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CERN have found the Higgs boson (or something much like it), PHYSICS
post Jul 4 2012, 10:05
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The ATLAS and CMS experiments at CERN today presented their latest results in the search for the long-sought Higgs boson. Both experiments see strong indications for the presence of a new particle, which could be the Higgs boson, in the mass region around 126 gigaelectronvolts (GeV).

The experiments found hints of the new particle by analysing trillions of proton-proton collisions from the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) in 2011 and 2012. The Standard Model of particle physics predicts that a Higgs boson would decay into different particles – which the LHC experiments then detect.

Both ATLAS and CMS gave the level of significance of the result as 5 sigma on the scale that particle physicists use to describe the certainty of a discovery. One sigma means the results could be random fluctuations in the data, 3 sigma counts as an observation and a 5-sigma result is a discovery. The results presented today are preliminary, as the data from 2012 is still under analysis. The complete analysis is expected to be published around the end of July.

Read the CERN press release

“5 sigma” means a confidence level of five standard deviations, i.e. a mere 0.00003% probability, under a one-tailed test, of these results being observed by chance if the particle did not actually exist. (If you see people reporting 0.00006%, they're doing it wrong by assuming a two-tailed test.)

Higgs boson announcement: Live updates | News | National Post
“I can confirm that a particle has been discovered that is consistent with the Higgs boson theory,” said John Womersley, chief executive of Britain's Science & Technology Facilities Council, at an event in London.
Today, the ATLAS and CMS experiments announced that they had observed a new particle. We don't yet know what that particle is, but it is consistent with the long –sought Higgs boson, and work will soon be underway to positively identify it. Days like this do not come around very often, and it's a cause for celebration.
#ATLAS combined results give a local significance of 5 sigma at 126.5 GeV. Audience goes wild. “I'm not done yet, there's more” says Fabiola
4:42 a.m.: Gianotti: We've only recorded 1/3rd of the data expected in 2012

4:45 a.m.: Gianotti: I think we all have to be very proud of these results and I hope that they open the door to a very bright future. Thank you

4:45 a.m.: Rolf-Dieter Heuer: As a layman I would now say: I think we've got it

4:48 a.m.: Rolf-Dieter Heuer: “We have a discovery. We should state it. We have a discovery. We have observed a new particle consistent with a Higgs boson. That remains open.

“It’s a historic milestone today, but we are only at the beginning. Now a lot of work is ahead of us. It is a milestone — I think we can all be proud, be happy, but it’s at the beginning.

“And I think also, it has global implications for the future, and I think we can be very very optimistic.”

4:48 a.m.: Standing ovation

Discuss. Party. Be reminded of what it looks like when humans do it right. smile.gif
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andy o
post Jul 5 2012, 16:54
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I hope this does not constitute blog-whoring (it's not even my blog), but I wrote up a collection of links and some funny tweets about it at onegoodmove.org.

I was watching the live webcast at the CERN site. Couldn't understand a thing, but it was cool and moving seeing Peter Higgs almost breaking up and declaring he didn't expect this in his lifetime.
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