Seminar Watch, Higgs Special

On the 12th December the CERN council will meet and announce the latest news about the search for the Higgs boson to its member states. This will be done in closed meetings but the next day the spokespersons for CMS and ATLAS will deliver 30 minute talks each in public. There will then be a discussion period of one hour. Hopefully this indicates that some meaningful result has been obtained and they will be able to tell us what the Higgs mass is or that it does not exist in the Standard Model form.

Unless they do their own approximate combinations I will be doing them myself here. This means I will have to digitise all the points in the CMS and ATLAS plots and run them through my spreadsheet. However, the real interest may come from the diphoton and ZZ channels so I will have to digitise another four plots and combine those too. I am going to be very busy but I will aim to have it all done before the end of the discussion period, unless they find some way of foiling my evil plot such as by not posting the plots online until later.

See also NEW and TRF.

33 Responses to Seminar Watch, Higgs Special

  1. PSTJ Editor says:

    Exciting plan as part of your Holiday Season activities!

    • Paul Hoiland says:

      Will be interesting to see what they have to say.

      • newtspeare says:

        “We haven’t found the Higgs yet, but we have some very exciting data which suggests it may be hiding there somewhere, by this time next year we should know for sure whether it does really exist ……” All the experimental evidence seems to point to the fact that they always say the same thing, and the chance of them saying anything different is only marginally greater than the chance of them finding the imaginary Higgs.

  2. crandles says:

    Some silly questions of a non-scientist: Would they only decide if they have a discovery at such a closed meeting and then they have to write up a paper? To what extent can information be leaked and still be able to publish a paper and how long would writing up the paper and getting it peer reviewed take?

    • jin he says:

      Have you ever wondered what life is?
      Physicists suppose they got the answer.

      They have a near-perfect understanding of small particles. That is the Standard Model. Standard Model is fully based on the principle of SYMMETRIES. SM considers that matter and anti-matter are symmetric. But recently LHC has showed that they are NATURALLY not symmetric!

      Could MASS be originated from the principle of symmetry? Physicists suppose it must be! The symmetry was proposed by Peter Higgs. Is life made of mass? Every physician says that the answer is yes. That is why Higgs particle is called God particle! All of these stuffs are involved in the three forces: electromagnetism and nuclear interaction. However, there is the fourth force!!!

      Physicists are too heavy to study the lightest force: GRAVITY. The electric force between two positrons is 1000000…….000000 (where there are 40 zeroes) times heavier than the gravity between the two positrons!!

      The only theories about gravity are Newton universal gravity and Einstein general relativity. HOWEVER,THESE THEORIES ARE THE THEORIES OF TWO BODIES.

      Do you believe that life is originated from the theories of two bodies? Physicists suppose that that is truth. Here came the theory of BIG BANG!!!!! It is the theory of galaxies, dusts, solar system, and the theory of life.

      Do you expect that they will announce that they have found the GOD?

      • nick says:

        jin he, It is not called the GOD particle, it is called the GOD DAMN particle. There is a huge difference!!

    • Paul Hoiland says:

      If they found the Higg’s getting it published would be rather rapid.

    • Philip Gibbs says:

      It does not stop them publishing if the result is leaked. They have said in the past that the procedure for announcing a discovery includes telling representatives from the funding agencies first, so a statement at the council meeting followed by seminars is exactly the pattern we would expect. The submission for peer-review will take longer, but they may have to use the combined results to get a definitive discovery and that will not be ready for another two months at least.

  3. What do pixels, the LHC, and migraines have in common?

  4. Dirk Pons says:

    Realistically, there is nothing definitive in the results CERN have released so far. It would be a surprise if they HAD found convincing evidence for the Higgs but had managed to keep it quiet. News like that gets out faster than press conferences: just look at the OPERA case.

  5. algernon says:

    Are they gonna show graphs for the full 2011 dataset, or just a mix of full data for a couple channels and less for the others?

    Anyway I agree the “one hour discussion” looks pretty juicy indeed, the question time during the summer conferences ended up being quite a bit shorter if I recall correctly; you shouldn’t need that much time to discuss a simple “we don’t know yet, see you in 12 months”…

    • Philip Gibbs says:

      I hope we will get the full whack but I have no idea.

      The discussion will be brilliant if they webcast it.

  6. Tony Smith says:

    The London Telegraph is usually conservative and non-sensationalist and might reflect views expressed to them by the CERN establishment. On 1 Dec 2011 Nick Collins, their Science Correspondent wrote:

    “… Search for God Particle is nearly over

    there is particular excitement surrounding the seminar on December 13.
    Although scientists are unlikely to announce conclusive evidence of whether or not the particle exists, their data could be strong enough to make a confident guess one way or the other.

    the two teams … will not be comparing their results beforehand to avoid biasing their interpretation of their own data

    if the data from the two teams match it could provide the strongest hint yet of the existence – or non-existence – of the so-called “God particle”.
    to claim a discovery … is likely to need careful analysis well into next year …”.


  7. JollyJoker says:

    Any idea of how many sigma the expected without a Higgs and with an SM Higgs lines are from each other at 115 GeV now? To clarify; aren’t we close to having the amount of data where if the 115GeV SM Higgs is not two sigma excluded, there must be three sigma evidence for it?

    Assuming the expected lines are four sigma from each other we’d have to have some really bad luck to have neither at this point.

    My guess is there’s a two sigma exclusion over the entire range and they don’t know what to say to the press.

  8. Leo Vuyk says:

    My guess: they found no massive Higgs.
    The Higgs particle must be interpreted as a massless but energetic oscillating transformer particle, equipped with a complex internal structure and able to create the universe- and photons like gravitons- by transformation of its shape, after real mechanical collision and merging with other transformed Higgs particles into knots called Quarks and Leptons.


  9. Alex says:

    Today rumour is: Higgs at 125 Gev around 2-3 sigma…

    • Philip Gibbs says:

      That would seem consistent with other rumours, but many questions are still unanswered.

    • Luboš Motl says:

      Excellent, Alex, a refreshing twist in rumors. This would be great news for Gordy Kane et al. – and favor the G2-holonomy-like M-theory models with tan(beta)=8 or so. See my blog for more details.

      • may c j says:

        Sure thing! M-theory has explanation for any Higgs mass hey would find in LHC.

      • Luboš Motl says:

        That’s because string theory is the theory of everything – the right description of our world as well as all other worlds that obey the laws of quantum gravity and other conceivable universes in any multiverse that could exist. The question isn’t “whether” string theory Yes/No, but which of its compactification is right.

        Moreover, 125 GeV is really the most typical mass in E6-like grand unification and MSSM-like model building in general. It’s simple in the right range that makes many most well-motivated scenarios more likely.

      • David Brown says:

        According to a July 27 ’11 email from Prof. R. B. Laughlin ” … M-theory does NOT predict Einsteinian gravity, nonabelian gauge symmetry or supersymmetry. It cannot be reliably solved at the “low” energy scales at which these things may occur. Claims to the contrary are false.” Where is the best rebuttal to Laughlin’s statement?

    • zman says:

      Really? 2-3 sigma makes news now! come on guys be reasonable. CERN will never discuss a 2-3 sigma except to say we need more data and this will take us to the next year.

    • Philip Gibbs says:

      They were planning this report whatever the significance of the result as far as I know. As to what the actual numbers will be, you should wait until you have heard it before deciding whether it is newsworthy.

      • zman says:

        This has nothing to do with this report, but as a rule of thumb: 3 sigma means that there “might” be something interesting and it is worth checking with more data and maybe an independent experiment. The Higgs boson was found with 3 sigma at least twice before with ALEPH in 2000 and 2002.

  10. Frank says:

    I bet Kane and his collaborators must be pretty excited! Cheers to G2 manifolds!!!

  11. Paul Hoiland says:

    Supersymmetry is predicted by M-Theory. In fact, a short look at the hundreds of articles(published and unpublished) will show you that one. However, it is true it tends to predict too much, in fact a nearly infinite set. What has always been needed is observation and experimental evidence to narrow out all this into one solution.

    A lot of those whp say a lot against M-Theory seem to be those who have never actually studied the subject. In general, reading some of the articles out there might actually surprize you.

  12. carla says:

    A particular mention is given to the Vixra blog:

    CERN manages expectations around Higgs rumors

  13. sonstion says:

    And they have published the result is a leak. They have said in the past that stage for the announcement of the discovery that there was a representative from the agency that provides funding for the first time to order a meeting of the Council, followed by a seminar format that we would expect.

    • Paul Hoiland says:

      Not that different from the leaks on the Neutrino finding. You simply cannot keep things silent or silence the rumors themselves.

  14. Guido says:

    The article of Kane et al has nothing to do with M-theory. Anybody familiar with string compactification knows that. Nobody has yet extracted the effective action of CHIRAL SM particles in an M-theory model. Rather their results are just a consequence of their various (many) assumptions. It is scientifically missleading to
    promote ones little model in such scientifically unjustified manner.


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