November 12, 2012
Supersymmetry Physics Theory Fails Important Test
Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online
The Supersymmetry theory helps to explain some of the inconsistencies in the traditional theory of subatomic physics.
New observations reported at the Hadron Collider Physics conference in Kyoto, Japan are not consistent with many of the most likely models of the theory.
Researchers had been hoping that the LHC would have confirmed the SUSY theory by now, but so far it has gone unconfirmed. Now, the latest results help to put the theory on the verge of being dismissed.
Supersymmetry claims that more massive versions of particles exist from what has already been detected. The existence of these larger particles helps to explain why galaxies appear to rotate faster than the Standard Model would suggest.
Physicists speculated that galaxies contain invisible dark matter made up of super particles, which result in these galaxies containing more mass than detected.
Researchers measured the decay between a particle known as a Bs Meson into two particles known as muons. This is the first time this decay has been observed, and the team calculated that every one billion times the Bs Meson decays, it decays this way three times.
If super particles existed, the decay would happen more often than observed. This test was one that would be the deciding factor of whether the theory was true.
Although researchers say the theory still has some promise, they added that the failed experiment was a major blow on the SUSY theory.
"Supersymmetry may not be dead but these latest results have certainly put it into hospital," Prof Chris Parkes, who is the spokesperson for the UK Participation in the LHCb experiment, told BBC News.
Supporters of supersymmetry believe that the observations are consistent with the theory, according to Prof John Ellis of King's College London.
"In fact, (it) was actually expected in (some) supersymmetric models," he told BBC. "I certainly won't lose any sleep over the result."