Even to physics watchers, Supersymmetry Theory (SuSy) is difficult to get your head around.
Essentially, SuSy is an extension to the Standard Model of particle physics, or perhaps a set of extensions. These theories are built around the idea that each subatomic particle has a “superpartner”, which cannot be detected because it has a different spin, giving it a presence in different dimensions to ours. Each superpartner is more massive than its partner in our 4 dimensions.
The ideas are extremely attractive to theoretical physicists especially, because they are mathematically elegant, in contrast to the sprawling, fudged up mass of the Standard Model. SuSy provides neat answers to the the problems of Dark Matter, the Higgs Mechanism by which mass is imparted to matter and even provides a lot of the necessary framework for multiverse theories.
However, there is one problem with SuSy, and the longer it goes on the bigger the problem gets. There is not one shred of experimental evidence for SuSy’s theory of superpartners. Contrast the success of the messy Standard Model, which correctly predicted amongst many things that the Higgs would be found at 126GeV. Accordingly, the longer the LHC has run without any big result to confirm SuSy, the more the theory has been seen to be in the “last chance saloon”.
Well, in what for professional physicists must be a landmark result, LHCb, the unsung hero of the LHC’s major detectors, has come up with a result that shows that the theoretical superpartner of the vanishingly massless neutrino would have to weigh in at 300GeV. This is so unbelievable that the many SuSy theoreticians attached to the ATLAS detector have now been sent to work on other projects. It’s looking bad for SuSy.
It’s a major feather in the cap for LHCb, which barely gets a mention behind ATLAS and CMS. It was set up to observe the beauty quark (hence the name) and evidence for antimatter, but it’s detectors are extremely sensitive and successful.