Alexander Belyaev gave an inspiring talk at the HEP2016 conference in Valparaiso today. His talk was titled “Interplay of the LHC and DM search in unravelling natural SUSY”. I cannot report his talk here, but I wish to steal a very interesting graph from his presentation.

The graph is shown below. It reports in semi-logarithmic scale the number of papers written on several “big” topics in theoretical physics, as a function of time.


As you can see, dark matter-related papers (labeled “DM”) are surpassing “SUSY” papers, as dark matter is a more general issue – it can be explained by SUSY, but it may be due to something else too. And while the evidence for DM in the universe is overwhelming, the evidence is all against SUSY so far.

There are a number of other points to make from the data contained in the graph. A general one is the global inflation of articles: the increase is exponential (the graph is semi-log!). Another is that the top quark remains a topic of inspiration to many – the heaviest “elementary” particle is an enigma, of course, and its possible relevance to new physics searches is the other reason.

An additional point to make is the stability of the number of SUSY papers in the last few years. This, combined with the exponential rise of the total number of articles, means a lot, if you think about it.

And then of course, the decreasing number of papers discussing extra dimensions after the boom due to a couple of late-nineties theoretical ideas is a tale-telling datum.

That is all – I found the graph significant and I wanted to share it here…