This 1000$ says there ain’t new physics at the TeV scale. Back in 2006 that probably would have been seen as a pretty bold bet. (Now less then a week away, not so much. :) ) It also appears he is still convinced there may not be much to look forward to in 2011 by way of new discoveries.
All this has got me thinking: what would happen to particle phsyics if the LHC finds no new physics beyond the standard model? Or: what if the LHC finds nothing new except the standard model Higgs?
A few things come to mind:
First: I wonder if that would spell the end of accelerator physics for some time to come do to a withdrawal of funding. The US and UK already appear to have taken some steps to cut funding for future accelerator experiments even in the face of the potential discoveries of the LHC. In fact, the UK may still cut some funds for the LHC itself. How can this funding landscape do anything but get worse if the LHC finds nothing?
It will be difficult to appear before governments and argue "Funny thing HaHa... moving up in energy with the Tevetron yielded no new physics beyond the standard model despite claims that it might... Then moving up in energy even further with the LHC yielded no new physics beyond the standard model despite a barrage of theory papers arguing it should... But, interestingly enough it turns out that if we build an even more expensive/elaborate accelerator then we really believe this time we will find something. :) "
Second: All the theory papers will be rewritten to demonstrate that the natural energy scale for new physics beyond the standard model is really just above the TeV scale. :)
Nevertheless, I still wonder what will happen to particle physics if the LHC finds nothing beyond the same standard model that has been around for decades.
Any of you have a any thoughts/guesses? More money for Cosmology? :)