Feeds

God particle may be within our grasp

Rumours of Higgs sightings precede latest results seminar

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

Physicists working on the Large Hadron Collider will be announcing their latest batch of results at a seminar next week.

It’s only been a day since CERN announced the seminar at which the ATLAS and CMS experiments would present the status of their search for the elusive God particle, but the blogosphere is already alight with rumours that the Higgs boson is in sight.

The press statement is careful to manage expectations about what will be discussed at the seminar:

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.

But this has only seemed to fuel the rumours that the boffins have indeed had sight of the particle, just not enough to be “conclusive”.

The rumours, on the Vixra Log and Not Even Wrong blogs, are that the Higgs boson has been ‘seen’ by both ATLAS and CMS, and with a mass in the range of prediction at 125 GeV (giga-electron volts).

The results over the summer excluded certain mass ranges for the Higgs boson – from 155 to 190 GeV and between 295 and 450 GeV – and at that point ATLAS was seeing excess particles between 120 and 145 GeV, while the CMS detector was putting them between 120 and 180 GeV.

However, the two experiments are only seeing the particles at 2.5 to 3.5 sigma (the measure of statistical certainty).

At 2.5 sigma, there is a 1 per cent chance that the results are a fluke, and at 3.8 sigma, that chance drops to 0.01 per cent.

This could mean that CERN is ready to announce that they have spotted evidence of the particle, but they wouldn’t say they had ‘discovered’ it at this level of uncertainty.

Which certainly sounds like the “significant progress” CERN could be talking about, but rumour-mongers and boffins alike will have to wait until next week to find out for sure. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
MARS NEEDS WOMEN, claims NASA pseudo 'naut: They eat less
'Some might find this idea offensive' boffin admits
SECRET U.S. 'SPACE WARPLANE' set to return from SPY MISSION
Robot minishuttle X-37B returns after almost 2 years in orbit
LOHAN crash lands on CNN
Overflies Die Welt en route to lively US news vid
Experts brand LOHAN's squeaky-clean box
Phytosanitary treatment renders Vulture 2 crate fit for export
No sail: NASA spikes Sunjammer
'Solar sail' demonstrator project binned
America's super-secret X-37B plane returns to Earth after nearly TWO YEARS aloft
674 days in space for US Air Force's mystery orbital vehicle
Carry On Cosmonaut: Willful Child is a poor taste Star Trek parody
Cringeworthy, crude and crass jokes abound in Steven Erikson’s sci-fi debut
Origins of SEXUAL INTERCOURSE fished out of SCOTTISH LAKE
Fossil find proves it first happened 385 million years ago
Human spacecraft dodge COMET CHUNKS pelting off Mars
Odyssey orbiter yet to report, though - comet's trailing trash poses new threat
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.