Scientists in America have found strong hints that the rumored Higgs boson particle is real.
“This is a very exciting week — it may be the most exciting week in physics since I became a physicist,” Joe Lykken, a theoretical physicist at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory .
The Higgs boson has long been thought the key to resolving the mystery of the origin of mass. The Higgs boson is associated with a field, called the Higgs field, theorized to pervade the universe. As other particles travel though this field, they acquire mass. [Top 5 Implications of Finding the Higgs Boson]
To claim a true discovery in science, physicists must wait until their statistics reach the level of “five sigma,” meaning there is a one in 3.5 million chance the signal is not real.
We’re close to 3 sigma,” said Fermilab researcher Rob Roser, a cospokesperson for Tevatron’s CDF experiment. “What that means is I’d be willing to bet your house, but not mine. At 5 sigmas, I’ll bet my own house.”
Interesting rumours, ineded, and I am confidentthe Higgs will be found in the range 122-132 GeV, havingpredicted its mass together with the top quark massin a composite model, before either top or Higgs weredetected. But I’ld point out there were similar rumoursof an excess in the b anti-b channel indicating a Higgsin the range of 130-140 GeV just a couple of months back(personal communication from W. Marciano). It was a similardeal, a couple of sigma each in CMS and Atlas, which addedto a bit more than 3 sigma. It went away of course.My last look at the 2 gamma data, with abouthalf of the total data set analysed showed points aboveand below the theoretical continuum, and nosign of a bump whatever. The SM Higgs width at thismass is so small that I don’t even remember the numberbut I believe it’s on the order of 1 MeV. So in this casethe width of any bump in the 2 gamma mass spectrumwill be determined by detector resolution, on the orderof 5 GeV. There was an extra factor of two availablein the integrated flux not analysed at that time, butthat only gives 40% better resolution of any bumpat 125GeV. So I can’t believe this will be conclusive.A SM Higgs this light just escapes the vacuumstability and metastibility (due to finite temperatureeffects in the early universe) if new physics onlyappears near the Planck scale. So it’s premature for Kane and the supersymmetriciansto be rejoicing, I think. They should rather be worryingabout the absence of supersymmetry at 95% confidencelevel, below about 1 TeV. Exciting times! about 50%