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Whether and how LHC will help us get past the SM

  1. Sep 10, 2008 #1


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    What are your views on this?
    Assuming things continue to go all right what possible theoretical developments do you see as potential consequences?
    Just for context, here is a CERN press release
    A press release from CERN

    The Washington Post had this breaking news article a couple of hours ago:

    They gave theorist John Ellis the next-to-last word (page 4 of a four-page article). Robert Cousins, an experimentalist, got the punchline.
    Ellis, who has long white hair, a Gandalf vibe and a specialty in supersymmetry, lectures worldwide in four or five languages, including math. He expects the supercollider to detect the Higgs particle, but he hopes to see much, much more.

    "Simply seeing the boring old Higgs? Or nothing at all?" He shuddered at the thought. "But then again, not seeing anything at all might be very interesting." Still, he bets they will uncover the nature of dark matter, and he has a lot riding on the wager.

    For two decades, Ellis said, the Large Hadron Collider has been all about the builders. "For the engineers, the job is over," he said. "For the experimentalists, they're happy to find what they find.

    "But for the theorists, for me, it is a bit different, because we have spent 40 years on a theory." He raised an eyebrow.

    "There have been thousands of theoretical papers," he continued, "and I've written hundreds of them myself. What if it all turns out to be pile of garbage?"

    The Large Hadron Collider will not operate at full intensity for a year, and so many variables could hold up its work. But the physicists at CERN have reached a milestone. Now that the machine has been turned on, Cousins said, "the trick for us is to be as full of wonder as we can be -- and simultaneously as skeptical as you can get."


    My take on it is the best way to understand the possibilities opened up by LHC and get an overview of future theory developments that will follow is to read this new book by MIT theoretical physicist Frank Wilczek
    It is called The Lightness of Being

    A lot of Wilczek's essays and even some video lectures are free online at his website too.
    and at his MIT faculty page

    Wilczek foresees a new golden age of physics ushered in by LHC results (when they finally get some :smile:). That's pretty strong language. But he's clear about why. He has clear explanations and a clear vision of what he thinks is the most likely future.

    What about others? Any comment?
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 10, 2008 #2
    Being very busy, I have not had time to finish the reading of Wilczek's paper. But from the begining, it is very pleasant and quite interesting. Thank you for this reference. :smile:

    It will be hard for me to disagree with Ellis :approve:
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