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. Aliasalpha says

    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. Pierce R. Butler says

    “God particle” is too sensationalist.

    Why not call it a higgson?

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