One question I’ve been wondering about for the last 20 years or so has been what SUSY proponents would do when the LHC finally gathered data and found no SUSY. Would they finally admit this was an idea that hadn’t worked out, or would they never give up, no matter what the data said? The answer is now in. John Ellis was a co-organizer of a Royal Society conference earlier this week, and a report from the conference has the following:
“I think that the physics case for supersymmetry has, if anything, improved with the LHC’s first run, in the sense that, for example, supersymmetry predicted that the Higgs [boson particle] should weigh less than 130 gigaelectronvolts, and it does,” Ellis said.
“Of course, we haven’t seen any direct signs of supersymmetric particles, which is disappointing, but it’s not tragic,” Ellis added. “The LHC will shortly almost double its energy — we’re expecting eventually to get maybe a thousand times more collisions than have been recorded so far. So we should wait and see what happens at least with the next run of the LHC.”
And if the LHC’s next run does fail to reveal any sparticles, there is still no reason to give up on looking for them, he said. In that case, new colliders with even higher energies should be built, for collisions at energies as high as 100 TeV.
“I’m not giving up on supersymmetry,” Ellis told LiveScience. “Individual physicists have to make their own choices, but I am not giving up.”
So, Ellis has made his position clear: no giving up, no matter what the LHC data from the next run says.