“There are lots of stories out there about how physics is broken, and how we need a massive new breakthrough or a paradigm shift to keep the enterprise of new discoveries going. What nonsense! The truth is that the laws of physics we have in place are the most successful sets of laws we’ve ever come up with. They’ve been tested more robustly than any other set of laws ever, and they’ve passed every single one.”

Over the past month, four big experiments looking for new physics have announced their latest results, and all four have come up empty. At the LHC, ATLAS and CMS failed to confirm the existence of a new particle, leaving us with only the Standard Model. At LUX, the most sensitive dark matter search failed to detect anything new. At IceCube, evidence for a sterile neutrino evaporated. And at CERN’s MoEDAL experiment, magnetic monopoles failed to show up. This might seem like a defeat for physicists, but it’s anything but! The Standard Model and General Relativity emerged victorious again, making them the most successful physical theories of all time, having passed test after test robustly and rigorously. There are still mysteries out there waiting to be uncovered, but we’re going to have to dig a lot deeper if we want to do it.
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