Illusive Science - Part 1

(A continuing conversation from my Theory of Everything series of posts)

Maestro, a few Myths, if you please...

1. At the heart of a black hole is a Singularity that makes matter from our universe disappear into a different dimension or universe.

2. All matter is made up of infinitely wobbly things called Strings and as a result we actually live with 10, I mean 11, dimensions around us.

3. Smaller than protons, photons and electrons there are these things known as Higgs Bosons that languish in fields until particles come by that need to have mass added to them.

At the risk of alienating all of the scientific community in one fell swoop, let me just say B.S. Ok, not exactly, but I think we've made a few too many leaps of faith.

I'm sure the math, which says there's a singularity at the center of a black hole, is accurate in terms of the compressive force that's located there. After all, if we place all the stars in the universe into the same room, then they will automatically compress themselves down to a point. If there's no explosive force of fusion keeping parts of it apart, then yes, we end up with an attractive force whose strength goes to infinity. But what is infinity? Infinity is a number that has at least one number larger than it at all times. Therefore, there can be no threshold that gets crossed into somewhere else - like a different dimension or a different universe for that matter. If it did occur, the rest of the stuff waiting outside the "singularity" would be happily sucked in as well and so eventually our entire black hole will disappear. And why should a different dimension stop there, once the tare has been created? Let's stop our imagination just short of going that far... please.

I love the idea of different dimensions though, and obviously many scientists do as well. Of course, I use it for comic relief while some are quite serious about it. Think about it. Anytime the math doesn't work, we throw in this extra thing called a dimension that no one can actually experience. Rather convenient, don't you think? String theory and the idea of multiple dimensions suffers from the classic mistake of solving a math problem which has multiple unknowns. I learned a long time ago that A = B + C is completely unsolvable if C is 9, but A and B are presently undefined. It hadn't occurred to me that by simply stating "B exists in a different dimension where it's equal to 1/3 C" would mean A = 12. That's Brilliant! Hey professor, can I get that A now?

The problem with the Higgs particle is a simple one. Imagine that humans were the size of sky-scrapers, with fingers the size of cars. Then we might theorize that an apple is made up of seeds. To find out, we load our apple unto cars on a track and race them on bullet trains that go from NY to DC (I know - some day). When the apple smashes into another one, we find a bunch of stuff, plus tiny seeds. Were we right? Sure, but the seeds are made of other stuff as well. Unfortunately, we'll need a bigger, better machine to smash the seeds together to see what they're made of. All of this can be simplified by revisiting my Theory of Everything. There, we learn that every particle, no matter how small, is actually made up of ever smaller particles that behave in the same fashion. Where it will stop, I don't know - but one thing's for sure. There will always be something a bit smaller than the Higgs - and more reason to spend another trillion dollars to build an even bigger version of the LHC. Again - very convenient.

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