The uncertain future of SUSY (ie. Supersymmetry)

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slave
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04 Jan 2013, 10:05 am

Should researchers abandon SUSY in your view?

http://www.scientificamerican.com/artic ... k-new-idea

Mikhail Shifman urges the Physics/Math(s) community to move on.

http://arxiv.org/abs/1211.0004

Any comments/insight into this issue would be appreciated. :D



Verso
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04 Jan 2013, 1:36 pm

Woke up this morning to NPR's Science Friday “Year in Science” promo, which got me thinking about the Higgs boson controversy and wondering whether results obtained are somehow just an error in measurement made by a very expensive and complicated piece of equipment. So, your post seems timely indeed and just got me me more curious about the state of particle physics and I took a look at the articles for which you kindly provided links.

I like how Brian Green at Columbia puts it:

“Science is this wonderfully self-correcting enterprise,” he said. “Ideas that are wrong get weeded out in time because they are not fruitful or because they are leading us to dead ends. That happens in a wonderfully internal way. People continue to work on what they find fascinating, and science meanders toward truth.”

It seems to me that Mikhail Shifman is excited about the trajectory of the theoretical strand of supersymmetry and while the phenomenological, low-energy strand seems like a dead end, my thought – as an interested lay-observer – is that we need as many high-energy theorists as we can get, regardless of focus, in order to maintain some kind of foundation for the next generation of innovative thinkers to “meander” from. Or maybe more simply said, perhaps the wrong foundation is still better than none, and there will eventually be a thinker that has all the tools that he or she needs to go beyond what has already been done without the “reorientation and reeducation” that Shifman is (and most necessarily) advocating.

This might not be the type of comments or insight you are looking for but if not, please know your prompts helped to make someone curious enough to start thinking more about physics!



Jono
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04 Jan 2013, 2:25 pm

slave wrote:
Should researchers abandon SUSY in your view?

http://www.scientificamerican.com/artic ... k-new-idea

Mikhail Shifman urges the Physics/Math(s) community to move on.

http://arxiv.org/abs/1211.0004

Any comments/insight into this issue would be appreciated. :D


It's too early to move on. Supersymmetry has not been ruled out. In fact, that fact that the Higgs boson mass was still found to be within the parameters predicted by supersymmetric model, albeit towards the top end of the range, is actually somewhat of a success for supersymmetry. No, we haven't found the supersymmetric particles yet but wouldn't expect to given the currently known Higgs mass. They probably will be found at a later stage at the LHC but th point is that the entire parameter space of the supersymmetric models has not been searched yet.



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04 Jan 2013, 2:29 pm

Verso wrote:
Woke up this morning to NPR's Science Friday “Year in Science” promo, which got me thinking about the Higgs boson controversy and wondering whether results obtained are somehow just an error in measurement made by a very expensive and complicated piece of equipment. So, your post seems timely indeed and just got me me more curious about the state of particle physics and I took a look at the articles for which you kindly provided links.!


What controversy are you talking about? The fact is that they definitely did find a new Higgs-like particle. If it's not exactly the same as the Standard Model Higgs then that's even better, since we have to work out new physics models to accommodate it.



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04 Jan 2013, 4:11 pm

Jono wrote:

Quote:
What controversy are you talking about? The fact is that they definitely did find a new Higgs-like particle. If it's not exactly the same as the Standard Model Higgs then that's even better, since we have to work out new physics models to accommodate it.



I was thinking about the interesting ATLAS Experiment results released in November.

Since I am so new, I cannot yet post links, but below is where to find a couple of blogs I was looking at if you are interested.

Scientific American: Have Scientists Found 2 Different Higgs Bosons

Résonaances: Twin Peaks in ATLAS



Jono
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05 Jan 2013, 7:35 pm

M87 wrote:
Jono wrote:
Verso wrote:
Woke up this morning to NPR's Science Friday “Year in Science” promo, which got me thinking about the Higgs boson controversy and wondering whether results obtained are somehow just an error in measurement made by a very expensive and complicated piece of equipment. So, your post seems timely indeed and just got me me more curious about the state of particle physics and I took a look at the articles for which you kindly provided links.!


What controversy are you talking about? The fact is that they definitely did find a new Higgs-like particle. If it's not exactly the same as the Standard Model Higgs then that's even better, since we have to work out new physics models to accommodate it.


The Standard Model is ultimately going to have to be revised. SUSY presents a quantum theory of gravity but if it ultimately fails as a theory, then the long sought after theory of quantum gravity will be 1 step further away. I say this as there have been a series of repeated experiments that demonstrate that quantum gravity does exist, even if contemporary physical theory cannot describe it.


SUSY itself actually doesn't but does when considered as part of string theory, though SUSY can be right without string theory being right. Actually, SUSY is considered more because it solves other problems with the Standard Model and because it provides potential candidates for dark matter.



Jono
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05 Jan 2013, 7:37 pm

Verso wrote:
Jono wrote:

Quote:
What controversy are you talking about? The fact is that they definitely did find a new Higgs-like particle. If it's not exactly the same as the Standard Model Higgs then that's even better, since we have to work out new physics models to accommodate it.



I was thinking about the interesting ATLAS Experiment results released in November.

Since I am so new, I cannot yet post links, but below is where to find a couple of blogs I was looking at if you are interested.

Scientific American: Have Scientists Found 2 Different Higgs Bosons

Résonaances: Twin Peaks in ATLAS


I wasn't aware of that but if true, then far from disproving the Higgs mechanism it would actually be more exciting. Also, note that SUSY models actually predict multiple Higgs bosons.



Last edited by Jono on 05 Jan 2013, 7:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Fnord
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05 Jan 2013, 7:42 pm

SUSY is still useful, as it explains a lot of phenomena, but it is only one aspect of quantum physics.


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06 Jan 2013, 9:58 am

Probably physicists should not abandon SUSY just yet, but new theories should still be searched for because it is possible that SUSY is wrong and/or does not fit our universe without major "fine-tuning". I'm not sure whether any versions of SUSY incorporates gravity, as long as Godel's incompleteness theorem holds up a so-called "Theory of Everything" will either be incomplete or unprovable. Godel's theorem says that you can prove a complete theory outside its axioms (you can't prove the arithmetic within the axioms of arithmetic, for example, because otherwise if arithmetic in theory was false then we would have no way of knowing because its only proof is within itself--sort of like "I am a liar"). A true "Theory of Everything" that lives up to its name would include everything, so it could not be proven, because there would be nothing outside itself. Of course that isn't necessarily what physicists mean when the speak of a ToE, but still quantum gravity would have to obey Godel.

But wait a minute--Godel's theorem is a theorem, and I'm pretty sure its complete, so then we can't know if it's true... but then again, it could be incomplete in that it doesn't describe itself and thus avoid the whole conflict... right?

Maybe a ToE would have to exclude itself, which would be weird... :wall:


*head explodes from mental strain of recursionary conundrums*


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06 Jan 2013, 10:28 am

Fnord wrote:
SUSY is still useful, as it explains a lot of phenomena, but it is only one aspect of quantum physics.


I personally go along these lines.



ruveyn
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06 Jan 2013, 11:25 am

Supersymmetry is yet to be corroborated experimentally. It is, at this time, an unsupported hypothesis.

ruveyn



slave
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21 Jan 2013, 6:57 pm

:D

Thank you all for your comments on this topic.

:D