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The LHC “nightmare scenario” has come true.

6 Aug 2016, 09:58 UTC
The LHC “nightmare scenario” has come true.
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The recently deceased diphotonbump. Img Src: Matt Strassler.I finished high school in 1995. It was the year the top quark was discovered, a prediction dating back to 1973. As I read the articles in the news, I was fascinated by the mathematics that allowed physicists to reconstruct the structure of elementary matter. It wouldn’t have been difficult to predict in 1995 that I’d go on to make a PhD in theoretical high energy physics.Little did I realize that for more than 20 years the so provisional looking standard model would remain undefeated world-champion of accuracy, irritatingly successful in its arbitrariness and yet impossible to surpass. We added neutrino masses in the late 1990s, but this idea dates back to the 1950s. The prediction of the Higgs, discovered 2012, originated in the early 1960s. And while the poor standard model has been discounted as “ugly” by everyone from Stephen Hawking to Michio Kaku to Paul Davies, it’s still the best we can do. Since I entered physics, I’ve seen grand unified models proposed and falsified. I’ve seen loads of dark matter candidates not being found, followed by a ritual parameter adjustment to explain the lack of detection. I’ve seen supersymmetric particles ...

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