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So just what is out there beyond the Standard Model?

17 Nov 2012, 01:32 UTC
So just what is out there beyond the Standard Model?
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“Other than the laws of physics, rules have never really worked out for me.” -Craig Ferguson
Earlier this week, evidence was presented measuring a very rare decay rate — albeit not incredibly precisely — which point towards the Standard Model being it as far as new particles accessible to colliders (such as the LHC) go. In other words, unless we get hit by a big physics surprise, the LHC will become renowned for having found the Higgs Boson and nothing else, meaning that there’s no window into what lies beyond the Standard Model via traditional experimental particle physics.
Image credit: Fermilab, modified by me.
But that by no means is the same thing as saying “the Standard Model is all there is.” There are a large number of observations that tell us quite clearly that there’s very likely more to the Universe than just the quarks, leptons, and bosons of the Standard Model. While experiments are telling us that low-energy supersymmetry and extra dimensions probably don’t exist (and the LHC will either turn them up or even further constrain them towards the point of irrelevance), there are plenty of pieces of evidence that there is more to existence than these ...

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