Quick Links

The New York Times has an article this morning by Dennis Overbye in its Science Times section about the hunt for the Higgs and the various rumors that were circulating earlier this year. It does a good job of accurately summarizing and reviewing the situation (although of course the blogs were and remain the place to go for breaking news, up-to-date and accurate information…). Steven Weinberg recalls the time back in 1977 when he quickly wrote up a paper with Ben Lee about a model concocted to explain rumored “trimuon” events (which turned out not to be there). There are quotes from bloggers Tommaso Dorigo, Gordon Watts and John Conway, and, in a new posting on his blog, Gordon is now trying to deny that he uses the term “Dude” in actual conversation. Unfortunately, anyone at D0 who knows anything seems to have clammed up, no more rumors that I’m aware of about whether they’re seeing anything exciting.

The 2007 Europhysics Conference on High Energy Physics is going on in Manchester, England, and many of the talks are already on-line. This is a conference more aimed at experimentalists than theorists, so there doesn’t seem to be much new in the theory talks. There are so many experimental talks that I think I’ll have to wait for the summary talk to appear to figure out what to pay attention to.

There’s a long list of things I was going to write about, but Sabine and Stefan at Backreaction got there first (here, here and here):

  • Nature has a special section on the LHC. Very good and much more in depth than most of the huge amount of press coverage of this story. Especially interesting is the article by Chris Llewellyn Smith telling the history of how the LHC came to be.
  • The LHC Theory Initiative, a now NSF-funded project that will provide some graduate fellowships and post-docs for people working in phenomenology relevant to the LHC, is being promoted with a University of Buffalo press release. It claims that currently Europeans dominate the field of LHC phenomenology, so the NSF funding is needed to stop this “outsourcing” of crucial high-tech employment to foreigners. HEP in the US is quite an amazing industry, the only one I know of that outsources technical work to countries where the labor costs more than it does in the US….
  • This year’s award for most ludicrous hep-ph paper is likely to be won in a walk by this one. Tommaso is even better than Sabine on the topic.
  • There’s a new chapter out of the particle physics novel The Newtonian Legacy (blogged about here) by Nick Evans. Not often that the Cern Courier carries material about Higgsless models and lingerie in its pages…

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    53 Responses to Quick Links

    1. lyme says:

      schtirlitz , there’s perhaps one more point that deserves clarification.
      When you say “Was the existence of the 3-rd generation of quarks a falsifiable prediction?” the answer is that its non-existence would have led to an enormous crisis in particle physics.

      On one hand, the SM would have been unable to explain CP violation in the K0 system even in principle. On the other hand , the SM was supported by an enormous amount of other data. That’d have been the kind of phenomenological contradiction that would have led to the prediction of a third generation. Historically, experimentalists did a good job, got lucky, and found the Upsilon before that hypothetical crisis happened.

      But the non-discovery of susy would not lead to any crisis, because there is not a single experimental datum supporting it. Unlike the case of the 3rd generation, the absence of superpartners at the TeV scale would just mean that susy is another smart theoretical idea which happens not to be realized in Nature.

      That scenario is certain to happen in the next few years: There are lots of smart theoretical ideas around for physics beyond the SM, but it is extremely unlikely that all of them will be phenomenologically relevant no matter how many good theoretical arguments back them.

    2. Eric Mayes says:

      Peter,
      Stating a fact is not an ad honimem attack. This just seems to be your fall-back position whenever you are losing the debate. At any rate, you can’t continually make ad honimen attacks on string theorists as you have done and then complain when they respond in kind.

    3. Gphillip says:

      Peter, I don’t believe that just because the SM doesn’t predict everything possible it is necessarily falsified. It may be a bit incomplete, but that has yet to be proven. So far, every model of reality ever conceived has been a bit incomplete. I would really be more surprised if this one wasn’t. Now, if it made predictions that that were proven false by experiment, which I’m not positive the LHC can do, the we’re off in search of a better model, which I have no doubt we will be doing someday anyway.

      Loved the LHC Roulette paper. You Dudes and Dudettes need to lighten up and smile now and then. Of course it was a very dry joke and greatly enjoyed. Yes, one can actually demonstrate reverse causation, of a sort. Unfortunately, the effect cannot be separated from random events until present measurements are made. So the Eigenvalues did collapse before the measurement was made. Unfortunately you can never detect that until after the measurement is made. It’s the same effect of trying to use entanglement to communicate faster than light. Yes, the signal will arrive faster than light (which can be constructed into a reverse causation scenario), but the signal can’t be resolved from random noise without a key (or the results of another measurement) that must arrive by pokey old light speed.

      But hey! Keep trying Dudes and Dudettes. If we can ever get this one right we’ll make a killing at the casino! And keep smiling. Life is short.

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