Supersymmetry proposes that every particle predicted by the standard model has a meatier cousin that turns up only at extremely high energies. But the LHC has not found any such super-particles. “Squarks” and “gluinos”, partners of the standard-model quarks and gluons, have been ruled out at energies up to 1 teraelectronvolts (TeV), according to an analysis of the LHC’s first year of collisions.
That is just the range in which the simplest family of supersymmetric models predicts these particles should be found. More energies and more complex models remain to be explored, but “the air is getting thin for supersymmetry”, says Guido Tonelli of the LHC’s CMS collaboration. At the same time, there is no sign yet of gravitons – particles that transmit gravity and are essential for a quantum theory of the force – below an energy of 2 TeV.
Fear not. Take the success of Darwinism as your guide, Richard! You can prosper indefinitely on a resounding demonstration – that is just around the corner – while inflating tantalizing hints into huge discoveries. And the particle zoo multiplies to make up for specimens extinguished by evidence.
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