Monday, September 28, 2015

Sargin and Faizal Refuse To Amend Physics Paper While Knowing It Is Wrong

Good physicist Sabine Hossenfelder rightly calls out the authors on a new paper about the black hole physics of loop quantum gravity, who make a claim in the title of the paper that they later admitted to her was incorrect when she contacted them and pointed out their error.

But, they wouldn't change the paper and minimized their error, even though the claim that they have wrong is in the very title of their paper. This pretty much totally offends the entire process of posting pre-prints at, and the entire peer review process. So, she wrote a blog post that will track back to the paper.

You might get away with the impression that we have here two unfortunate researchers who were confused about some terminology, and I’m being an ass for highlighting their mistakes. And you would be right, of course, they were confused, and I’m an ass. But let me add that after having read the paper I did contact the authors and explained that their statement that the LQG violates the Holographic Principle is wrong and does not follow from their calculation. After some back and forth, they agreed with me, but refused to change anything about their paper, claiming that it’s a matter of phrasing and in their opinion it’s all okay even though it might confuse some people. And so I am posting this explanation here because then it will show up as an arxiv trackback. Just to avoid that it confuses some people.

The offending authors are Ozan Sargın and Mir Faizal, and the paper is: "Violation of the Holographic Principle in the Loop Quantum Gravity"


Mitchell said...

I don't know how much you really care about LQG, but if you do, I recommend looking at the details here. Because LQG discretizes space, momentum isn't defined in the ordinary way but rather by some limit, and it means that QM has to be amended too. They call it polymer quantization (because a polymer molecule also has a discrete structure approximating a continuous line). It affects e.g. the quantum harmonic oscillator, and therefore quantum fields since they are made of oscillators. The dispute here seems to be about magnitude and significance of polymer corrections to entropy of quantum fields.

andrew said...

I do care about LQG.

I have a sincere belief (subject to modification by new data, of course) that quantum gravity effects rather than new forms of matter or energy probably give rise to most observed dark energy and dark matter effects and modify conventional GR equations in subtle ways in the classical limit (at least in weak fields).

But, I am agnostic regarding whether the transition from quantum gravity should is well approximated by gravitons in Minkowski space, in a similar manner to SUGRA theories, or operates at the level of the fabric of space-time as LQG type theories suggest. I could see either working, or a discovery in two or three decades that the best versions of each such theory are actually equivalent formulations of the same thing despite starting at very different places. Indeed, by definition, this is almost true already, because both are seeking theories that reduce to Einstein's GR in the classical limit in reasonably ordinary conditions.

Right now, the LQG people seem to be making progress in overcoming hurdles that the graviton field people were stumped by. For example, once you have a good LQG theory, the process of integrating the SM into it seems much more straightforward than the process of turning a more conventional GUT in a TOE.

Still, while it is one thing to say that there are polymer corrections to the entropy of quantum fields, it is quite another to claim publicly in the title and abstract of your paper that this shows an LQG violation of the Holographic Principle, when in fact, you acknowledge in private that no, the polymer corrections you have identified do no such thing, because they are a subdominant term and you don't compare the LQG entropy to the actual Holographic bound in your paper even though you correctly recite the definition of the actual Holographic bound.

That is just academic dishonesty and bad behavior.

Tienzen said...

How pity it is!
Black hole physics is totally nonsense because of the following reasons.
One, black hole itself is not directly observed, not even with any indirect observations, such as “Seeing a shadow of black hole, via gravity lensing”.
Two, black hole plays almost ZERO role in most viable cosmology models.
Three, black hole plays almost ZERO role in most viable dark-matter models.
Four, black hole plays absolute ZERO role in the calculations of nature constants. See, .

But, this is small issue. The big one: {Higgs mechanism is not only wrong but is total STUPID} because of, at least, three facts.
Fact one, the Higgs mechanism is not VERIFED.
See the article from Nigel Lockyer, Director of Fermi Lab at (the official blog of CERN), and
Peter Woit (a prominent particle physicist) commented on September 28, 2015: "You need to, when possible, experimentally test an idea like the Higgs mechanism, not just believe it since it seems to be the most plausible idea. Often ideas you think are the most plausible turn out to be wrong (or only part of the story); .

Fact two, the mass of newly discovered particle (named as Higgs boson) cannot be calculated by ALL mainstream physics models, and this is confirmed in the article {China’s Great Scientific Leap Forward, [on Sept. 24, 2015 (six days ago), by DAVID J. GROSS (Nobel Laureate in physics) and EDWARD WITTEN (recipient of the U.S. National Medal of Science)], see }.

Fact three: there is a way (non-mainstream) to CALCULATE the mass of that new boson THEORETICALly, see .

Why are you or the good lady (Sabine Hossenfelder) worrying about this bigger (the biggest) issue?

andrew said...

The good lady and I are concerned about academic dishonesty. It is a "sociological" and moral issue that has only a remote connection to physics, which really ought to be obvious.

Neither she, nor I, necessarily even believe LQG is correct. This doesn't matter. But, we both agree that you shouldn't claim that you have disproven it when you have in fact done no such thing and admit it. That is a very big issue. Academic honesty and sincerity are central to the functioning of modern science, and is the only way that we can solve the wicked problems that are too big for any one person to solve alone.

I'm well aware that you think you've found the answers that everyone else has missed. I don't find the case you've made for that approach very convincing from what I've seen and don't plan to devote serious time or effort to confirming my intuition on that score.

I certainly have heterodox conjectures of my own. But, I don't pretend that they are proven, or that they are anything more than the educated guess of a reasonably well read layman, and I try very hard to be open to conforming my opinions to all new available evidence, and never claim to be certain that I have found the truth.