Implications of LHC Results

The winter conferences are now come and gone, with any dramatic new LHC results now likely to wait until more data is on hand. First attempt to collide beams at 4 TeV/beam is now scheduled for Friday morning, with stable beams for physics a week or so later. Results from the 2012 data should first start to arrive at the summer conferences.

This week at CERN there’s a workshop on Implications of LHC results for TeV-scale physics. Lots of detailed information in the slides about the latest LHC bounds on non-SM physics. For a summary of the situation with the Higgs, SUSY and what it all means, you could do worse than take a look at the slides of Alessandro Strumia, which include the sobering:

Implications for European Strategy for Particle Physics: The Higgs could be the last particle. Carpe diem.

He describes the SUSY situation as “the naturalness motivation for weak scale SUSY is mostly gone”, with the one loophole not yet ruled out a stop particle at accessible energies. This scenario has now been dubbed “natural SUSY” and will be a major focus of searches going forward.

There was a similar workshop organized last week at the University of Maryland, slides are here. Matt Strassler reports here, here and here. Evidently there was a final panel discussion for which video may appear at some point.

Update: One more thing on the same topic, a very recent review of the implications of LHC results for SUSY phenomenology is here.

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10 Responses to Implications of LHC Results

  1. Bernhard says:


    the link for Alessandro´s talk is not working (you forgot an “i”).

    But now, with a likely Higgs at 125 GeV what are the best options to stabilize the electroweak scale? When people finally throw in the towel on SUSY, I am not sure what the best options are. The problem is now really there, before we could always conjecture the whole Higgs idea was incorrect in the first place.

  2. Peter Woit says:


    Thanks, fixed.

    It’s never been clear to me that “stabilizing the electroweak scale” is actually a real problem. Yes, the ratio of electroweak scale to the GUT scale and the Planck scale is a small number you would have to explain, but you don’t know there even is a GUT scale, and who knows what the significance of the Planck scale is.

    To me the main problem with the Higgs is that it looks like an effective field for something more interesting we don’t understand, and this shows up as a long list of undetermined parameters (most of them the Yukawas). The fact that the LHC is starting to actually see the Higgs and measure its couplings is what is really exciting, hopefully something non-SM will turn up there.

  3. Peter,

    I’d be very curious to hear you elaborate some time on Strumia’s point: “Implications for European Strategy for Particle Physics: The Higgs could be the last particle. Carpe diem.”

    It seems pretty clear that much of the wackiness in theory in recent years has been due to a lack of new experimental data to chew on. Assuming the Higgs really has been found, and behaves much as it should, Strumia’s point would seem to imply that we are in for many, many decades of repeating recent experience.

    Do you agree? What are your constructive suggestions?

    My own guess is that the best we can hope for is a long period, a half-century or more, of digesting everything that has happened since 1900: everything from figuring out how to do better calculations in QCD to figuring out better ways to explain, present, and understand renormalization, symmetries, general relativity, the “weirdness” of quantum mechanics, etc. Continuing work, including experiments, can continue on topics such as quantum computing, quantum teleportation, entanglement, etc., but almost certainly all that will again and again confirm the predictions of quantum mechanics.

    Of course, there are times when reflection and consolidation can be of value.

    And at worst? Well, let’s just say the “landscape” might be just the beginning!

    Do you see a brighter prospect?

    Of course, nobody can predict the coming of a Newton or an Einstein, but, on the other hand, surely Newton and Einstein arrived at times when their genius could be applied to productive ends.

    Dave Miller in Sacramento

  4. Shantanu says:

    Dave, there are alternatives. Unfortunately people working on alternative ideas are considered mavericks and usually get no funding/jobs (with a few exceptions).
    Even institutes like PI, which originally encouraged non-mainstream thinking are now focussing mainly on trendy stuff such as branes etc.for a few random examples, look up Einstein-Sciama-Kibble gravity, non-commutative geometry etc.
    See BJ Bjorken’s article at last year’s Fermilab conference on this.

  5. no says:

    “the best we can hope for is a long period, a half-century or more, of digesting everything that has happened since 1900.”
    Holy cow, I hope you’re not doing research!

  6. Peter Woit says:

    The “SM Higgs and nothing else” LHC scenario has been looming on the horizon for a while, and its probability has been increasing, so Strumia’s concern I think is on many people’s minds. I’d prefer though to hear if people have any substantive comments on the discussions at these workshops. It’s not like there’s not enough discussion on this blog of the problems with current popular BSM scenarios or the need to encourage alternatives…

  7. Peter Woit says:

    From what I can tell, first collisions at 8 TeV center of mass energy are happening right about now. Still a few days at least though before stable beams and physics.

  8. Eric says:

    On second thought, perhaps this is an April Fool’s joke.

  9. Peter Woit says:


    Very exciting. I guess I was all wrong. Oh well.

    Can’t possibly be an April Fools joke. It’s only 11:48 March 31 in Geneva.

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