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Particle physics has flourished over the past 30 years but, as Christine Sutton points out, there are still few signs of any cracks in the Standard Model

“The Standard Model has survived intact for another year,” declared particle physicist Don Perkins from the University of Oxford three decades ago. “But is this a triumph or a frustration for physics?” Perkins’ remarks appeared in the October 1988 edition of CERN Courier magazine in a report about the 24th International Conference on High Energy Physics (ICHEP), which had been held in Munich a few months earlier.

Although Physics World did not report on the meeting, the Courier went on to say that the Standard Model was standing up to the closest inspection, revealing no cracks, while anomalous results seemed to be going away. Looking back on these words, they seem to me just as appropriate today, despite so much having happened in particle physics in the intervening 30 years.

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