A new preprint has appeared on the arXiv detailing the current status of searches for supersymmetry in light of the results from LHC Run 1. The preprint appears to be a chapter from a recent review of Run 1. The authors go over the various results that potentially relate to SUSY searches and what they mean for theory. In short, while SUSY hasn’t been found,, there are still plenty of ways to fit SUSY into current data. The constrained MSSM, which is the most common benchmark model for SUSY, is basically totally ruled out at this point.
Jazz legend Ornette Coleman died earlier today. Coleman was most well known as a jazz innovator who helped create free jazz. He rejected the complicated chord progressions and often strict rules of bebop and instead embraced “collective improvisation” (the subtitle of one of his albums) and approached things like harmony and melody in unusual ways.
The New York Times has a long article on the “Event Horizon Telescope,” a project using a number of large telescope facilities to try to find conclusive evidence for the existence of the black hole believed to be at the center of the Milky Way. The article talks a bit about the science goals but also a lot on the history of such work and the people who do it. There are also some really nice images in the article and a couple related articles. Finding better evidence for black holes would be hugely important because it might let astronomers test some of the predictions of general relativity.
A horse finally won the Triple Crown for the first time since the 1970s. A few days ago, the horse American Pharaoh won the Belmont Stakes to finish the Triple Crow, which if you don’t know, consists of winning the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, and Belmont Stakes races in a single year. Of course, horse racing is a pretty anachronistic sport and I don’t actually know anyone who regularly follows it. The sport has had more than its fair share of controversy in recent years, since horses breaking legs and being euthanized on the track is not an unusual occurrence.
FIFA recently produced what sounds a lot like some sort of Sepp Blatter hagiography (the BBC link actually uses this exact word to describe it). It was released this past weekend and made a grand total of $607. To be fair, it only opened on 10 screens, so assuming the total is for Friday to Sunday, this means that an average of about two whole people saw it in each theater on each night.
The BBC has an interesting recent post on what happens when you fall into a black hole. It mostly gives a rundown of various ideas about what happens (we can’t really test those ideas for obvious reasons). I don’t really know enough about general relativity to comment on the accuracy of the post, but I think they are correct when they say that if you fall into a large black hole, you don’t really notice anything, Nothing particularly special seems to happen at the event horizon to the object passing across the horizon. The more interesting idea here is that the black hole in some sense splits reality into two parts that can’t interact with one another (except perhaps through some quantum gravity effects).
A huge earthquake (greater than magnitude 8.0) shook Japan on Saturday, registering as much as a 5 on the Japanese earthquake scale in some places. Given the size of the earthquake, the shaking was actually pretty minor and little actual damage was caused. The epicenter was incredibly deep underground, so while the distance along the surface was fairly low, the earthquake was actually quite far away. In Shinjuku in central Tokyo, there wasn’t too much shaking (it wasn’t even noticeable to those walking around on the street) although objects rattling around made it clear that an earthquake was happening. Reportedly, things felt much scarier even just a few miles away in neighboring districts of the city.
This isn’t the only activity to hit Japan in recent weeks. There’s also been extra activity at Hakone and even right now a small volcano is erupting on an island in southern Japan.