The fear of losing it someday, since retiring I have poured forth into a kind of cloud – in the form of several books, and this blog – the contents of my mind. It’s why I’m so comfortable with the idea that none of my humorous memoirs will be read by others, nor my discovery of a significant piece of the mathematical architecture underlying the makeup of the universe will ever receive attention from the diverse community of theorists. It’ll all be out there, stored, enabling me to free up portions of mind for other purposes. No more need to struggle to keep all that detritus sensible and neat.
In my youth – as is the wont of youthful idealism – I saw an imperfect world and yearned to change it. I still yearn for it to change, as I yearn to be bitten by a radioactive spider and instead of dying a horrible death, have it endow me with hidden superpowers, a vastly extended lifespan, and somehow lead to a Bruce Wayne level of monetary comfort.
A sand castle held together by the moisture of the sea will eventually dry out, and succumb to wind and gravity. So it is with youthful dreams. Human herds will always drift into corruption. Our reason for existing will always be to produce another generation that is likely to produce another generation that is likely to … Well, thankfully there exists as well a yearning to transcend the muck – although admittedly its manifestation is often merely a means to improve our chances to breed – but not always. I hope not always.
Yeah, well, this is probably just the covid-19 cloud talking. A smattering of Weltschmerz. Wash your hands and mind after reading.
The world catching up, then claiming credit
So, let’s get just a wee bit technical. Penguins have been spreading rumors for several months now that ANITA has encountered events that could lead to “going beyond the Standard Model” (SM), a theoretical mantra stemming from the desire of brainy people to stay relevant and potentially cutting edge. So, you folks have anything more than that to corroborate your dreams?
Well, yes they do. At the Perimeter Institute (PI) some folks have decided to look into the consequences of assuming CPT symmetry applies to the whole universe – to all space and all times. Interesting stuff.
A possibly erroneous impression to give some context. The PI, in my limited experience, if allowed to, would ignore all good ideas from other people at other places, refurbish them, and claim them as PI originals, and attribution be damned. A blatant example if this occurred several years ago relating to my own work, and I did not take it well. Now, age having given me a slap in the face, reminding me that death is coming, and that eftsoons, I give fewer shits than previously. It’s just inevitable herd corruption. Still, this ANITA/CPT thing has appeared in the pop sci press several times in recent days. For a good example of this, I direct your attention here.
Here are some quotes, which I’ll discuss at bottom.
1. Our universe could be the mirror image of an antimatter universe extending backwards in time before the Big Bang. So claim physicists in Canada, who have devises a new cosmological model positing the existence of an “antiuniverse” which, paired to our own, preserves a fundamental rule of physics called CPT symmetry.
2. “There is this frame of mind that you explain a new phenomenon by inventing a new particle or field,” he [Neil Turok of PI] says. “I think that may turn out to be misguided.”
3. They asked themselves whether there is a natural way to extend the universe beyond the Big Bang – a singularity where general relativity breaks down – and then out the other side. “We found that there was,” he says. … The answer was to assume that the universe as a whole obeys CPT symmetry.
4. Instead, says Turok, the entity that respects the symmetry is a universe–antiuniverse pair. The antiuniverse would stretch back in time from the Big Bang, getting bigger as it does so, and would be dominated by antimatter as well as having its spatial properties inverted compared to those in our universe – a situation analogous to the creation of electron–positron pairs in a vacuum, says Turok.
5. Turok adds that quantum uncertainty means that universe and antiuniverse are not exact mirror images of one another – which sidesteps thorny problems such as free will.
6. Turok says that the new model provides a natural candidate for dark matter. This candidate is an ultra-elusive, very massive particle called a “sterile” neutrino hypothesized to account for the finite (very small) mass of more common left-handed neutrinos. According to Turok, CPT symmetry can be used to work out the abundance of right-handed neutrinos in our universe from first principles.
7. Turok describes that mass as “tantalizingly” similar to the one derived from a couple of anomalous radio signals spotted by the Antarctic Impulsive Transient Antenna (ANITA).
8. Turok, however, points out a fly in the ointment – which is that the CPT symmetric model requires these neutrinos to be completely stable. But he remains cautiously optimistic.
The promised horn tooting
Ok, let’s get real. The title of this blog is not “Every idea is beautiful in its own way”; it’s “3 spheres to rule them all”, a kind of LotR reference to the three parallelizable spheres, leading to the division algebras, C, H and O, and thence to the spinor kernel, T = C ⊗ H ⊗ O – a bit of mathematical architecture that gives a natural framework on which to hang the SM.
There are a couple of T-maths theoretical consequences that are relevant to the physicsworld quotes above. Let’s discuss.
1. 8 years ago I realized that my T-maths architecture had a very important consequence. There had to exist a mirror antiuniverse, and that the verse and the antiverse are linked by an extra 6 dimensions that carry SU(3) charges. So the PI people, starting from a very physicsy/analytical/computational place, have predicted a big part of my prediction … so, wait, is their idea then a prediction, or a corroboration? Well, it’s a prediction as long as we “ignore all good ideas from other people at other places”, so I guess it’ll remain a prediction then. (BTW, 7 years ago I presented my idea at a conference, and a year after that it was published, forcing the arxiv gatekeepers to list it, although with the dreaded gen-phys brand, a mark of shame and revilement. Goodness. So, anyway, you can find it here, and a longer version here.)
2. I like their thinking here. Most of the papers in the arxivs that get the much vaunted hep-th brand are of this sort. These papers remind me of a well-known quote (attributed to Einstein, but I suspect it’s older than that): “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.” That rather nicely summarizes the majority of the last 40 years of mainstream theoretical physics.
3. As a physicsy/analytical/computational idea this is rather nice. And it hadn’t been considered before, why?
[Note added, 2020.04.28] Well, in fact, a version of this had been considered before, John Gonsowski recently reminded me. I do not know how widely known Sakharov’s work is, but as it appeared over 50 years ago, deep in the Cold War, originating from the USSR, it was likely widely ignored in the west. Alas, I have but the dimmest memory of having encountered it.
4. And here they’ve caught up to me. Welcome aboard … wait, what? Why am I being forced to walk that plank. HEY! There are sharks down there! Sigh.
5. Well, that’s a relief. I’d hate to think this blog was simultaneously being written in the antiverse by the anti-me.
6. So, yeah, right-handed neutrinos are an essential part of my T-maths architecture, as are neutrino masses. Yeah yeah, walk the plank. I’m going. Just be patient. (I mean, what choice do I have? Physicsworld called their work a “new model”.)
7. Well, that’s cool.
8. No comment that wouldn’t require a new technical paper, and I’m done with that crap.
So, hey, bartender, I’d like a Weltschmerz martini, shaken, not stirred, with the merest touch of Lebensangst. 3 olives … to rule them all.