The leptoquark hype

There was an article in The Daily Telegraph last week. The title was Key step to unlocking mysteries of the universe. The subtitle was Hearts ‘set racing’ at site of Large hadron Collider as experiments hint at a new force of nature. You can find an online version at Key to how universe works may have been discovered. Both the print and the online versions were written by science editor Sarah Knapton, and whilst the title and illustrations are a little different, the content is the same:

Image scanned from the Daily Telegraph 24th March 2021

In a nutshell, a proton collider experiment at the LHC allegedly generated beauty quarks, which are also called bottom quarks. These beautiful bottom quarks then allegedly decayed, and the detectors then allegedly detected more muons than electrons. This possible muon excess was then used to spin a massive mountain of hype, with the fabulous leptoquark being the cherry on top.

A breakthrough hailed as the most exciting in 20 years

The Telegraph article starts the way it means to continue, with a grandiose claim. It says “The key to understanding how the universe works may have been discovered by scientists at the Large Hadron Collider, in a breakthrough hailed as the most exciting in 20 years”. After that, the rest of the hype comes thick and fast. Along with this: “But they discovered they are not behaving in the way they expected. Under the Standard Model, Beauty quarks should decay into particles called K+ mesons which have either two muons or two electrons”. Did you know that K+ mesons have either two muons or two electrons? No, because they don’t. Which tells you that this science editor doesn’t know what she’s talking about, and is parroting the press release.

It may explain some of the deepest puzzles in modern physics

Presumably that’s why the article says particle physicists have seen signs that a mystery particle is interacting with other particles “in a manner never witnessed before”. And that this “may explain some of the deepest puzzles in modern physics”. Such as what dark matter is, what dark energy is, whether there’s a gravity particle, and why there’s more matter than antimatter. All of which cuts no ice if you’ve read Schrödinger talking about cosmic pressure, or Einstein talking about the energy of the gravitational field and the refraction of light. When you’ve read the old papers, and some of the newer papers that don’t get much airtime, you know full well that observations of some possible muon excess isn’t going to tell you anything about dark energy, dark matter, how gravity works, or the mystery of the missing antimatter. Especially when it comes from a bunch of people who have absolutely no idea what the electron is, because they don’t even know that spin is real. Especially when this bunch of people have never actually seen a quark.

It’s all ephemera

Have you ever seen a beauty quark? No, and nor have I, because its mean lifetime is alleged to be a fleeting 1.3 x 10-12 seconds. And if you knew anything about what charge is, you’d know that a so-called particle with a charge of ⅓ can only be a parton at best. It cannot be a genuine particle, just as a tornado with 120˚ of rotation cannot be a genuine tornado:

Bottom quark image from The Particle Zoo

Then you’d know that that’s why beauty aka bottom quarks do not exist in nature, and never ever will. Then if you studied the Fermilab article on The Discovery of the Bottom Quark you’d notice that what Leon Lederman et al did in 1977 was fire protons at a target, then track muons. The energies and momenta of the muons were used to infer the existence of the upsilon meson, which is alleged to have a momentary lifetime of 1.21×10-20 seconds. That was then used to infer the existence of the beauty or bottom quark, such that the upsilon meson was allegedly composed of a beauty/bottom quark plus its antiparticle. It’s all ephemera, as is the claim in the Fermilab article that in 1988 “Dr Lederman receives the Nobel Prize for his work in the discovery of this new quark“. He didn’t. He got his ⅓ share for his work on neutrinos. See the press release about The 1988 Nobel Prize in Physics.

It’s all ephemera

But that doesn’t stop the huff and puff. The Telegraph article keeps plugging the line about the key to how universe works. It quotes Dr Mitesh Patel from Imperial College saying “We were actually shaking when we first looked at the results, we were that excited. Our hearts did beat a bit faster”. It also quotes him saying “these results are the most exciting thing I’ve done in 20 years in the field. It has been a long journey to get here”. Oh puhlease. All this breathtaking guff is merely because “in the Standard Model, electrons and their heavier cousins, muons, are treated identically”. Even though electrons are stable and muons aren’t. Even though muons are 207 times more massive than electrons, and typically decay to an electron, an electron antineutrino, and a muon neutrino. Which makes it crystal clear that electrons and muons are not the same. So treating them identically is a bit of a schoolboy error. N’est pas?

The holy grail of particle physics

But don’t worry about a little thing like that, because the article quotes Dr Paula Alvarez Cartelle, of the University of Cambridge. She’s one of the team leaders, and she said “This new result offers tantalising hints of the presence of a new fundamental particle or force”. Then it quotes Dr Konstantinos Petridis of the University of Bristol. He’s one of the physicists behind the measurement, and he said “The discovery of a new force in nature is the holy grail of particle physics”. The holy grail! Woooo! And yet all this is coming from people who can’t explain the nuclear force. They can’t even tell you how a magnet works. They don’t even know that the speed of light varies in a gravitational field, and that’s why light curves. Even though Einstein said it time and time again. That’s important, because once you know that spin is real, you then know why the electron falls down. Then you know how gravity works. What’s worse, is that these people don’t want to know, and they don’t want anybody else to know either. Because once you do know how gravity works, you soon work out that the messenger particles of quantum electrodynamics do not exist. Then you know that none of the messenger particles exist. Then you know that the Standard Model of particle physics is totally wrong.

Strengthened hints for a violation of lepton universality

The Telegraph article finishes up by saying “The result was announced today at the Moriond Electroweak Physics conference and published as a preprint”. See the CERN article Highlights from the 2019 Moriond conference (electroweak physics) for info about the conference. See the arXiv for the preprint. It’s called Test of lepton universality in beauty-quark decays. In addition check out the LHCb – Large Hadron Collider beauty experiment and take a look at the section headed 23 March 2021: Strengthened hints for a violation of lepton universality in B decays. It says this: “you can learn more in the LHCb Moriond presentation, in the LHCb CERN seminar, in the LHCb paper, in the CERN media update in English and in French, in the CERN Courier article and in the Conversation article; see also additional explanations by LHCb physicists [1] and [2]”.

Evidence of brand new physics at CERN?

I’d say the Conversation article has a lot to answer for. The title is Evidence of brand new physics at Cern? Why we’re cautiously optimistic about our new findings. It was written by the above-mentioned Dr Paula Alvarez Cartelle, the above-mentioned Dr Konstantinos Petridis, and one Dr Harry Cliff, another physicist from Cambridge. I think it’s where the hype is coming from. Amazingly it says Fight back against disinformation, get your news here, direct from experts. Only in the very next paragraph it says there are many different kinds of quarks, and that in 2014 LHCb physicists spotted beauty quarks decaying in unexpected ways:

Bottom quark decay paths image from Rod Nave’s hyperphysics

It says that even though nobody has ever actually seen a quark, and nobody has ever actually “spotted” a beauty quark. The existence of quarks has only even been inferred. The article also says the muon is in essence a carbon copy of the electron, identical in every way except that it’s around 200 times heavier. That just isn’t true. The difference between the muon and the electron is a whole pile of energy plus one electron antineutrino and one muon neutrino. But hey, don’t quibble about that, because what they want to peddle is “the hypothetical “leptoquark” – a particle that has the unique ability to decay to quarks and leptons simultaneously and could be part of a larger puzzle that explains why we see the particles that we do in nature”. Even though the particle we never see is the beauty quark. The irony is delicious, but it leaves a nasty taste in the mouth.

Fleas ad infinitum

I shouldn’t totally pan the Telegraph of course. To their credit, the comments on their online article start with Andrew Moore saying What a load of utter nonsense” and “When are the DT going to get a science editor that’s more than a credulous moron”. You can bet your bottom dollar that the experts with the PhDs would have censored that if they could. Along with the Telegraph’s very cynical leader item Fleas ad infinitum. That said this:

Fair use excerpt from the Daily Telegraph

Note that the “fleas ad infinitum” is a reference to the tiresome ever-growing particle zoo. Also note the jaundiced quip “somehow we never get closer to the secrets of the universe”. Despite all the billions it’s cost us, and despitr all the particle “discoveries”. There was no such cynicism in the BBC article Machine finds tantalising hints of new physics. Or in the Guardian article CERN experiment hints at new force of nature. They are of course the usual suspects, the media outlets that specialise in propaganda and censorship in politics. They love their academics, and dutifully replicate the bullshit and shower it all over the unsuspecting public.

A tottering tower of conjecture

It’s similar for Charlie Wood’s Quanta magazine article Growing Anomalies at the Large Hadron Collider Hint at New Particles. It’s good to see him quoting Mitesh Patel saying “this is a Standard Model killer”, but you know he doesn’t mean it. What he really means is that this will be another patch to the Standard Model. Quanta magazine do not bite the hand that feeds them. They’ve done more than their fair share of the propaganda and censorship that’s been killing physics for fifty years. Is it similar for The Institute of Physics? They don’t run the total trash like How Space and Time Could Be a Quantum Error-Correcting Code. But can they can ever admit that there’s anything wrong with HEP? See for example Hamish Johnston’s Physicsworld article Has a new particle called a ‘leptoquark’ been spotted at CERN? It’s still spreading the word, but to me there’s an undercurrent of doubt. Hamish serves up a spoiler saying the leptoquark claim has come from analysing collision data collected between 2011 and 2018. Make of that what you will, but I’d say what they’re doing is scraping the bottom of the barrel, using their possible muon excess to build a tottering tower of conjecture. Funnily enough it looks like some of the usual physics bloggers don’t buy it either. Peter Woit mentions the CERN announcement and the LHCb paper in a rather downbeat post on The Future of Fundamental Physics. He also referred to Tommaso Dorigo’s sceptical post Another 3 Sigma Fluke From LHCb. Woit also gave an update saying Tommaso puts his money where his mouth is, with a $1000 wager betting that lepton universality is OK.

The hippety hoppity hype from the hand-licking lapdogs of the popular press

Meanwhile Sabine Hossenfelder hasn’t covered the story on her Backreaction blog. Not yet, anyway. Instead her latest article, dated Saturday 27th March, is a rather odd piece called Is the universe REALLY a hologram? Er, no Sabine, it isn’t. And nor is it a chocolate teapot. ZapperZ doesn’t mention it either in in his blog Physics and Physicists. In similar vein Luboš Motl hasn’t covered it on his blog The Reference Frame. Come on guys, pull your finger out, all hands on deck. Jester writes a reasonable little piece on his Résonaances blog called Thoughts on RK. At first glance it sounds positive, but note that he says this: “LHCb reconstructed 3850 B->Kμμ decays vs 1640 B->Kee decays, but from that they concluded that decays to muons are less probable than those to electrons”. He also says the Standard Model is just an effective theory. Then in the comments he says “If I had to put a number on the odd[s], it would be 10-20% for new physics”. That’s nothing like the hippety hoppity hype from the hand-licking lapdogs of the popular press.

It’s important to be sceptical

Another reasonable article is from Ethan Siegel on his Starts with a Bang blog. See Will The Large Hadron Collider ‘Break’ The Standard Model? I thought it was pretty good actually. Siegel said this:

Fair use excerpt from Ethan Siegel’s Starts with a Bang blog

He said it’s important to be sceptical. You betcha Ethan. Especially if you know about the hole in the heart of quantum electrodynamics. Or if you have any concept of how pair production works, or what the electron is. Or if you’ve read what Maxwell said about the screw nature of electromagnetism. Or if you’ve read what Einstein said about mass. Because then with a touch of TQFT you can get a better idea of what the proton is. Then the neutrino. Then the neutron. Then you can understand why it was the nuclear disaster. Because electron capture does what it says on the tin, which tells you something important about the nuclear force Then I think you can see the road to the theory of everything, and that the Standard Model ain’t it. Instead it’s a cul-de-sac, and has been for decades. Does anybody really believe the fairy tale that a 939.565 MeV neutron decays because an 80.379 GeV W boson pops out of a 4.8 MeV down quark, converting it into a 2.3 MeV up quark? Then this fabulous W boson decays into an electron and an antineutrino with a combined mass-energy of circa 1 MeV? So quickly that nobody actually saw it? Just like they’ve never seen a bottom quark? Or a unicorn? Or fairies at the bottom of the garden? No, they don’t believe it. Instead they know it’s cobblers.

Pimping and pumping

I think more and more people know this now. Hence the common theme in all those blogs. That common theme is doubt. Maybe it would be better to say there’s a spectrum of opinion ranging from not sure all the way to total bollocks. But whichever way the cookie crumbles, I think all those bloggers know in their hearts that this latest piece of pimping and pumping is just clutching at straws. Meanwhile I know in my heart that the quacks and charlatans who call themselves particle physicists will dish up any old dross to try to save their lives of consummate ease. They call themselves the experts, and they think they know it all, but they absolutely do not. They’ve never read the Einstein digital papers, or the “realist” QFT papers of the 1920s and 1930s by the likes of Schrodinger, Darwin, and Born and Infeld. These people are being paid handsomely by Joe Public to do physics. But they aren’t doing physics. Instead they’re standing four-square in the way of scientific progress, with their planned propaganda and their cancel-culture censorship and their superior sneering hubris.

They operate via the Big Lie principle

That’s what academics are like. That’s their way of life. They don’t give a damn about free speech. They operate via the Big Lie principle, forgetting that for creepy Joe Goebbels, things didn’t end well. For now they have captured physics, the queen of the sciences, and they’ve got her locked up like the Sleeping Beauty in their ivory tower surrounded by their bastions of privilege. Only they’ve dug themselves into a hole with their quarks, and painted themselves into a corner with their fabulous Higgs boson. They’ve saddled themselves with the “discoveries” that have created the patchwork-quilt Frankenstein’s monster of a theory called the Standard Model:

Frankenstein’s monster image by Randy Martinez

They’ve backed the wrong horse with renormalization and messenger particles and twenty-five quantum fields. Because of all that, they’ve had physics in lockdown for fifty years, and they keep having to find new variants to keep the lockdown going. It can’t continue forever. The doubts are morphing into open scepticism. Into derision, where national newspapers notice that somehow we never seem to get closer to the secrets of the universe. National newspapers that mockingly refer to the Siphonaptera: Great fleas have little fleas upon their backs to bite ’em, And little fleas have lesser fleas, and so ad infinitum. I think there’s something unsaid there. Fleas are parasites. I think the insinuation is that particle physicists are parasites too. And that when Joe Public finds out, there will be hell to pay.

This Post Has 7 Comments

  1. Test comment, to be deleted.
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    Sorry if you can’t comment. There seems to be something wrong with GoDaddy at the moment. But maybe it’s me or BT, not sure. Meanwhile simple comment editing seems to have given up the ghost. Sorry.

  2. Greg R. Leslie

    Another great expose John. After three years of reading good, bad and butt ugly articles on CERN I have come to the conclusion that it is quite possibly the the most $ costly fraud in modern history and to date their most important accomplishment was to ⚛ atomize some poor weasel in record time.

    1. Thanks Greg. I don’t think CERN should be singled out though. The problem is with the particle physics business as a whole. They’ve painted themselves into a corner with the various particle “discoveries”, and they’ve dug themselves into a hole with the Standard Model. Now they’re stuck, because they can’t admit to the things that would put them on the right path. For example, they can’t say that the mass of a body is a measure of its energy-content because they’re lumbered with the Higgs boson. And they can’t say the electron is a wave in a closed path because they adopted the point-particle electron and messenger particles. So there’s no electron model in the Standard Model, and no proton model either. Et cetera. So they’re in a closed path. As for how they get out of it, I think somebody big and famous has to say these things. I was hoping Gian Francesco Giudice would have the courage to call it, but I guess not.

  3. Greg R. Leslie

    EXTRA ! EXTRA ! Read all about it, Pinball Wizard with a miracle cure! …….. The church needed an odderall, and by jove someone found one at CERN ! A triple gluon of all things amazing and wonderful. Don’t we just live in such exiting times John ? I can’t wait to quench my scientific thirst with some ice-cold standard model Koolaid 😋

  4. Greg R. Leslie

    RE: odderon particle ( odderon is probably Latin or Greek for bollocks anyway).

    1. What a load of bollocks: Here’s an article on it:
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      https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/technology/after-48-year-search-physicists-discover-ultra-rare-triple-glueball-particle/ar-BB1fCgen
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      Do you know why I know it’s bollocks, Greg? Take a look at the confinement section of the Wikipedia gluon article:
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      https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Gluon&oldid=1008228786#Confinement
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      Note this: “as opposed to virtual ones found in ordinary hadrons”. That’s virtual as in not real. Those gluons do not exist. So, see this in the MSN article: “In high-energy physics, we always exchange some particles when two protons interact, or a proton and an antiproton” interact, study lead author Christophe Royon, a physicist at The University of Kansas, told Live Science. That’s bollocks too. When particles like protons interact, there are no actual particles being exchanged. It’s science fiction. Hydrogen atoms do not twinkle. Magnets don’t shine. And yet particle physics continues to manufacture “discoveries” which are no more than a bump on a graph, to vindicate to fiction they’ve been peddling for years. Talk about going to hell in a handcart.
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  5. Greg R. Leslie

    Yes Indeed John. Most other articles I’ve read over the last three years always state the same thing in the fine print,exactly what you’ve been preaching for decades about “virtual” particles and ” computer simulations” that amazingly agree with prexisting “beautified math equations”. Instead of research first,then discoveries second and then explanations last.

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