Is Supersymmetry Dead?; May 2012; Scientific American Magazine; by Davide Castelvecchi; 2 Page(s)
For decades now physicists have contemplated the idea of an entire shadow world of elementary particles, called supersymmetry. It would elegantly solve mysteries that the current Standard Model of particle physics leaves unexplained, such as what cosmic dark matter is. Now some are starting to wonder. The most powerful collider in history, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), has yet to see any new phenomena that would betray an unseen level of reality. Although the search has only just begun, it has made some theorists ask what physics might be like if supersymmetry is not true after all.
“Wherever we look, we see nothing—that is, we see no deviations from the Standard Model,” says Giacomo Polesello of Italy’s National Institute of Nuclear Physics in Pavia. Polesello is a leading member of the 3,000-strong international collaboration that built and operates ATLAS, one of two cathedral-size general-purpose detectors on the LHC ring. The other such detector, CMS, has seen nothing, either, according to an update presented at a conference in the Italian Alps in March.