Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Higgs Boson or Higgs Illusion

I was looking at the BBC Horizon programme last night on the Higgs Boson which proved quite interesting.

As was widely reported in the media late last year, a determined attempt has been made to find convincing experimental evidence for the existence of the Higgs Boson which if verified would help to complete the standard particle model of physics.

One outstanding problem with this model is that it had yet to provide a convincing explanation as to how particles acquire mass. And as this requirement is crucial for explaining the existence of all phenomena, the issue was of great importance.

It had been proposed in the late 60's by Peter Higgs that what gives mass to particles is related to a seemingly invisible field viz. the Higgs Field. And as all fields are associated with corresponding particles, it was postulated that if this supposition of the existence of a new field was correct that it should in principle be possible to detect its associated particle.

However the technology to conduct the kind of experiments capable of uncovering such a high energy particle remained insufficient for the task until recently.

So using the 17 ml. long Large Hadron Collider built underground at Geneva, researchers now feel confident that they can settle this issue once and for all.

Great excitement was raised by earlier tests carried out before Christmas which seemed to suggest that perhaps the elusive Higgs Boson had been at last detected (though further testing will be required to reach a conclusive verdict).

However as I listened to so much scientific hype regarding this as the most significant development since Einstein's discovery of Relativity and that scientists could now concentrate on closing in further on the initial instant of creation, I experienced a great let-down and an inability to share the excitement in news that I do not consider as truly fundamental.

The great weakness - which seems largely unrecognised by scientists - is that we cannot hope to come to knowledge of the fundamental nature of the Universe while attempting to remain as passive observers of its assumed objective existence.

When one reflects on it we are obviously dealing with a self-referential system (where what is known about reality inevitably reflects the nature of our psychological manner of interpreting such reality).

So we cannot possibly know the nature of objective particles or discover what transpired during the initial moment of creation when our very means of interpretation is itself dependent on the considerable evolution of creation that has since unfolded.

Thus in a very real sense, the initial beginning of creation has no meaning in the absence of the subsequent evolution required to then enable intelligent minds to reflect on the nature of this existence.
The Universe therefore has so evolved, that we can now, as an inseparable part of this creation, attempt to look back and discover its meaning in both objective and subjective terms.

And once we accept the inevitable fact that human nature entails both physical and psychological aspects that are interrelated, then we cannot meaningfully attempt to portray the unfolding of one aspect of evolution i.e physical while ignoring the other aspect i.e. psychological. The very irony in this situation is that any attempted physical explanation of reality - even through conventional scientific means - is in fact impossible in the absence of corresponding psychological constructs (that must necessarily be used to interpret this reality). So we can never describe (objective) reality as such but rather a more subtle relationship entailing the dynamic interaction of both physical and psychological aspects.

This is not to suggest that there is no valid role for the present model of science (based on mere objective interpretation). However such science is best at the everyday level of macro reality where stable objects and relationships exist.

However as we approach the ultimate nature of reality, it becomes increasingly unsuited to discovery of its moment of origin in spacetime (where both the actual and potential capacities of existence remain considerably confused with each other).

The strange paradox is that in the most fundamental sense, the earliest moment of creation is in fact inseparable from the present most advanced moment (with all secondary measurements of space and time of merely a relative nature).

So the only meaningful manner to realise ultimate physical symmetry (before finite creation occurs) is in experiencing that ultimate psychological symmetry (representing pure spiritual union).

Ultimately the only way therefore to truly discover the full nature of physical creation is through equally experiencing the full realisation of this reality (where physical and psychological aspects are inseparable).

And in this moment of pure spiritual union continually existing in the present moment, creation comes to realisation of its eternal mystery.

What we are in fact approaching now are the limits of one particular model of science. In precise holistic mathematical terms, I refer to this as 1-dimensional science. The very nature of this model is that it inevitably reduces in any context qualitative to quantitative meaning. However, associated with every other number as dimension are ever more subtle scientific systems (where quantitative and qualitative aspects while remaining to a degree distinct can yet dynamically interact).

What we need to clearly realise is the fact that what we recognise as fundamental particles are in fact just appearances of reality (with no ultimate substance). They only appear to have substance when we attempt to give them an independent (objective) existence.

So the Higgs Boson - even if verified satisfactorily according to present scientific understanding - properly represents a physical apparition (corresponding to a particular means of - arbitrary - mental interpretation).

In fact the "finding" of the Higgs Boson will not depend on locating its direct physical existence but rather in achieving a consensus with respect to an interpretation that the indirect effects of the physical experiments conducted are consistent with its postulated existence!


  1. Thank you for this heartfelt and insightful observation, which I am reading on the day the Higgs' existance has become "official."

    We are collectively looking for meaning in our existance, and I appreciate the poetic conclusion:
    "...What we need to clearly realise is the fact that what we recognise as fundamental particles are in fact just appearances of reality (with no ultimate substance)..."

    Indeed, Plato's Allegory of the Cave comes to mind, and all that is left is to identify the philosopher who is unchained from the wall to report on the true nature of reality.

    And So It Is Written

    Pythagoras thought it all through in his vaginal cave, the eos of life imbued in the change of phase: from the sum of earth’s minerals to the vegetable season, the animal motion in the vessel of reason.
    Plato used the analogy to people his cave in a way that chained us to a reality created behind our backs; as if it would matter if we saw the facts for ourselves, as if seeing was believing,… as if the senses could be trusted,… as if the mind hasn’t been shown to be a poor interpreter of truth in a hard-wired conviction of purposed prediction.


  2. David,

    I appreciate your comments.

    Looking at the Press Conference today, there was more than a touch of showbiz regarding the manner in which the particle's existence was confirmed (or to be more correct almost confirmed).

    I half expected that the wider public would be now asked to vote pending announcement of the "final" confirmation!