2113: Physics Suppression

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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Physics Suppression
If physics had a mafia, I'm pretty sure the BICEP2 mess would have ended in bloodshed.
Title text: If physics had a mafia, I'm pretty sure the BICEP2 mess would have ended in bloodshed.

Explanation

Ambox notice.png This explanation may be incomplete or incorrect: Created by the Physics Mafia. Please mention here why this explanation isn't complete. Do NOT delete this tag too soon.
If you can address this issue, please edit the page! Thanks.
White Hat is mad at physicists in general and directs his fury at Megan, a physicist. He has a theory and blames physicists for suppressing it. He believes that no one takes it seriously because his theory would disrupt the standard model in physics. He believes they do this because his theory would be inconvenient to accept, causing them to have to change their current models.

Megan is not taking him seriously and instead states that she did not know that physicists had a Mafia that was able to suppress anyone from publishing annoying results. She continues that if such a group were there to do so, then why were they not there to stop the people who published results about dark energy? The Mafia is a criminal organization famous for their use of force to get their way, and while White Hat didn't mention the Mafia, Megan is facetious in her mentioning them because they would be an extreme example of a group that could do what White Hat seems to think is being done.

She acknowledges that the "dark energy people" were awarded a Nobel Prize (in 2011), but she's still mad at them for the "trouble" this new concept caused for other physicists, including her.

Dark energy is an unknown form of energy which is hypothesized to permeate all of space, tending to accelerate the expansion of the universe. Even though "dark energy" is a direct consequence of Albert Einstein's "cosmological constant" in the field equations of general relativity, its actual discovery was still seen as a surprise within the physics community. Einstein called the cosmological constant his "greatest blunder"[1], but the concept was revived after the observation that cosmic expansion was accelerating. In the comic, Megan says that if scientists were able to suppress inconvenient ideas, dark energy would likely have been such a case.

It should be noted that White Hat doesn't state that he actually has some results, but just a theory that contradicts known physics. The reason the "dark energy people" got a Nobel Prize is that the experiments and measurements show that they were onto something real. It seems like White Hat currently only has a model, and not data, to back his theory up which is probably why his theory is being ignored (which he decides to interpret as "suppression").

The title text mentions BICEP2 (Background Imaging of Cosmic Extragalactic Polarization, 2nd generation) which was part of a series of instruments used to measure the polarization of the cosmic microwave background (CMB). On 17 March 2014, it was announced, to much fanfare, that BICEP2 had detected B-modes from gravitational waves in the early universe (called primordial gravitational waves). A few years later, this announcement had to be backtracked as it was found that most, if not all, of the reported signal was actually due to interstellar dust within the Milky Way.[2] The word BICEP2 is a word play with the biceps brachii, a large arm muscle, indicative of physical strength.

The title text notes that if there had been a physics mafia, then those results would have ended in bloodshed due to the controversy they caused.

Transcript

[White Hat, with his hands balled into fist and held up above him, is talking with Megan.]
White Hat: You physicists are suppressing my theory because it's inconvenient for your models!
Megan: Wait, we have a mafia that can suppress annoying results?
Megan: Why didn't they do something about the dark energy people?!
Megan: We gave them a Nobel prize but I'm still mad at them!


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Discussion

That's how mafia works. 172.69.134.111 16:51, 18 February 2019 (UTC)

But White Hat didn't mention anything about a Mafia...? 162.158.74.153 14:31, 18 February 2019 (UTC)
No, but to suppress people publishing their results, a body like the mafia would be needed, is what Megan jokes about. And then takes an example (and one more in title text) about annoying results that did not get suppressed. Her example turned out to win a noble prize, the title text was later shown to be an error. But a mafia might have stopped both sets of results to have not been published. Basically proving that you can not suppress such results wether relevant or not. If White Hat's model is not taken serious it is probably because he has no data to back it up. Wild claims demands extraordinary well documentation. --Kynde (talk) 14:53, 18 February 2019 (UTC)
A "mafia" isn't the only candiate. "Inquistions" have also worked well for suppression, but (AFAIK) have less of a history of intramural violence. I think the image of a cabal of cloaked physics monks torturing dark energy heretics into recantation would have been striking enough, but RMMV (Randall's Mileage May Vary). 172.69.70.23 17:12, 18 February 2019 (UTC)
if you need to spell out your initialism in full, you may not realize they're intended as shorthand.
Another fictional candidate may be "science by political committee" system — sending physicists that contest the "official" and "politically correct" theories and models to "corrective labour camps", where they would be forced to perform physical (sic!) work, until their untimely demise... Oh, wait, that actually happened! (See the fate of Nikolai Vavilov) -- 162.158.93.27 12:28, 19 February 2019 (UTC)
When did this site get like this? This may not be you specifically, but there’s been a lot more conspiracy theories as of late, and even some anti-semetism. I keep seeing “SOON THE TRUTH WILL BE REVEALED”. Knock it off please, you aren’t cool, just edgy, a vandal, and an annoyance. Also, to no ones surprise, the Russians and Nazis did bad things in WWII. Also, what the hell does politically correct physics death camps have to do with a Russian botanist who Stalin didn’t like? I’ll stay on topic if you do. Netherin5 (talk) 17:06, 19 February 2019 (UTC)
I've never seen anybody on this site so upset about completely-imagined content of the parent comment. What the fuck is "edgy" about posting a link to Wikipedia? In what way does speculation about in-universe organizations count as being a "vandal?" And in what universe did 162.158.93.27 ever say "SOON THE TRUTH WILL BE REVEALED?" Are you hallucinating? Do you need to adjust your medication? 172.68.34.88 21:26, 19 February 2019 (UTC)
The page was vandalized twice with the whole of the text replaced with "SOON THE TRUTH WILL BE REVEALED" (see below, and view edit history). Another IP editor replied to the comment below and seemed to imply it was them making the edits, even though the addresses don't match. So, it seems plausible that multiple IP users are actually the same (the two mentioned below, and the one mentioned above), since the tone and content of their comments are pretty similar. I believe this is what is being referred to.Cgrimes85 (talk) 21:34, 19 February 2019 (UTC)
@Netehrin5 @Cgrimes85: I am the author of Feb 19 12:28 comment. First of all, it is my choice to either post "anonymously" or create an account, which is meaningless anyway as I could create many under any nick I choose. (IP address is somewhat random, blame today's ISPs, shortage of address space and complicated structure of today's Internet. In fact, 162.158.* belongs to Cloudflare which means the originator of the content could be virtually anybody. Do some research before drawing conclusions.) Please stop insinuating that a particular edit of discussion space is related to some other edit of page space when you don't and can't have any proof, and specifically that the texts and purposes of edits are obviously unrelated. But to the point: Randall is trying to posit that suppressing valid science is next to impossible today, but it does not mean it had not been tried in the past with mixed success and – sadly – tragic fates of the involved. I have just provided one quite well-known and relatively recent example, there are many more. The reason I've posted it (in somewhat sarcastic form) in the discussion space is that in my opinion it just did not deserve being included in the main text — that's what discussion space is for! -- 162.158.89.223 10:08, 20 February 2019 (UTC)
I apologize for lumping you in with the two IP editors (including the vandal) below, which I do still believe to be the same person for the reasons I mentioned above. I was more replying to the comment asking where "SOON THE TRUTH..." had come from, as I was guessing the editor hadn't seen the vandalism. Cgrimes85 (talk) 14:11, 20 February 2019 (UTC)

Dark energy isn't a direct consequence of the cosmological constant. The cosmological constant could potentially have been 0 or even negative. There's nothing that currently implies that it should be a positive number. That's exactly why it is annoying. If general relativity dictated it, people would just praise this as another result showing relativity is true. But since it doesn't, it needs an explanation. 172.68.65.6 21:16, 18 February 2019 (UTC)

Dark energy IS the conspiracy! Quantum Inertia is being suppressed by Physics Exchange! 162.158.91.59 08:41, 20 February 2019 (UTC)
TBH, It's not like the existence of "Dark Energy" is proven or anything. It's current function in the equations is "there's something generating gravity here that looks like there should be matter we can see, but we can't see it." It might just be a completely unknown physics thing that we just haven't accounted for in the models. While there might be some sort of matter that we truly can only detect through it's gravitational field, I'm not gonna be surprised if some day it's proven that the current dark matter theory is bullshit. (Note: Which does not in any way invalidate the Nobel Prize - there are measurements, and these show that there's stuff out there we don't know about. Therefore.... more research needed.) 162.158.92.160 16:12, 20 February 2019 (UTC)
Yeah, the it is more like conflicting than anything. In any case, unrelated. So I removed the statement.162.158.91.59 10:33, 22 February 2019 (UTC)

While it could be true that White Hat is ignored because of the lack of supporting data, Albert Einstein was in a similar situation when coming up with his Theory of Relativity. Mad max (talk) 06:56, 19 February 2019 (UTC)

IP editor deleting all content

IP User 162.158.106.252 is deleting the entire page for some reason. Cgrimes85 (talk) 18:20, 19 February 2019 (UTC)

That's because you are censoring me, so I'm showing you the same. Soon the truth will be revealed. 108.162.245.160 18:24, 19 February 2019 (UTC)
Please look up the definition of the word censor, conspiracy theory, science, and wiki.Netherin5 (talk) 18:34, 19 February 2019 (UTC)
That individual is obviously trying to suppress the explanation -- they must be with the Physics Mafia. However the powers that be here likely have the larger powers of Ban. -boB (talk) 21:56, 19 February 2019 (UTC)

https://xkcd.com/1357/162.158.214.58 02:14, 20 February 2019 (UTC)

Pet Conspiracy Theory - that individual is Randall, adding some meta lulz. 162.158.90.150 09:40, 20 February 2019 (UTC)
lol, if this all ends up converging into an xkcd comic that just reads "Soon the truth will be revealed", I may jizz my pants 108.162.241.214 14:20, 20 February 2019 (UTC)
Technical Note: please take into consideration that IP addresses published by the wiki engine for not-logged-in persons are not the addresses of particular editors' computers, but of Cloudflare servers, which act as proxies to protect this website from some forms of attack, not including editing vandalism. Therefore similarity of the addresses could not be construed as evidence that the same person is performing edits. We need to defend in the usual way, reversing edits. Hopefully there are fewer vandals than benevolent contributors. 162.158.92.160 (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)