Friday, June 3, 2011

Poll 78 - Will the LHC reveal extra dimensions?

A direct link to the above video is at

Poll 78 - "The CERN LHC will provide evidence of extra dimensions before the end of 2011. " Poll ended March 1 2011. 46.9% agreed, while 53.1% disagreed.

In Bees and the LHC, I quoted from an article published last year in Scientific American which suggested that the LHC might finally reveal evidence of extra dimensions, and that was what inspired this poll question.  Here we are half way through 2011 now, has there been anything definitive from the LHC yet? Not so far as I know. There were hints a couple of months ago that the LHC may have caught a fleeting indication of the Higgs boson, but more recent results are not confirming the sighting. In May there was a New Scientist article reporting news from the soon-to-be-shut-down Tevatron, about hints of a new particle which would not fit within the Standard Model, and references a paper suggesting that such a particle could be straddling extra dimensions.

This lovely little animation of vibrating Calabi-Yau manifolds comes from the blog of Czech physicist Luboš Motl. Luboš declares himself to be conservative in his viewpoints, but even he, in an entry from last November, accepts the possibility that the LHC is going to reveal evidence of extra dimensions. He even goes so far to say that he believes this revelation to be much more likely to occur than the possibility that climate change will cause significant problems to the biosphere or for mankind in this century! To be clear, he places the possibility of the LHC revealing extra dimensions at only one to two per cent, saying in the conclusion of his detailed and informative blog entry that even if the LHC fails to reveal extra dimensions this year there are still very good reasons for physicists to continue to believe they exist.

Luboš also links to articles from Popular Science and ZDNet about the possibility of  the LHC revealing extra dimensions in 2011. Will it come to pass? The clock is ticking.

Enjoy the journey!

Rob Bryanton

Next: New Video - Language and the Mind

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