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Another Teachable Moment June 7, 2007

Posted by gordonwatts in science.

This rumor is too good a gold mine. I guess gossip is fun! 🙂

Tony asked a question in my rumor blog posting — would we consider a particular theory as a source for the rumored bump — if we had the rumored bump. So, for this blog posting I need to assume that we are going to come out with an analysis with the bump. I want to be clear that I’m not saying that we have (or don’t have) a bump. As I said last time — this is something that D0 will answer in due course. But for the purpose of this blog post I need to pretend that something like the rumor is coming out.

The most interesting question to ask is — what caused that bump? Is it a standard model Higgs? Is it a SUSY Higgs? Is it something like the composite t-quark that Tony asked out? Or any of the other theories around.

While I agree that is the most interesting, it is probably not the right question. The first question should be: Does CDF see the same thing? If so — then we need to get on with the interesting question. If not — well, now we have to sit down and figure out if a) CDF hasn’t optimized their analysis in the same way or b) we have something very odd going on in our data (i.e. D0 made a mistake). The latter will be seriously embarrassing for D0, and probably cause all sorts of internal reviews and hang ringing. Remember how many times the top quark was discovered before it was actually discovered? Or the 4-jet bump from ALEPH?

At any rate, I wanted to get that out there because I do sometimes worry that the hype will get too far out in front of the science.


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