Is Particle Physics About to Crack Wide Open? – Scientific American Blog Network

The importance of this result is clear to everybody working in the field and it has immediately triggered a huge amount of work on the possible implications. None of the more fundamental models that currently exist as possible replacements for the SM can explain the bump. If the SM has fallen it is likely not for any reason we expected. If the new particle is real, it is absolutely unclear what might be its role in the greater scheme of things. Maybe it is related indirectly to the Higgs boson somehow, or maybe it is connected with the puzzle of dark matter in the universe. Or maybe it is just there by chance. Certainly these are questions that scientist will have to answer in the future and more data will help to understand what lies ahead.

This is by far the most exciting thing that has happened in particle physics over the last three decades. If this hint of new physics is confirmed—something that could happen within just a few weeks, or possibly even within days—it is difficult to state the importance of such a discovery. It would be bigger than the detection of the Higgs boson, which was just confirmation of what was already known. If the bump is real, we are about to start writing a whole new chapter in the history of fundamental physics. It is impossible to imagine where this could lead.

We could know the answer very, very soon.

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TV pundits and op-ed writers of every major newspaper epitomize how the Democratic establishment has already reached a consensus: the 2020 nominee must be a centrist, a Joe Biden, Cory Booker or Kamala Harris–type, preferably. They say that Joe Biden should "run because [his] populist image fits the Democrats’ most successful political strategy of the past generation" (David Leonhardt, New York Times), and though Biden "would be far from an ideal president," he "looks most like the person who could beat Trump" (David Ignatius, Washington Post). Likewise, the same elite pundit class is working overtime to torpedo left-Democratic candidates like Sanders.

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The reason is that nominating centrist Democrats who don't speak to class issues will result in a great swathe of voters simply not voting. Conversely, right-wing candidates who speak to class issues, but who do so by harnessing a false consciousness — i.e. blaming immigrants and minorities for capitalism's ills, rather than capitalists — will win those same voters who would have voted for a more class-conscious left candidate. Piketty calls this a "bifurcated" voting situation, meaning many voters will connect either with far-right xenophobic nationalists or left-egalitarian internationalists, but perhaps nothing in-between.

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