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Fermilab | Batavia, IL | USA

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Unanswered questions

This article appeared in symmetry on Oct. 22, 2013.

Do you think scientists have the answers to all the questions? As these researchers admit, there’s still so much to discover. Particle physics is brimming with mysteries and unknowns. Photo: Sandbox Studio, Chicago

Do you think scientists have the answers to all the questions? As these researchers admit, there’s still so much to discover. Particle physics is brimming with mysteries and unknowns. Photo: Sandbox Studio, Chicago

Bring hundreds of smart physicists together and what do you get? Lots of questions!

This summer, more than 700 particle physicists from nearly 100 universities and laboratories across the United States came together on the University of Minnesota’s Twin Cities campus for the Snowmass Community Summer Study meeting. There, they discussed the decades ahead in US particle physics, carefully considering the next steps in their studies of energy, matter, space and time.

During coffee breaks, symmetry asked attendees to share open questions in particle physics. Here’s a sample of what particle physicists think about and what they hope to discover in the coming decades.

View an image gallery of particle physicists asking their most pressing questions.

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One Response to “Unanswered questions”

  1. Uncle Al says:

    Boson photons and fermionic matter seeing trace different vacuum symmetries fundamentally source chiral divergences in particle theory and quantum gravitation.

    Do opposite shoes violate the Equivalence Principle?

    “Opposite shoes” are visually and chemically identical, single crystal test masses grown in enantiomorphic space groups. The Equivalence Principle is inert to composition and field: Eötvös experiments, Nordtvedt effect; PSR J1903+0327 and PSR J0348+0432. Given parity violations, chiral anomalies, symmetry breakings; Chern-Simons parity artifacts of Einstein-Hilbert action… A geometric Eötvös experiment contrasts 6.68×10^22 pairs of opposite shoes (pairs of enantiomorphic unit cells; 40 g alpha-quartz total).

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