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Frank Simon | MPI for Physics | Germany

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Waiting for the Big Bang

Now we are well into the Lepton Photon conference, mentioned several times already here… And it is a quite interesting conference, giving a very broad overview over what is going on in Particle Physics, Astroparticle Physics and other related fields. However, for such a big meeting, there is surprisingly little heated debate. I have the feeling that that, and also the wide range of topics being discussed here, is a symptom of the current state of high energy physics: We are all waiting for the “Big Bang”: Exciting, maybe even totally unexpected, new results!

Of course, there are new results that are discussed here at the conference: New limits on the Higgs, and improved measurements on all sorts of processes from the Tevatron, new results from Ultra-high energy cosmic rays (a topic I got quite interested in because of a lecture I’m giving at TU Munich)… But those latter ones are at least partially a disappointment: The correlation of ultra-high energy particles from outer space, single protons or iron nuclei with the kinetic energy of a well-pitched base ball, with known potential astrophysical sources such as active galaxies, got a lot weaker with more data… So, no “particle astronomy” yet, but of course that might well be the fault of the catalogs of active galaxies that are used, which are far from complete… All in all a lot of interesting stuff to listen to and to discuss about, but nothing fundamentally new that totally blows you away.

We all, well, I for one definitely, are longing for the first results from LHC, and hopefully for a few surprises! That would make for a some very hot meetings next year…

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