Into the unknown

See also Chapter 3.8 of Smashing Physics.

This morning the first LHC paper to really probe for new physics was submitted by ATLAS to the preprint server and to Physical Review Letters.

There has already been one paper (by CMS) on minimum bias results in 7 TeV collisions, which was the first paper from the highest energy collisions ever seen. (For more on minimum bias see here and here). There are also numerous preliminary results from all the LHC experiments. However, this ATLAS paper is the first to be sent for publication which contains results from the highest energy quark and gluon collisions ever. As I explained here, this is really where one becomes sensitive to physics beyond the Standard Model of particle physics.

What we have done in this paper is set exclusion limits. This means we didn’t see anything unexpected, but we have pushed the boundaries of our knowledge of fundamental physics up a notch in energy. We are really exploring new ground now. More data are still coming in, the measurements are still getting more precise. Another major milestone in the campaign…

Also, four pages of physics, 15 pages of authors and acknowledgments! Imagine if this paper had shattered the Standard Model, or found the Higgs – You see the problem with Nobel prizes? They even missed out Cabibbo for goodness sake!



About Jon Butterworth

UCL Physics prof, works on LHC, writes (books, Guardian Science and elsewhere). Citizen of England, UK, Europe & Nowhere, apparently.
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