But not support for supersymmetry. So says New Scientist:
2016 could go down as the year when a new picture of nature’s fundamental workings was unveiled.
The hopes spring from two “bumps” that have appeared independently, in the same place, in the latest data from the LHC’s two big detectors, ATLAS and CMS. They point to the existence of a particle that dwarfs even the Higgs boson, the giver-of-mass particle discovered at CERN in July 2012. (paywall)
From the paywalled portion:
Strangely, the only thing we probably can rule out is that the particle is what many theorists, including Ellis, would like it to be: a supersymmetric particle. Supersymmetry is a theory that plugs many holes in the standard model by conjuring up a raft of heavier particles that partner each known particle. The LHC has in general failed to turn up any evidence of supersymmetry, and even from the little we know about this latest particle, it doesn’t correspond to anything found in the simplest supersymmetry models. More.
Some say supersymmetry, if true, could kill the multiverse, others say that the two are compatible. It’s hard to know what could kill an idea like the multiverse, which has never depended on evidence.
From Nature News (December 15, 2015):
The results largely match a rumour that has been circulating on social media and blogs for several days: that both the CMS and ATLAS detectors at the LHC have seen an unexpected excess of pairs of photons, together carrying around 750 gigaelectronvolts (GeV) of energy, in the debris of their proton–proton collisions. This could be a tell-tale sign of a new particle — also a boson, but not necessarily similar to the Higgs — decaying into two photons of equivalent energy. If so, the particle would be about four times more massive than the next heaviest particle discovered so far, the top quark, and six times more massive than the Higgs.
In particle physics, statistical bumps such as this come and go all the time. If this one turns out to be a real particle, it would be “a total game-changer”, says Gian Francesco Giudice, a CERN theorist who is not a member of either ATLAS or CMS.More.
If they don’t find something, we are told, they will have to give up on the coolest theory, supersymmetry.
December 23, 2015, Dan Lincoln qualified it a bit at PBS Nova,
One thing stood out: When scientists studied the characteristics of events in which two highly energetic photons were made, there seemed to be too many of them at an energy in the range of 700-750 billion electron volts, just shy of five times heavier than the Higgs boson. So this is when the story gets interesting. One of the noteworthy ways in which the Higgs boson was observed was via its decay into two photons, so this slight excess could be the first indications of a heavier Higgs.
But anyone who has looked at real data knows that it doesn’t perfectly follow theoretical predictions. There are little statistical fluctuations, with the data sometimes being a little above the predictions and sometimes lower. It takes real expertise and good statistical techniques to determine whether an excess is the signature of something unexpected or just a fluke.
One way to test this is to verify that both experiments saw an excess at the same position, and both did. So that’s a reason to be more interested. However, when CMS separated its data into two categories, distinguished by where the photons hit the detector, the two data sets didn’t agree perfectly. That was a down vote.
There were other discrepancies. …
Sounds like fun, and there will be more data this year. But somehow, we don’t see the theoretical physicists giving up readily on supersymmetry no matter what the data show.
See also: In search of a road to reality
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