Higgs Boson Confirmation Achingly Close
'Pretty vanilla,' says one researcher of announcement
By Mark Russell, Newser Staff
Posted Mar 7, 2013 1:56 AM CST
This undated image made available by CERN shows a typical candidate event including two high-energy photons whose energy (depicted by red towers) is measured in the CMS electromagnetic calorimeter.   (AP Photo/CERN)

(Newser) – Thousands of checks have scientists inching ever closer to confirming that last July's discovery at the Large Hadron Collider was in fact the Higgs boson, reports the AP. The researchers say there's still one possibility they want to eliminate before declaring they are 99.9% positive: that it's a graviton, another subatomic particle associated with gravitational fields (but not mass). If the particle has no internal spin, that pretty much confirms it is a Higgs boson. "It looks more and more like a Higgs boson," said one scientist at the European Center for Nuclear Research yesterday.

To which Adam Mann replies "yawn-fest" in Wired. The big discovery last July was exciting, but now, as scientists slowly sift through the data, all they're doing is confirming the standard model Higgs—no signs of any new particles, and that's making "some physicists a bit nervous," he writes. He zeroes in on one of the things they were hoping for: "a signature of a theory known as supersymmetry, which pairs all known particles with a heavier but nearly identical partner, of which there is still no clear evidence." "Big analysis of the new data on the Higgs boson, and—it’s looking pretty vanilla," tweeted one researcher.

More From Newser
My Take on This Story
To report an error on this story,
notify our editors.
Higgs Boson Confirmation Achingly Close is...
Show results without voting
You Might Like
Showing 3 of 14 comments
Mar 9, 2013 1:19 PM CST
Stephen Hawking said that he lost 100 dollars betting the Higgs boson wouldn't be found. If he paid already, he may have lost the 100 dollars, but he hasn't lost the bet yet. We have to wait until 2015. According to CERN Research Director, Sergio Bertolucci, "Only when we know that it has spin-zero will we be able to call it a Higgs." On top of that, scientist, Raymond "Volkas says that physicists and Higgs-watchers may have to prepare themselves for the possibility that the LHC data never establishes whether or not the particle is the Higgs predicted by the standard model," New Scientist reports. 2015 will be 48 years from the time three physicists received the Nobel prize for the first edition of "The Standard Model" of subatomic physics with the "Higgs mechanism," but they had all given up and gone to other pursuits after the 1967 paper that eventually sparked the award. Why? Something has been holding back the hunt for the Higgs. https://www.facebook.com/notes/reid-barnes/has-something-been-holding-back-the-search-for-the-higgs-boson/430347917017788
Mar 8, 2013 6:49 AM CST
I wish I had a job.. where I could “Discover” something,, Get all kind of prise and reward.. Later claim to do the same thing again.. And again get all kind of praise and reward.. Again… And admit that later I will do it again… with 99.9 % certainty… And to top that all off it could be the thing I have “Discovered” is useless and trivial knowledge. What a 10 Billion dollar job.. WOW!!!
Mar 7, 2013 1:05 PM CST
"that it's a graviton, another subatomic particle ... " Flatly amazing that I went through H.S.believing the smallest particle was the electron. Wasn't till college, in the late 70's, that they even started talking about quarks.