The LHC shut down for the winter on the 6th December and since this month we have already had several conferences with new results released and some indications of future plans for the LHC. In particular
- First Results, Heavy Ions – 2 Dec
- Charm and Bottom 3 Dec
- Evian Beam Workshop 7-9 Dec
- LHC First Data 12 – 15 Dec
- End-of-year Jamboree 17 Dec
- Precision Physics 15-18 Dec
In some cases we have seen plots using almost all of the 45/pb of data so far collected. The summary is that so far no new Beyond-Standard-Model discoveries have shown up. Some new limits have been set for exotic particles and the allowed parameter space for SUSY has been trimmed down.
The lack of black holes in particular has led to a flurry of headlines saying that string theory predictions have failed. On this subject I am fully in agreement with Lubos when he says that very few theorists expected (including string theorists) expected to see these black holes. They are part of a speculative theory about large extra dimensions. It has some interesting features, but it is not a definite prediction from string theory.
Lubos has also pointed out that some results from the Tevatron are favouring a SUSY Higgs sector. The elimination of some SUSY parameter space is not a big deal for SUSY supporters. There was always a possiblity of SUSY showing up at this point, but it is much more likely to appear with more data. Until the Higgs sector has been fully explored and understood by the LHC, everything is to play for.