There has been some recent progress on increasing the LHC luminosity. Recent physics fills have peak luminosities around 2.5 x 1030cm-2s-1, total integrated luminosity is above 500 nb-1, with a goal of getting to 1000 nb-1=1 pb-1 this week. The current goal is to get to peak luminosity of around 1 x 1032cm-2s-1 this year, but there are only about 12 weeks left in this year’s proton run. To achieve next year’s goal of 1 fb-1 in integrated luminosity, they will need to get to peak luminosities around 2 x 1032cm-2s-1.
According to a new preprint entitled It’s On, with only 70 nb-1 of analyzed data ATLAS has already been able to rule out some parts of the huge parameter space of supersymmetry models, beyond that already ruled out by the Tevatron. These limits come from looking for missing transverse energy.
John Ellis was quite a bit more optimistic; he expects that we might be seeing new physics once we’ve obtained somewhere in the neighborhood of a trillion events, which may happen as soon as this autumn. Since the Higgs boson, the ostensible target of the LHC, is in a noisy place, in terms of the other particle decays with similar signatures, we may actually end up seeing supersymmetry first. Since the experiments are so well-tuned, it may only be a matter of hours before it’s flagged, and the rumors start to filter out.
A trillion events is about 10 pb-1.
If there’s no sign of supersymmetry in this year’s LHC data, how discouraging will this be for those who expect to see supersymmetry at this energy scale?
Besides supersymmetry, something else that experimentalists will be looking for in the initial LHC data will be a fourth generation quark. The Tevatron has been able to put limits of 300 GeV or so on the mass of such a thing, see Tommaso Dorigo’s latest posting for more about this topic.
Capitalist Imperialist Pig has a review of a movie with the title String Theory. It seems that this is actually a very popular movie title, used by at least two feature-length films (here and here) as well as three shorts (here, here and here). For some reason (as far as I can tell), no one has yet used Not Even Wrong as a film title.
Colliding Particles is a well-done on-going series of films featuring experimentalists working at the LHC. There are six of them so far, and they’re available on-line here.
While I was away Erik Verlinde made the New York Times with his “entropic” theory of gravity. There’s also a talk at ICHEP available here. This week he’s promoting this at SciFoo, going on at the Googleplex, see a report here:
So far all this is just an “intuition”, Verlinde says. Now he needs to find the mathematics to prove it. Then he shrugs and says perfectly matter-of-factly that this was how Einstein started out too.