Alexander Unzicker (Physicist, Author, Germany)
The Higgs Fake – How Particle Physicists Fooled the Nobel Committee(English)
Abstract: The recent report of discovery of a Higgs boson at CERN prompts us to reflect upon the status of particle physics from a methodological and historical point of view. Since 1930, physics has changed from a search for the fundamental laws of nature to a technology-oriented description of measurements. The current paradigm doesn't reflect any more the convictions of Einstein, Schrödinger and Dirac on which their findings were based. As fundamental questions are concerned, it is argued that postwar high energy physics is a futile enterprise in its entirety. The following key points will be addressed: 1) The standard model, particularly the number of its free parameters, has grown to an incredible complication; 2) None of the great riddles of physics that have persisted for a century have been solved; 3) History strongly suggests that the current model is a symptom of a Kuhnian crisis; 4) Ever more intricate experimental techniques such as triggering, filtering of weak signals and targeted modelling, have brought scientists to assign a meaning to poorly specified, arbitrary and ultimately banal events; 5) Cognitive biases and other sociological and psychological aspects of how scientific convictions form are disregarded in the community, while the established opinions are dominated by faith in expert opinions, groupthink and the lack of an open discussion culture; 6) The data analysis is far too complex to be overseen by anybody. Basic scientific requirements such as repeatability, transparency and ultimately falsifiability are missing.