Physical sciences on the verge of collapse?

Written by David LaRosery

Posted yesterday at 6:30pm, and updated yesterday at 8:21pm.

She goes again. And even several. At the European Organization for Nuclear Research, CERN, near Geneva (Switzerland), in underground tubes with a circumference of 27 kilometers, particles have returned, since April, inside the LHC’s circular accelerator to collide and hope to reveal new secrets to physicists. But the atmosphere is less serene than it was a few years ago, when hope of a major discovery, which finally occurred in July 2012. In the midst of the collisions, was the last particle missing from the hunting plate, the Higgs or Brout-Englert-Higgs boson, according to For her parents’ name.

“Everything was going well. After the Higgs, we expected other new particles predicted by the so-called “supersymmetry” theory, or SUSY, which promised to solve a lot of fundamental questions. It was a time of foolproof discoveries », repeats Christoph Grosjean, a physicist at the DESY Research Center in Germany. But the scenario did not materialize. Since the Higgs, nothing has been found that Susie predicted… No light particle could be dark matter, an unknown substance essential to the cohesion of galaxies. There are no fireworks of newcomers that will double the number of known particles. The big questions are always openrecalls Christoph Grosjean. So we must go back to basics: experience should be the engine of physics. »

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Hence renewed excitement, thanks to many experiments: the new start of the LHC and, above all, many interesting results, at CERN or elsewhere. In one case, the weight of the particle is heavier than expected. In another case, it is a particle that does not rotate well. In the third case, two members of the same family quarrel. In short, nothing is going right… but that’s good news. In fact, all these little deviations, all these little deviations, all these little deviations make physicists think that maybe this is evidence that the model, which had been working well until then, is showing its first signs. Tired.

Aberrations such as “compasses”

This model is the Standard Model: Three forces, seventeen particles, it’s all said. “The Standard Model has come under incredible pressure, but no one has yet been able to break it and its predictive power is still very powerful.”Guido Tonelli, a former CMS spokesperson, recalls one of the two experiments that witnessed the Higgs boson. “It explains everything, the radioactivity, the fusion in stars, the lasers, the MRI … it’s very accurate”David Tupac, a CDF spokesman, insists on one of the trials with an “abnormal” result.

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