Something is rotten in the state of QED

Foundations of physics and/or philosophy of physics, and in particular, posts on unresolved or controversial issues

Re: Something is rotten in the state of QED

Postby gill1109 » Sun Mar 22, 2020 10:47 pm

FrediFizzx wrote:
gill1109 wrote:Please pardon my extraordinary ignorance, but what does "off mass shell" mean? Does it just mean: far away? Far away from where the mathematical model says that *most* of the mass is? (Which is not the same as *all* of the mass). Does sound to me like a hand-waving trick to resolve the problems of using a model with infinite space when actually space is presumably better thought of as being limited.

"A virtual particle does not precisely obey the energy–momentum relation . Its kinetic energy may not have the usual relationship to velocity. It can be negative. This is expressed by the phrase off mass shell."
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virtual_particle
The W boson involved in charged muon decay is way off mass shell. Basically all photons are virtual. They are never exactly on mass shell. Welcome to particle physics. :D
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OMG. I think I want to keep away from particle physics. I will go back to modelling epidemics for the time being. Though I recall mathematicians who did differential equations calculations for epidemics which involved periods when the number of individuals on a smallish island went down to 10 to the minus 50 per square kilometer and these guys confidently predicted *exactly when* the population would recover and get back to something big. And another mathematician who did something similar for a cosmologist and never twigged on he was only interested in positive solutions to some function called "p(x, t)". He never asked why the cosmologists actually did use the letter "p" to denote this function. The cosmologist simply could not imagine that one of the best pure mathematicians in the Netherlands could have no idea at all what their problem was actually about and moreover have no interest at all in finding out.
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Re: Something is rotten in the state of QED

Postby FrediFizzx » Mon Mar 23, 2020 8:36 am

gill1109 wrote:
FrediFizzx wrote:"A virtual particle does not precisely obey the energy–momentum relation . Its kinetic energy may not have the usual relationship to velocity. It can be negative. This is expressed by the phrase off mass shell."
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virtual_particle
The W boson involved in charged muon decay is way off mass shell. Basically all photons are virtual. They are never exactly on mass shell. Welcome to particle physics. :D
.

OMG. I think I want to keep away from particle physics. I will go back to modelling epidemics for the time being. Though I recall mathematicians who did differential equations calculations for epidemics which involved periods when the number of individuals on a smallish island went down to 10 to the minus 50 per square kilometer and these guys confidently predicted *exactly when* the population would recover and get back to something big. And another mathematician who did something similar for a cosmologist and never twigged on he was only interested in positive solutions to some function called "p(x, t)". He never asked why the cosmologists actually did use the letter "p" to denote this function. The cosmologist simply could not imagine that one of the best pure mathematicians in the Netherlands could have no idea at all what their problem was actually about and moreover have no interest at all in finding out.

Yeah, particle physics is not everyone's cup of tea. It was quite a chore for Joy and I to complete the Dirac equation with gravitational torsion and get the correct result.
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Re: Something is rotten in the state of QED

Postby JohnDuffield » Mon Mar 23, 2020 2:28 pm

FrediFizzx wrote:No, "virtual" simply means "off mass shell" in particle physics. You can't explain charged muon decay without an "off mass shell" W boson mediating the decay. And we know for sure that W bosons exist. LHC produces them in copious quantities.
I'm afraid I dispute that Fred. Their existence has been inferred. See the January 2003 physicsworld article Carlo Rubbia and the discovery of the W and Z by Gary Taubes. It’s a shortened version of chapter 7 of his book Nobel Dreams: Power, Deceit, and the Ultimate Experiment. Taubes says Rubbia would not be told that an event was not the detection of a W-boson. Rubbia leaked it to “establish his own impetuous version of a priority claim”. Then he took the event details to the USA later claiming that “we had a clear W signal in November”. Taubes tells how Rubbia showed the events to Salam, Weinberg, and Glashow, as well as the DoE. This is noteworthy: “The DoE’s Bernie Hildebrand asked Rubbia to sign the computer-generated image of the event and then mounted it on his wall. Later, Hildebrand heard second or third hand that Burt Richter of the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center had seen the event and he did not believe it was a W. Hildebrand added a note to the picture that read ‘Carlo, this is not a W – Burt’”. Taubes goes on to tell how Rubbia sold the “discovery” of the W boson to a willing audience at CERN in January 1983. He got a standing ovation, even though what had actually been observed was a high-energy electron. I'm sorry, but I do not believe that an 80GeV particle pops into existence, and then instantly converts itself into an electron and a neutrino.
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Re: Something is rotten in the state of QED

Postby JohnDuffield » Mon Mar 23, 2020 2:53 pm

Jarek wrote:To understand "virtual particles" it is great to look at their analogs as topological solitons like sine-Gordon or 2D fluxons in superconductors.

For example here are simple 2D solitons of field of unitary vectors (e.g. with (|v|^2-1)^2 Higgs potential to regularize singularities to finite energy). In the bottom half there is negative-positive topological charge pair in various distances - tension of the field increases with their distance, leading their attraction (e.g. F ~ 1/distance).

What is crucial here is that such pair creation is a continuous process - we can invest much less energy than their mass to only start such process: fields deformation toward pair creation - what in Feynman diagrams language should correspond to virtual pair creation...
I think the topological solitons are something like this, Jarek:

Image

That's a photon on the left, and an electron on the right. The positron would be the mirror-image of the electron. They go round and round in opposite directions in a magnetic field. Note thought that these are flat depictions, and the electron and the positron are 3D chiral things. Here's an image that maybe goes some way to getting the 3D nature across:

Image

IMHO the electron and the positron move towards one another and around one another rather like counter-rotating vortices. Counter-rotating vortices attract, co-rotating vortices repel. See what you make of the screw nature of electromagnetism.
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Re: Something is rotten in the state of QED

Postby FrediFizzx » Mon Mar 23, 2020 3:17 pm

JohnDuffield wrote:
FrediFizzx wrote:No, "virtual" simply means "off mass shell" in particle physics. You can't explain charged muon decay without an "off mass shell" W boson mediating the decay. And we know for sure that W bosons exist. LHC produces them in copious quantities.
I'm afraid I dispute that Fred. Their existence has been inferred. See the January 2003 physicsworld article Carlo Rubbia and the discovery of the W and Z by Gary Taubes. It’s a shortened version of chapter 7 of his book Nobel Dreams: Power, Deceit, and the Ultimate Experiment. Taubes says Rubbia would not be told that an event was not the detection of a W-boson. Rubbia leaked it to “establish his own impetuous version of a priority claim”. Then he took the event details to the USA later claiming that “we had a clear W signal in November”. Taubes tells how Rubbia showed the events to Salam, Weinberg, and Glashow, as well as the DoE. This is noteworthy: “The DoE’s Bernie Hildebrand asked Rubbia to sign the computer-generated image of the event and then mounted it on his wall. Later, Hildebrand heard second or third hand that Burt Richter of the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center had seen the event and he did not believe it was a W. Hildebrand added a note to the picture that read ‘Carlo, this is not a W – Burt’”. Taubes goes on to tell how Rubbia sold the “discovery” of the W boson to a willing audience at CERN in January 1983. He got a standing ovation, even though what had actually been observed was a high-energy electron. I'm sorry, but I do not believe that an 80GeV particle pops into existence, and then instantly converts itself into an electron and a neutrino.

Please explain charged muon decay without an off mass shell W boson mediating the decay. Weak force interactions are very well understood now-a-days.

There is absolutely no doubt about the existence of W bosons. LHC routinely produces a lot of them.
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Re: Something is rotten in the state of QED

Postby JohnDuffield » Mon Mar 23, 2020 3:45 pm

FrediFizzx wrote:Please explain charged muon decay without an off mass shell W boson mediating the decay. Weak force interactions are very well understood nowadays.
The muon is a particle that, like the electron, has spin. This spin is a real rotation. There's an energy flow, a current, in a closed path. But it isn't a simple stable "trivial knot" path like the electron. The muon is like a complex slip knot, one which is unstable. After circa two microseconds it "wobbles itself apart" and breaks down, typically into two neutrinos and an electron. I think it's similar for beta decay. The neutron is a complex thing akin to a proton-electron combination with a neutrino twist. When it's braced by protons inside a nucleus it's usually stable. But when free it it wobbles itself apart and breaks down into a proton, an electron, and a neutrino.

It is said that when a 939.565 MeV free neutron decays, it’s because a W boson, which is said to have a mass-energy of 80.379 GeV, somehow pops out of a down quark with a mass-energy of circa 4.8 MeV, converting it into an up quark with a mass-energy of circa 2.3 MeV. Then this W boson decays into an electron and an antineutrino with a combined mass-energy of circa 1 MeV. So quickly that you never actually see the W boson. I'm sorry Fred, but I just don't buy it. Because I don't buy messenger particles. See he peculiar notion of exchange forces part I and part II by Cathryn Carson. The exchange-particle idea worked its way into QED from the mid-1930s, even though Heisenberg used a neutron model that was later retracted. Hydrogen atoms don't twinkle, and magnets don't shine. The electron and the positron move towards one another and around one another because each is a "dynamical spinor". Not because photons are flitting back and forth. They go round in opposite directions in a magnetic field because of Larmor precession. The electron's motion can be likened to the motion of a boomerang. The positron's motion can be likened to the motion of a left-handed boomerang. A boomerang goes round in circle because of gyroscopic precession.

FrediFizzx wrote:There is absolutely no doubt about the existence of W bosons. LHC routinely produces a lot of them.
Nobody has ever seen a W boson, Fred. Ever. If you think I'm wrong, show me a particle track. The particle track you will show me will be that of an electron.
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Re: Something is rotten in the state of QED

Postby FrediFizzx » Mon Mar 23, 2020 4:05 pm

The W boson involved in weak interactions doesn't have a mass of ~80 GeV. It's virtual; it's off mass shell.

One does not have to "see" a W boson to know that they exist. The Standard Model of particle physics is extremely well tested. You won't be able to come up with a different model that explains everything that the Standard Model does.
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Re: Something is rotten in the state of QED

Postby Jarek » Tue Mar 24, 2020 9:45 am

JohnDuffield wrote:I think the topological solitons are something like this

Solitons are stable localized field configurations.
Topological solitons get this stability from topology, often have quantized flux/charge as topological.

I recommend starting with 1D sine-Gordon, which has also nearly entire special relativity like Lorentz contraction or time dilation: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sine-Gordon_equation
"universe model" with them: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nl5Qq5kUbEE

In 2D there these fluxons/Abrikosov vortices in superconductors - quants of magnetic field, seen under microscope: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vwFm7d_0GsA
Slides with links: https://www.dropbox.com/s/aj6tu93n04rcgra/soliton.pdf
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Re: Something is rotten in the state of QED

Postby JohnDuffield » Tue Mar 24, 2020 11:23 am

Jarek wrote:Solitons are stable localized field configurations. Topological solitons get this stability from topology, often have quantized flux/charge as topological.

I recommend starting with 1D sine-Gordon, which has also nearly entire special relativity like Lorentz contraction or time dilation: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sine-Gordon_equation
Neutrino and antineutrino!

Jarek wrote:"universe model" with them: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nl5Qq5kUbEE
Nice model. I don't think it's got much to do with special relativity though. Photons do not suffer length-contraction. Nor do neutrinos.

Jarek wrote:In 2D there these fluxons/Abrikosov vortices in superconductors - quants of magnetic field, seen under microscope: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vwFm7d_0GsA Slides with links: https://www.dropbox.com/s/aj6tu93n04rcgra/soliton.pdf
Interesting. Charge is topological. But IMHO the top two pictures on the left need combining, like in the grey picture next to the Einstein/Infeld book. I've read that. I was disappointed by it. I thought the Born/Infeld papers were much better. See on the quantization of the new field theory II. On page 12 they said this: “the inner angular momentum plays evidently a similar role to the spin in the usual theory of the electron. But it has some great advantages: it is an integral of the motion and has a real physical meaning as a property of the electromagnetic field, whereas the spin is defined as an angular momentum of an extensionless point, a rather mystical assumption”. On page 17 they said this: “we think that the value of Dirac’s theory lies more in mathematical advantages than in its physical significance. It is well known that other systems with spin ½ do not obey Dirac’s laws; even the simplest one, the proton, has properties contradicting the consequences of Dirac’s equation”. And this: “the rest-mass occurring in our theory is not, as in Dirac’s, an absolute constant of the system but the total internal energy, depending on rotation and internal motion of the parts of the system. An external field will influence not only the translational motion, but also these internal motions”.

See this picture? Maxwell drew it:

https://secureservercdn.net/160.153.137 ... cecurl.jpg

Here's a more pronounced version, drawn by me:

https://secureservercdn.net/160.153.137 ... cecurl.jpg
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Re: Something is rotten in the state of QED

Postby JohnDuffield » Tue Mar 24, 2020 11:28 am

FrediFizzx wrote:The W boson involved in weak interactions doesn't have a mass of ~80 GeV. It's virtual; it's off mass shell.

One does not have to "see" a W boson to know that they exist. The Standard Model of particle physics is extremely well tested. You won't be able to come up with a different model that explains everything that the Standard Model does.
We'll have to agree to differ on this Fred.
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Re: Something is rotten in the state of QED

Postby FrediFizzx » Tue Mar 24, 2020 11:51 am

JohnDuffield wrote:
FrediFizzx wrote:The W boson involved in weak interactions doesn't have a mass of ~80 GeV. It's virtual; it's off mass shell.

One does not have to "see" a W boson to know that they exist. The Standard Model of particle physics is extremely well tested. You won't be able to come up with a different model that explains everything that the Standard Model does.


We'll have to agree to differ on this Fred.

Sorry, not going to agree to differ. You are spewing much nonsense. I will only put up with so much nonsense.
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Re: Something is rotten in the state of QED

Postby Jarek » Tue Mar 24, 2020 11:57 am

Sine-Gordon has practically entire special relativity (due to Lorentz invariance): the kinks undergo Lorentz contraction (become narrower when gaining velocity), scaling of mass/energy as in SRT, also time dilation for oscillating breathers - they slow down when traveling: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Breather

Charge quantization means that Gauss law returns only integer charges, we get it using Gauss-Bonnet theorem in this place - getting topological charge from integration of curvature.
Hence interpreting field's curvature as EM field, we get Maxwell's equations with built in charge quantization - Faber's model.

Nice pictures are not enough, you need to say something about the field, Lagrangian you are using.
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Re: Something is rotten in the state of QED

Postby FrediFizzx » Tue Mar 24, 2020 8:59 pm

Jarek wrote:Sine-Gordon has practically entire special relativity (due to Lorentz invariance): the kinks undergo Lorentz contraction (become narrower when gaining velocity), scaling of mass/energy as in SRT, also time dilation for oscillating breathers - they slow down when traveling: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Breather

Charge quantization means that Gauss law returns only integer charges, we get it using Gauss-Bonnet theorem in this place - getting topological charge from integration of curvature.
Hence interpreting field's curvature as EM field, we get Maxwell's equations with built in charge quantization - Faber's model.

Nice pictures are not enough, you need to say something about the field, Lagrangian you are using.

I'll be impressed if you can add gravitational torsion. If spacetime can be curved, why can it not also be twisted? It can be twisted and it results in matter.
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Re: Something is rotten in the state of QED

Postby Jarek » Tue Mar 24, 2020 10:45 pm

Gravity is a tiny correction to EM - dozens of orders of magnitude below.
E.g. electron is nearly a singularity of EM field - gravity has nothing to do with it.

The simplest situation where we need gravity is bending photon trajectory due to mass - through some unimaginably tiny EM-gravity interaction.
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Re: Something is rotten in the state of QED

Postby FrediFizzx » Tue Mar 24, 2020 10:56 pm

Jarek wrote:Gravity is a tiny correction to EM - dozens of orders of magnitude below.
E.g. electron is nearly a singularity of EM field - gravity has nothing to do with it.

The simplest situation where we need gravity is bending photon trajectory due to mass - through some unimaginably tiny EM-gravity interaction.

You didn't read the papers I linked above so you just repeat the same thing. Please learn what gravitational torsion actually is. It is not normal gravity due to curvature. It is the twisting of spacetime.
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Re: Something is rotten in the state of QED

Postby Jarek » Tue Mar 24, 2020 11:46 pm

Sure I know what torsion is, and using spacetime geometry to explain EM phenomena is still dozens of orders of magnitude different energy.
Get EM right first, much later add unimaginably tiny gravity-spacetime geometry corrections.
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Re: Something is rotten in the state of QED

Postby FrediFizzx » Wed Mar 25, 2020 10:57 am

Jarek wrote:Sure I know what torsion is, and using spacetime geometry to explain EM phenomena is still dozens of orders of magnitude different energy.
Get EM right first, much later add unimaginably tiny gravity-spacetime geometry corrections.

Nope, you still don't understand what gravitational torsion is. If you wish, I will try to explain it. Or..., you could just read the papers.
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Re: Something is rotten in the state of QED

Postby Jarek » Wed Mar 25, 2020 11:39 am

I personally am skeptical about using spacetime geometry to explain EM.

However, Faber originally also uses spacetime interpretation of the field he is using - for Maxwell's equations with built in charge quatization (topological) and finite energy of charge (regularization):
https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1 ... 012022/pdf
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Re: Something is rotten in the state of QED

Postby FrediFizzx » Wed Mar 25, 2020 4:09 pm

Jarek wrote:I personally am skeptical about using spacetime geometry to explain EM.

However, Faber originally also uses spacetime interpretation of the field he is using - for Maxwell's equations with built in charge quatization (topological) and finite energy of charge (regularization):
https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1 ... 012022/pdf

From the Faber paper he quotes Wheeler, "Space-time tells matter how to move, matter tells space-time how to curve." And then adds, "... and charge tells space how to rotate." I will add, "... and intrinsic spin of matter tells space how to twist." Gravitational torsion only exists within matter. That is in elementary fermions. As I said, I will be impressed if gravitational torsion is added to the soliton solutions.
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Re: Something is rotten in the state of QED

Postby Jarek » Wed Mar 25, 2020 11:07 pm

Faber has repaired lacks of standard electromagnetism - of charge quantization (that Gauss law can only give integer charges) and charge having finite energy (point charge has infinite). There indeed remains some freedom of interpretation.
Do you? Claiming to have a model of nature, start with showing that it properly handle the best known interaction: electromagnetism.
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