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Supersymmetry now needed to “save physics”

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But there is so little evidence to go on.

From Columbia math prof Peter Woit at Not Even Wrong:

Maybe this should have its own entry for This Week’s Hype, but I’ll just mention here that the June Scientific American has The Collider That Could Save Physics. It seems that SUSY [supersymmetry] is needed to “save physics”. Way back when it was LEP that was going to “save physics” by finding SUSY, then it was to be the LHC. This year’s LHC run should put the final nails in that coffin (data is now starting to be collected, see for instance here). Unfortunately the reaction of many SUSY partisans is not to follow the usual norms for how science is supposed to work and give up on the idea, but instead to claim that the LHC results aren’t conclusive, and a new machine is needed. In the SciAm article the ILC is advertised for this task. This electron-positron machine would have a much lower center of mass energy than the LHC, but one can find obscure SUSY models specially designed to have states that would be hard to see at the LHC, but could be seen at the ILC. I hope this isn’t the best argument for the $10 billion ILC… More.

Here at Scientific American:

The theory of supersymmetry, or SUSY, offers a solution. It posits an underlying link between matter particles, such as quarks and leptons, and force-carrying particles, such as photons, gluons, and W and Z particles. It also predicts a host of new partner particles with such whimsical names as squarks (partners of quarks) and Higgsinos (partners of the Higgs boson). These partner particles interact with Standard Model particles in a way that cancels out the virtual quantum effects, producing the masses predicted by the Standard Model and observed at the LHC.

Physicists thought they might find these superpartners when the LHC’s predecessor, CERN’s Large Electron-Positron collider, came online a quarter of a century ago. They did not. When superpartners also failed to appear in the much bigger and more powerful LHC, some physicists panicked.

But there is hope. …

There was a time when the thing needed to “save” physics would itself be demonstrably correct, not a far-flung speculation. This is what some of us mean, in part, when we talk about the current war on falsifiability and the growing demand for non-evidence-based science. (At public expense, incidentally.)

See also: In search of a road to reality

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One Reply to “Supersymmetry now needed to “save physics”

  1. 1
    tjguy says:

    There was a time when the thing needed to “save” physics would itself be demonstrably correct, not a far-flung speculation.

    Reminds me of hyper-inflation and other additions that were invented to save the Big Bang. Never been demonstrated!

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