Funny. While dozens of online media are abuzz with the (non)-news, and while Fermilab Today tweets that there is no Higgs in store for us and a blogger in search of fame is just spreading unconfirmed voices which have no foundation, Lubos Motl over at the Reference Frame gets more detailed rumors on the same thing, and that does make things a bit more interesting.
Even more funny is to know that exactly a month ago yours truly discussed a new CDF result on MSSM Higgs bosons which showed a deviation of over two standard deviations, explainable in terms of a Higgs boson with mass of about 150 GeV. That signal is exactly the one that Lubos discusses today. I invite all interested readers to have a look at my post of a month ago, because there I do describe the physics and the CDF analysis quite clearly and in detail.
But rather than funny, what is really enjoyable is to see how things repeat themselves. Almost exactly THREE years ago, the same rumor was started by a comment on my former blog, where a anonymous reader speculated that DZERO was seeing an excess of the same signature in their data. The rumor made it to several important newspapers, including the New York Times, but later boiled down to nothing: DZERO did not publish the tentative signal.
Below is a figure from the recently published CDF analysis, which as I mentioned above is discussed in detail in my post of 28 days ago. The tentative Higgs signal is in red.
Of course, whether the rumor is based on an extension of that analysis in CDF, or whether it comes from a twin search performed by DZERO, we do not know yet. However, we will probably get to know in three days, when seminars are foreseen at the Tevatron on the new Higgs searches.
Note that if DZERO were to see a similar signal as the one above, things would really grow interesting. For it would be an independent "confirmation". Of course, as long as we discuss 2-sigmaish excesses, of the kind shown in the figure above, people who know better like you and me remain quite calm and shrug shoulders. For such a deviation to be interesting it would really require to be at 5-sigma level, because it is very hard to believe that backgrounds have been modeled to the accuracy needed to exclude some non-Gaussian tails here or there. But this would be a complicated discussion, which belongs elsewhere. If you want my opinion, however, here it is: it is just a summer fluke.
The Rumored Rumor Had Been Rumored Before