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The principle of naturalness

Alcuni tra i maggiori scienziati di fama mondiale stanno iniziando a considerare seriamente una proposta avanzata nel 1997 da tre fisici della University of Delaware. Se si dimostrerà corretta, essa potrebbe sfatare alcune delle scoperte che i fisici si aspettano dai prossimi esperimenti del Large Hadron Collider (LHC). Inoltre, questa idea andrebbe a supportare il concetto del multiverso, cioè l’idea che esistano infiniti universi paralleli caratterizzati da leggi fisiche proprie (post).

Scientific American article, first published by Simons Science News, explains some of this. Linking to an influential paper by UD physics professors Stephen M. Barr, David Seckel, then-graduate student Vivek Agrawal, and John F. Donoghue, a professor and colleague at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, the article examines the “principle of naturalness,” which for decades has been thought to govern the size of the numbers appearing in the laws of physics.

Generally, whenever some quantity was found to be much smaller than what physicists had thought to be its “natural” value, some new force, mechanism, or symmetry was discovered that explained the anomaly.

The UD professors’ 1997 publication remains one of the major documents on the subject. “It all has to do with one of the main theoretical puzzles in fundamental physics”, explains Barr. “Why is the mass of the Higgs particle 17 orders of magnitude smaller than its ‘natural’ value?” Two explanations have been proposed, and both of them predict new phenomena that should be seen by the LHC. But so far, there is no hint of them. “That is why our radical proposal nearly 15 years ago is attracting increasing attention”, he adds. Their idea is that the Higgs boson mass has to have an “unnaturally” small value for life to be possible. In other words, if it didn’t, we wouldn’t be here. Barr explains that “One way to account for this is to say that the Higgs boson mass varies place to place (which can happen in a multiverse) and only in those rare places where it has the right, unnaturally small value would life emerge and someone exist who could measure it”.

UD: Rethinking the universe - Groundbreaking theory proposed by UD faculty in 1997 suggests a 'multiverse'

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higgs boson | multiverse

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