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On Physics Web today! December 6, 2006

Posted by dorigo in Blogroll, games, internet, news, personal, physics, politics, science.

Martin Griffiths’ article on betting in physics is out at http://physicsweb.org/articles/world/19/12/7/1 , on the Physics Web internet site. He contacted me about a month ago to inquire about a US$1000 bet I placed on this site (see https://dorigo.wordpress.com/2006/09/04/this-1000-says-there-aint-new-physics-at-the-tev-scale/ and following posts) about no physics beyond the standard model being found at the LHC, and obtained some information he used in his article.

He did keep his promise – he linked my site in the article. Thank you, Martin… By reading the article, I also got to know several trivia I did not know (notably, the fact that Stephen Hawking is betting against the Tevatron finding the Higgs boson – we’ll see Stephen!). Go have a look!



1. Dave - December 6, 2006

I would like to clarify something about your bet. When you say that no physics “beyond the Standard Model” will be discovered at the LHC, does that include SM predicted physics which is not discovered as well? Specifically, who wins if ATLAS and CMS don’t see a SM Higgs signal? Also, would a fourth generation of quarks which fits nicely into the SM count as a win or a loss?

2. dorigo - December 6, 2006

Hi Dave,

we bet on observations, not on exclusions. So if the LHC experiments exclude a SM Higgs, even at 5-sigma level, that is not an observation of physics beyond the standard model. Rather, it is an indication that the SM is inconsistent (Doh! we’ve known that for a while now anyhow).

On the other hand, if a fourth generation of quarks is found, regardless of whether they may be accommodated in an extended version of the SM or whether they come from a totally different physics, I lose my bet, because new particles as of yet unseen are by definition NEW.


3. Fred Diether - December 10, 2006

Hi Tommaso,

What about the HyperCP X214 MeV find? If that is replicated, will you lose? I think so far there is no good Standard Model explanation for it.



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