Did 'The Big Bang Theory' Get the Science Right? A Lesson in Supersymmetry and Economy Class

Live Science | 1/22/2019 | Staff
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They say that life imitates art, but the arrow goes both ways. Far more often, art imitates life. That's what happened in a recent episode of the hit television show "The Big Bang Theory." In the episode — "The Confirmation Polarization" — Sheldon and Amy receive an email from Fermilab. Two scientists had confirmed Amy and Sheldon's theory called Super Asymmetry. The researchers were studying a subatomic particle called kaons and the measurement and prediction (how it should behave in theory) disagreed. They called their measurement a failure until they realized that Amy and Sheldon's paper, published only a few months prior, explained the discrepancy. The two researchers were flown (in economy plus…more on that later) to Caltech to meet Amy and Sheldon.

A snake in an Australian suburb was carrying an astonishing number of parasitic hitchhikers.

Experiment - Guys - Laboratory - Fermilab - Theory

How about the experiment? Could two guys at a laboratory like Fermilab confirm a theory like Super Asymmetry using kaons? Well, it's certainly possible that direct measurements of kaons could disagree with predictions and that a new theory is needed to explain that discrepancy. So, we'll give them that one. But modern experimental groups have way more than two people on them. My own research group (which is diligently testing the idea of the real-world supersymmetry) involves about 3,000 scientists drawn from across the world. This experimental group, called the Compact Muon Collaboration, or CMS, uses data collected at the CERN laboratory in Europe. CERN is Fermilab's sister laboratory, and it hosts the Large Hadron Collider, which accelerates beams of protons to near the speed of light, colliding them inside a 5-story tall scientific apparatus, called the CMS detector.

The CMS collaboration is comprised of scientists from about 200 research institutes. The Fermilab CMS group is made up of about 100 scientists and even more engineers,...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Live Science
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