Jul 04 2012

They seem to have found some kind of godd*mn particle!

10:40 am Sean Carroll: Personal editorializing by me: we’ve found the Higgs, or at least a Higgs. Still can’t be sure that it’s just the vanilla Standard Model Higgs. The discrepancies aren’t quite strong enough to be sure that they really represent beyond-Standard-Model physics… but it’s a strong possibility. … Peter Higgs is visibly moved.

Up before sunrise watching physics fireworks streaming across the net. What a fun and crazy world. Right now the Higgs announcement makes the SCOTUS decision look like a one word verdict. It’s complicated. But so far the gists is … they seem to have found something and it looks like a Higgses! But it’s not exactly what many physcists expected in subtle ways and first impressions are it could be measuring and analytical idiosyncracies … or it could signal the dawn of a new physics after all. Cosmic Variance is streaming superb coverage:

Central EU time: 10:19 am (Sean): ATLAS result for the two-photon channel: beautifully clear bump in the data at 126 GeV.

10:20 am (Sean): 4.5 sigma in the two-photon channel, once we combine 2011 and 2012.

10:21 am (Sean): Crucial: the bump being seen is larger than expected! By a factor of two, approximately. Huge news. There isn’t a parameter in the Standard Model that you can tweak to explain that. It’s either a cruel fluctuation, or new physics.

10:25 am (Sean): On to four-charged-leptons, coming from Higgs to two Z’s.

10:28 am (Sean): Plot shows a tiny but discernible bump around 125 GeV. I know we’re practically in the post-Higgs era already, but all this consistency is very nice to see. (Consistency in where the peaks are located, I mean … still some issues in reconciling the tau/antitau data from CMS.)


  1. 1

    Okay, if the Higgs Boson is what gives molecules & indeed everything its mass, I have a grossly unethical scam to propose to capitalise on the publicity for this discovery: Higgs nullifying weight loss pills. Reduce your subatomic mass TODAY! Considering the size of the particles, the pills could even be homeopathic

  2. 2

    I’m glad I understand enough to find that funny!

  3. 3
    Pierce R. Butler

    “God particle” is too sensationalist.

    Why not call it a higgson?

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