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Will the Large Hadron Collider doom particle physics?

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Lost in Math

Sabine Hossenfelder, author of Lost in Math: How Beauty Leads Physics Astray, explains why she thinks that’s a risk:

It is possible that in the data yet to come some new particle eventually shows up. But particle physicists are nervous. It’s not looking good – besides a few anomalies that are not statistically significant, there is no evidence for anything out of the normal. And if the LHC finds nothing new, there is no reason to think the next larger collider will. In which case, why build one? That the LHC finds the Higgs and nothing else was dubbed the “nightmare scenario” for a reason. For 30 years, particle physicists have told us that the LHC should find something besides that, something exciting: a particle for dark matter, additional dimensions of space, or maybe a new type of symmetry. Something that would prove that the standard model is not all there is. But this didn’t happen. Sabine Hossenfelder, “How the LHC may spell the end of particle physics” at BackRe(Action)

And, she adds, particle physicists have reacted “Largely by pretending nothing happened.” She wonders whether the $10 billion plus to build an even bigger collider will be raised, considering that nothing was found that shows that the Standard Model of the universe is not “all there is.”

Well, provided there is no “anti-science” taxpayer revolt, the money will surely be found. Otherwise, uncomfortable questions would start to be asked about why what we can infer abourtthe universe now is such a problem. Consider: The Standard Model begins with the hated Big Bang. Nothing that supports string theory, eternal cosmic inflation, or a multiverse has been found. Don’t many people just have to keep looking and keep quiet about what they find that wasn’t what they hoped for?

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See also: Theoretical Physicist Sabine Hossenfelder Shares Her Self-Doubts About Exposing Nonsense In Cosmology

Sabine Hossenfelder: Particle Physics Now Belly Up. As It Happens, Her Book Is A Solid String Of 1’S At Amazon


Our universe understood at last: An expanding bubble in an extra dimension! The authors hope that their work will “pave the way for methods of testing string theory.” That could come in handy, you never know.

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