Now, some of you may read the article that is the subject of today's high octane speculation, and not get why I'm blogging about it at all, because it's one of those "no story here, nothing to see, move along" sorts of things. But if you're in the "Concerned about CERN" category like I am, this story does, in its own roundabout way, at least open up the possibility that my high octane speculations about the place might have a minimally larger chance of being true. We'll get back to that.
But here's the article that caught Mr. G.K.'s eye, and I suspect that he may have been thinking the same thing as I when he read it:
The subtitle here says it all: "The nightmare scenario of no new particles or interactions at the LHC is coming true. And it might be our own fault." Well, I'm not a scientist, and especially not a particle physicist or quantum...uhm...er... mechanic, so when the United Federation of Physicists boldly goes where no one has gone before, seeking out new particles and new equations to add to its already bloated and overstuffed particle pantheon, I for one breathe a sigh of relief, because it is becoming downright difficult to keep track of quarks and charms and colors and flavors.
But what's going on here is a bit more serious, because having spent billions of dollars and euros and so on to smash this stuff together and see what detritus pops out, the result is that nothing new is popping out, and that's after a few years of whirling stuff around and crashing it together (do you have the sense that physics is running in a circle here? I do):
Earlier this month, the LHC celebrated 10 years of operation, with the discovery of the Higgs boson marking its crowning achievement. Yet despite these successes, no new particles, interactions, decays, or fundamental physics has been found. Worst of all is this: most of CERN’s data from the LHC has been discarded forever.
This is one of the least well-understood pieces of the high-energy physics puzzle, at least among the general public. The LHC hasn’t just lost most of its data: it’s lost a whopping 99.997% of it. That’s right; out of every one million collisions that occurs at the LHC, only about 30 of them have all of their data written down and recorded.
It’s something that happened out of necessity, due to the limitations imposed by the laws of nature themselves, as well as what technology can presently do. But in making that decision, there’s a tremendous fear made all the more palpable by the fact that, other than the much-anticipated Higgs, nothing new has been discovered. The fear is this: that there is new physics waiting to be discovered, but we’ve missed it by throwing this data away. (Emphasis added)
Most of the rest of the article is about why they have to throw away so much data, and it comes down to this: (1) there's more data than we can store; and (2) our computers aren't fast enough to grab all of it and (3) we don't have the space to store everything we can grab.
Ok, there's nothing new here; we all knew that CERN has computers designed to "pull" certain interesting collisions and pass them along for scientists to look at. I talked about this at some length in my book The Third Way.
But what I also speculated about in that book was that I thought CERN was (1) about more than just particle physics, and that there was a "hyper-dimensional" physics possibly involved beyond that normally associated with particle physics, and (2) the computer system could conceal hidden algorithms to pull highly anomalous results and send them to secret committees for analysis an review. In other words, some data was not being thrown out, it was being kept secret. Shortly after that book came out, there were statements from some scientists at CERN that they were, indeed, looking for signs of hyper-dimensional physics, although it wasn't too clear (at least to me), in those first announcements whether they meant the sort of hyper-dimensional stuff normally associated with particle physics, or the hyper-dimensional physics of, say, electrical engineer Gabriel Kron. Indeed, I pointed out in that book that, as far as Kron was concerned, any electrical circuit, no matter how simple, was a hyper-dimensional machine (since the math to describe it is such), and hence, a complex system like CERN's colliders fits a Kronian description in spades.
I wasn't, therefore, very surprised when these admissions were made.
But I am a bit surprised now, reading this article, for my other "high octane speculation" about CERN seems to be occurring to other people in a kind of backhanded way: namely, that a "new physics" might lie in the data that's being thrown away. To my always unreliable memory, this is the first popular mention I've seen connecting that "rejected data" to the idea of "new physics," and this is a short step away from my own speculation that that "rejected" data might actually be data that has a "second pass" of the computer algorithms, pulling the high anomalous stuff, and passing it along to much more secret committees to look at. I've thought all along that CERN is not the altruistic production of "pure science", but that the sheer expenditure indicates some possibly hidden military purpose. The sheer expense of it, and the dangerous implications of such a potential discovery, would seem to me to have required the presence of a hidden layer in those algorithms. Given the sheer complexity of the project, it would be all too easy to sneak those algorithms into the millions of lines of code, and many of the international partners in the project would be none the wiser, and hence, be telling the truth when they say it's about particle physics, because that's all they know about it. If this high octane speculation be true, then not all that "rejected data" may have been rejected...
...it was just siphoned off and shunted to some secret places.
See you on the flip side...
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