Scientists say hoped-for physics particle was just a blip (Update 2)

Large Hadron Collider
CMS detector at CERN's Large Hadron Collider. Credit: CERN
Hopes for a new particle discovery that might have up-ended the standard model of physics were dashed on Friday, as scientists admitted that a "bump" in the data was actually just a "blip."

A great deal of excitement was generated by the December 2015 announcement that a fluctuation in the data had been found independently by two groups of scientists working on the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), a massive underground atom-smasher run by the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN).

This bump, at an energy of 750 gigaelectronvolts (GeV), would have been six times heavier than the famous Higgs Boson particle, which gives items mass and was discovered in 2012.

But following much speculation and many leaks to social media, scientists announced at the International Conference on High Energy Physics in Chicago that indeed, there was no discovery in either of two experiments, one dubbed Atlas and the other CMS.

"The intriguing hint of a possible resonance at 750 GeV decaying into photon pairs, which caused considerable interest from the 2015 data, has not reappeared in the much larger 2016 data set and thus appears to be a statistical fluctuation," said a statement from CERN.

Scientists at the meeting—which is held every two years—tweeted their reactions to the news even before it was formally announced.

"No new particle announced at #ICHEP2016 today but that's how science works," said Fermilab, the top US particle physics laboratory.

"Basically 2 LHC experiments were both seeing the production of two photons more often than expected," tweeted Brian Colquhoun, a particle physicist from the University of Glasgow, in Scotland.

A scientist looks at a section of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) in M
A scientist looks at a section of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Meyrin, near Geneva

Hard to rule out

According to Themis Bowcock, head of particle physics at the University of Liverpool, in England, experts are disappointed but do not see the experiment as a failure.

"At the moment, what nature seems to be telling us is what we saw before was simply a fluctuation rather than the first signs of very new physics," said Bowcock, who leads a team that works on the Atlas experiment.

"This particle was quite interesting. The reason it got a lot of excitement was it didn't easily fit into a lot of other theories," he told AFP.

"So there was a lot of work over the last year of people coming up with new revised models of what it could be."

All that work was not in vain, he said. Nor does it mean for certain that such a particle does not exist.

"It's actually quite hard to rule it out. We have to wait for a longer time before we have evidence for this particle," said Bowcock.

"What it means for us is things are very much more as we expected it, and we have to look for new physics elsewhere."

Physicist Pauline Gagnon, who has retired from CERN, posted on her blog that "major discoveries are rare in physics."

On the other hand, blips and fluctuations like the one announced Friday "are not rare in particle physics, given the statistical nature of all the phenomena we observe."


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Aug 05, 2016
It seems to be more and more likely that nature does not do supersymmetry, and that the Standard Model is the best we've got. I can't help feeling some schadenfreude about supersymmetry, which is a textbook example of what violating Occam's Razor is all about, and the relatively pedestrian character of the Standard Model (which is little more than a superb computational tool with very little in the way of insight and understanding) makes me think that we might have exciting times ahead in the way of basic breakthroughs.

Aug 05, 2016
the relatively pedestrian character of the Standard Model (which is little more than a superb computational tool with very little in the way of insight and understanding) makes me think that we might have exciting times ahead in the way of basic breakthroughs.

I'm right there with ya. The SM does very little to illuminate our understanding of things on a much larger scale. Here's hoping for the breakthrough!
would have been six times heavier than the famous Higgs Boson particle, which gives items mass and was discovered in 2012.

Why are they stating this as fact?

Aug 05, 2016
Why are they stating this as fact?


GR is perfect. The Standard Model isn't. What's the beef?

Aug 05, 2016
GR isn't 100% accurate, so not perfect.

The beef is the higgs mechanism does nothing to further our understanding of how things work, and it's being touted as a game changer.

Aug 05, 2016
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Aug 05, 2016
Well, @Proto, looks like you were right. And so was the rumor mill.

That's OK, we're still looking.

Aug 05, 2016
Time to move to higher energy (>>13 TeV). Increased intensity (HL-LHC) is not the way to go.

Aug 05, 2016
Do not be deceived by this 'disinformation propaganda' from government sources. The true result is probably classified very highly, for new particles like this may have military uses. The idea that this "opinion" came out of a 'conference' held in Chicago, home of the US government controlled Argonne Labs makes it even more suspicious.

Aug 06, 2016
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Aug 06, 2016
@tinitus If I understand correctly, the failure to detect superpartners at the LHC only falsifies the MSSM, which I think is the SO(10) model. More complex supersymmetry models could have much heavier minimum mass superpartners.

There are better magnetic technologies coming that may allow the construction of much more powerful accelerators in the medium-near future, which have already been utilized in a design for a smaller Tokamak (though this design has not yet been built). And there's always cosmic rays.

We'll see.

As for diphoton channel physics being compatible with other decay channels, I don't think the limit of distance matters when you're taking pictures of interactions in a bubble chamber.

Aug 06, 2016
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Aug 07, 2016
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Aug 07, 2016
the failure to detect superpartners at the LHC only falsifies the MSSM
Not all superpartners will manifest itself in all decay channels in equal way and once we average them anyway, their signal will disappear in statistics.
All particles manifest themselves in each decay channel based on their possible decay modes, not equally but in accordance with their probability to decay by that mode.

I don't understand what "disappear in statistics" means.

Aug 07, 2016

The person that came up with the theory for GR (A.E.) believed in the existence of a true living god. Therefore, he tried to come up with ideas that contained personal humility


A) No he didn't. Somewhere between agnostic and atheist according to people who knew him.

B) He also said, "God doesn't play dice with the Universe", as he didn't think QM could be right. He was wrong.

Aug 07, 2016
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Aug 07, 2016
Where I work, blips have causal effects.

Aug 07, 2016
In my opinion all of modern physics is flawed. Guess we'll have to wait for another genius who is really an idiot. So the leap from absolute stupidity to sanity must be farther apart than we thought. So why not add more energy? juz say'n

Aug 07, 2016
Five sigma criterion depends on how many sources are used. The reliability of Higgs boson finding was for example calculated as an weighted average of at least http://www.younga...des.jpg.

You need a nonsense filter on your accelerator. This way you might be able to see what is really happening.

Aug 07, 2016
The person that came up with the theory for GR (A.E.) believed in the existence of a true living god. Therefore, he tried to come up with ideas that contained personal humility
A) No he didn't. Somewhere between agnostic and atheist according to people who knew him.
This persistent myth that Einstein "believed in God" is ridiculous. Einstein's "God" wasn't an invisible super magic daddy who gives you pie in the sky when you die and had nothing to do with the petty sociopath represented in the Babble and other fables by drunken stone age sheep herders who'd been eating too much Jimson weed.

B) He also said, "God doesn't play dice with the Universe", as he didn't think QM could be right. He was wrong.
His intuition finally played him false. It's evidence that even the best and smartest of us can be led astray. If anyone wants humility, consider whether you're better than Einstein.

Aug 09, 2016
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Aug 09, 2016
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Aug 10, 2016
I put benni, bschott, antigoracle, the king of idiots reg mundy, back to fester on ignore where they belong.

LOL
The retard of the month is going for retard of the year, with the following gem of a question.
Is there anything you don't know nothing about?


https://www.youtu...ExwB8GCM

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