The Future at the LHC
In essence, we didn’t know if the Standard Model was valid.
As the island of knowledge expands the shores of ignorance grows faster. The Higgs Boson and whether our understanding of mass made any sense is kind of a road block on many questions that there are on our standard model of physics. In essence we didn’t know whether the standard model was valid up to those energies and now we know it has a pretty good chance of being valid so if there was no Higgs we’d have had a theory that works at low energies but would be invalid at these energies so that’s, ah, so now have a tool we can work with at these high energies we have a standard model with a HIggs that kind of works. We have a standard model that works up to these high energies which is a great relief but the standard model we already know isn’t the end of the story, there are various reasons for knowing that. One is the fact that we are all made of matter, not anti matter and yet most of the forces in the standard model are completely symmetric between the two so if you think everything started in a Big Bang at some point, there should be just as much anti matter lying around or nearly as much. There’s no way of understanding that within the current standard model so we’re looking for clues to that, we hope that the physic associated with the Higgs might give us some clues but if it’s just a standard Higgs Boson it won’t.
There are other questions like why are there three copies of everything? There’s three copies of each Quark and each electron for instance has, there’s an electron but then there’s a muon which is just like an electron but heavier and then there’s another one but that’s a Tau which is just like the electron and the Muon but heavier still. There are three of those, there are three neutrinos) there are three of each Quark. Why is that, we don’t really know, erm, and again we’re looking for clues. We don’t have, and I have to be honest, we don’t have a question that we’re guaranteed to answer, like we were guaranteed to say “is there a standard model Higgs Boson?” We knew we’d get the answer to that. Now we’re really entering incognito. There’s plenty of questions out there but we don’t where the answers are so we still searching.
Another big question, a very clear one, but is not just a theoretical question is Dark Matter. As far as we can tell from looking at galaxies and observing the way light propigates with the universe, 80% of the matter in the universe is not electrons and quarks and things, it’s something else and we don’t know what that something else is. There’s nothing in the standard model to do it. If it’s some new fundamental particle we might be able to make them at the LHC and we’re looking very hard to see if we are, of course they’re hard to see because they are dark, but we are looking for them and we do have ways of detecting whether we’re seeing them. Nothing os far but we’re going up again in energy shortly as well, there’s a whole new set of this landscape above this special energy scale, this electro weak energy scale to explore.