Tuesday, June 02, 2015

Physics - A New Theory to Explain the Higgs Mass

Via a comment by David Metzler on Peter Woit's blog - this article explains a new proposal that explains the mass of the Higgs particle.

Here is the arxiv.org pre-print: http://arxiv.org/abs/1504.07551.
Cosmological Relaxation of the Electroweak Scale
A new class of solutions to the electroweak hierarchy problem is presented that does not require either weak scale dynamics or anthropics. Dynamical evolution during the early universe drives the Higgs mass to a value much smaller than the cutoff. The simplest model has the particle content of the standard model plus a QCD axion and an inflation sector. The highest cutoff achieved in any technically natural model is 10^8 GeV. 
In all the years since I crashed out of theoretical particle physics, I have not come across any work that I wish I had done. Of course, that may be due to my ignorance.  This, to me, is a strong candidate for such a work.  That too, may be due to my ignorance.   Ignorance is bliss, isn't it?

So I should explain why I think this paper is important.  I think the article at the first link explains to a non-physicist the problem that this paper solves about as well as is possible (until someone like Sabine Hossenfelder decides to write about it, something which we should all devoutly hope for.)

Let's just say that the Standard Model of particle physics has a problem, and the orthodoxy for the past many decades has been to try to solve it by tacking on additional particles and even things such as additional dimensions of space.   This paper solves the problem - provides an ansatz may be more accurate - without adding any such things. Its particular models may ultimately not be viable;  but it has broken the logjam; it is a demonstration that the huge zoo of postulated additional particles and such constructs of the theorists is not necessary to solve the problem, and thus is a good corrective to the last 30-40 years of mainstream particle physics theory.

As far as I can tell, there is nothing in this paper's content that could not have been figured out twenty years ago.  Perhaps it is the salutary shock of finding absolutely no trace at the cutting edge of experiments at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) of the theorists' burgeoning menagerie that enabled the mental break with the orthodoxy.  And thus it should be, physics is an experimental science; it is most certainly not mathematics.