Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Latest Maybe Higgs Bumps

There are bumps in LHC diphoton data that could be a Higgs (under 3 sigma) at 118-120 GeV mass and around 140 GeV in the lastest data released today. Nothing really striking, but for the physics groupies out there who are starving for a fix of some information about the main event in the world's biggest atom smasher and repeatedly finding themselves disappointed, that is the latest. Patient readers can wait another few months to a year and get far more definitive results, but then you won't be the first on your block to know.

The 119 GeV bump is the more interesting one, because the experiment is incapable of providing a very strong signal there right now, even if there is a particle at that mass that has not yet been detected. The similarly mild 140 GeV bump is less impressive because the experiment has far more power in that region so a ho-hum signal where there should be a screaming clear indication is more likely to be a fluke or miscalculated bit of background noise.

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