper related to the “discovery” of the Higgs boson was finally published and is freely available here. The paper gives us insight into how scientists today think.

The title is:

“Observation of a new boson at a mass of 125 GeV with the CMS experiment at the LHC”.

We are initially baffled by the question: how can Higgs boson has mass, since it is the “thing” that creates mass in the first place? But we would wish this was the only problem…

Not too far ahead, one reads:

The mass mH of the SM Higgs boson is not predicted by theory. However, general considerations [10], [11], [12] and [13] suggest that mH should be smaller than ∼1 TeV, while precision electroweak measurements imply that mH<152 GeV at 95% confidence level (CL) [14].

The scientists predicted "events" (decays) based on their models for various possible masses of the Higgs particle (how can you predict something for a particle with zero electrical charge and unknown mass? how do you predict what a particle with unknown properties will do?), saw the decays for various energies and... they found something that looked like their expected modeled curve... Don't you see the "resemblance" between the dotted curve and the observed black one?

Hmmmm... Would you trust ONE experiment with such a "discovery"? A particle which creates (the field which creates) mass which has a... variable mass! A discovery based on an unknown property of an unknown particle, based on arbitrary assumptions on that property. How convenient!

IF it has such mass then...
But IF it doesn't have that mass?
Would that mean that we discovered other particle?
And WHAT creates that mass if not the field created by that particle with the... unknown mass?!? Wow!

In other words…

It is not that we do not know why and how Higgs has mass, we do not actually know how much it is!
And YET, based on measurements that “IMPLY” a range of mass, we can base our conclusions on ONE experiment and tell the world that we “discovered” the… “particle of God”…!!!!

Well, if God could be found so easily, He would not be worth finding after all.

PS. The whole story is even more complicated by the fact that ATLAS and CMS results did not show always the same results as far as the mass of the "discovered" particle is concerned. [1, 2] But that is another story. Is it?

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