The possibility of the existence of free magnetic charges in Nature was first predicted by Dirac in 1931. Dirac’s finding marked the beginning of the searches for magnetic monopoles at every new accelerator, including the Large Hadron Collider. Supermassive monopoles are required by Grand Unification Theories. Being out of reach of any conceivable accelerator, GUT monopoles are searched for in the cosmic radiation as relic particles from the early Universe.
After several decades of significant theoretical effort and experimental investigation, the existence of magnetic monopoles remains one big open question. Their discovery would represent a breakthrough in particle physics, astrophysics and cosmology.
In this colloquium, the main searches for monopoles at accelerators and in the penetrating cosmic radiation are reviewed, emphasising the most recent results and future perspectives.
IFIC Colloquium organizers