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The Tevatron has found the Higgs! March 16, 2007

Posted by gordonwatts in physics.

Check out this from the Economist, science section, 3/10 Issue:

In recent weeks a number of physicists have gotten excited about bumps in the data taken at two experiments at the Tevatron. A bump is usually a sign the something has gone awry, but if all possible sources of error have been eliminated, it can indicate the presence of a particle. That both experiments on the Tevatron ring have their new bumps at precisely the same energy is particularly intriguing.

Wow. That is really cool! I’d like to offer my congratulations to the Tevatron experiments! That would be, of course,  CDF and DZERO!

Wait. I’m on DZERO. Why don’t I know about this discovery!?

All sarcasm aside, I’ve seen the DZERO results and, yeah, there is a bump. But there is a reason we aren’t really talking about it: we don’t trust it yet. We see lots of these bumps. Most of them don’t stick around very long: we can easily identify their (non-new-physics) sources and remove them. Some stick around longer than others.

Further, I’m not sure I’d use the word “precisely”. Second thing I’d ask about CDF’s bump: if it was the Higgs shouldn’t it be wider!?

Finally, there is a long history of bumps that appear and then go away — especially in something that involves jets (ala the ALEPH 4-jet bump). Both of these analyses are 4-jet bumps.

Still. I was certainly guilty of showing the slides around from one of the internal talks to other members of DZERO at UW! We have x2 more data. Trust me when I say we are killing our batch systems trying to analyze it!

BTW, where does the economist get its sources!? Wow!!!


1. Michael - March 16, 2007

It sounds like the Economist might have picked up the story from the blogosphere: http://cosmicvariance.com/2007/03/09/bump-hunting-part-3/

2. Gordon Watts - March 16, 2007

Huh. I’ve been so busy lately I’ve not been reading many other blogs around… Thanks for the reference!

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