Well before I say anything more, there is problem number one. It is not the God particle. It is the "Goddamned" particle. The God particle was a misnomer.
Building a ginormodome underneath ground is some achievement. The Higgs experiments are to either find it, or not find it. And not finding it would be equally as important. But the public, funders, etc, might not really understand that.
I think the most interesting stuff - or at least the stuff that doesn't get that much attention, is all the side projects going on at CERN. Dark matter, anti-matter, etc.
Quite a good discussion between Pat Penny and the head of CERN this morning.
They are both good communicators.
About 30 minutes in.
Where do you get this from?
As I understand it the 5-sigma result comes from integrating just two channels, the photon-channel and the Z-channel. The four-lepton channel gave 3.2 sigma, the W-channel gave 1.5-sigma and the diphoton channel gave 3-sigma.
'They' simply cannot say that the Higg's boson has been discovered without being unscientific.
Not only that, there are more photon pairs than predicted, fewer taus than predicted and the spin number of this 'new' particles has yet to be ascertained.
But hey! Let's call it a Higg's boson until we know it isn't.
Actually, they have been very specific. A particle with energy in the region of 125GeV has been found with 5 sigma excess in the relevant decay modes. More specific tests to be carried out in the future include investigations into how it couples to other particles, branching ratios Etc.
I was not aware of this. Do you have any references I could read?
A small amount of sifting through the data is required in order to build up a picture of the current state of play but:
makes reference to the fact that there has been no observed excess of tau-pair production. The tau-pair data that was generated is what woud be expected from normal background processes.
The standard model Higgs was predicted to decay into tau-pairs round about six percent of the time so after billions upon billions of proton collisions, there should be some observed excess of such pairs.
A bit of a disaster for the SM Higgs but not necessarily for physics and this anomaly has served as a shot in the arm for 'supersymmetry' where the presence of 'staus' would account for the observed data.
talks about the large excess of diphotons. In this case, the expected excess of diphotons produced as predicted by the standard model is significantly at odds with the observed production.
I know that the jury is still out but the standard model cannot account for this. Supersymmetry, by introducing the 'stop', can though.
In fact, the presence of 'stops' during boson decay can account for both the lack of tau-pair production and the excess of diphotons.
As I say, one needs to put in quite a lot of work in order to understand all the ins and outs of this and I think that the information regarding the discovery of this new particle has been more political than scientific.
Scientists cannot say that they have found the Higg's boson without redefining what a Higgs boson is.
And from http://www.dnaindia.com/bangalore/interview_we-have-a-higgs-boson-snapshot-not-complete-picture-iisc-scientist_1716409
"Actually right now we have not proved that the particle is Spin Zero. Right now all we have are indications that there is a Boson. What is the spin of this Boson is something we don’t know, but we know that it is not a Spin One Boson. So, we are beginning to think that we may have our guy."
I think that the spin should be known before the announcements are made.
What do you think? Is the standard model in trouble?
Also, I think that the way that CERN is run is problematic. There is no 'Boss', people can't really be 'fired' and there is lots of money to be claimed in grants etc.
And this would not be the first time that they had put the cart before the horse, as it were.
Overall the result was five sigma.
Yes, "they" can. They found a boson with the properties expected of a Higgs. Whether it is the Standard model Higgs is the question.
There are possible more photon events than are consistent with a Standard Model Higgs.
It almost certainly is a Higgs boson. The question is, is it the Higgs boson of the Standard Model.
Physics world have decided that it is the top breakthrough of 2012?
The BBC seem to have taken a more tentative and, in my opinion, a more scientific view.
They are still being careful and refer to a 'Higgs-like particle'.