Search This Site

Saturday, 23 July 2011

Breaking News: First Hints of Higgs Boson?

On 22 July, results indicating the presence of a Higgs boson with a mass in the range 120-140 GeV were reported at the EPS-HEP11 conference in Grenoble, by two teams of researchers working independently at the LHC.

The first results to be reported were from the ATLAS experiment, followed by (weaker) results from CMS.  Matt Strassler's blog appears to have been one of the first places to break the news following the conference proceedings.  The ATLAS team state the significance of their result as being 2.8 sigma, although this is before the "look elsewhere" effect is taken into account.  Once that is included, the probability of the peak in ATLAS's data being due to random statistical fluctuation rises to around 8%.

For a discussion of uncertainties and significance in the results, see:
How Certain is Certain?

The CMS experiment also sees a signal in the 120-145 GeV, albeit a smaller one than ATLAS.

Click here for more information about how the Higgs search is carried out at LHC

The Higgs Boson (also known as the "God Particle") was proposed by Peter Higgs in 1964 as part of the Higgs mechanism, which attempts to explain why particles have mass.  Its discovery is one of the primary goals of the Large Hadron Collider, the 7.5 billion euro particle collider that lies in a 27 km circular tunnel underground near Geneva.

To find out more about the Higgs boson and the new results, please see:

These results are exciting because they both show evidence of a Higgs boson in the expected mass range.  However, more data is required before we can say for certain that we have seen the Higgs particle.


CMS results available here: (technical)

No comments:

Post a Comment