- These are hard times for physicists working on supersymmetry. The LHC constrains the parameter space with so far no evidence for what has been the most popular model of physics beyond the standard model for decades. For details, check Peter's post on "Implications of Initial LHC Searches for Supersymmetry", Tommaso on "LHC Excludes SUSY Theories, Theorists Clinch Hands", and Resonaances on "More SUSY limits". Geoff Brumfield in Nature News titles "Beautiful theory collides with smashing particle data." Brumfield quotes Chris Lester, from the ATLAS collaboration: "We're painting supersymmetry into a corner," and Alessandro Strumia, a theorist at the University of Pisa in Italy:
"Privately, a lot of people think that the situation is not good for SUSY. This is a big political issue in our field. For some great physicists, it is the difference between getting a Nobel prize and admitting they spent their lives on the wrong track."
This week's Nature issue also has an editorial titled Dark Rumblings, comparing the LHC SUSY search to Michelson & Morley's search for the ether, arguing that "the negative results now coming out of the LHC should be just as stimulating as any positive findings." So if you've wasted 30 years of your life, don't forget negative results should be stimulating.
- The International Loop Quantum Gravity Seminar (ILQGS), a seminar series by telephone conference, now has a blog. Maintained by Jorge Pullin, it offers summaries of the talks in the seminar series.
- The Max Planck Society has a YouTube channel with short video clips about their research fields. While parts are only available in German, some videos are in English and worth checking out. The topics are as diverse as the Max Planck Society's institutes and of equally diverse quality. Interesting for example: GERDA, The Germanium Detector Array (on the search for neutrinoless double-β-decay), a bat catching a fly, or Honey, I shrunk Brad Pitt (on a video software for changing your waist and bra size.)