Welcome, 2013! This is going to be a very exciting year for particle physicists. Even though the Large Hadron Collider [LHC] won’t be smashing protons together and making Higgs-like particles this year, and will be off for repairs and upgrades after March, the ATLAS and CMS and LHCb experiments at the LHC will be doing some deep digging through their data collected in 2012. They will be looking for additional clues as to whether there is anything in that data which disagrees with the predictions of the Standard Model (the equations used to describe all of the known elementary particles, including the new Higgs-like particle [assuming it is an example of the simplest possible type of Higgs particle — which we are not sure of yet!]) Especially important will be studies of the new particle to see if it ever decays in “exotic” ways that are not expected in the Standard Model, or if it is produced in any unanticipated ways. Also there will be searches to see if the new particle has any friends hiding in the data; for all we know, there are additional types of Higgs-like particles out there.
Of course it won’t all be about the LHC this year! We will also be expecting new results from many other experiments within and around the edges of particle physics. Dark matter may be an especially interesting topic in 2013.
I’ll be a little slow to review all of these til later in the month, because I am busy preparing for a trip this week to Edinburgh, Scotland. At the end of the week there will be a three-day Higgs Symposium, in honor of Peter Higgs, and marking the opening of the Higgs Center for Theoretical Physics at the University of Edinburgh. Posts and articles will therefore be a bit spotty for a few days, though of course I’ll be bringing reports from the Symposium when time permits.
In the meantime, if you haven’t looked at it already, you may enjoy my end-of-
worldyear summary. It has links to a number of my articles that cover issues which will play a big role in 2013.