Obviously, physics lovers everywhere were excited at the announcement that the LHC had verified the existence of the Higgs Boson. As a non-physicist, I like to keep up with what I can regarding the latest developments (that laymen can appreciate). Now, I'm seeing all over news pages about the LHC starting back up again after a 2-year hiatus, and many of them report on the LHC "searching for evidence of parallel worlds". Now, scientific reporting is often sensationalized in the media, and quite often, it doesn't exactly match up with what's really being done.

So my question is: what experiments are currently planned at the LHC, and what specifically are they looking for now?

  • $\begingroup$ As anna v pointed out, supersymmetry and hints at string theory would be a good start. One might also add magnetic monopoles (i.e. magnets with only one pole - for many reasons, that would be a real breakthrough) and search for "alternative Higgs bosons" (some theories predict extra Higgs bosons, or at least that the one we already found is not the end of the story). But as always, and paradoxically, we're looking for what we're not looking for... Science progresses most when things turn out not as we expected them to. $\endgroup$ – Demosthene Mar 26 '15 at 10:32

One has to be aware that the data from the LHC experiments are studied by about 3000 physicists in each collaboration, which include students for a PhD. Thus, even though many people study the same favorite theory, all the possible predictions from theoretical models are evaluated at some study group and a publication will come out giving either direct measurements or limits on predicted crossections and distributions. One can look at the publications page for the LHC to see the enormous variety of subjects that have already been explored in addition to the Higgs. These will be explored further with the higher energy data.

If the question is "what do physicists consider crucial to discover " (instead of just limits) with the new data, the answer is "the existence of Supersymmetry" and of course any more indications of "string theory phenomenological predictions" ( supersymmetry is one of them). .


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.