Thursday, July 06, 2006

The NYT Standard Model article

Couple of friends forwarded the NYT Standard Model (SM)
to me, which is linked to the Interactions site
including Abi. Thanks very much for the article.
The author has referred to the SM as a gilded cage.
Be that as it may, does it really mean that this is
the end of the road? There are so many problems
of the SM that have to be solved, or are probably
too hard to solve. How about the old 'confinement
problem' (here's a review)? I read an article in the
CERN courier about the recent measurement of the
B-meson decay constant, a quantity that was earlier only
'determined' on the lattice. Now the experiment finds that
it is in agreement with the lattice determinations. Can one say
that when Maxwell discovered his equations for
electromagnetism, it was a gilded cage? After all
what Maxwell did for E&M, the inventors of the SM
did for electro-weak and the strong interactions. Perhaps
it will be a long wait before something new is found,
but in the meantime, it would be a good idea to figure
out what the shape and size of the gilded cage is,
whether there are any escape routes out of it, or is it
a part of a bigger cage? We have not lost hope.

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