Tuesday, March 01, 2011

SUSY In Trouble

See, this is why I love physics. You can have the most elegant, the most beautiful, the most "favored" theory in the world, and yet, it still requires empirical evidence to show that it is valid, or else it is nothing more than window decorations.

There are beginnings of a rumbling that Supersymmetry theory might be in trouble after the latest results from LHC failed to find any indication of the existence of supersymmetry particles {link open for free only for a limited time}.

Yet there is growing anxiety that the theory, however elegant it might be, is wrong. Data from the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), a 27-kilometre proton smasher that straddles the French–Swiss border near Geneva, Switzerland, have shown no sign of the 'super particles' that the theory predicts1–3. "We're painting supersymmetry into a corner," says Chris Lester, a particle physicist at the University of Cambridge, UK, who works with the LHC's ATLAS detector. Along with the LHC's Compact Muon Solenoid experiment, ATLAS has spent the past year hunting for super particles, and is now set to gather more data when the LHC begins a high-power run in the next few weeks. If the detectors fail to find any super particles by the end of the year, the theory could be in serious trouble.

The next couple of years, till the end of 2012, will be pivotal not only for SUSY, but also for the Higgs. Even with the LHC at 7 TeV and not yet reaching its nominal designed energy of 14 TeV, the failure to find indications of the Higgs by the end of 2012 might be a cause for concern and excitement in the particle physics community.


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