Higgs!

I’m sure most of you have already seen the announcement. The LHC announced some preliminary results regarding the Higgs Boson this morning. Here’s the upshot:

  1. Both the ATLAS and CMS experiments (which are ostensibly independent) see something consistent with a Higgs with relatively high significance (3.6 sigma for ATLAS and 1.9 sigma for CMS) at about 126 GeV (about 135 times the mass of a proton).
  2. Even combining the results, this still falls shy of 5sigma which is the usual criterion for a “detection.” Still, these results are suggestive enough and consistent enough that I, for one, personally believe that we’ve seen the Higgs (and have a pretty good idea of its mass). The folks on the Nobel committee will probably wait until 5-sigma before giving out a prize, and who knows who they’ll actually give it to.
  3. The mass of the Higgs is very consistent with what we expected from the Standard Model.

In tomorrow’s “Ask a Physicist” column, I’ll be doing a Higgs roundup. People should ask any and all questions about the discovery (the comments section below is as good a place as any), and I’ll answer as many as possible in the column.

Exciting times!

-Dave

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One Response to Higgs!

  1. Gnomic says:

    Is there an anti-Higgs? And does it create anti-gravity?

    What does a Higgs decompose into?

    How does a Higgs create mass in other particles?

    How does the Higgs interact with other particles?

    What interesting theories does the Higgs rule out?

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