A post (from Professor Matt Strassler ‘s blog) covers almost the entire frontier of physics; the quantum gravity, the supergravity, the black holes (including the firewall problem) and cosmic inflation. But, most importantly, it is about the following comments, “Susskind stated clearly his view that string theory, as currently understood, does not appear to provide a complete picture of how quantum gravity works. … It’s remarkable to hear Susskind, who helped invent string theory over 40 years ago, say this so forcefully.” The Apple Boy was truly moved by this comment and had a discussion with his G-grandmother.
Apple Boy: The M-theory and SUSY were the only two huge trees in the physics forest for the past 50 years. Now, someone (including the original tree planter) finally admit that they have barked up the wrong trees. Especially when this is reported by a great physicist Matt Strassler, it will be truly a genuine news. Hi, G-grandmother, what do you think about this quantum gravity and black hole issues?
G-grandmother: Oh, they are deeply entangled with the quantum principle, you know. The only way to resolve these issues must first get the bottom of the quantum principle, as I said last time that it is *the* issue. Which one of the two cases below is the correct answer?
1. Quantum principle (fundamental) causes the nonzero vacuum energy (emergent).
2. Nonzero vacuum energy (fundamental) causes the quantum principle (emergent).
Apple Boy: I can obviously see some differences between the two cases. But, what is the big deal?
G-grandmother: Huge, huge. There are huge differences in three tiers.
First, in case 1, the size of vacuum energy is controlled by the quantum fluctuations, that is, it can be any size depending upon the moods of the quantum daddy. On the other hand, in case 2, the vacuum energy is set by the fiber-structure of the space-time field, and the quantum fluctuations are the squires of the vacuum energy master.
Apple Boy: What is the fiber-structure of the space-time field? I have never heard about this before.
G-grandmother: Oh, this is the second tier huge difference. When we see quantum principle as the fundamental, we block the true fundamental (the space-time field) from our view. It is the *fiber* of the space-time field gives rise to quantum principle.
Apple Boy: Well, it is great. But, so what? By following your saying, the quantum principle is correct, and it is a great tool for solving physics problems. Do we need to know the fiber of the space-time filed? As far as I know that no one on this Earth knows about it? That is, even if *you* tell us the answer, no one will believe you. How can you convince anyone that your fiber story is correct if you do know the answer?
G-grandmother: Wow, boy, you really got me. I have never thought about the issue of convincing others. Well, you have been driving for many hours. How far away from home now? I got to take a break for thinking about that challenge.
Apple boy: Only 14.15 miles from our driveway now, this moment. Just relax, no big deal.
G-grandmother: Wow, how can you get the distance so accurately?
Apple boy: GPS. With GPS you know. About 16 satellites orbiting the Earth, and they together can calculate the location of every point on Earth and can give out the precise distance between any points on Earth.
G-grandmother: Oh, I know, I know now. When I came down from upstairs, I did see some metal balls flying around in space, peeking on some *landmarks*. That is, the landmarks. As long as they know their own positions relating to those landmarks, they can calculate the location of every point on Earth. But, it is plagiarism, the violation of the copyrights, you know. It was the precise way that the *Nature-master* used for constructing the fiber-structure of the space-time field.
Apple boy: Very interesting. There is a landmark for the space-time field. How many landmarks the Nature-master needs for his work? GPS uses many landmarks, you know.
G-grandmother: One, just one. Nature-master has three crowns; Omnipresent, Omnipotent, Omniscience. So, he needs just one which is eternally accurate, not shakable by any external forces (good or evil).
Apple boy: Wow, what is it? What is its name? Where is it located?
G-grandmother: Name? Oh, no name. Nature-master did not give it a name. But, your brother told me a while back, it is called Alpha [α (electron fine structure constant)], a pure number which cannot be changed by any external force. With that eternal landmark, the Nature-master made three *rulers*; ħ (Planck constant), c (light speed) and electric charge. With the reference point anchored (the landmark), he used these three rulers to map out the space-time field. By the way, being very lazy, the Nature-master made two auxiliary landmarks; the Cabibbo and Weinberg angles.
Apple boy: Well, it is a truly interesting story. But, how can you or the Nature-master convince anyone that it is the correct story.
G-grandmother: Backward, go backward. Only with the correct fiber structure, one can *calculate* (derive) those landmarks. So, anyone who can derive Alpha is having the correct knowledge of the fiber of the space-time field.
Apple boy: I just checked the Wikipedia now, and it says that no one is able to calculate the Alpha. That is, we got back to the ground zero after all. There is no hope of getting any answer for those great issues; the quantum gravity, black holes.
G-grandmother: Oh, no, no. Your brother showed me an equation about how to calculate the Alpha a while back (see http://prebabel.blogspot.com/2012/04/alpha-fine-structure-constant-mystery.html ). I hate math, you know. So, I asked an 8th grader to check that equation out. The number comes out exactly correct. As he knows no physics at all, he won’t even know how to mess up the calculation. So, I am quite confident about that equation. By the way, what is Wikipedia? You seemingly take it as Gospels. Why does it not list that equation?
Apple boy: You are really outdated. Now is 21st century, you know. A correct equation is often not politic correct. Not correct in physics or in calculation is no big deal. Not correct politically is a major sin. My brother’s equation must be not correct politically. But, I think that there is another way to resolve those issues. Now, the dark mass and dark energy are two greatest mysteries in physics. When they two are resolved, all other issues will be resolved too. Don’t you think? By the way, what is the third tier difference?
G-grandmother: Boy, you are definitely correct. But, they are not mysteries but two pieces great *cakes*. About the third tier difference, embarrassing, very embarrassing…
The next day,
Apple Boy: Hi, G-grandmother, your landmark and the fiber of space-time ideas are not appreciated by a commenter duffieldjohn, he says, “Thus α depends upon the energy at which it is measured, increasing with increasing energy, and is considered an effective or running coupling constant.” Professor Matt Strassler also says that “You need to unify at least hypercharge and weak isospin with gravity if you want to play that game.” What do you say?
G-grandmother: duffieldjohn’s saying is not wrong. When someone took pictures of me, those pictures are all different. I don’t even recognize that some of them are truly me. Many of them confused about me (the true me) from those pictures from those paparazzi. It must be a similar situation for that landmark α (Alpha). Yesterday, I talked about only two points.
- The fiber of space-time field is the fundamental while the quantum principle is the emergent.
- The fiber-structure of the space-time field was laid out with a landmark as the key reference.
If they agree with these two points, the other nitty-gritty does not concern me. If the Nature-master used a different landmark, it will be just fine with me. Matt’s comment really hits the point. But, it is so big an issue and cannot be discussed with a few comments, you know. We need to do some preparations for that huge, huge feast. Furthermore, I have heard that gravity was described in many different ways; by Newton, Einstein, quantum gravity, supergravity, etc.. How can gravity be unified with anything else if it itself is a pile of marbles. Thus, first, we must know exactly what gravity is. The dark mass and dark energy play a big part in gravity. So, this unification issue can be started from these two issues. Most importantly, these two issues are more clearly defined by the Planck’s data, that is, there are *numbers* to be checked with, and we won’t go into the tongue in cheek arguing.
Apple Boy: In the article “Storm in Ice Cube (Résonaances)”, it says that a PeV dark matter candidate was discovered. I think that the dark matter issue will be resolved very soon.
G-grandmother: Oh, that will be truly nice. Pev x N (numbers of it in the universe)/visible matter = 5.3526, then they got it. Maybe their model is a bit more complicated than that, but this is the basic idea. The dark matter issue is very simple, you know, as the ratio is known from the Planck’s data to be 5.3526, a very simple number to check with. But, I have peeked into the Nature-master’s file box of the dark matter, I did not see any Pev type dark matter in there. Is any known physics model predicting a Pev dark matter? Or someone has to come up one in a hurry?
Apple Boy: It sounds simple enough with the ratio known. That the one who can whip up that number in some kind of physics equation must be the winner of this puzzle solving game. But, even that dark matter puzzle is solved, I am still confused about this mass-charge issue. What the heck is the mass-charge anyway? For electric charge, it is unique, only one charge regardless of who is carrying it. Why are here so many mass-charges?
G-grandmother: What? I never know that. I was told by the Nature-master zillion years ago that there is one and only one mass-charge. Maybe something new has evolved in this universe since my last visit. Can you tell me how many different mass-charges there are?
Apple Boy: Oh, G-g-mother, you are really outdated. The up-quark is many times heavier than electron, not to say about the e-neutrino. If we use the electron mass as the mass-charge unit, it won’t work for the neutrinos. We just very recently discovered that neutrinos also carry mass-charge, you know.
G-grandmother: Thanks heaven, boy. I thought that you was talking about something huge and difficult. You just got it wrong. Those 48 matter particles all carry different masses, but they are not different mass-charges. Those 48 are 48 pimples on the mass-charge. Those pimples weight differently, but the mass-charge which they sit on is all the same. There is only one mass-charge in this universe.
Apple Boy: Wow, never heard about this before. How can you convince anyone on Earth about your pimple story?
G-grandmother: The number, the dark mass/visible mass ratio number (= 5.3526), from the Planck data. The Nature master divided his universe into two dominions; the ocean of energy and the continent of mass. Then, this continent of mass was given to his 48 kids (you call them 48 matter particles) *evenly*, exactly measured by the mass-charge, you know. Yet, only the youngest generation who takes up the stage (not back stage which houses their anti-cousins) is horsing around and making a lot of sparks. The two older generations are stay put inside without giving out any lights. By the way, although the neutrino is also out playing, but it does not giving out lights neither, being too shy, you know. So, the dark/visible ratio = [41 x (100 – w) % /7].
Apple Boy: What is the *w* in the equation?
G-grandmother: Statistics, the out-of-bound statistics. Many balls went out of bound and disturbed those old folks who do give out lights when disturbed. According to the AMS02 data, the statistics is about 8 to 10%. If we choose w = 9, then the dark/visible ratio = 5.33, and it fits the Planck data perfectly.
Apple Boy: How about the mass of W, Z bosons and gluons?
G-grandmother: Oh, no. The land right in the dominion is only giving to the legitimate kids (the matter particles) of Nature master. Those bosons and gluons are workers, already counted in their landlord’s account, as they themselves have no mass-land rights. The different mass for the different landlord is as different name tags for his mass-territory, a pimple on the mass-charge, so to speak.
Apple Boy: Well, even if this is correct, it is only 1/3 of gravity story. How about the dark energy issue? Is it an important part of the gravity? As far as I know, it is a true mystery now.
G-grandmother: Definitely, dark energy, 2/3 of story. Mystery? Kind of. But, no. But, not today.
The above is also available at http://profmattstrassler.com/2013/09/16/a-quantum-gravity-cosmology-conference/#comment-85988