Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Frustration

In the latest CERN Courrier Red Baron read the following note about a new particle recently discovered at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC):

The LHCb collaboration has discovered a new weakly decaying particle: a baryon called the Ξ++cc, which contains two charm quarks and an up quark. The discovery of the new particle, which was observed decaying to the final-state Λ+c K– π+ π+ and is predicted by the Standard Model, was presented at the European Physical Society conference in Venice on 6 July.

Artist's view of the Ξ++cc particle (Daniel Dominguez/CERN)
In contrast to other baryons, in which the three quarks perform an elaborate dance around each other, a doubly heavy baryon is expected to act like a planetary system, where the two heavy quarks play the role of heavy stars orbiting one around the other, with the lighter quark orbiting around this binary system, spokesperson Guy Wilkinson said but it is just one particle to cross off the list.

Left: clear Ξ++cc signal on top of the background.
The "new" particle finds its predicted place in the upper right hand corner of the right diagram.
Venice is such a nice place but the result presented there is nothing but frustrating. With the energy of the LHC approaching its final design value and the luminosity of the colliding proton beams beating all earlier records there is still no sign of a new physics. In fact, the new Ξ++cc particle predicted by and fitting into the Standard Model is nothing to write home about.

In spite of all the bottles emptied,
a frustrated physisist is still looking for signs of a new physics.
Where are the experimental results supporting string theory and is super symmetry (Susy) a dead-born child? How far away are we from GUT (Grand Unification Theory)?


With results of a new physics not coming in accelerator physicists at CERN already plan for a larger circular machine. Its circumference shall be up to four times that of the LHC although experimental physicists demand that any new accelerator should rather be an order of magnitude larger than the LHC. But who shall pay for a 130 TeV machine?

Skeleton in John Ellis's office
With respect to the missing new physics John Ellis, CERN's guru of theoretical physics now 71, remains an optimist but is moving on the quiet from the infinite small to the infinite big when he declares: Now we know [the Standard Model] is pretty much complete so we can focus on the questions beyond it, dark matter, the future of the universe, the beginning of the universe, little things like that. By the way, what John really means is GUT or shall we say theoretical physicist have a special kind of humor?

The famous Richard Feynman once joked when he was asked about the usefulness of theoretical physics: Physics is like sex. Sure, it may give some practical results, but that's not why we do it.

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