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As the steam cools down, the water molecules freeze and form patterns, like the ones you see on cold windows. The symmetry of the freely moving water in the steam has been reduced or broken to the lesser symmetry of the ice pattern. It is thus not necessarily surprising that supersymmetry may only be an approximate symmetry of nature, and that superparticles have not been observed with the expected masses.

Unfortunately, it is not clear how supersymmetry is broken.

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Different theoretical assumptions on the mechanism of supersymmetry breaking lead to different specific models with different superparticle mass spectra. So why do we expect to find superparticles at the LHC? The two main reasons are the so-called ''naturalness criterion'' and the existence of the astrophysical dark matter. What is the ''naturalness criterion''? Through the interaction with the quantum vacuum, the mass of the Higgs particle should be about 10 17 times higher than the actual Higgs mass measured at the LHC. So what keeps the Higgs mass light? Is it some tremendously large and thus unnatural cancellation between different effects, or rather a new theoretical structure like supersymmetry?

Supersymmetry fits the bill. Supersymmetry modifies the quantum vacuum and can explain naturally why the Higgs boson is light, provided that the mass of the superparticles is not too large, i. Remarkably, such superparticles could also constitute the dark matter of the universe: many supersymmetric models predict the existence of a massive, electrically neutral and stable superparticle, which provides just the right amount of dark matter!

Supersymmetry, however, has one rather serious problem: there is so far no experimental evidence for the existence of superparticles. Superparticles should modify numerous observables through quantum fluctuations, and it should be possible to find superparticles at the LHC, provided their masses are not too high so that they can be created from the energy released in the proton-proton collisions.

So, let us look in more detail into the searches at the LHC. The superpartners which feel the strong interaction should be produced most copiously in proton-proton collisions at the LHC, and they would decay practically instantaneously into other, lighter, superparticles and into ordinary particles.

Why Supersymmetry is Nonsense

In many supersymmetric models, the lightest superparticle is neutral and stable, and may constitute dark matter. This dark matter particle is produced at the end of any supersymmetric decay chain and leaves the detector without a trace. Thus the generic signature for supersymmetry at the LHC is the production of ordinary, tough highly energetic, particles from the decay of the heavy superparticles, together with missing momentum from the invisible dark matter particles.

From the absence of any signal in the current LHC data one can deduce lower limits on the masses of the strongly interacting superparticles of more than one tera electron volt short "TeV", about times the proton mass. With such high superparticle masses, it is difficult to naturally explain why the Higgs particle is so light. And while supersymmetric models with superparticle masses close to or beyond one TeV can still accommodate dark matter, it will be very hard to directly detect such particles and to confirm the supersymmetric solution to the dark matter mystery.

So should we give up on supersymmetry as a solution to the naturalness problem, or give up the hope to directly observe superparticles and dark matter? Unexplained phenomena 17 minutes ago. Can a virtual particle from a maget accelerate another particle on a linear path?

Supersymmetry Fails Test, Forcing Physics to Seek New Ideas - Scientific American

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Who knows what we can make out of stuff we havent even discovered yet? If some of this stuff is dark matter then we know it persists. Maybe we can use it. Maybe for making unimaginable things. Sign in. Forgot Password Registration.

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Your friend's email. It's just the way things are. Since the partner particles are all expected to be heavy otherwise, we would've seen them by now , we expected they would decay quickly into showers of other things we might recognize, and then we would've built our detectors accordingly. But what if the partner particles were long-lived? What if, through some quirk of exotic physics give theorists a few hours to think about it, and they'll come up with more than enough quirks to make it happen , these particles manage to escape the confines of our detectors before dutifully decaying into something less strange?

In this scenario, our searches would've come up completely empty, simply because we weren't looking far enough away. Also, our detectors are not designed to be able to look directly for these long-lived particles. In a recent paper published online Feb. With the current experimental setup, they couldn't search for every possible long-lived particle, but they were able to search for neutral particles with masses between 5 and times that of the proton. The ATLAS team searched for the long-lived particles not in the center of the detector, but at its edges, which would've allowed the particles to travel anywhere from a few centimeters up to a few meters.

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That may not seem very far in terms of human standards, but for massive, fundamental particles, it might as well be the edge of the known universe. Of course, this isn't the first search for long-lived particles, but it is the most comprehensive, using almost the full weight of loads of experimental records at the Large Hadron Collider. Does this mean that idea is dead, too? Not quite — these instruments weren't really designed to go hunting for these kinds of wild beasts, and we're only scraping by with what we have. It may take another generation of experiments specifically designed to trap long-lived particles before we actually catch one. Or, more depressingly, they don't exist.