Of Particular Significance

How do Physicists Look for Supersymmetry?

POSTED BY Matt Strassler

POSTED BY Matt Strassler

ON 08/16/2011

Ok, folks, after a few days of hard work, I have an article detailing how to look for supersymmetry, one of the most popular theories predicting new phenomena at the Large Hadron Collider.  You may first want to read about the particles of nature  and then about supersymmetry itself.

I’ve tried to take the most common answer to this question — essentially, look for an excess of collisions that produce both high energy quarks and invisible particles — and deconstruct it, showing you what it means at the level of particle physics (what is produced, what decays, how is it detected) and then work backwards to show you what physical assumptions lie underneath this answer.

I hope that once you’ve understood these assumptions, you’ll have a clearer idea what this answer’s strengths and weaknesses are.   And then we can go on, in a future post, to explore what the LHC has and hasn’t said so far about supersymmetry as a property of nature.

As always, comments on clarity and content are welcome!


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