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String Theory and Higgs boson

  1. Sep 25, 2011 #1
    I read an interesting article
    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=how-does-the-higgs-boson
    which says that string theory seems to require our world to have a property called supersymmetry and also, I have heard that the supersymmetry requires the eexistence of at least 5 Higgs bosons from which I would (maybe I over-simplify things!?) that string theory would require the existence of Higgs boson.

    But at the same time, hasn't the proposer of string theory Stephen Hawkings always been the one not believing in the Higgs!?

    Thanks,
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 25, 2011 #2

    mathman

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  4. Sep 27, 2011 #3
    Supersymmetry is a sneaky thing. You can have it without having string theory. The simplest supersymmetry model (the Minimal Supersymmetric Standard Model, or MSSM) predicts 5 higgs bosons, sure, but that is just the simplest model. And they are not exactly the same as Standard Model higgs bosons, so if we don't find a Standard Model higgs at the LHC that doesn't mean that an MSSM higgs is also ruled out, because the parameters can be such so that the higgs interacts very weakly so we wouldn't see it. Then you can change things up and go to the next-to-minimal model (nMSSM) in which you can make the higgs interact even more weakly if so desired.

    THEN you get to string theory. String theory needs supersymmetry, I believe (I am no expert), however it does not need the MSSM, although proof of the MSSM would make string theorists happy. No, string theory is sneakier still, and it is ok if supersymmetry exists at some energy scale way above anything we can ever measure.

    So, combining these, I am sorry to inform you that string theory is not vulnerable to Higgs exclusions.
     
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