[ The first two entries of this live blogging series are available here (part 1) and here (part 2) ]
7 AM. In thirty minutes the doors of the Main auditorium will open, and people will flood in. I have no idea whether it will be a tidy flow or a wild rush, but I suspect that the latter is more probable, given the strong feelings involved (people losing a night of sleep; the historical importance of the event; the young age and varied nationality of the people queueing up; the absence of suitable infrastructure to guide the queue).
7.20AM Will it be a model-independent discovery or a model-dependent one ? Answering this question is not easy at all. First of all, when we search for a particle in a certain final state we are already making assumptions on the way it is produced. For instance, looking at two-photon final states one might say "oh, I am just making a model-independent search of a narrow resonance decaying to two photons", but then why should one include in one of the subcategories events which feature two very high-energy, very-forward hadronic jets -those that provide the "forward tag" of a vector-boson-fusion production mode ?
The model dependence is everywhere. It is built in the test statistics which we use to quantify the confidence level, the p-values, everything. If the particle had a different spin than zero, there would be a significant difference in the discrimination power of our selection tools.
So, claiming a discovery is a must - we have very large significances in two experiments that see basically the same thing. But claiming a discovery of the standard model Higgs boson requires to attach some disclaimers at the end. Surely, we have looked for the standard model Higgs boson and we have found something which looks like the real thing. But it could be a SUSY Higgs, or even something different, like a graviton. It could. We certainly will never be sure, in some sense. I think the fair thing to do is to say we discovered a particle whose properties agree with those expected from a Higgs, and that more studies will clarify beyond reasonable doubt the exact nature of the particle.
- PHYSICAL SCIENCES
- EARTH SCIENCES
- LIFE SCIENCES
- SOCIAL SCIENCES
Subscribe to the newsletter
Stay in touch with the scientific world!
Know Science And Want To Write?
- The Genetic History Of Ice Age Europe
- Exodus 2100: Due To Climate Change
- What Lies Beneath West Antarctica?
- Professor Frenkel: Why Shouldn't We Drop Algebra From Our Education System?
- Three Earth-sized Planets Found Orbiting A Tiny Nearby Star
- Matter Can Potentially Accelerate The Expansion Of The Universe
- Scientists Discover Oral Sex In Spiders
- "actually I prefer something real, not paper printed by a private entity, backed by full faith and..."
- "Hello Peter:I presume my readers are busy. I presume they have a mild degree of experience about..."
- "So keep your cash an watch the world come to an end . Cheap and selfish is the right way ..."
- "There is a tendency to label some as Global Warming Alarmists I think the warnings have been conservative..."
- "The guardian? You're funny :-) The CESM models only prove accurate with post-hoc data input corrections..."
- 3 Reasons Aerial Pesticides Are Not Causing Autism
- Most Stores Refuse E-Cigarette Sales to Minors
- Vitamin C Conundrum for the Organic Crowd
- Newsweek Journalist Loses His Mind, Time-Traveling Radioactivity And More Media Links
- This Single-Celled Organism Is Capable Of Learning
- Study Says Bilingual Kids’ Brains Are Smarter & Faster
- UC San Diego bioengineers create first online search engine for functional genomics data
- UK Health Check has only modest impact on risk factors for cardiovascular disease
- Adult brain prunes branched connections of new neurons
- Five new breast cancer genes and range of mutations pave way for personalized treatment
- Quantum sensors for high-precision magnetometry of superconductors