Beyond the God Particle: CERN Scientists Search for a New World in SUSY

By Anthony Smith on August 10, 2012 2:17 PM EDT

ATLAS detector CERN
The ATLAS detector at CERN is one of two experiments that contributed data to the monumental discovery of a 'Higgs-like' particle. (Photo: Creative Commons: Image Editor)

CERN scientists who recently dazzled the world with their unfathomably important discovery of the holy grail of physics-- the once-fabled, now-confirmed God particle that could very well be the most simple, fundamental building block of the entire universe-- are now on a joinery to chart an unmapped, undiscovered world of particles that could very well be the key to finalizing the much-sought-after theory of everything.

Hot off last months announcement that the Higgs boson had been unearthed by these CERN scientists, they're now doubling down on their efforts by teeming through the massive volume of material yielded by the Genevan research facility's Large Hadron Collider for proof of what they're affectionately naming SUSY.

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Previously known as Supersymmetry, SUSY contains the idea that each and every single one of the most basic particles that compose our universe, and each and every single thing in it, has a superpartner that is almost exactly identical to it.

"SUSY is still a very valid option and we have just started to constrain it on the energy scale," Oliver Buchmueller, a CERN physicist specializing in particle study, reported to Reuters. "There are many regions on the map of where it should be that we have still to explore."

Many scientists contend that the existence of SUSY is corroborated by the discovery of the God Particle which, some physicists believe, is inexorably linked to the bizarro particle world.

"Supersymmetry," began the chief US theoretician Matt Strassler, "is a conjectured symmetry of space and time."

Think: Einstein's Theory of Relativity on steroids. If it's proven, it could provide our species with a fuller picture of the laws that govern the nature of the universe.

Strassler, Buchmueller, and their ilk believe that SUSY may help to explain the unseen dark matter that composes close to 80 percent of all material objects in the universe, and would also contribute a strong backbone for the idea of string theory-- the horse to bet on in the search for the theory of everything. Proponents of string theory believe that, on a level infinitesimally smaller than particles, our universe is composed of micro-strings.

If you're looking for this to happen overnight, you'll be just a touch disappointed. Physicists at CERN believe that we'll probably first encounter supersymmetrical particles in early 2015, when the power of the Large Hadron Collider will have increased by a factor of two.

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