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LHC Data Continues To Disagree With Supersymmetry 196

decora writes "Pallab Ghosh of the BBC reports on another piece of evidence hitting the beleaguered Supersymmetry community. Scientists at the Lepton Photon conference in Mumbai, India confirmed that extra levels of B-Meson decay have not been found in the LHC beauty experiment. Coming on the heels of a March report in Nature, this news seems to reinforce what many have suspected all along. Dark Matter is probably not explainable through massive shadow particles like squarks and selectrons, and for all practical purposes, the Supersymmetric Extension of the Standard Model of Physics is dead."
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LHC Data Continues To Disagree With Supersymmetry

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  • by AI0867 ( 868277 ) on Sunday August 28, 2011 @12:29AM (#37232186)

    Nah, the problem is how we describe it.

  • by JoshuaZ ( 1134087 ) on Sunday August 28, 2011 @12:41AM (#37232224) Homepage

    Sounds like it's time for another rethink then. Einstein got his insights from observing things in the real world, a lot of modern theory seems to be based on looking at Math. Maybe it's time to spend some time in the physical world again and to step away from the Platonic realm and see if something sparks some inspiration.

    First of all, Einstein was famous for doing very clever thought experiments. Many of his ideas about special relativity came from thinking about how objects should behave if they tried to chase light. Second, the ideas of supersymmetry in fact come from inspiration of what we see in reality. In particular, supersymmetry has been posited to explain a number of different strange results, most importantly the apparent discrepancy of dark matter (that is, that the universe seem to have a lot of mass that we can't see).

    I, for one, wonder what we might learn if we try to model things using integer math instead of the often rounded real numbers that seem to be popular. Of course, with the numbers being so large you run into factoring issues pretty quickly but hey, that's what quantum computers are for right? :)

    We use the real numbers to model things because they do a really good job. One could try to just model a universe where the base field was the rational numbers (that is, ratios of integers) but that would have a lot of problems. For example, you won't be able to make a square with a diagonal connecting two corners. Moreover, for most purposes, calculations that can be done in the reals can be done with limits of rational numbers (in fact one way of rigorously defining the real numbers defines real numbers as special limits of rationals called Cauchy sequences. []. I'm not at all sure why you think the difficulty of factoring integers is relevant in this context. For most practical calculations, you very rarely need to factor integers. Moreover, while it is true that quantum computers can in theory factor integers quickly using Shor's algorithm's_algorithm [], for all we know it might be possible for standard computers to factor quickly. Moreover, the models we use to talk about quantum computing rely very heavily on the real numbers which you aren't happy with.

  • by NoNonAlphaCharsHere ( 2201864 ) on Sunday August 28, 2011 @01:02AM (#37232308)
    Please don't confuse the "Everybody thought the world was flat until Colombus!" crowd with facts. Telling them the ancient Greeks knew they were living on a sphere (from the shape of the shadow of the earth on the moon) won't disturb their firmly held articles of faith at all.
  • by Daniel Dvorkin ( 106857 ) on Sunday August 28, 2011 @01:08AM (#37232326) Homepage Journal

    I'm not sure I see how particle physics is any worse than ... oh ... say ... software engineering in that regard. Seriously, we here on /. don't tend to notice it as much because we're immersed in it, but have you ever noticed how fast any programming-related discussion here becomes an exchange of jargon? That's because new languages, new data structures, new API's, and new toolsets are being developed all the time, and they all need names. If you're working in the field, you know what these things are; if you're not, a discussion about them might as well be a string of random alphanumeric characters on the screen. I have no doubt that to physicists, all the terms the OP was mocking make perfect sense (a lot of physicists may disagree about whether the things the terms describe actually exist, but that's a separate issue -- and again, one not unique to physics.)

  • Wait (Score:4, Insightful)

    by 427_ci_505 ( 1009677 ) on Sunday August 28, 2011 @02:23AM (#37232552)

    Has Netcraft confirmed that the model is dead?

How many NASA managers does it take to screw in a lightbulb? "That's a known problem... don't worry about it."