More clues soon in hunt for Higgs particle

Jul 01, 2012 by Jean-Louis Santini
Scientists work at the three-story, 6,000-ton CDF Collider Detector at Fermilab) in the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab), just outside Batavia, Illinois. Fermilab may next week announce more clues in the worldwide hunt for an elusive sub-atomic particle, the Higgs boson, that is the missing piece in the standard model of physics.

More clues are expected next week in the worldwide hunt for an elusive sub-atomic particle, the Higgs boson, that is the missing piece in the standard model of physics.

Sometimes referred to as the "" because it seems to be everywhere, the Higgs boson is believed to give objects mass, but armed with the world's most potent atom-smashers have yet to identify it.

Ever since it was first proposed in the 1960s, international physicists have endeavored to find the particle, and wondered what it might mean for if it cannot be found.

In December 2011, scientists at the European Center for Nuclear Research announced "tantalizing hints" that the sought-after particle was hiding inside a narrow range of mass.

The clues came from CERN's Large Hadron Collider -- the world's largest atom-smasher, located along the French-Swiss border -- showing a likely range for the Higgs boson between 115 to 127 gigaelectronvolts.

US-based experiments echoed those findings, though in a slightly larger range.

On Monday, scientists working at the (Fermilab) in the midwestern US state of Illinois will announce their latest Higgs search results based on data from Tevatron experiments there.

The Tevatron was a potent that began its collider work in 1985 and closed down last year, but physicists have continued to scrutinize its data in the hunt for the Higgs.

Then, scientists at the will unveil their latest findings on July 4.

spokesman James Gillies told AFP by telephone that there are three possibilities for that announcement.

"We will be able to say whether either there is nothing in the data this year; or there are still hints in the data, but not strong enough for us to be able to say that it is a discovery; and possibly a discovery," he said.

While many Higgs enthusiasts have taken to the Internet to offer theories on what might be announced, experts have dismissed the chatter as pure speculation.

Joe Lykken, a , said that physicists directly involved with the experiments do not even know yet, as they are only looking at analysis of the data over the weekend.

"We will be figuring out what is the right thing to say about it," he said.

Until then, Lykken would only say that physicists have more data than before, which should push them closer to knowing whether the Higgs is there or not.

"If you compare to what happened last December, we will have more details now because there is more than one way to look for Higgs boson," he said.

"If we are able to rule it out that would mean that the entire standard model has a fundamental flaw, and that for people like me -- I am a theoretical physicist, I am supposed to be able to explain things like that -- but that would be very difficult."

CERN director for research Sergio Bertolucci said last week that physicists have double the data they had last year.

"That should be enough to see whether the trends we were seeing in the 2011 data are still there, or whether they've gone away. It's a very exciting time," he said.

If physicists can confirm the existence of the , the announcement would rank among the most important breakthroughs of the last century.

The notion has many experts on the edge of their seats.

"We do not yet know what will be shown on July 4th," said a statement by Ian Hinchliffe, a theoretical physicist in the Physics Division at the US Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

"I have seen many conjectures on the blogs about what will be shown: these are idle speculation. Things are moving very fast this week," he added.

"Many years of hard work are coming to fruition."

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User comments : 33

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elektron
3.8 / 5 (4) Jul 01, 2012
This is going to be bigger than iPhone 5
Archea
1.3 / 5 (15) Jul 01, 2012
the announcement would rank among the most important breakthroughs of the last century.
The cold fusion is way way way more important finding for the human society. The mainstream journalism just tries to cover it with repetitive "revealing" of useless Higgs boson concept, because the sheep need bread and circus.
Bowler_4007
4.4 / 5 (14) Jul 01, 2012
The cold fusion is way way way more important finding for the human society. The mainstream journalism just tries to cover it with repetitive "revealing" of useless Higgs boson concept, because the sheep need http://en.wikiped...ircuses.

the higgs is a fundamental theory and not useless seeing as it is currently a good way to describe how mass comes about, if we didn't have mass nothing material could exist and no physical interactions could happen including your precious cold fusion, so please stfu and accept that the higgs is way more important
Archea
1.4 / 5 (9) Jul 01, 2012
Well, the Higgs boson is significant from socioeconomical perspective, because it needs to organize the most expensive scientific experiment in the human history, so its search provided a lotta job places and salaries for scientists and private companies involved. It's significant too, because its exact identification will apparently consume a lotta resources in future, so that the physicists involved will keep their jobs for sure. But with respect of physics understanding the Higgs boson represents orthogonal parameter in many areas. The Standard Model cannot predict the mass of Higgs boson, which essentially means, it doesn't need it for anything - nearly every value will be correct for some particular theory, but not for Standard Model itself. And the Higgs mechanism is quite poorly defined.
Archea
1.4 / 5 (9) Jul 01, 2012
as it is currently a good way to describe how mass comes about
At first, Higgs boson "explains" the mass of W/Z bosons only, not the mass of another particles. As I already said, the Standard Model doesn't predict the Higgs boson mass, so it cannot use it for anything. Well known "hierarchy problem" implies, that quantum corrections can make the mass of the Higgs particle arbitrarily large, since virtual particles with arbitrarily large energies are allowed in quantum mechanics. The guesses go from 109 -12 GeV to 760 -21 GeV, plus two unconventional theories with 1900 GeV and 10{18} GeV. There are so many comparably likely models - most of which contain continuous parameters whose values aren't calculable right now - that the whole interval is covered almost uniformly. And what does it mean "explain" for you? Can you really explain, how Higgs generates the mass for W/Z bosons or you're just parroting the mainstream press?
Bowler_4007
4 / 5 (4) Jul 01, 2012
if its not needed then we are wasting our time, but lets be honest we never needed to develop theories about how things work in the first place, it was only after we started learning how things that we began to realise what it could do for us and now it seems to happening the other way around we're thinking of uses for what theories predict (providing the predictions are correct) for example the warp drive or more realistically quantum computers and super conducting circuits. i don't know any specific uses of what is discovered about the higgs but i'm sure there will be something
Bowler_4007
4 / 5 (4) Jul 01, 2012
And what does it mean "explain" for you? Can you really explain, how Higgs generates the mass for W/Z bosons or you're just parroting the mainstream press?

(proven) theories are mathematical explanations
Archea
1.9 / 5 (12) Jul 01, 2012
(proven) theories are mathematical explanations
They're confirmed formal regressions of reality. How for example the Newton gravitational law explains the mechanism of gravity? It's just ad-hoced mathematical curve, i.e. guessed from astronomical observations - nothing less, nothing more. In addition, at the case of Higgs boson mechanism, the math is so complex, you even cannot imagine it with compare to gravity law. It's just an obscured network of regressions fitted into observations in many experimental points, so called the parameters. The Standard Model uses about twenty six parameters, the simplest extensions of which, which could incorporate the Higgs boson (so-called the Minimal super symmetric standard model MSSM) uses more than one hundred of parameters, which aren't calculable at all. This is just an epicycle regression based approach to reality description, not real understanding of it
Archea
1 / 5 (8) Jul 01, 2012
i don't know any specific uses of what is discovered about the higgs but i'm sure there will be something..
The question is after then, why we should waste the precious resources and even more precious intellectual capacity for solving of problems, which have no practical usage so far - and why not to streamline effort into solving of problems, which have such an usage already for many years. We should say clearly, it's an occupational problem of the lobbyist group: the scientists managed to convince people, just this way of research is the most advantageous for human society and you're just demonstrating it. You're like religious member of some church, who is trying to justify the existence of its priests, although these priests provide no utility for you: whole their activity is serving for THEIR existence, not those of yours. Did you ever realize it?
TheGhostofOtto1923
3.3 / 5 (7) Jul 01, 2012
It's just ad-hoced mathematical curve
I really think you need to develop ad hoc math curves for your aether wave stuff. This will bring you much fame and get you published, and you will only need one sockpuppet after then. Why not collaborate with real scientists?
typicalguy
5 / 5 (4) Jul 01, 2012
Some people just hate science. Why not just go back to hunting and gathering? Ever since we learned to farm we just wasted sooooo many resources. I have a better idea. You guys that don't like science, go live on a commune.
Archea
1 / 5 (6) Jul 01, 2012
I really think you need to develop ad hoc math curves for your aether wave stuff. This will bring you much fame
Negative. For example Heim theory can predict mass of whatever particle exactly WITHOUT Higgs boson, it's full of math and Heim is still ignored (and considered a crackpot at PO discussions, BTW). And I'm not looking for fame, as I'm well known at most of forums already.
Some people just hate science. Why not just go back to hunting and gathering?
Just because I do like the science and I do believe in its usefulness, I don't like when people are parasiting on it and doing it useless.
TheGhostofOtto1923
4.1 / 5 (9) Jul 01, 2012
Just because the math of others may be wrong, does not mean that your theories do not require math to be taken seriously.

Get to work. If you believe in them you should want to make the effort to do this.
Archea
1 / 5 (5) Jul 01, 2012
You apparently didn't understand, that the dense aether model is singular/infinity-dimensional model from low-dimensional perspective, which the formal models can handle. When I'm explaining, why the Universe is http://www.harper...0083720, why the hell I should care about jobs and opinion of people, who can deal with formal models only? I would be like an abstinent, who is preaching the alcoholism or like an atheist, who is developing a creationist theory. At any case, every formal model must be approximation of dense aether model only. I'm not saying, such a model cannot be derived or even it couldn't be useful - but wouldn't be more effective for me to spend my time in development and further improvement of nonformal predictions of physics? I should prove my point - not the point of mainstream physics, which it has done so far.
Archea
1 / 5 (5) Jul 01, 2012
Errata: "..why the Universe is http://www.harper...0083720" should be "why the Universe is uncalculable by science", sorry
TheGhostofOtto1923
4 / 5 (8) Jul 01, 2012
You apparently didn't understand, that the dense aether model is singular/infinity-dimensional model from low-dimensional perspective, which the formal models can handle.
Blah? It is succinct mathematical models at which we are talking toward, is it not?
When I'm explaining, why the Universe is http://www.harper...0083720, why the hell I should care about jobs and opinion of people, who can deal with formal models only?
Because I assume you want to change the world dont you? If then not, your incessant LENR aetherus postings are for naught and such things. Wot?
Archea
1 / 5 (5) Jul 01, 2012
I don't want to change anything. Dense aether theory can explain exactly the things, which formal theories cannot and vice-versa. These approaches are essentially complementary (which doesn't mean, they cannot overlap mutually, as I pointed already).
it's important to notice, that the status of spacetime in contemporary physics resembles the status of the ether at the beginning of last century..
TheGhostofOtto1923
3.8 / 5 (10) Jul 01, 2012
I don't want to change anything. Dense aether theory can explain exactly the things, which formal theories cannot and vice-versa.
Well who knows? You wont take the time to do the math. If it is real then it can be modeled mathematically. Even if it is not real it can be modeled mathematically.
that the status of spacetime in contemporary physics resembles the status of the ether at the beginning of last century..
This is so much hot air unless you can say it with numbers. Words are worthless.

Get to work.
Husky
not rated yet Jul 01, 2012
4th of July is chosen to make a big hollywood moment out of it, next we see Will Smith storming in with the God particle in a chrystal orb during the press conference...
NMvoiceofreason
1 / 5 (1) Jul 01, 2012
They may have found a particle.

Decay characteristics say it isn't the Higgs.
Archea
1 / 5 (3) Jul 01, 2012
They got more than expected, they actually found a whole bunch of "particles" (actually just a peaks on the power spectrum). IMO its quantum scale analogy of the CMBR power spectrum. In addition, these peaks manifest with symmetric decay to gamma ray photons, although in Standard model just the decay channels mediated with W/Z bosons should be preferred (we shouldn't forget, the Higgs was primarily designed for explanation of W/Z bosons mass). IMO the most probable explanation of this controversy is in fact, the Standard Model is not complete yet and it allows the forth generation of particles: the superheavy quarks and neutrinos. The pairing of these particles in Higgs field is indeed the most intensive, but because these particles are extremely unstable, they decay directly into shower of gamma ray photons before they can be detected as such. Which is what we are observing by now.
typicalguy
5 / 5 (3) Jul 01, 2012
Just because I do like the science and I do believe in its usefulness, I don't like when people are parasiting on it and doing it useless.

You have no idea what's "useful" and what isn't. That's not a fact, that's opinion. You have no idea what, if any, technology is developed based on this knowledge in the next ten thousand years. You point to other people's biases but here you are making assumptions based on your own biases. Even if nothing comes of it, there is nothing wrong with better understanding the universe.

They got more than expected, they actually found a whole bunch of "particles"

What, you have some kind of inside knoweledge? I don't buy it.

I would like to know how you can be so certain that cold fusion will be successful? Just because a few experiments have shown promise but have not be reproducable? Maybe it will eventually be useful technology and maybe it's a bunch of scammers. If it's real then I'd like to see YOU doing the research if you be
Archea
1 / 5 (3) Jul 01, 2012
You have no idea what's "useful" and what isn't. That's not a fact, that's opinion.
Cold fusion has definitely many practical applications right now, Higgs boson has definitely none application by now. If you cannot recognize it or oppose it with logical arguments, the you're incompetent to judge the prioritization of research in science at all.

BTW It's not the question of "saving of money" for "poor scientists". The money, which the scientists are getting for research of Higgs boson are quite marginal in comparison to economical and environmental waste caused with delay of cold fusion research and applications. My effort therefore isn't to prohibit scientists in their activity, but to prohibit them in doing of another damages.
Archea
1 / 5 (4) Jul 01, 2012
You have no idea what, if any, technology is developed based on this knowledge in the next ten thousand years.
This is not my problem. We can always research the technology, which already has such applications first. When we get some usage for Higgs boson finding, we could research it too without problem. But it's nonsense to pile up the data, which will become obsolete well before they could be ever used. Such a data are usually wasted and changed into form of digital garbage.
I would like to know how you can be so certain that cold fusion will be successful?
Because I read many publications about it and I know, these experiments are reproducible and reproduced. There are thousands of these experiments already, not just "few" of them. How many ORIGINAL cold fusion articles did you actually read?
Ryker
5 / 5 (3) Jul 01, 2012
These announcements about future announcements are getting repetitive and annoying. Just announce what's going on when you actually go through the analysis.
sirchick
3 / 5 (1) Jul 01, 2012
rank among the most important breakthroughs of the last century


I dunno why but I don't see it quite that far in the ranks ... would it really change the way we live?

I would say sustainable hot fusion plants would easily be a more an important breakthrough & widely used graphene and quantum computers.

I'm not saying knowledge is not important here, but will it change they way we live - no. Its still very exciting but lets not get carried away here :P

Or am I missing something about this possible discovery?
Turritopsis
1 / 5 (2) Jul 01, 2012
The Standard Model Higgs boson (for discovery purposes) can have only 1 possible decay channel, diphoton decay. The uncoupling from the Higgs field must be pure. Double gamma decay takes away all the energy from the collision, but photons are massless, which shows that the massive nucleons decayed into pure massless light, which means the mass (the Higgs boson) stayed behind during the energetic event.

The standard model states that energy couples with the Higgs field. That is how mass is formed. Working in reverse, the requirement is a pure uncoupling. In other words, pure massless energy (gamma photons) should emerge from the nucleon collision. This signifies uncoupling of energy from the Higgs field. The massive nucleons become pure massless energy (photons), pure mass remains (Higgs boson).
Jitterbewegung
not rated yet Jul 01, 2012
I hope it's the first of the symmetrical particles and not the Higgs. Why couldn't the hype wait until tomorrow for an article on the LHC results.
Husky
not rated yet Jul 02, 2012
the announcing announcement better be more than we narrowed down the options with sigma 2 but we need more money to confirm, let there be a flying pig out of the hat this time!
AtlasT
1 / 5 (2) Jul 02, 2012
The Standard Model Higgs boson can have only 1 possible decay channel, diphoton decay.
It's simply not true - actually just the other than the diphoton decay channels are preferred in Standard Model. Where did you get into it?
AtlasT
1 / 5 (2) Jul 02, 2012
The couplings to photons and gluons are not really what defines the Higgs, but rather a byproduct induced by quantum corrections. In fact, other scalar particles could enjoy the same couplings without having anything to do with the mass generation (radion is one example). Thus, observing a resonance in the diphoton channel provides a circumstantial evidence in favor of the Higgs boson (given the rate is close to what the Standard Model predicts), but does not directly prove the higgsy nature of the new particle.
ant_oacute_nio354
1 / 5 (4) Jul 02, 2012
The mass is the electric dipole moment!

Antonio Saraiva
Torbjorn_Larsson_OM
3 / 5 (2) Jul 06, 2012
@ NM:

"Decay characteristics say it isn't the Higgs."

I think you are on a fishing expedition, the statistics in the small signal channels are weaker than the detection.

Really, a 125-126 GeV standard Higgs, if that is what it is, is more exciting. It implies supresymmetry at low, not high, scales. It also predicts a quastistable vacuum, and while particle physicists aren't cosmologists, they can as well be married with them.

@ Archea:

"Cold fusion has definitely many practical applications right now".

Oh wow. Trolls are supposed to bitch about the current worlds, not live in another one. (Pro tip: No existing peer review publications or valid demonstrations of "cold fusion" to be found.) That is for cranks. Are you a bipolar crank-troll?