Saturday, October 22, 2011

A Lifeline for Supersymmetry?

"The report on my demise has been exaggerated"

I suppose that could be the tag line for those who are in the Supersymmetry camp after the latest news out of the CMS detector at the LHC. After a summer of discontent and the possibility that supersymmetry could be in trouble due to lack of evidence coming out of the LHC, the latest result out of CMS is throwing a lifeline on the possibility that there are hints of excessive leptons being created out of the proton-proton collisions, something that could be an outcome of a supersymmetry prediction.

The most familiar lepton is the humble electron, though other, more exotic particles such as muons and taus also fall in this category. Producing a single one of these subatomic particles in the proton-proton collisions at the LHC is relatively rare, and generating two or even three at a time is even more unusual. Certain interactions predicted under supersymmetry could enhance the odds of triple lepton events, so seeing excesses is reason to raise some eyebrows.

Yet searching for triplets of leptons is a complex task. As with many results from the LHC, the finding is subtle and could potentially be overturned with further data. Therefore, the CMS team is cautious, stressing that all their observed data is consistent with background expectations and that there isn’t definitive proof of new physics yet.
As with anything coming out of such an experiment, we just cannot jump to any kind of conclusions at this moment (remember that anomalous bump in the CDF data?). We can only read the report, sit back, and let the process of verification does its job. But at the very least, there is a faint hope for supersymmetry, for now.


1 comment:

ZapperZ said...

Crap! Doug I accidentally deleted your comment. Sorry!

BTW I voted for you for the at-large position. Good luck!