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Don’t give in to Higgsteria, officials advise

Skeptical mathematician Peter Woit at Not Even Wrong is updating regularly on the news that there may now be almost enough evidence to confirm the famous God particle, the Higgs boson: He had said

Reliable rumors couldn’t wait, and they indicate that the experiments are seeing much the same thing as last year in this year’s new data: strong hints of a Higgs around 125 GeV. The main channel investigated is the gamma-gamma channel where they are each seeing about a 4 sigma signal. – “The Higgs Discovery,” June 17, 2012

The 2012 data that is being analyzed for ICHEP is of a similar size to the 2011 data. If 2011 was a fluke, you expect to see nothing much around 125 GeV in the 2012 data. If the 2011 signal really was the Higgs you expect the signal to strengthen. What I’m hearing from both experiments is that they are seeing an excess in the new data, strengthening the significance of the signal.

He has updated extensively with news stories.

However, it’s not clear that, given the low strength of the signal, that the much-sought Higgs will solve the problems many hoped. We are advised by officials not to believe the “Higgsteria” blogs. Which means, don’t believe the officials yet either.

One senses that the concerns about the Standard Model will not genuinely be alleviated by the findings, once it is agreed what they are. They are findings, yes, but maybe not the ones hoped for.

See also: Not finding the God particle may be a bigger deal than we think

Standard Model of physics in trouble?

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One Response to Don’t give in to Higgsteria, officials advise

  1. I hope people know the history of how the supposed “God” particle got this name. It’s because it couldn’t be found. Just look at all the trouble they’re having with these high-energy tools.

    Those early investigators who had trouble finding the “particle” they were looking for—the “Higgs” boson, basically, said, “Where is that God-Da…d particle anyway.”

    Told that it couldn’t be called the “God-Da…d” particle, it was shortened to the “God” particle. There’s nothing “divine” about this particle in the least. And it doesn’t dislodge God’s necessary presence in our world in any way.

    Just thought you should know . . . . .

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