Saturday, December 26, 2015

A humongous Higgs?

Last week's blogs and websites have been atwitter with news of what could be a new Higgs boson. Both the ATLAS and CMS collaborations have seen `a bump in the data' at 750 GeV. Both collaborations have been seeing that proton-proton collisions that result in an unexpected number of di-photon pairs, pairs of photons which together carry away about 750 GeV of energy. This could be a new Higgslike boson, but 6 times more massive than the Higgs boson of the Standard model discovered in 2012. The statistics are nowhere near a level at which, anyone can claim an actual discovery, nor have the spokesmen of either collaboration done so. Atlas has discovered about 40 more pairs of photons, than what is predicted by the Standard model, and CMS has found just 10. However, it is intriguing that two independent experiments have found the photons at exactly identical energies. It could be a hulking Higgs after all! Of course, this could all vanish away into nothing. Watch this space for further updates.

Update: 05/08/16

Alas, it did vanish away into nothing, despite 500 theory papers. (The experimentalists were *not* guilty of overhyping the data). There was even a Game of Thrones citation contest on the this. Until
next time then, when we hope actual business will result.

Tailpiece: What did the HB say to the HHB ? You may be incredible, but I am Noble.

New Tailpiece: What did one photon say to another? I think all this was a bit much!

This blog post by Neelima Gupte and Sumathi Rao.


AmOK said...

Thanks for the update. How many such sequels are there? Higgs Story II is in the making along with a flood of fashionable papers - paperazzi? And- if we find Higgs II does Higgs I become less necessary - we need one but not both? Can we have one for each of Englert–Brout–Higgs–Guralnik–Hagen–Kibble ?

Neelima said...

Answers to the above:

1. There may be many. The collider is expected to produce new physics.
2. Yes.
3. No. HB was needed to complete the Standard model. That's happened. That's why HB is Nobel. HHB is in the non-Standard model domain. It is not exactly incredible, but its new physics. Several physicists are dreaming of laying their claims to nobelity banking on the HHB.
4. That would be nice, wouldn't it? Why leave anyone out?

AmOK said...