Today I was very surprised to discover that I got a video answer on YouTube by the renowned physicist and Nobel Laureate David Gross – as a part of nobelprize.org event “Ask a Nobel Laureate”. I found about this event on its facebook page, but at first didn’t gave it too much attention since there we’re a lot of non-sense questions all along with pseudo-science and space fiction. But later I decided to give it a try: I am a physicist, I know a great deal about the Standard Model, I understand what the guys at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) are doing and what I actually asked was a solid interest of mine. Here is my question [look for Baze Petrushev]:
Suppose we fail at discovering the Higgs boson and SUSY (supersymmetry) at LHC – do physicists have an alternative theory on mass generation and supersymmetry? And if not, will the data from LHC be enough for physicists to invent a replacement of (part of) the Standard Model?
This was part of my concern on sometimes overwhelming self-confidence that physicists have in the established science models. Lord Kelvin for example, was strongly convinced that in his time, only a minuscule part of the knowledge of the natural world was unknown to mankind. I guess that since his time, the world-view of the science community had changed, as the myriad of beautiful strange theories emerged.
After all, the Standard Model had survived the test of time many times, as it became the most precise theory, along with the General Theory of Relativity. And even if its part with the Higgs boson and/or supersymmetry fails, the good guys will find a way to fix it. At least, this is what David Gross ensures me in his answer:
What happens if the LHC fails to find the Higgs boson?