From Fermilab Today: “CMS Result – Have we found the Higgs?”
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Friday, July 6, 2012
“The Higgs boson has been found, right? You know this because you’ve heard it about it on the radio. If only it were that simple. Fermilab Today readers know to be more cautious.
Physicist Peter Higgs stands in front of the CMS detector in 2008. This is generally conceded by all to be the only definitive observation of a Higgs in CMS. Photo: CERN (get it? Peter Higgs?)
The CMS experiment has long been feverishly working to find the Higgs boson. It is only due to editorial oversight that I restrain myself from using a long range of extreme superlatives to describe the performance of the LHC, the CMS detector and the analyzers working on the Higgs boson analyses.
Using the 2012 data set (already larger than all the data recorded in 2011), combined with the 2011 data set (taken at a different energy), all analyzed almost the instant it was recorded, the CMS collaboration employed a breathtaking set of complex algorithms, all aimed to find the Higgs boson. To ensure that the measurement wasn’t tainted by the analyzers’ expectations, it was done “blind,” which means that the analyzers were forbidden to look at the data until the analysis techniques were developed and finalized.
However…and this is important…we don’t know if what we’ve seen is the Higgs boson. The Higgs boson is predicted to have specific properties, like a certain charge, a certain spin and a certain set of specific decay patterns (with specific ratios). The data thus far is NOT enough to definitively state that what has been observed is the Higgs boson predicted in 1964. It looks like a Higgs boson, but the final page in this saga has yet to be written.”
Joe Incandela of the University of California, Santa Barbara, has led CMS since January 2012. He represents the approximately 3,000 physicists who worked together to accomplish this exciting measurement. Photo: CERN
See the full article here.