Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Strength of the Higgs Field just right for us to exist. Mystery as to how that happened.

Some of my thoughts as inspired by this TED Talk, Have We Reached The End Of Physics?

Now that we have basically confirmed the existence of the Higgs Field, we find that it's intensity is tuned just right for the existence of our kind of universe. It's a mystery as to how that kind of unlikely "field strength" can exist; as if it was made just for our kind of universe.

At the Large Hadron Collider, scientists have been looking for some new physics, or theories like Super Symmetry to help explain how the Higgs Field has been tuned so ideally for this type of universe. Seems more logical that the Higgs field would either not exist at all, or it would be way too strong. In either case, atoms, stars and planets could not form. Instead, the Higgs field is tuned precisely the way we need it.

At Hadron, we've only been looking with full power since Spring 2015, but so far we aren't seeing signs of Super Symmetry or the new physics. The jury is still out as we've just barely started looking at full power, but what happens if we can't find these results? This TED Talk suggests the possibility of a dead end to our attempts at explaining these things. A dead end in physics.


Personally, I would be skeptical that we've reached the end of physics. I remember my dad saying (when I was a kid) that many physicists thought all the important laws of physics had been discovered by 1900. They thought physics could be a dead science. The clockwork of Isac Newton's laws had been worked out by then.

Dead end? Well, that was just before the world of physics was turned upside down by Einstein. Turned upside down by Einstein and also Quanta Mechanics. No one is now saying that 1900 was a dead end for physics.

Even if we don't find Super Symmetry, or some other new physics to explain the "just right" mysteries in our current physics, I'd guess that someone will still think up a new pathway forward.

When science gets stumped, theologians often jump in to say it's some inexplicable creator; like a god or something. Did something intend it to be that way so creatures like us could exist? As these claims abound, scientists continue to move forward with more explanations of seemingly unintentional, natural mechanisms and the mystery retreats still farther.

I would think no one knows how much of our universe is intentional, or how much is just happening with no intent. We do know that we, human beings, have intent. We have self awareness and something we call consciousness. We are a part of this universe, at least, tho maybe just a tiny part. Our consciousness and intents exists in what we call our minds, but our brains are also being explained in more scientific, or somewhat mechanical ways. Neurons firing and so forth.

Some of this may depend on perspective. If one were at the level of a neuron, inside the brain, one might not see any mind or the concept of intent. On the other hand, one does see intelligence (usually at least) when meeting the whole person for lunch and enjoying their company. Maybe the universe is similar? Mechanical, at many levels, but intentional, depending on one's perspective.

Theological type speculation wasn't mentioned in this TED Talk. This last note is just my own late night musings as I know people will be thinking about this as they contemplate the things that make scientists scratch their heads in bewilderment.

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