The path of the LHC experiments to the successful observation of a Higgs boson has not been the smoothest I could think of, with delays in construction, incidents, and the like; but we are finally there. And now, with over 10/fb of data fully analyzed and presented at ICHEP, we can take stock and draw the "summer 2012" picture on existing and non-existing subnuclear entities, the non-existing ones notably including SUSY particles and other new physics candidates which are periodically evoked by theorists to mend the shortcomings of the standard model.
The shortcomings of the standard model! Shortcomings? The standard model is an amazing theory! Everything we have been measuring in 45 years of particle physics is in astounding agreement with calculations. Even the only clear departure, the mass of neutrinos, while specifically pointing at something not described in the standard model, remains something which does not affect the solidity of the construction. Sure, the SM is not designed to explain everything (gravity, for instance, or dark matter, to name two things). But what it is meant to explain, it does excellently.
In particular, a clear non-standard-model signal is nowhere to be found to this day; for sure not in the 10/fb results of the ATLAS and CMS collaborations.
So, to me this is pay day. If you recall, a full six years ago (September 2006 to be exact) I bet $1000 with Gordon Watts (an experimentalist in ATLAS, who took the bet for $250) and Jacques Distler (a theorist from Texas university, who covered the remaining $750) that no new physics beyond the SM would be claimed by the ATLAS and CMS experiments upon analyzing 10/fb worth of data.
I claim I have won the bet. I had informal contacts with Gordon already, and he confirms he is going to concede the bet. I am sending an email to Jacques today to get him on board as well.
Furthermore, I had two bets on with Tony Smith, an ex particle physicist and an aficionado of this blog, for $100 each. I do not recall the exact stipulation of those; I need to dig it out of my mailbox, and will do so when Tony will write a guest post here describing the matter; in any case, I won those two bets as well.
Tony insists that I also won a bottle of "Strega" (an italian liquor) and wants to send me additional money for that; but I refuse to accept that -I do not drink superalcoholics, and accepting money in its stead appears uncalled for.
So, that is the status as of today. You will hear more as I get a hold of Jacques. Hopefully each of them will write a guest post here, describing why they took the bets and what they believe the future will bring !
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