The Higgs boson may have been discovered
One of the biggest debuts in the science world could happen in a matter of weeks: The Higgs boson may finally, really have been discovered.
Ever since tantalizing hints of the Higgs turned up in December at the Large Hadron Collider, scientists there have been busily analyzing the results of their energetic particle collisions to further refine their search.
“The bottom line though is now clear: There’s something there which looks like a Higgs is supposed to look,” wrote mathematician Peter Woit on his blog, Not Even Wrong. According to Woit, there are rumors of new data that would be the most compelling evidence yet for the long-sought Higgs.
The possible news has a number of physics bloggers speculating that LHC scientists will announce the discovery of the Higgs during the International Conference on High Energy Physics, which takes place in Melbourne, Australia, July 4 to 11.
The new buzz is just the latest in the Higgs search drama. In December, rumors circulated regarding hints of the Higgs around 125 gigaelectronvolts (GeV), roughly 125 times the mass of a proton. While those rumors eventually turned out to be true, the hard data only amounted to what scientists call a 3-sigma signal, meaning that there is a 0.13 percent probability that the events happened by chance. This is the level at which particle physicists will only say they have “evidence” for a particle.
In the rigorous world of high-energy physics, researchers wait to see a 5-sigma signal, which has only a 0.000028 percent probability of happening by chance, before claiming a “discovery.”
The latest Higgs rumors suggest nearly-there 4-sigma signals are turning up at both of the two separate LHC experiments that are hunting for the particle. As physicist Philip Gibbs points out on his blog, Vixra log, if each experiment is seeing a 4-sigma signal, then this is almost definitely the long-sought particle. Combining the two 4-sigma results should be enough to clear that 5-sigma hurdle.
i can see the headline..we found god!!..we are immortals!