The human eye sees very little. Our eyes can see only 0.0035% of the electromagnetic spectrum, ranging from high frequency gamma rays to low frequency radio waves. To really understand the natural world and cosmos we need technology that takes us beyond our natural sensory limits. We also need to make clever guesses about how things might work to know where to aim that technology.
The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN, Geneva is the most exciting technology of its kind and this year when it reopens it will be aimed at Susy, the catchy name given to a theory known as supersymmetry that posits that every particle has a super partner particle. This yet to be discovered super partner particle would allow the Higgs boson particle to be light and tie up a lot of loose ends in theoretical physics.
The Standard Model of particle physics explains nature at a particle level while the separate theory of general relativity explains gravity. These two theories happily coexist, however at a certain point, when things get extremely small and incredibly massive, they become incompatible. Discovering Susy would represent a significant step towards a happy romance between these two important theories and bring us closer to a single, coherent, all-encompassing grand unified theory of everything.
Many also hope that discovering Susy will help to explain dark matter. Dark matter as the name suggests is not visible. It neither absorbs nor emits light but its existence can be inferred from its gravitational impact on visible matter. It accounts for most of the matter in the universe and is thought by some to consist of supersymmetric particles.
2015 will be an exciting high stakes year at CERN. If Susy remains elusive a cloud will continue to hang over the Standard Model and force those hoping to use supersymmetric particles to explain dark matter to pose difficult new questions. If on the other hand Susy is discovered it will be a huge step forward in our understanding of the universe and much champagne will flow in Meyrin and around the world.