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Wednesday, June 7, 2023

What’s Going Proper in Particle Physics

Since I had a bit free time right this moment, I used to be considering of writing one thing motivated by two issues I noticed right this moment, Sabine Hossenfelder’s What’s Going Mistaken in Particle Physics, and this summer season’s upcoming SUSY 2023 convention and pre-SUSY 2023 college. Whereas there are a variety of methods by which I disagree with Hossenfelder’s critique, there are some methods by which it’s completely correct. For what potential purpose is a part of the physics neighborhood organizing summer season faculties to coach college students in subjects like “Supersymmetry Phenomenology” or “Supersymmetry and Higgs Physics”? “Machine Studying for SUSY Mannequin Constructing” encapsulates properly what’s going mistaken in a single a part of theoretical particle physics.

To start my anti-SUSY rant, I appeared again on the many pages I wrote 20 years in the past about what was mistaken with SUSY extensions of the SM in chapter 12 of Not Even Mistaken. There I began out by noting that there have been 37,000 or so SUSY papers on the time (SPIRES database). Questioning what the present quantity is, I did the identical search on the present INSPIRE database, which confirmed 68,469 outcomes. The required rant was clear: issues haven’t gotten higher, the zombie topic lives on, fed by summer season faculties like pre-SUSY 2023, and we’re all doomed.

However then I made a decision to do one final search, to examine variety of articles by yr (e.g. search “supersymmetry and de=2020”). The outcomes have been stunning, and I spent a while compiling numbers for the next desk:

These numbers present a definite and persevering with fall-off beginning after 2015, the rationale for which is evident. The LHC outcomes have been in, and a nasty thought (SUSY extensions of the SM) had been torpedoed by experiment, taking up water and sinking after 20 years of dominance of the topic. To get an thought of the impact of the LHC outcomes, you may learn this 2014 piece by Joe Lykken and Maria Spiropulu (mentioned right here), by authors all the time forward of the curve. No variety of summer season faculties on SUSY phenomenology are going to convey this area again to well being.

Going again to INSPIRE, I spotted that I hadn’t wanted to do the work of making the above bar graph, the system does it for you within the higher left nook. I then began attempting out different search phrases. “string idea” reveals no indicators of ill-health, and “quantum gravity”, “holography”, “wormhole”, and so forth. are choosing up steam, drawing in these fleeing the sinking SUSY ship. With no experimentalists to assist us by killing off dangerous concepts in these areas, some zombies are going to be with us for a really very long time…

Replace: There are a pair issues from Michael Peskin which are related to this that may be of curiosity: an intensive 2021 interview, and a very latest “imaginative and prescient assertion” about particle physics. Peskin’s viewpoint I believe is strictly what Hossenfelder is arguing towards. He continues to push strongly for a really costly near-term collider mission, and doesn’t appear to have discovered a lot of something from an extended profession of engaged on failed concepts. I keep in mind attending a 2007 colloquium speak right here at Columbia the place he put up a slide exhibiting all of the SUSY particles of lots just a few hundred GeV that the LHC was about to search out, and guaranteed us that over the following 5-10 years we’d be seeing proof of a WIMP from a number of totally different sources. Based on the interview, in 2021 he was engaged on Randall-Sundrum fashions (see right here) and questioning in regards to the “little hierarchy drawback” of why all the brand new physics was simply above the LHC-accessible scale somewhat than on the electro-weak breaking scale. I very a lot agree with a few of his imaginative and prescient assertion (the Higgs sector is the a part of the SM we don’t absolutely perceive, and the argument for colliders is that they’re the one technique to research this), however his devotion to failed concepts (not simply Randall-Sundrum, however string idea additionally) as the way in which ahead is discouraging. Within the interview he admits that it’s trying like post-LHC abandonment of particle physics is the most definitely future:

I believe if you happen to have been a betting man, you’d wager that LHC would be the final nice particle accelerator, and the entire area will dissipate after the LHC is over.

Most of his distinguished colleagues have the identical angle that the topic is over, and have already moved on, sadly to issues like creating wormholes within the lab.

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