Friday, 18 November 2011

New Higgs combination is out

Here is a brief report about the long-awaited combination of the ATLAS and CMS Higgs search results using about 2 inverse femtobarn of data collected last summer. Overshadowed by faster-than-light neutrinos, that result was presented today at the HCP conference in Paris. It had been expected with as much thrill as results of parliamentary elections in the former Soviet Union. Indeed, in this fast-moving world 2 months ago is infinite past. Today particle physicists are rather busy rumoring the results based on the entire LHC data set of 5 inverse femtobarn. Moreover, the combined limits had not been difficult to guess, and a reasonable approximation of the official combination had been long available via viXra log.

Nevertheless, it's the chronicler's duty to report: the Standard Model Higgs is excluded at 95% confidence level for all masses between 141 GeV and 476 GeV.

Meanwhile, ATLAS and CMS have already had the first look at the full data set. Continuing the Soviet analogy, an uneasy rumor is starting among the working class and the lower-ranked party officials. Is the first secretary dead? Or on life support? Or, if he's all right, why he's not showing in public? We expect an official update for the 21st Congress of the Communist Party, sorry, the December CERN Council week. And wild speculations on Twitter well before that :-)

See the public note for more details about the combination.


chris said...

at least a face could be seen in a Kremlin window that looked like the first secretary.

(there is a 2-sigma excess at 120GeV)

Alejandro Rivero said...

The point of having all the line off by two sigma up to the top quark, can not be a hint of topcolor or some ETC? Or some special new role for the top.

Marco Frasca said...

Standard model Higgs is dead and buried. But if such a field exists and is strongly coupled, as seems to emerge from the high mass excess, then it is supersymmetric: We will kill two birds with a stone.

Jester said...

I don't think this plot shows much hint in any of these directions. If anything, that the background is not under perfect control.

Marco Frasca said...


Sorry for the imprudence but I happened to read in all official CERN reports and talks that ATLAS, and only ATLAS, sees an excess at high mass. I agree with your view about background and this matter on Higgs is becoming every day even more exciting. Speedy neutrinos are just hiding all this.

Neil Bates said...

I don't think the Higgs will be found. I don't have a specific justification, but the case just doesn't seem convincing as I can gather, and negative results keep piling up.

David Brown said...

Consider 6 questions: Does the Higgs mechanism explain how mass occurs in nature? If the Higgs mechanism doesn't work, then what does explain how mass occurs in nature? If there is no Higgs mechanism in nature, then would that imply that supersymmetry might not occur in nature? Does SUSY occur in the form of particles? Does SUSY occur in nature in any form whatsoever? If the Higgs boson does not exist, then what are the best questions to ask?

Anonymous said...

what you are saying is, scientifically speaking, absolutely wrong! Science isn't a matter of opinion (the Popes thought Galileo and Darwin were wrong, science proved otherwise).
We may not find a Higgs boson, it's in the cards, but so far all the indirect signs tell us something very much like it must be there.

Anonymous said...

could someone explain to me if this is found and confirmed what the future will hold or could, and how it will change life as we know it globally


joshua -canada