Monday, December 31, 2007

On Betting Against Physics Hype in 2008

We're expecting the LHC to find approximately nothing new, but it could be a lot of fun watching a lot of people claiming that they have the new TOE which the LHC will prove right or wrong.

And we're upping the ante, and hedging against postmodern groupthink and tenured hypesters by calling them out, and betting them $137 that their claims are false. That would be $137 per claim.

Let's start with claims made by the esteemed Dr. Kip Thorne who in a recent interview stated,,

Cosmic strings are an idea that comes from string theory, the most studied area of theoretical physics. This area is still a long way from being a coherent unification of quantum and classical physics. Do you think string theory is exciting enough to merit the amount of attention it’s gotten?Absolutely. I think there’s no question. It shows many signs of being on the right track toward a correct quantum theory of gravity. It has given rise to a number of very important ideas that have a good shot at being correct, such as higher dimensions, such as the possibility of forming mini-black holes at the LHC [Large Hadron Collider, a new particle accelerator that may be up and running next year], and thereby probing higher dimensions. String theory is now beginning to make concrete, observational predictions which will be tested. Claims that it is just theorists playing mental masturbation are, I think, nonsense. --

Well, we hereby bet Mr. Kip Thorne $137 that the LHC doesn't create any mini-blackholes. We hereby bet Mr. Kip Thorne $137 that the LHC doesn't find any higher diemensions. And we hereby bet Mr. Kip Thorne $137 that string theory makes absolutely zero predictions that will be tested by the LHC.

So far our total bet is $411.

We expect this will grow throughout the year.

1 comment:

Mitchell said...

Nima Arkani-Hamed is reported as saying he'd bet a year's salary on the Higgs showing up. (But in the actual quote it's "the Higgs or something like it".) I mailed him many months ago to seek clarification and ask if he was serious; no reply so far.