January 06, 2013
We found the most sought-after particle in physics. Now what?
Lawrence Krauss in Slate:
Before the Large Hadron Collider at CERN in Switzerland was turned on, there were five possibilities for what might be revealed: 1) No Higgs and nothing else, 2) a Higgs with unexpected properties and nothing else, 3) lots of other stuff but no Higgs, 4) a Higgs and lots of other stuff, and 5) a single Higgs with the properties predicted in the standard model.
Many might imagine that physicists were rooting for door No. 5 because we like to be vindicated. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. The discovery of the Higgs validates the prediction of the standard model, and with that much of the theoretical underpinning of modern fundamental physics and cosmology. But now we are completely baffled about the origins of the standard model itself. I, for one, was rooting for no Higgs at all, because that would have meant our fundamental ideas were on the wrong track. Nothing can be more exciting than finding that we have to start from scratch and discover a whole new reality hidden.
Posted by S. Abbas Raza at 06:48 PM | Permalink