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To: Joe Brower
It does seem that high energy physics has indeed been spinning it's wheels for many years now. It wouldn't surprise me if, in the coming years, some little fellow from Pakistan comes along with a completely new perspective that tosses the last two decades of work out the window.

It has certainly been spinning its wheels, and many little fellows have come along with many new perspectives. We don't lack ideas; those we have in spades. The problem is that we don't have any new experimental data that we could use to separate the relevant ideas from the irrelevant, the good from the bad, the useful from the useless. The highest-energy accelerator in the world is the Tevatron at Fermilab, which was built in the 1980's. We now have a pretty good handle on the physics at that energy scale; to get any deeper understanding requires more energetic collisions.

In the next five years a higher-energy accelerator will finally come online, the LHC at CERN. Then we will be able to resume progress.

11 posted on 03/16/2005 7:28:20 AM PST by Physicist
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To: Physicist
We now have a pretty good handle on the physics at that energy scale; to get any deeper understanding requires more energetic collisions.

Don't want to harp too much on this.

However, I lament the demise of the SSC. Sigh. What is done is done though. We will press on with the new tools that are upcoming. :-)

15 posted on 03/16/2005 8:23:12 AM PST by RadioAstronomer
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To: Physicist
There's one issue I'm not altogether clear about. Would the following not qualify as a "prediction" or "experiment" of string theory?

Finding the Ultimate Theory of Everything

Of course the nature of this CSL-1 anomaly remains unsettled, but if this and associated tests were to hold up as indicative of cosmic superstrings wouldn't that affirm that the string theory concept is on the right track?

47 posted on 03/16/2005 1:11:05 PM PST by AntiGuv ()
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