Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Beauty Isn't A Good Guide In Zoology Research Either

Unicorns are Scotland's national animal.


neo said...

if beauty isn't a criterion for physics theories, what should replace it in fundamental physics where experiments are not technologically feasible

andrew said...

1. We should be humble and recognize that theory is limited in the absence of experiments and that doing too much extrapolation beyond what we can measure may be a fool's errand.

2. We should care about making our assumptions clear and looking for mathematical consistency.

3. We should try to take steps to avoid group think in the scientific so that we really do consider all possible and feasible approaches to a problem and have them available in our arsenal of possible solutions. All problems don't look like a nail when you have enough tools in your toolbox. We should be especially wary of very popular lines of inquiry that aren't producing lots of new measurable results.

4. We should consider properties of systems that haven't been measured but could be measured as much as possible, even if they are subtle and indirect. For example, many cosmology theories can be tested based upon the impact that they would have on Big Bang Nucleosynthesis.

andrew said...

An example of a paper testing an otherwise hard to test theory using BBN data is https://arxiv.org/abs/1812.04065.

neo said...

dark matter SUSY and GUT's do offer measurable results, of course experiments haven't found them

there are papers in loop quantum cosmology that offer measurable results in CMB that can be measured in future missions with required sensitivity (whether these results come true remains to be seen)

andrew said...

I wouldn't hold out hope for CMB measurement improvements any time soon. The precision reached already approaches the theoretical maximum from an Earth orbit vantage point.

neo said...

what are the prospects of observing measuring spectrum of gravitational wave fluctuations in future probes? or is the nondetection a real problem in the planck mission?

andrew said...

"what are the prospects of observing measuring spectrum of gravitational wave fluctuations in future probes?"

There are astronomy efforts other than CMB that could shed light on this, but probably not CMB detection.

"or is the nondetection a real problem in the planck mission?"

Not sure I get your drift. The evidence for primordial gravitational weaves is pretty weak and the constraints are gradually getting tighter from a variety of sources. This greatly narrows possible inflation scenarios.

neo said...

there was that article by steinhardt et al in scientific america pop goes the universe over whether inflation is a theory or too flexible and nondetection of spectrum of gravitational wave fluctuations was raised.