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    Rolf Heuer: "I Think We Have It" !
    By Tommaso Dorigo | July 4th 2012 03:46 AM | 25 comments | Print | E-mail | Track Comments
    About Tommaso

    I am an experimental particle physicist working with the CMS experiment at CERN. In my spare time I play chess, abuse the piano, and aim my dobson...

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    Rolf is drawing the conclusions. He just asked the audience:

    "I think we have it. Do you agree ?" And a roar of consensus fills the auditorium.

    The slide says "The observation of a new particle consistent with a Higgs boson".

    It is a historic milestone, but only the beginning.

    A standing ovation follows. Then a connection with Melbourne, with the other auditorium applauding. Now questions in the CERN site ensuing.

    Theorists take the stage, Higgs saying it is an extraordinary achievement for the lab, and that he is glad that it happened in his lifetime.

    A very moving finale !

    What happens next ? Well, there was a media storm of course. As for me, I had to work all day to a couple of pieces for an Italian newspaper. I will try to translate them tomorrow...
    Another thing to look forward to: the paying of bets ! I won three bets, one (for $750) with Jacques Distler, one (for $250) with Gordon Watts, and one, or actually two, for $100+$100=$200 with Tony Smith. I will be inviting the betters here to discuss their ideas in the occasion of the paying out of the bets.

    Comments

    Hi, Tommaso,

    Could you write a bit on the width of the Higgs? How can we extract the width of Higgs from the presentations?

    Thanks and cheers,

    Yaofu

    Hi, Tommaso,

    Could you write a bit on the width of the Higgs? How can we extract the width of Higgs from the presentations?

    Thanks and cheers,

    Yaofu

    Hi, Tommaso,

    Could you write a bit on the width of the Higgs? How can we extract the width of Higgs from the presentations?

    Thanks and cheers,

    Yaofu

    dorigo
    Hi Yaofu,
    no way. The width is expected to be too small to be detected. In principle we can still fit for it though, but we would be sure to get results compatible with zero.

    Cheers,
    T.
    Some comment about the 2x rate for H -> yy would be good - the boys over on Lubos.xxx are saying it's not yet statistically significant. Well why not?

    -drl

    The question is, why the cold fusion and/or another important findings were criticized as suspicious, adventurous and unscientific, when they were announced at public conference - whereas the CERN is doing the same. We all still remember, that the former leader and speaker of OPERA team were fired ("forced to resign") for the same action (i.e. the presentation of preliminary results before their publishing) - while the CERN is doing the same right now. The "only" difference is, that CERN announcement CONFIRMS established theories, whereas the OPERA announcement REFUSED them, at least proclamatively.

    This is absolutely not so. 1) Pons-Fleischmann have been more or less vindicated in the ensuing 20 years and in fact there's a LENR conference coming up in August 2) OPERA was poorly thought out and sloppy 3) The techniques used to identify this new boson are completely non-controversial. What was known to exist in some form, has been found. It remains to see how much it deviates from SM predictions.

    -drl

    In a report issued by the the european commission the funding for LENR research is recommended. There is next to nothing in the regular news about that. I think the unraveling of the "cold fusion" phenomenon will have a disruptive impact on life of every man on earth, but I guess this news about the higgs boson will only have a palpable benefit for the scientists working on it because it secures their paycheck for the next 10-20 years.

    In a report issued by the the european commission the funding for LENR research is recommended. There is next to nothing in the regular news about that. I think the unraveling of the "cold fusion" phenomenon will have a disruptive impact on life of every man on earth, but I guess this news about the higgs boson will only have a palpable benefit for the scientists working on it because it secures their paycheck for the next 10-20 years.

    @Zephir & Gerrit:
    I never really understood those who compare different fields of science with eachother in this way; it's like comparing apples and oranges. Science in itself does not discriminate in general - experiments and results do. In short; cold fusion seems to be quite cold, FTL neutrinos seem to be quite slow, but Higgslike bosons seem to very much real.

    "but I guess this news about the higgs boson will only have a palpable benefit for the scientists working on it..."

    :D It is only a discovery/confirmation of one of the most fundamental processes in the Universe, how elementary particles get massive. No, there's probably no benefit in knowing this. Just like there have been no benefits in knowing about electromagnetism. Without the knowledge of electromagnetism (and some other fields of science), I guess the computer I write this post on would just have materialized in front of me out of thin air.

    Dennis,

    In short: what is generally known as "cold fusion" is in fact a anomalous heat phenomenon that credible scientists at ENEA, NASA, NRL and other science institutions conclude is a reality.

    The computer I type this on would probably not need an AC plug if the amount of money thrown at Higgs would have been spend on research of this anomalous heat phenomenon in the last 23 years.

    There is absolutely no problem that you are not able to understand any of this right now, others will do that for you.

    Thanks for your concern, I appreciate it. Though, I believe I have quite a fair understanding of science; I however (usually) keep away from overspeculative areas and discussions. And I also try to avoid expressing apples in terms of oranges.

    "In short: what is generally known as "cold fusion" is in fact a anomalous heat phenomenon that credible scientists at ENEA, NASA, NRL and other science institutions conclude is a reality."
    If it's an anomalous heat phenomenon, why refer to it as "cold fusion"?

    "The computer I type this on would probably not need an AC plug if the amount of money thrown at Higgs would have been spend on research of this anomalous heat phenomenon in the last 23 years."
    Probably? That's just pure and utter speculation. It is however a fact that your computer relies on electromagnetism. I have no problems with people investigating LENR or whatever they choose to call it, they're free to do so. But, at the moment, I'll rather place my bet on "hot" rather than "cold fusion". But that's me.

    The topic is however the Higgs boson, so I won't venture any further from this, with respect to the blog owner.

    Hank
    I however (usually) keep away from overspeculative areas and discussions. And I also try to avoid expressing apples in terms of oranges.
    Nice. I would have phrased it "As a non-believer in cold fusion, I have poor grasp of things I know nothing about"...

    But that would have confused him.
    Dennis,

    "If it's an anomalous heat phenomenon, why refer to it as "cold fusion"?" hits the nail on the head. Disregard the label "cold fusion" and look at this topic for what it is: an emperically discovered anomalous heat phenomenon.

    A comparison to big physics like the Higgs-boson is to the point, because there is so much funding available for that topic, but virtually no funding has been available for "cold fusion" in the last 23 years. It's nice to be free, but without funding there isn't much profound work that can be done.

    The "Higgs-hunters" collected out of billions of collisions only a handful of collisions that indicate something new. Whereas the "cold fusioneers" have successfully replicated hundreds of experiments showing the Fleischmann-Pons effect which significantly outnumbers the failed experiments back in 1989.

    So what I am basically saying is: had a fraction of the money that was (and will be) spent on chasing the Higgs been spent on unraveling the Fleischmann-Pons effect, our daily lives could be profoundly different today. Whereas the understanding of the Higgs-Boson might only have an impact on ordinary lives in a couple of generations.

    Hi Tommaso, are the significances after accounting for trials?

    dorigo
    No. However, trial factors decrease them by only some decimals. There is no issue.
    Cheers,
    T.
    Which new results can we reasonably expect before the 2013 shutdown ? Is it possible to confirm in the next months that the spin of this boson is 0 ? Is it also possible to say whether the digamma channel is BSM-ly strong or if it just a fluctuation ?

    Great posts, Tommaso.

    However, with branching H->WW being very large and very clean signature I am shocked that neither ATLAS nor CMS published dilepton delta-phi distribution for candidates events. Why not?! The statistics of candidates events should be far more than that of ZZ channel.

    Regards,
    Alexey

    Hi,

    is there any full simulation for the diphoton spectrum? As far as I know it is so costly, that the background was only fitted with some smooth function in both cases. My worry is that the photon->electron conversion is significant, 25% of the photons convert. This was taken into account ATLAS with a usual cut based technic: there is cut on some _global_ variable, based on the pt and angle of the photons (I think it checks if they were back to back with a tricky thrust projection method) and treats one side of the cut as non-converted and the other as converted.

    1. is there any cross over region which is _not_ used later, because it was unsure which calibration to apply?
    2. why use a global variable to decide on a pair of photons? (there might be justifications, but there must be a later decision still on the calibration method)
    3. how was this method tested?
    4. should I trust Geant on such high energetic photons, when the interaction there is not strictly electromagnetic?
    5. every cut based analysis introduces shoulders that will be propagated to the invariant mass plots. Period.
    The shoulder in the pTt (pT thrust projection, which is used for the conversion-decision) has a shoulder, that propagates exactly into the 125GeV peak is. The question is, should I trust the analysis that its magnitude is negligible?

    Does anyone know further about the pTt method that tests the conversions?

    Tommaso,

    where can I download the slides shown this morning at the CERN seminar?

    Tommaso- my q is this -- over at CosmicVariance, John (and Sean somewhat too) seem to think the couplings already look non-SM, 2x as much for gamma-gamma as expected, and too low for tau-tau -- your thoughts on this, at the moment? -M

    And btw -- congrats on winning your bets!!!!!! :->

    Great job of the live blogging, Tommaso, it's really appreciated.

    dorigo
    Sorry to all for lagging with answers, here and in other threads. I will get back to you in good order - as always, when there is an important deadline or event, everything else creates an enormous backlog.
    Later,
    T.
    Backlog or pile-up? :)