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Science

"Perfect" Electron Roundness Bruises Supersymmetry 150

Posted by samzenpus
from the look-at-how-round-it-is-man dept.
astroengine writes "New measurements of the electron have confirmed, to the smallest precision attainable, that it has a perfect roundness. This may sounds nice for the little electron, but to one of the big physics theories beyond the standard model, it's very bad news. 'We know the Standard Model does not encompass everything,' said physicist David DeMille, of Yale University and the ACME collaboration, in a press release. 'Like our LHC colleagues, we're trying to see something in the lab that's different from what the Standard Model predicts.' Should supersymmetrical particles exist, they should have a measurable effect on the electron's dipole moment. But as ACME's precise measurements show, the electron still has zero dipole moment (as predicted by the standard model) and is likely very close to being perfectly round. Unfortunately for the theory of supersymmetry, this is yet another blow."
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"Perfect" Electron Roundness Bruises Supersymmetry

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  • by EmperorOfCanada (1332175) on Friday December 20, 2013 @01:51AM (#45743509) Homepage
    I have been on the edge of my seat waiting for something genuinely new. Something like when people were discovering that atoms were made up of even tinier bits. Or that quantum was not just a mathematical nicety but way cooler. Each of these fairly "academic" discoveries then opened up whole new trains of thought that led to lasers, solid state electronics, nuclear reactors, etc.

    So what wonderful physics is hiding out there waiting to be discovered and open up a whole new world to us?

    Personally my biggest recent letdown were the FTL neutrinos that turned out to be bogus. I was genuinely hoping that something cool revealing itself. But alas. My favorite today is that entanglement and wormholes might have some relationship. Minimally that will result in some cool sci-fi if not actual science.

    Personally I don't mind if ultraspherical electrons shut down a bunch of pet theories. They didn't seem to be making much progress and thus the door has been opened to explore something new. Maybe there is some guy trying to get his doctorate showing that supersymmetry is a load of rubbish but hasn't been able to get much traction because the entire panel got their doctorates in supersymmetrical related ideas and in order to defend his thesis he has to first set fire to theirs.
  • by Greyfox (87712) on Friday December 20, 2013 @02:03AM (#45743549) Homepage Journal
    Every time I see a news item about supersymmetry, it always seems to be disproving it. Seems like the only thing the hypothesis has going for it is the universe would make a lot more elegantly designed if it was true. It seems like mostly wishful thinking to me.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 20, 2013 @02:26AM (#45743625)

    ... of models involving perfectly spherical atoms, nanoparticles, cows, planets, stars, etc, there is something ironic about an electron being too round.

  • by fatphil (181876) on Friday December 20, 2013 @05:38AM (#45744079) Homepage
    But the proponents of SuSy claim that their theories are elegant!

    Have you ever seen a Nima Arkani-Hamed talk? (there are some on youtube and elsewhere). Most annoying is that not only does he rant and rave about how wonderfully simple and elegant his supersymmetry is, but he decorates those claims with embellishments like "they must be true".

    Even more annoying is when a big potentially-confirming experiment is concluding, he's proud to say what result he expect that will confirm this theories, add that if he doesn't get them he'll scrap his theories, and then when the results don't confirm his theories, he shuts the fuck up briefly, and then resumes pushing the same old theories.

    If you want good science. Don't look in the direction of that branch of physics, you'll have more luck in psychotherapy, economics, or astrology.

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