In just four weeks the Europhysics HEP conference for 2011 will begin. This is a biannual meeting alternating each year with the ICHEP conference. This year it is being held in Grenoble and promises to be the biggest HEP event of the year with several hundred talks and poster sessions.
Abstracts of many talks have already been posted covering a wide diversity of experimental and theoretical subjects, but the main interest will be on the CMS and ATLAS searches. At the recent PLHC conference there were about a dozen reports using new LHC data. A couple form CMS and about ten from ATLAS. At that time about 200/pb of data was available. Although that was only a few weeks ago the LHC has now delivered much more and at Europhysics HEP they should be able to show the results of searches using 1000/pb. That is enough to say something significant about new physics. So far there are 13 abstracts posted for ATLAS that promise to use 2011 data and 20 for CMS.
These talks include a number of SUSY searches. If these find no new physics much of the most likely phase space for supersymmetry will be wiped out. SUSY in some form will still be possible, but it will have to be different from what the phenomenologists have predicted as the most likely scenarios. It will start to look like the last 30 years of research in hep-ph have been on the wrong track. If they do see hints something they will quickly be able to narrow down the available theories and tell us something very useful about the laws of physics.
Other presentations will look at the Higgs searches. With the 1/fb of luminosity likely to be included it should be possible to exclude the Higgs for masses above 135 GeV on the assumption that the standard model is the only physics in play. However, the standard model predicts vacuum instabilities for lighter Higgs masses. If this is the way it plays out we will know that something new must be there even if we don’t yet see it. The other possibility is that a promising signal for the Higgs will be seen at a higher mass. Either way there will be something to remember about Europhysics HEP 2011.
With just the 2010 data of 40/pb each, CMS and ATLAS have already produced hundreds of papers looking at different possible decay channels and search scenarios. As the amount of data available increases the possibility to look for rarer events in different channels goes up. With 1000/pb there will be a lot of things they can explore. Even with 6000 physicists between them divided up into small groups they will have to prioritize what they do for this conference. If you are one of those 6000 you should be too busy to be reading this so get back to work, and don’t expect any rest for a long time.