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Mon Nov 12, 2012, 10:41 AM

Popular physics theory (supersymmetry) running out of hiding places

Source: BBC

12 November 2012 Last updated at 13:30 GMT

Popular physics theory running out of hiding places

By Pallab Ghosh
Science correspondent, BBC News

Researchers at the Large Hadron Collider have detected one of the rarest particle decays seen in Nature.

The finding deals a significant blow to the theory of physics known as supersymmetry.

-snip-

Supersymmetry, or SUSY, has gained popularity as a way to explain some of the inconsistencies in the traditional theory of subatomic physics known as the Standard Model.

The new observation, reported at the Hadron Collider Physics conference in Kyoto, is not consistent with many of the most likely models of SUSY.

-snip-

Read more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-20300100

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Reply Popular physics theory (supersymmetry) running out of hiding places (Original post)
Eugene Nov 2012 OP
bongbong Nov 2012 #1
longship Nov 2012 #2
bongbong Nov 2012 #5
longship Nov 2012 #7
RickFromMN Nov 2012 #3
caraher Nov 2012 #4
hue Nov 2012 #6
longship Nov 2012 #8
Odin2005 Nov 2012 #9
DreamGypsy Nov 2012 #10

Response to Eugene (Original post)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 11:23 AM

1. The hell with dark matter

 

Dark matter always seemed to me to be the last century's version of the "ether" from the 19th C.

Maybe when Flip-Flopper lost the election, the tear in the lie-space continuum was so massive that, via quantum entanglement, other cosmic-level lies began to unravel thru discoveries like the meson-muon interaction.

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Response to bongbong (Reply #1)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 12:13 PM

2. Dark matter ~= ether???

Not so sure you mean dark matter. I think you might mean dark energy. (IMHO, both are horribly named, which gives rise to inevitable confusion.)

Dark matter is almost certainly existent. We can see the effects of something holding large, at galactic scales, structures gravitationally together. But there doesn't seem to be enough baryonic matter to account for it. The problem has been known since about the 1930's.

Dark energy does act like the ether in some respects, so I think that is what you may have intended. Some physicists think it is a pervasive field related to quantum vacuum that exerts a negative gravity only on the largest universal scales. Einstein called it the cosmological constant.

No physicist knows what either of these things are. However, they are definitely different things, with different characteristics. They are almost certainly not caused by one thing.

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Response to longship (Reply #2)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 05:40 PM

5. Yes

 

> I think you might mean dark energy.

Yes, the concept that the current research in the OP seems to disprove.

String theory also seems to be on the ropes, if I'm not mistaken.

My point was really that band-aids to explain strange phenomena are just as invalid when people didn't even know there were electrons (in the ether era), as now when we know "so much more".

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Response to bongbong (Reply #5)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 07:07 PM

7. Nope! Not even close, as I understand things.

I do agree that the falsification of SUSY would be a deadly blow to strings, a conjecture which many theoreticians have lots of problems with.

However, your argument from electrons also seems weak. There is sufficient evidence to claim that so-called dark matter exists. Either that, or our model of gravity is wrong. However, the accuracy of the theory of gravity is sufficient to show that our baryonic models fail when applied on galactic+ scales. There has to be some missing element which, when acted upon by gravity gives rise to the behavior which we have observed for many decades. We call it dark matter because it is not visually observable. But we can see it nonetheless by observations of the behaviors of matter at and above galactic masses.

Dark energy is an entirely different thing. Why they chose that terminology, I have no idea. It was doomed to confuse the scientific illiterate. Plus, Einstein had a perfect term for it, the cosmological term.

Unlike dark matter, the cosmological term effects matter only at the largest scales of the universe. Nobody yet knows how it acts or what it is. However, we know it exists because we can measure its effects (the same for dark matter).

I started out thinking this was all bullshit. But the science is robust. Dark matter and dark energy are real.

Google "bullet cluster" for dark matter. It's in your face!

The Nobel prize in physics In 2011 -- one of the fastest ever -- was awarded to the discoverers of dark energy.

We have to live with the universe as it is. It might not be comfortable, or convenient. But it is what it is.


My own suspicion is that the Universe is not only queerer than we suppose, but queerer than we can suppose.


J. B. S. Haldane


I think Haldane was correct. You should, too.

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Response to Eugene (Original post)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 12:18 PM

3. I foolishly convinced myself dark matter is nothing more than compressed space.


If space can expand, why can't space be compressed?

Why should space be uniform, homogeneous?

I suspect our notion of space itself, is completely wrong.

I suspect we didn't have a Big Bang explosion, but rather a Big Bang collision.
I suspect the collision is still going on, causing our Universe to expand faster and faster.

I suspect the period they called inflationary cosmology,
is when the spatial dimensions they say are hidden, got compressed, as a result of the collision.

Fortunately or unfortunately, as the case may be, I am not a physicist,
don't know what I am talking about, am a raving lunatic on this subject.

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Response to Eugene (Original post)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 12:31 PM

4. Hmmm...

If something like this were truly fatal to supersymmetry it would be a huge deal. For one thing, my understanding is the all forms of string theory/M theory/whatever they call it this week predict supersymmetry, so ruling out supersymmetry would cripple an entire industry within physics.

But it sounds more like this rules out only certain kinds of supersymmetry. From the article linked in the OP:

Supporters of supersymmetry, however, such as Prof John Ellis of King's College London said that the observation is "quite consistent with supersymmetry".

"In fact," he said "(it) was actually expected in (some) supersymmetric models. I certainly won't lose any sleep over the result."

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Response to caraher (Reply #4)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 06:52 PM

6. Yes the last 2 sentences in this article are the only ones of consequence.

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Response to Eugene (Original post)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 07:24 PM

8. Douglas Adams' explanation of dark matter!!

Dark matter is the accumulation of all the packing peanuts of all the equipment designed to study dark matter.

I think that's the best explanation so far.

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Response to Eugene (Original post)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 09:35 PM

9. The article is misleading.

At the very end of the article it is pointed out that only SOME SUSY models were falsified.

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Response to Eugene (Original post)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 05:24 PM

10. SUSY says "the report of my death was an exaggeration."

While looking at the News Daily Science News article on the map of the universe as it was 11 billion years ago (see this DU post ) I noticed another interesting headline: Particle change hailed as major find by CERN

The article is another report of LHC detection of the Bs meson particle decay into a muon and an anti-muon. The implications for SUSY are a bit more optimistic:

"The detailed implications of this latest result will take a while to work through, but one thing is easy to state: the Standard Model has survived another test," U.S. physicist and CERN-watcher Matt Strassler said in a blog post.

snip

Oliver Buchmueller, of the Geneva research centre's CMS experiment, told Reuters that although the nature of the decay narrowed the energy range where SUSY traces might be found, it also left plenty of room for these to turn up later.

"This is another piece in the puzzle and with it the world appears even more SM (Standard Model)-like," he said. "It supports SUSY, because that is the only theory that can include the Standard Model in a wider concept of New Physics."

snip

CERN hopes that some of these, and other concepts yet unspecified, might transmute from theory into fact when in late 2014 it doubles the power of the LHC...


Clearly, the new observation is interesting and the physicists and astronomers will have fun sorting out the consequences.

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