Can the new-and-improved Large Hadron Collider save particle physics?

Homepage | Forums | Topics In Depth | Science and Environment | Can the new-and-improved Large Hadron Collider save particle physics?

Viewing 1 reply thread
  • Author
    Posts
    • #488507
      eridani
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 11,969

      https://bigthink.com/starts-with-a-bang/large-hadron-collider-save-particle-physics/

      Particle physics has two sides to it: a theoretical side and an experimental side. On the theoretical side, there’s the Standard Model, which is arguably the most successful physical theory of all-time, and then there are ideas for what lies out there beyond the Standard Model. The Standard Model is a predictive framework for understanding the particles in our Universe, what their properties are, how they interact and decay, and what we expect the results of any specific laboratory experiment to yield. There are also extensions to the Standard Model — possible ways to go beyond it — that have been explored at length over the past 50+ years.

      The Standard Model tells us what particles there are and how they couple to one another, and allows us to determine not only what interactions are possible versus forbidden, but what the relative probability of each potential outcome is. There are many ways to put the Standard Model to the test, but arguably the most effective is to collide two particles moving at the highest equal-and-opposite velocities as possible, over and over, as many times as you can, and detect what comes out. By measuring the debris of this collision precisely enough, you can reconstruct what happened at every step of the way.

      But at particle colliders, where we take matter (and sometimes antimatter), smash it together at high energies, and observe the particle debris that comes out, there have been no observations or measurements that have stood the test of time that run counter to the Standard Model’s predictions. When the LHC began colliding particles, it was the last good hope for many theoretical ideas that had been bandied about as plausible explanations for what could be out there beyond the Standard Model for many decades.

      Ideas like supersymmetry, extra dimensions, technicolor, supergravity, grand unification, and string theory-inspired extensions to the Standard Model have all been heavily in fashion for some 40-odd years in most cases. And yet, there were only ever-tightening constraints on those scenarios. There were a few false alarms that came out of the LHC’s early results — tentative evidence for a “diboson bump” which could have been a new particle at 2-3 TeV that evaporated; evidence for a “diphoton bump” which could have meant a new particle at about 700 GeV that also fell away with more data; evidence for faster-than-light neutrinos that turned out to be an equipment error — but nothing held up. With more and better data, all of these results were shown to be mere statistical flukes.

      Jesus: Hey, Dad? God: Yes, Son? Jesus: Western civilization followed me home. Can I keep it? God: Certainly not! And put it down this minute--you don't know where it's been! Tom Robbins in Another Roadside Attraction

    • #488508
      eridani
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 11,969

      https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/may/17/pollution-responsible-one-in-six-deaths-across-planet

      Pollution is killing 9 million people a year, a review has found, making it responsible for one in six of all deaths. Toxic air and contaminated water and soil “is an existential threat to human health and planetary health, and jeopardises the sustainability of modern societies”, the review concluded. The death toll from pollution dwarfs that from road traffic deaths, HIV/Aids, malaria and TB combined, or from drug and alcohol misuse. The researchers calculated the economic impact of pollution deaths at $4.6tn (£3.7tn), about $9m a minute.

      Deaths from toxic air and chemicals have risen by 7% since the previous review and 66% since 2000, driven by increased fossil fuel burning, rising population numbers and unplanned urbanisation. This rise was offset by improvements in the “ancient scourges” of water polluted by pathogens and poor sanitation and indoor smoke from cooking fires.

      The researchers said pollution, the climate crisis and the destruction of wildlife and nature “are the key global environmental issues of our time. These issues are intricately linked and solutions to each will benefit the others. [But] we cannot continue to ignore pollution. We are going backwards.”

      Prof Philip Landrigan, at Boston College in the US and a lead author of the analysis, said: “Pollution is still the largest existential threat to human and planetary health. Preventing pollution can also slow climate change – achieving a double benefit for planetary health – and our report calls for a massive, rapid transition away from all fossil fuels to clean, renewable energy.”

      Jesus: Hey, Dad? God: Yes, Son? Jesus: Western civilization followed me home. Can I keep it? God: Certainly not! And put it down this minute--you don't know where it's been! Tom Robbins in Another Roadside Attraction

Viewing 1 reply thread
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.