This is the last of my 5 days at PASCOS, and it’s been an enthralling past week. I feel like I’m at an awesome festival of science – I had a great time, everything was superbly organized, and I got to witness some great science in action! I hope that next year it’s held somewhere that I can visit, because I’m already looking forward to it!
One of the talks that I found most exciting was given by James Wells at CERN, and he spoke about ‘The Fragility of Higgs Boson Predictions for the LHC’. The talk was exceptionally clear and well delivered, it was an great example of how to give an impressive scientific talk! He spoke about how it is an act of human-centric hubris on our part to think that the only particles out there are the kind that make us up (plus their superpartners). Anthropocentric lines of thought have not got us far in the science in the past (he showed us a picture of Copernicus).
In particular, there is no reason to discount the idea of the SM being coupled to a hidden sector that interacts with the Higgs. The particles of this sector would be invisible to our detectors but can be detected by their missing energy. Such an idea seems to be a recurring theme in many of the talks in this conference, and is increasingly becoming an active area of research in phenomenology. His conclusion was that such a hidden sector could easily complicate our lives by making Higgs phenomenology more difficult, and it’s not hard for it to rule out the favored light Higgs altogether! He presented ways for the LHC to find evidence for such a hidden sector.