CERN have issued a press release to announce that an update on the search for the Higgs boson will now be given at CERN on 4th July. This will come before the talks at the ICHEP conference in Melbourne begin. Presentations detailing the individual decay channel searches are scheduled for 7th July at the conference with the combinations detailed in plenary sessions on the 9th, but now it looks like any important news will be delivered before then.
The update is likely to be similar in format to the talks given in December when the spokespersons for ATLAS and CMS delivered there results in detail. On that occasion the CERN director warned that no big discovery was in the offing as press and blog speculation ran rife. This time round no such statements have been made which can only lead to even more intense speculation. Rumours have already been indicating that this years results that will be added to the data from 2011 have been confirming the apparent Higgs signal seen at 125 GeV in the diphoton decay channel. This could increase the level of certainty to the five sigma significance from each experiment as required for an official discovery. Further rumours have even been suggesting that the strength of the signal is more than predicted by the standard model. An announcement of the discovery of a new particle consistent with the standard model Higgs would be the biggest in particle physics for some time, but if it is significantly different from predictions it will have enormous implications for the future direction of the whole field.
A possible reason for conducting the update at CERN is that the director general Rolf Heuer has said that he wants the news of a discovery to take place at the centre in front of the dedicated staff who have worked so hard for this result. The need is made stronger because Australia is not a member state of CERN so to announce the discovery there would be inconvenient politics. Originally an announcement was scheduled a few days ago for the 6th July (You may have seen it added on our blogs calendar) but this has bow been brought forward. Presumably this is to avoid the conflict with talks that would be going on in Australia at that time.
The update will be webcast but from previous experience of these events the video stream is likely to be overloaded and very difficult to watch.