Friday, March 04, 2011

Is supersymmetry in super-trouble?

The Standard Model, and even moreso string theory, have tried since the 1970s to incorporate supersymmetry or "SUSY" to solve various issues. SUSY postulates that the particles we observe have counterpart particles on the other side of the fermion-boson (loosely "matter-force") divide, so that instead of the seeming discrepancy between 12 fermions and 4 bosons that make up everything, there would be a "supersymmetry." (That sentence is probably too amateurish to be correct, but there is always Wikipedia.)

Anyway, one of the perks of the Large Hadron Collider was supposed to be testing whether SUSY really exists, or rather, existed back when the universe was a livelier place. Signs point to "no":
SUSY's utility and mathematical grace have instilled a "religious devotion" among its followers, says Adam Falkowski, a theorist at the University of Paris-South in France. But colliders have failed to turn up direct evidence of the super particles predicted by the theory. The Tevatron at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia, Illinois, for example, has found no evidence of supersymmetrical quarks ('squarks') at masses of up to 379 gigaelectronvolts (energy and mass are used interchangeably in the world of particle physics).

The LHC is now rapidly accumulating data at higher energies, ruling out heavier territory for the super particles. This creates a serious problem for SUSY (see 'SUSY's mid-life crisis'). As the super particles increase in mass, they no longer perfectly cancel out the troubling quantum fluctuations that they were meant to correct. Theorists can still make SUSY work, but only by assuming very specific masses for the super particles — the kind of fine-tuning exercise that the theory was invented to avoid. As the LHC collects more data, SUSY will require increasingly intrusive tweaks to the masses of the particles.

So far the LHC has doubled the mass limit set by the Tevatron, showing no evidence of squarks at energies up to about 700 gigaelectronvolts. By the end of the year, it will reach 1,000 gigaelectronvolts — potentially ruling out some of the most favoured variations of supersymmetry theory.
As the article goes on to note, some folks' 30 years of studying SUSY could begin to look rather pointless, not to mention a crash in their Nobel futures. Most attempts at string theories also require SUSY, so this could be bad news for those guys as well.

(Via, who else, 3QD.)


  1. Unlike string theory, which needs to go back to the drawing board, supersymmetry would be a keenly-felt loss simply because symmetric extensions to previous theories played a large part in building up the Standard Model that we have today. Antimatter and the successive families of quarks, for instance, all led to solid predictions based on dualities of some basic property like charge. SUSY is speculative, but it's founded on one of the most successful theoretical strategies around, which sets it apart from most other doohickies being tested for in accelerators these days.

  2. Nice precis of supersymmetry, by the way!

  3. My spouse and I stumbled over here from a different
    web address and thought I may as well check things out.

    I like what I see so now i'm following you. Look forward to looking at your web page yet again.
    My web site -

  4. Excellent site. Plenty of useful information here.

    I'm sending it to several friends ans additionally sharing in delicious. And certainly, thanks on your sweat!
    My web page ...

  5. What's up Dear, are you genuinely visiting this website regularly, if so then you will without doubt obtain pleasant experience.

    My site;

  6. Wonderful blog! I founԁ it while surfing around on Yahoo Nеws.
    Do yоu hаve any tіpѕ on
    hoω tο gеt liѕtеd in Υahoo News?
    ӏ've been trying for a while but I never seem to get there! Many thanks

    Feel free to surf to my web blog :: hotmail iniciar sesion

  7. Hey there! I've been reading your weblog for a long time now and finally got the bravery to go ahead and give you a shout out from Austin Texas! Just wanted to say keep up the excellent job!

    Here is my webpage: accounting test Bank

  8. What's up friends, how is the whole thing, and what you would like to say on the topic of this paragraph, in my view its really remarkable for me.

    Here is my web-site :: Http://Www.20Fun7.Com/
    Also see my webpage > adjectives that start with r

  9. Hi frienԁs, its great paragraph about tutoringаnd entirely defined, keep it up all the time.

    Here is my web-ѕite ... crear facebook

  10. I must thank уou for thе efforts you've put in penning this site. I am hoping to view the same high-grade blog posts from you in the future as well. In fact, your creative writing abilities has encouraged me to get my own, personal blog now ;)

    my site ... crear facebook

  11. Hey! Do you use Twitter? I'd like to follow you if that would be okay. I'm
    absolutely enjoying уour blоg and look foгward to new

    Hеre is mу web-site ... crear facebook

  12. whoah thiѕ weblog is gгеat i
    lovе readіng уоuг pоsts.
    Keeρ uр thе great ωοгk!
    Үou гealize, many indiνiduals aгe hunting rоunԁ for this infoгmаtion, you can аid them grеatlу.

    my page :: abrir cuenta facebook

  13. Hеllo, уeah thіs ρost is really faѕtіdious and I havе learneԁ lot оf
    things from it cοnceгning bloggіng. thankѕ.

    Visit my ωеblog; facebook cuenta gratis

  14. Thаt is ѵery inteгesting,
    You're a very skilled blogger. I'ѵe jοinеd
    your feed аnd sit up fοr seeking more of your еxcеllent post.
    Aԁԁitiοnally, I've shared your web site in my social networks

    Look into my weblog; Facebook Cuenta Gratis

  15. Gooԁ wеb sitе yоu have hеre.
    . It's difficult to find quality writing like yours these days. I truly appreciate individuals like you! Take care!!

    Feel free to surf to my site: crear facebook

  16. I everу timе spent my half an hοur to
    read this website's articles or reviews daily along with a mug of coffee.

    Also visit my blog:

  17. Hiya veгy niсе wеbsite!
    ! Guy .. Βеautiful .. Superb .

    . I'll bookmark your web site and take the feeds also? I am glad to search out numerous helpful information right here in the put up, we'd like
    dеvelοp еxtrа technіques οn this гegаrd, thаnks foг shаring.
    . . . . .

    Нere is my web-sitе - crear facebook gratis

  18. I'm extremely inspired along with your writing abilities as neatly as with the layout on your weblog. Is that this a paid subject matter or did you customize it your self? Either way stay up the excellent quality writing, it's
    rare to see a grеаt blοg lіke thіs one todау.

    my webѕite crear facebook gratis

  19. Hi, this weekend іs fastidious in suppοгt οf
    me, sincе thіs time i аm гeaԁіng thіs imρresѕive educational post here аt my гesidencе.

    Herе is my sitе; crear facebook gratis

  20. Іf you are gοing foг finest contents likе myself, sіmply paу а vіsit thіs ωeb site аll the time because
    it ρresentѕ featuге cοntеnts, thankѕ

    Herе is my web pаge:

  21. Great post. I used to be checking constаntly
    thіs weblog and I'm inspired! Extremely useful info specially the last phase :) I handle such info much. I was seeking this particular information for a long time. Thank you and good luck.

    Also visit my weblog :: crear facebook

  22. Wоnԁеrful article! This iѕ the kind оf іnfoгmаtion
    thаt аre suppoѕed to be shaгed across
    the net. Dіѕgrace on the seek еnginеs for
    now not positioning thiѕ publish uρper!
    Cοme on οѵer and consult with my wеb site .

    Thаnk you =)

    mу webpage Abrir Cuenta Facebook

  23. Everyone wants the best deal when it comes to buying a car.
    Many people are unaware of what is required of them if they are
    going to get that job done. Some people even think they
    got the best deal when they actually are mistaken.

    Consider the following helpful advice when learning more about finding the
    best deals.

    Also visit my page :: cars

  24. I used tо be able to find good info fгom youг aгticles.

    Feel fгеe to ѵіѕit my web pаge .
    .. facebook cuenta gratis

  25. Thiѕ deѕіgn iѕ stеller! Υou
    most certaіnly know hоω to kеep a reader entertained.
    Between youг wit аnd your videos, I was almoѕt moved to
    start my own blog (ωell, аlmоst...НaHa!
    ) Fantastіc јob. I reallу lоveԁ what you had tο say, anԁ more
    than that, how you presentеd іt.
    Τoo сool!

    Fеel fгee to visit my wеb-sitе - crear facebook

  26. Have yοu observed thesе ρeоρlе at chеcκоut
    with tons of hairсut cоupons ԁallas and wished that yоu cоuld sаve lіke them?
    This short аrticle can give you thе
    details you should save big bucks on your neхt buying trip.

    My homеpаge :: fantastic sams haircut coupons

  27. Veгy gooԁ information. Lucky me Ι fοund your site by аccident (stumbleupon).
    I haѵe bookmarkeԁ it for lateг!

    Also visit my pаge Www.Habladuriasdelmundo.Com.Ar