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David Gross and Real Physics Interview

Updated on August 15, 2016

Unzicker’s Real Physics Talk with David Gross

Alexander Unzicker, author of The Higgs Fake, interviews String Theorist and Nobel Laureate David Gross in this YouTube presentation:

The discussion throughout is concentrated on Gross’s "contribution to physics," in Quantum Chromodynamics (QCD), which focuses on one of Dirac’s large scale numbers, and claims there are no incalculable numbers. Actually, he repeatedly states UN-calculable, but that’s not a word.

Clearly, David Gross is agitated throughout the interview. In fact, when Unzicker thanks him for the interview he doesn’t answer with the customary “You're welcome,” he just shrugs his shoulders and makes a “well so” kind of gesture with his hands. There are lots of these types of gestures and hand-waving as if to dismiss Unzicker’s questions as uneducated or silly to the point of being beneath Gross to reply. He is condescending at times, talks over Unzicker during questions, completes Unzicker’s sentences for him, and even picks his nose a couple of times.

When he is not being Gross, he admits some of the difficulties of particle physics to rationally explain such things as Up and Down quark masses and why there are three Colors. In response to people being skeptical, Gross responds, "that is science," says he, and folks should remain skeptical because scientists themselves are skeptics. This underscores one of the real failings of science, as science should be about explaining first and foremost with no regard for anyone’s opinions.

That Dirac’s large numbers are calculable or not calculable is really not the issue, because science is not about using math to describe phenomena and reifying abstractions, it is about explaining phenomena using illustrated objects.

We are told that one can calculate Dirac’s numbers and that Dirac predicted that the Fine Structure Constant would change as the universe expands. David Gross informs us that macroscopic physics (atoms, molecules and man) in theory contain almost no adjustable parameters, and that “Quantum Mechanics doesn’t need to know the properties of nuclei.”

Gross informs us that there are really 2 important numbers and those are: the size of the electron, and the fine structure constant that measures the value of the strength of the electric field. He says, “Dimensionless numbers are all quantifiable and qualifiable properties can be calculated in theory, but we don’t do that in practice.” What do measuring and calculating have to do with explaining, I wonder? It’s not dimensionless numbers that I take issue with anyways, it’s dimensionless particles.

The Nobel Laureate says that particle physics has “a dozen or two numbers,” but, “QCD ignores the weaker forces and can ignore quark masses. If you ignore the quark masses there are zero numbers that are ‘un’calculable.” We can do this because, says he, that number is 1/10th of a percent of the mass of the proton. In QCD, “the only free parameter is the size of the proton.” There are no incalculable parameters.

We learn lots of fascinating stuff like, “Forces are calculable in the Einsteinian sense, but Einstein would ask why are there three colors?” There are ratios of masses. The (QCD) theory is solved by formulating on a lattice. The difference of the mass of a proton and quark is because of the Up and Down quark mass difference. The mass of the proton is 1/10th of 10^-19 and equal to the Planck mass. QCD solves the question of why gravity is so weak inside the atom with a force of only 10^-20. “Three of Dirac’s large ratios we think we understand qualitatively. Asymptotic Freedom says force between quarks decreases as you go to higher energy and shorter distances.” After he picks his nose again, he continues, “Force gets stronger and stronger and defines the size of the mass of the proton at larger distances because proton mass is just confined energy.”

If we calculate the fine structure to less than 1/10th or 1/100th...“if you do that. You explain 10^20.” When Unzicker challenges that assumption (using the number for the Fine Structure Constant and ignoring the rest), Gross gets very agitated and pulls the Authority Card saying, “Everyone accepts this. This is proof! You can follow this as far as we can measure.”

Unzicker again challenges Gross’ assumption, “If you calculate one of Dirac’s numbers, how can you ignore the rest?” Gross goes on to talk about Dirac’s prediction, saying that Dirac said that if he was wrong, the large number dealing with the ratio of particles to radius of the universe would increase but the ratios of the atom would remain the same. But the Fine Structure Constant has remained the same, so Dirac was wrong.

String Theorist David Gross “explained” that “these numbers are in fact one of the main challenges of elementary particle physics. The ratio of the Planck mass to the weak scale is the so-called Heirachical Problem, which is one of the clues for the Hot Big Bang Theory plus something like supersymmetry. The smallness of the Theta Parameter of QCD which is 10^-10 or smaller is an argument for (garbled) and so on and so on. Any attempt of finding a rational explanation is the cosmological constant. That is the big one.”

The rest of the conversation is mostly one-sided with David poo-pooing Unzicker and the lack of evidence at LHC, asking repeatedly "what about the Higgs," and saying that they have only done 5% of what they can do at the Large Hadron Collider. He finally concedes, that “at the moment, there is no evidence, obviously.” Obviously. Neither do we look for or need evidence, David.

It’s not that there is no evidence, it’s that there are no explanations. Particle physics is defunct and can not account for the “force of pull” nor does it provide illustrations (the language of science – not math), scientific definitions or rational assumptions. Not one so-called “theory” even makes it past the hypothesis stage.


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