Discovery Scenarios

This section presents nine scenarios illustrating the LHC and linear collider discoveries listed in the table below. Each case study show how experiments at the next generation of particle accelerators will address the fundamental questions of particle physics.

If LHC discovers:

What ILC could do:

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A Higgs particle

Discover why the Higgs exists and who its cousins are. Discover effects of extra dimensions or a new source of matterantimatter asymmetry.

1Are there undiscovered principles of nature: new symmetries, new physical laws?, 3Are there extra dimensions of space?, 9What happened to the antimatter?

Superpartner particles

Detect the symmetry of supersymmetry. Reveal the supersymmetric nature of dark matter. Discover force unification and matter unification at ultra-high energies.

1Are there undiscovered principles of nature: new symmetries, new physical laws?, 2How can we solve the mystery of dark energy?, 4Do all the forces become one?, 5Why are there so many kinds of particles?

Evidence for extra dimensions

Discover the number and shape of the extra dimensions. Discover which particles are travelers in extra dimensions, and determine their locations within them.

3Are there extra dimensions of space?

Missing energy from a weakly interacting heavy particle

Discover its identity as dark matter. Determine what fraction of the total dark matter it accounts for.

6What is dark matter? How can we make it in the laboratory?

Heavy charged particles that appear to be stable

Discover that these eventually decay into very weakly interacting particles. Identify these “super-WIMPs” as dark matter.

6What is dark matter? How can we make it in the laboratory?

A Z-prime particle, representing a previously unknown force of nature

Discover the origin of the Z-prime. Connect this new force to the unification of quarks with neutrinos, of quarks with the Higgs, or with extra dimensions.

4Do all the forces become one?, 7What are neutrinos telling us?

Superpartner particles matching the predictions of supergravity

Discover telltale effects from the vibrations of superstrings.

3Are there extra dimensions of space?, 8How did the universe come to be?

Legend: The Questions

  1. Are there undiscovered principles of nature: new symmetries, new physical laws?
  2. How can we solve the mystery of dark energy?
  3. Are there extra dimensions of space?
  4. Do all the forces become one?
  5. Why are there so many kinds of particles?
  6. What is dark matter? How can we make it in the laboratory?
  7. What are neutrinos telling us?
  8. How did the universe come to be?
  9. What happened to the antimatter?

From "Quantum Universe"