Feeds

Higgs boson hunters have god particle in their sights

Are universe's secrets lurking in energy spike?

High performance access to file storage

The Higgs boson has been glimpsed by boffins at CERN who are now much closer to pinning down the particle after crunching through hundreds of gigabytes of raw data.

Previous work at CERN over the summer had whittled down the mass range in which the Higgs was most likely to be found, with the results presented by Fabiola Gianotta today narrowing the band even further. The Higgs has been dubbed the god particle because its existence could help explain why some particles have mass and thus explain the fabric of the universe.

Gianotta reported that the results allow them to restrict the mass region they are searching in to a band between 115.5 and 131 GeV. The Higgs hunters are 95 per cent confident it will be found in that range.

In particular she noted an "excess of events" at 126GeV and pointed to that mass as the most likely place to find the Higgs.

CERN gave the 126GeV mass a probability of 2.3 sigma (a measurement of statistical probability). A probability of 5 sigma is needed to be taken as conclusive proof.

The spike in the data which scientists are investigating as the the most likely manifestation of the Higgs - could simply be fluctuation of background radiation. If it is just background fluctuation it will take a lot of data to kill it, the physicist said.

"I think it would be extremely kind of the Higgs Boson to be there," Gianotta concluded.

5 inverse femtobarns (fb-1) of data have been processed to create these results, however 20 fb-1 is needed before CERN can declare a statistical probability that would be accepted as proof of the Higgs boson's existence. Welcome to theoretical physics. ®

Slide from Gianotta's presentation on Higgs Boson, credit CERN

The concluding slide from Gianotta's presentation. Note use of Comic Sans

Bootnote

CERN's particle-smashing spinners have claimed in a later announcement: "Whether ATLAS and CMS show over the coming months that the Standard Model Higgs boson exists or not, the LHC programme is opening the way to new physics."

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Elon Musk's LEAKY THRUSTER gas stalls Space Station supply run
Helium seeps from Falcon 9 first stage, delays new legs for NASA robonaut
Solar-powered aircraft unveiled for round-the-world flight
It's going to be a slow and sleepy flight for the pilots
Russian deputy PM: 'We are coming to the Moon FOREVER'
Plans to annex Earth's satellite with permanent base by 2030
LOHAN's Punch and Judy show relaunches Thursday
Weather looking good for second pop at test flights
Saturn spotted spawning new FEMTO-MOON
Icy 'Peggy' looks to be leaving the outer rings
Discovery time for 200m WONDER MATERIALS shaved from 4 MILLENNIA... to 4 years
Alloy, Alloy: Boffins in speed-classification breakthrough
India's GPS alternative launches second satellite
Closed satnav system due to have all seven birds aloft by 2016
Curiosity finds not-very-Australian-shaped rock on Mars
File under 'messianic pastries' and move on, people
Top Secret US payload launched into space successfully
Clandestine NRO spacecraft sets off on its unknown mission
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.