One year ago I had an interesting meeting with a senior professor specializing in QCD. He didn’t know why I wanted to meet him. He knew that my father has a competing theory, but he didn’t know what it was. He was relieved when I told him the purpose of the meeting.
“I wish to know why scientists are so confident about the validity of QCD,” I said.
He was very happy to explain, and gave me a few hours lecture.
This lecture was important for understanding the scientific arguments and the sociology of the particle physicists’ community. I was pretty convinced then that my father model is very close to the truth (if there is a truth out there) because it fits smoothly so many experimental evidences. On the other hand, I find the explanations given by QCD to many findings unnatural. Not only that, but it fails to explain the most fundamental phenomena in its domain: the strong nuclear force, the nuclear tensor force, the spin of the proton, the first EMC effect, the rise in the p-p cross section, the failure to find so many particles that should exist according to QCD, the hadronic properties of the photon and many more. For me, the weak explanation that QCD provides for the mass gap inside the baryons and the properties of the pions were even more convincing that something is very wrong with QCD. I appreciate more leaving a phenomenon unexplained rather than providing a weak explanation to a phenomenon to make it look compatible with a theory, and doing so in retrospect.
On the other hand, I knew that scientific articles claiming that QCD is incorrect were not published in main-stream scientific journals during the last three decades.
This was the background of my question.
The professor cleared his throat, and started the lecture.
“QCD is so solid, that we are confident about QCD like we are about special relativity”, he started.
This introductory statement was shocking. I thought he was trying to fool me. “Maybe he is trying to convince me to stop this competing research,” I thought to myself.
During this lecture, and in the following year, I learned that QCD is much more than science.
In the next posts I will try to examine how scientists interpret experimental findings, how they write scientific articles and why they do that. You will be able to judge whether QCD is purely a scientific theory or a quite different thoughtful structure – a religion.
For me, faith begins when logic ends. This is the beauty of faith. This makes humans more than clever robots. But this doesn’t work well for science.