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Fri Apr 6, 2012, 05:01 PM

Particle accelerators' search for nature's hidden dimensions comes up empty

It sounds like something that should be reported at the Onion, but here I am to tell you that the people who run the CMS detector at the LHC have just released their most recent results. Apparently, if there are extra dimensions, they haven't been hiding anywhere the LHC can find them. To add to the misery of extra dimension hunters, the data from Fermilab's D0 collaboration has also been used to not find extra dimensions.

No, seriously—with the LHC performing so well, the folks at CMS have a huge amount of data. And although the Tevatron is no more, the data remains, and the D0 folk have not been afraid to use it. Between the two of them, they have now eliminated a large range of possibilities when it comes to hidden dimensions, which puts some limits on the imagination of string theorists.

The two detector teams looked for the same signature of extra dimensions using the wave-like nature of particles. Every particle has a wavepacket, which is the wave-like nature of a particle that is confined by the particle's mass and motion to a region surrounding the particle's current location.

When a particle is confined in a box that has dimensions about the same size as its wavepacket, the reflections of the waves from the edges of the box will interfere. This interference pattern means that the particle will only be found in certain places and with certain energies.

If there are extra dimensions (such as in string theory and some other ideas), then the wavepacket should extend into those. If a dimension is curled up on itself, then it will act a bit like a box: any wavepacket that is longer than the dimension will also interfere with itself. Since the particle will only exist in places the wavepacket constructively interferes with itself, only certain particle masses are permitted.



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Reply Particle accelerators' search for nature's hidden dimensions comes up empty (Original post)
MindMover Apr 2012 OP
gateley Apr 2012 #1
RC Apr 2012 #2
longship Apr 2012 #3

Response to MindMover (Original post)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 05:33 PM

2. Someone notify Shelden Cooper.


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Response to MindMover (Original post)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 08:09 PM

3. Doesn't this about wrap it up for SUSY, too?

Recently, there have been glimmerings that the string model might not hold up. If not, I feel kind of sorry for the physicists who have devoted their careers to it. Maybe they can move to the field theory side of things. I hope so because it would be a waste to lose that mathematical genius. The string guys, like Litton, are over the top brilliant.

I saw something a few weeks ago about LHC data possibly ruling out SUSY. That would be bad for extensions to the standard model being looked at for future unifications. Is there any more info on that?

I guess I just haven't been following things that closely. Internet here is dodgy at best. Can somebody help with a link to a good summary?


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