Of Particular Significance

Two interesting posts recommended

POSTED BY Matt Strassler

POSTED BY Matt Strassler

ON 07/28/2011

Nice post went up yesterday on the ATLAS experiment’s blog [ATLAS is one of the detectors at the Large Hadron Collider] from Kyle Cranmer (Professor at New York University) ; as I posted on this blog, Kyle gave Friday’s presentation summarizing ATLAS’s results on the search for the Higgs particle.   Kyle is a young star with a special gift for the statistical reasoning that is essential for combining many different measurements together so as to squeeze the maximum knowledge out.  His post has some technical parts, but even if you can’t follow the details I still recommend skimming it for the non-technical insights.

Another  interesting post went up on the Cosmic Variance blog, by John Conway (Professor at UC Davis [and not to be confused with the mathematician John Conway]).  John mentions that ATLAS and CMS (the other big LHC experiment) have observed no sign of quarks being composite (made of other yet smaller things) and have seen no sign of supersymmetry. [I’ll explain supersymmetry on this site soon.]  He then goes on to discuss the Higgs search situation (see also here for my initial take.)  But I disagree quite strongly with what John has to say about the search for supersymmetry; look at comment #9 in reply to his post for my opinion.   John states as a near-fact that we pretty much know now that the super-partners (heavy new particles that are predicted by supersymmetry) of the quarks  are heavier than 1 TeV, but I just put a paper out yesterday with Mariangela Lisanti, Philip Schuster and Natalia Toro that contradicts that statement, arguing that the searches performed so far do not by any means cover all the territory, and suggesting that other search strategies need to be added.   And I know that there is more unexplored territory that we did not even discuss in our current paper.  [I’ll also give a more detailed discussion of our paper’s argument soon.]  This is a key job of particle theorists; make sure all the ground gets covered by the experimentalists before they give up and move on!

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3 Responses

  1. Prof. Conway : “With hundreds of parameters at one’s disposal (and more if R-parity is violated), I am sure there are plenty of ways to evade the experimental limits. ” OUCH! Do you think his jab is deserved?

    1. Conway is an experimentalist. He is entitled to his opinion. But personally I think my most recent paper, written with three of the world’s finest young theorists, speaks for itself.

  2. John Conway here: please see my slightly modified paragraph about SUSY, in response to Matt’s Strassler’s comment. It is of course possible in a 100-something dimensional parameter space to evade the present experimental limits. Cheers!

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