Winds are Rising

UPDATE: LHCb reports precise measurement of B_s meson decaying to  J/Psi meson + Phi meson.  Agrees beautifully with the Standard Model.  Fantastic measurement!!  But disappointing — no sign of any new phenomena.

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Well, the hurricane now arriving on the east coast of the United States has forced significant changes in many people’s plans, mine included.  Certain big chores simply had to get done in preparation for the storm’s arrival. Consequently the post that I had hoped to write analyzing the results from Mumbai on the searches for the Higgs particle, and for more speculative phenomena, simply hasn’t been composed yet. But since Irene the Giant is expected to impact the New York area for about 24 hours, starting late tomorrow afternoon, I should have plenty of time to catch up while it’s on its way in.  Whether I’ll be able to finish the post, or post it when it’s finished, will depend on when the power goes out, and for how long.

[p.s. apologies to those who have asked questions that have gone unanswered; I’ll get to those during the storm as well.]

Meanwhile, there are  some “flavor physics” results being presented in Mumbai right now. Flavor specifically refers here to the behavior of bottom quarks and of charm quarks, as they behave inside of hadrons, and as they decay to other quarks lighter than themselves. These behaviors are predicted in considerable detail by the Standard Model of particle physics, and it is rather easy for some new phenomena, involving some new heavy particles, to come along and screw up the Standard Model prediction. In fact there are several measurements, from various experiments including the Tevatron and also the so-called B-factories [which make lots and lots of bottom quarks and anti-quarks] that don’t currently agree with the Standard Model very well.  

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The Latest Word on the Higgs from the Mumbai Conference

Restructured the post: My preliminary discussion is first, the updates from the talks are now at the end.  The take-away message from the LHC talks: The most interesting point here is that ATLAS and CMS [crudely] taken together exclude all regions for the Standard Model Higgs particle except below 145 GeV, the range 288-296 GeV, and … Read more

Current LHC Data and Supersymmetry; Is Supersymmetry in Trouble?

Ok, today I’ve posted the article you’ve been waiting for: What does the LHC have to say, so far, about supersymmetry? [Here’s an article about supersymmetry and what it predicts, and another about standard ways to look for signs of it at the Large Hadron Collider, under certain assumptions; if you want to review the known particles … Read more

New Experimental Result Searching for Hidden Particles

As someone who has spent several years thinking hard about how to detect “hidden particles” — ones that are not affected by the three forces of the Standard Model, the electromagnetic force and the strong and weak nuclear forces — I am pleased to see the result that just appeared from the APEX experiment, at the … Read more

The Higgs particle decays; so do most particles. Why?

Here’s an article intended to give a layperson a sense for why so many types of particles — most of them, in fact — decay away almost instantly, forcing us to discover them through various types of trickery.   This is relevant in the search for the Higgs particle, which decays away far too quickly to … Read more

How to Find the Higgs Particle: 3rd Video Clip is Up!

Ok, the third video clip from my talk at the Secret Science club from March 2011 is now uploaded for your enjoyment.  [But watch the other two clips first, it will make it a lot easier to follow!]  Learn how to find the Higgs particle!  (Or at least the easier ways — an explanation of … Read more

Brief Q&A on Basic Whys/Hows of Particle Physics

On the plane back to the US, I put together a couple of answers to very basic questions about particle physics that I often get from friends and acquaintances who know little or nothing about the subject.  I hope you find them interesting! Note also: my previous post repeated a misquote of the CERN director … Read more

Too much of a good thing? update of last post on CDF experiment’s news

I posted on Friday that the CDF experiment at the Tevatron claims to have observed a long-sought rare process — the decay of a particle called the B_s meson to a muon and anti-muon — and the observed rate is at least 1.5 times and perhaps as much as 6 times what was expected in … Read more

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