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James Gates: Symbols of power – Adinkras and the nature of reality [pdf] (onbeing.org)
30 points by espeed on Dec 3, 2012 | hide | past | web | favorite | 9 comments

This is very cool, but I was under the impression supersymmetry has been mostly abandoned due to negative results from the LHC.

There has been rather a lot of press along those lines, certainly. A substantial fraction of the "parameter space" for supersymmetry does seem to have been ruled out. But for better or worse, SUSY has a very large potential parameter space, so the theory as a whole is nowhere near being disproven. I don't have the impression that many actual particle physicists have changed their minds yet.

To some degree, how one views the current data depends on one's expectations going in. For the Higgs search, the LHC (and other experiments) had already ruled out the vast majority of the possible masses for the particle, long before it was discovered. But we didn't take that as evidence against its existence; instead, we expected that those results were "boxing in" the true value (as indeed they were).

So someone who considers the theoretical argument for supersymmetry to be very strong could interpret the current data in a similar way: the LHC is homing in on its actual form by ruling out alternative possibilities. On the other hand, someone who considers the theoretical argument unconvincing could legitimately see the current data as strong evidence against supersymmetry (at least at the weak scale).

For what it's worth, I recall seeing some predictions in 2008 by Abraham Seiden for the dates when the LHC would have enough data to see various potential new physics.[1] (This was before the disaster when they first switched it on, so all of his dates are at least a couple of years early in practice.) He said that some versions of supersymmetry might be seen as early as 2009: those are (I think) the same versions that we're seeing data against these days. But he lists a date of 2017 for a "higher energy form of supersymmetry". So even before the data began to come in, everyone knew it would be quite a while before anything definitive could be said on the subject.

[1] There's an error for the original site, but here's a Google cache: http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:1iyysX3...

While the title is tantalizingly interesting, can someone describe exactly what is happening here? I see a mention of Hamming codes, but the rest is pretty complicated.

I'm so far from the right person to leave a remark on this it's not even funny, but it looks to me like someone noticed that category theoretic "arrow-chasing" diagrams for supersymmetry happen to look reminiscent of this West African artform. I brought a book on category theory ("Conceptual Mathematics") to a coffee group last week and someone there expressed a lack of interest in it because it seemed to him like "some kind of advanced geometry," which isn't it at all, but category theory relies quite heavily on this particular visual structure and I can see why someone glancing at the book would come away with that impression.

Adinkras are not Category Diagrams (among other things, if you have A->B and B->C you don't necessarily have A->C). Here's the original paper:


Urs Schreiber speculated a while ago that there may be a connection between adinkra diagrams and categories


But to my knowledge, the connection has not been made explicit.

Thanks! I'm definitely out of my league here; I found the second blog article and went based on my glancing at that. IIRC the transitivity of the category diagram is of paramount importance, so I wouldn't think the analogy holds if transitivity doesn't.

Category theory is an interest of mine I hope to develop further but there's a lot of preliminary learning I need to do first.

Here's a talk by Gates where he explains it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b6w0K5FIgsU


That talk was quite interesting. Especially interesting was the last question about being in a simulated universe. If he is finding error correction codes in fundamental equations, is the an implication there? He brushes the question of as currently philosophical, but the way he does it makes me think he might believe it.

I think I've seen this before... I think the idea is, some transitions between particles (decay paths etc) don't work. The structure of the paths that are allowed match up with codes that are "correct" in an ECC algorithm. In ECC, if you get an invalid code, you can correct it to a valid code. I can't think what the physical analog would be - if a particular kind of transition happens, it gets "corrected" by the Universe to a valid one?

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