Tag Archives: Higgs particle

A rehash of the available data has narrowed the search for the Higgs particle.

A rehash of the available data has narrowed the search for the Higgs particle.

Taken together with data from the other detector, ATLAS, Higgs overall signal now unofficially stands at about 4.3σ. In other words, if statistics are to be believed, then this signal has about a 99.996% chance of being right.

It all sounds very convincing, but don’t get too excited, because the fact is that statistical coincidences happen every day. Over at Cosmic Variance, Sean Carroll points out that there is a 3.8σ signal in the Super Bowl coin toss.

CERN announces an update on the search for the Higgs Boson

Not there yet: CERN announces an update on the search for the Higgs Boson.

The main conclusion is that the Standard Model Higgs boson, if it exists, is most likely to have a mass constrained to the range 116-130 GeV by the ATLAS experiment, and 115-127 GeV by CMS. Tantalising hints have been seen by both experiments in this mass region, but these are not yet strong enough to claim a discovery.

Higgs announcement from CERN on December 13

CERN will be making an announcement on the status of its search for the Higgs particle on December 13. From this interview of one of its scientists:

The thing I know for sure is that [CERN Director General] Rolf-Dieter Heuer, who must know the results of both experiments, says that on December 13 we will not have a discovery and we will not have an exclusion.

The inteview is fascinating, as he notes how the Higgs research might also have a bearing on the search for dark matter.

Rumors of Higgs

Rumors of Higgs.

According to comments left on a number of particle physics blogs, the word is that the LHC is closing in on the Higgs. The Higgs boson is theorized to be the “force carrier” of the Higgs field — a field thought to permeate the entire Universe, endowing matter with mass. Only by using powerful particle accelerators like the LHC do we stand a chance of seeing these mysterious particles. Apparently, both the ATLAS and CMS experiments are independently seeing a Higgs signal, and the predicted mass of the particle agrees with the experimental results. In particle physics-speak, the Higgs appears to have a mass of 125 GeV (giga­electronvolts).

The rumors are fun, but this quote from the chief at CERN puts some damper on them:

“These results will be based on the analysis of considerably more data than those presented at the Summer conferences, sufficient to make significant progress in the search for the Higgs boson, but not enough to make any conclusive statement on the existence or non-existence of the Higgs.”

I suspect in this case we will need to wait for an actual announcement.