Update: Note that on February 14th, there's been a CERN/ATLAS seminar (webcast was on air) that could have been relevant for the rumor but it wasn't: it only presented results that had already been released which contain no BSM signals
Another update: one of my Massachusetts sources told me that the rumor talked about the results at CMS and the source that was deeper by one step were theoretical physicists at CERN.
Originally posted on February 3rd
A commenter from an unnamed Ivy League University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, West of the Central Square, has pointed out that he or she has also heard the same rumors about the signal hinting at the existence of the stop squarks – the supersymmetric partners of the third-generation top quarks – at the LHC collider.
This 2011 image from Resonaances could become obsolete soon. The traffic sign above is really "do not enter" and not "stop" but relatively to the accuracy expected from a phenomenologist who has betrayed SUSY, it is OK enough. ;-)
I am not able to give you the accurate data now. However, ...
However, I find it rather likely (40% is the conditional probability, assuming that the rumor is true at all) that the rumor does refer to some results that should be unmasked during this seminar at CERN:
Ximo Poveda Torres (University of Wisconsin):The seminar will be webcast between 11:00 am and 12:00 pm Pilsen Winter Time (subtract 6 or 9 hours for Boston or San Francisco, respectively).
Search for supersymmetry in events involving third generation squarks and sleptons with ATLAS
Tuesday, February 14th, 2012
The abstract has a somewhat interesting format:
Supersymmetry with large mixing between left and right scalar fermions predicts that the lightest partners of the SM fermions belong to the third generation. Moreover, naturalness arguments favour stop masses not too far from that of the top quark. The seminar presents results from searches for gluino mediated sbottom and stop production, direct sbottom production, and gluino and squark mediated stau production using 2/fb of data recorded with the ATLAS detector.That's a lot of otherwise speculative theory/phenomenology about the optimized supersymmetry scenarios for an experimental talk, at least for a world that has no data that would clearly favor some superpartner mass hierarchies over others. ;-)
Superpartners at the LHC, by Don Garbutt
Let me mention that a stop squark that would be close to the top quark would make SUSY much more accessible than many famous phenomenologists have argued on TRF and elsewhere – heavy scalars by Gordon Kane, Nima Arkani-Hamed, etc. I don't have to explain to you that if the signal turned out to be real, it would arguably be the most striking discovery of particle physics in decades or ever, quite easily humiliating God particles and similar routine tasks.
So stay tuned, dear readers, and save [$10,000], Jester, save [$10,000]. :-)
BTW Jester's Twitter says that he's been hearing the rumor from "theorists" in the last 2 days. At this level of the propagation cycle of the rumor, his testimony is therefore "mostly independent" from mine even though, our sources are ultimately likely to share a common ancestor.
Murray Gell-Mann revealed that he is familiar with the squark rumor on January 23rd, in his CERN interview (click his name to see it).