Arcadian Functor

occasional meanderings in physics' brave new world

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Location: New Zealand

Marni D. Sheppeard

Saturday, February 03, 2007


Alas, at this time of year the weather improves and the hills beckon. I had a bit of a cold and the best cure for such things is to launch oneself into some rough terrain and get the old ticker working.

Not content with some impressive analysis of the Higgs Bump, Tommaso has a new challenge: what will be the next discovery? This is a particle physics question. The options are Unexpected, SM Higgs, SUSY, Nothing, Other, extra dimensions, new Strong Dynamics, Substructure and LQ (say what?). Naturally, we have been called upon to vote. The first question is: what might Other mean? Since this seems like a cop out I'm going to ignore this option. As for Unexpected, history seems to show that we're not very good at spotting totally unexpected things, even if they are scratching our nostrils. And if it's entirely Unexpected, then what sort of theory is the prediction based on, anyway?

The Higgs, SUSY and extra dimensions are clearly out. Nothing must mean Nothing, as in Not Even some Interesting Rigorous SM stuff, despite there being NO Higgs boson. Hmmm. So that leaves Substructure, or new Strong Dynamics. These two options only managed a small piece of the pie in the grad student vote.

I'm going with new Strong Dynamics. If our understanding of the Standard Model changes radically when quantum gravity is considered, and in particular if quarks and gluons have something to say about the electroweak scale (and who knows?), then there is good reason to believe the LHC will determine this. All we need is to sort the theory out first!


Anonymous a quantum diaries survivor said...

Hi Kea,

thanks for participating actively in the poll... It will be hard to get a statistics comparable with that of Fermilab graduates, but let's see what we collect.


February 04, 2007 2:05 AM  
Blogger Kea said...

Thanks for the fun, Tommaso!

February 04, 2007 7:31 AM  

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