BREAKING: CERN to announce "God Particle" found

The CERN Large Hadron Collider seen from the air – click for more

By JOHN HEILPRIN and SETH BORENSTEIN

Associated Press

GENEVA (AP) — Scientists believe the “God particle” that might explain the underpinnings of the universe is real, and they are about to present their evidence to the world.

Physicists at the world’s biggest atom smasher plan to announce Wednesday that they have nearly confirmed the primary plank of a theory that could shape the scientific understanding of all matter.

The idea is much like gravity and Isaac Newton’s discovery: It was there all the time before Newton explained it. But now scientists know what it is and can put that knowledge to further use.

The focus of the excitement is the Higgs boson, a subatomic particle that, if confirmed, could help explain why matter has mass, which combines with gravity to give an object weight.

But two independent teams of physicists are cautious after decades of work and billions of dollars spent. They don’t plan to use the word “discovery.” They say they will come as close as possible to a “eureka” announcement without uttering a pronouncement as if from the scientific mountaintop.

full AP story here

Lobos Motl has more here and writes:

According to an incognito ATLAS member who spoke to Nature, they have a discovery without any doubts. Pure elation that will culminate on Wednesday morning.

A live webcast will be provided, though I expect it it will be so overloaded as to be useless:

Watch at webcast.cern.ch

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nearly confirmed
Doesn’t cut it in my book.

I doubt it; they should concentrate on more useful research.

Pull My Finger

So they kinda know it exists… kinda like we already knew it exists?

H.R.

wOw!

j molloy

that’s great , just don’t tell Richard Dawkins 😉

Jeremy Poynton

Oh God.

more soylent green!

Have they done genetic studies on scientists who believe in the ‘God particle?’

Ally E.

“Physicists at the world’s biggest atom smasher plan to announce Wednesday that they have nearly confirmed the primary plank of a theory that could shape the scientific understanding of all matter.”
Nearly confirmed? A bit premature, then, isn’t it? Why don’t they wait until it is confirmed? Do they have it or don’t they? Is this a funding thing?

dogald

I do wish people would stop using “God particle”

Richard deSousa

God says “That’ll be the day!” :p

Keith

I’d cut them a little slack on this one. According to the Sunday Times article I saw yesterday, they’ve a four-sigma degree of confidence that they’ve found the Higgs boson. Likewise, reanalysis of collisions at Tevatron is to be published showing a similar level of confidence. Merge the two studies and you may well have the five-sigma degree of confidence to say “Yep, there it is”.
At least Mr Higgs is still going strong and able to pick up his Nobel Prize for physics next year.

Steve C

OK, so it’s only a press release, but … can’t wait for the details! Thanks for the news, you’ve cheered my evening up considerably.

gofer

I’m sorry to say, because of the global warming scheme, I hesitate to believe anything coming from “scientists” anymore. Something will be announced, to justify why they need a few more billion to confirm their suspicions and justify their existence. Distortions and prevarications, by “climate scientists”, has wrecked my once firm belief in the community. Who will be the heros, in the community, that will step forward and restore faith in the work of science?

Jeff

Why is it whenver they mention “Higgs boson”, Magnum P.I. comes to mind?
Sounds like one of his investigations, as well…

Jeff

oops, whenever…sorry

Peter Crawford

Pure elation here in Old North Wales. I am in the process of culminating it. It should thoroughly culminated by tomorrow.

Jack

It would be so nice if it were true. ( I want my jetpack!!). And all the societal wealth that comes with such a scientific advance. Either it is true, or it is not. And time will tell.
I remember listening to the radio in the 1970’s, and reading in the newspapers, about a carburator design that would give 100 miles per gallon…but that the Saudi’s bought the rights to it and denied it to the world.
But then, upon further investigation, nothing. Either way, releasing it to the world would be a good idea. So it makes me wonder why the teaser?

AndrewS

They would want to be 100% sure – we all know what happened when they announced they had found a particle that travels faster than the speed if light!

Dodgy Geezer

They have produced a statistical model which explains mass!
And now they want to use it to tax people…

“Scientists have to show with complex formulas that there’s a less than 1 in 1.7 million chance that the findings are a statistical fluke.”
Now that’s how I would like to see climate research. Fat chance.

James

Well I suppose God will be pleased.

beng

Lubos Motl will certainly have an opinion. I agree w/Leif — too early. Remember the faster-than-light neutrinos….
That reminds me, Motl’s site has lately caused my Firefox to choke. His site’s always been overloaded w/trackers, gadgets & scripts, but now it’s outright locking up. I use Ghostery & NoScript, but now even those don’t help. Setting View/Page Style/No style works on some dodgy sites, but no joy.
Lubos, if you read this or someone else knows, there was another site of yours you listed once that had a simpler html presentation, but now I can’t find it. Anyone have it?

ac

for what it is worth “Particle physics has an accepted definition for a “discovery”: a five-sigma level of certainty – The “three sigma” level represents about the same likelihood as tossing more than eight heads in a row
Five sigma, on the other hand, would correspond to tossing more than 20 in a row
With independent confirmation by other experiments, five-sigma findings become accepted discoveries’ -From the BBC website.
Assuming the description that description is correct, that would make it 1 in 2^20 or 1 in 1,046,576 – call it 1 in a million possiblity of being wrong (ie experiements are false and not showing the particle). That is pretty darn confident – btw, I do not claim that I’ve got the right description of 5 Sigma.

cui bono

They have 4 sigmas. They need 5. This is a world away from the ‘give or take a bit’ mannipulation we are used to. Real science, real scientists, real statistics. I fear too many on this blog have become so cynical about climate science they’re extending cycnicism into genuine areas of scientific triumph.
Even better will be when CERN finds something that *wasn’t* predicted…

Tom in Worcester

Thank you Jebus!!

David Oliver Smith

Let me guess, they just need more money to do more experiments, so they can really confirm it.
Balderdash!

wikeroy

What spin-off effects might this give, I wonder.

Garry Stotel

“gofer says:
July 2, 2012 at 2:15 pm
I’m sorry to say, because of the global warming scheme, I hesitate to believe anything coming from “scientists” anymore. Something will be announced, to justify why they need a few more billion to confirm their suspicions and justify their existence. Distortions and prevarications, by “climate scientists”, has wrecked my once firm belief in the community.”
—————————————————————————————————————-
I have similar feelings on this. It is very difficult after the “consensus” of scientists backing a post-modern religion of AGW to trust anything coming out of the establishment. The trust has been damaged. And I spent 8 years wearing a white coat in the lab myself.
I am looking forward to reading more on this, and making up my own mind. Until then, I don’t believe anybody anymore.

George E. Smith;

Well I seem to recall, that I nearly confirmed something myself once; no I’m quite positive that I confirmed it; but I just never did write down in my note book just what it was that I had confirmed.
So if you should happen acrioss it sometime, just remember, I was the one who broke the field wide open.

otsar

This is great if it can be repeatedly confirmed.
It will greatly increase the confidence in the present model of matter.

davefish

They call it the God Particle because one researcher looking for it said “I hope we find this goddamn particle soon”. I guess they thought the public would be more accepting of the phrase The God Particle.

kadaka (KD Knoebel)

Sounds like there’s a competition between the US Tevatron and CERN LHC teams to claim who technically found it first. Hope the rush to announce wasn’t too premature.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/large-hadron-collider/9370677/God-Particle-rumours-strengthened-by-Tevatron-databr.html

‘God Particle’ rumours strengthened by Tevatron data

The Tevatron findings represent a final analysis of all the data gathered by scientists at Fermilab before the particle accelerator was shut down late last year.
They show a signal of the Higgs with a mass of between 115 and 135 Gigaelectronvolts (GeV), which fits with the “hints” at a mass of 125 GeV announced by the LHC last December.
The Tevatron signal had a statistical strength of 2.9 sigma, meaning there is roughly a one in 550 chance that the result was a statistical fluke.

“While 5-sigma significance is required for a discovery, it seems unlikely that the Tevatron collisions mimicked a Higgs signal. Nobody expected the Tevatron to get this far when it was built in the 1980s.”

Trivia question:

Finding the particle, first proposed by Peter Higgs in 1964, would prove the existence of the Higgs Field, a mysterious force which interacts with particles to give them their mass.

Energy and mass are essentially the same thing, gravity works on both, an increase in kinetic energy yields an apparent increase in mass, etc. Energy is to mass roughly as mass is to a black hole (a singularity), it can be thought of as highly compressed until it becomes another state.
So what does the Higgs field actually do, is it the “glue” that holds energy together as mass? Is it somehow underlying gravity, gravity is actually a secondary effect? Additional info is kindly requested.

James

Not to be out done by the Cern Scientists, Chicago scientists are today claiming that they have also found God.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2012/jul/02/higgs-boson-evidence-god-particle

David Falkner

cui bono says:
July 2, 2012 at 2:29 pm
They have 4 sigmas. They need 5.
Then they are one short of a discovery, no?

Jer0me

“All I can say is I am very excited!”
said a Higgs field, yesterday….

kuhnkat

“Physicists at the world’s biggest atom smasher plan to announce Wednesday that they have nearly confirmed the primary plank of a theory that could shape the scientific understanding of all matter.”
Get that?!?!?! They are going to announce that it isn’t confirmed yet but they are close apparently!!! What kind of BS announcement is that?!?!?!?!

Please distinguish particle physicists from “climate scientists”. The former Live or die on hard scientific evidence!

charles nelson

Uhm….”The idea is much like gravity and Isaac Newton’s discovery: It was there all the time before Newton explained it.”
As far as I’m aware neither Newton nor anybody else has ‘explained’ what gravity is.
He did indeed ‘describe’ it, and he did indeed ‘measure’ its effects and was able to ‘predict’ future outcomes on this basis. ‘Naming’ something is very different from ‘explaining’ it.
‘Identifying’ a mechanism is very different from ‘knowing’ how it works, or on a more profound level WHY it works!
Modern Science writing leaves a lot to be desired.

Gunga Din

dogald says:
July 2, 2012 at 2:13 pm
I do wish people would stop using “God particle”
==============================================================
Yeah, I agree. John 4:24 says, “God is spirit”, outside the realm of the 5 senses. (they ain’t going to find a piece of Him.) This reminds me of insurance companies calling natural disasters “Acts of God”. There’s more than one spiritual influence in the world.
But if this helps to understand the natural world we live in, that could be a good thing. I just wish they’d find another name for it. (At least they’re not using a tree ring to find it!)

Ally E.

Dodgy Geezer says:
July 2, 2012 at 2:18 pm
They have produced a statistical model which explains mass!
And now they want to use it to tax people…
*
Yes, but is it our fault? 🙂

mfo

Apart from the Higgs Bosun what are they going to say about Supersymetry and the supersymmetric top quark, or stop squark?

So they kinda know it exists… kinda like we already knew it exists?…. I actually do KNOW IT EXISTS…. G*D does not require any scientis approval…. now if they would use a completely ‘other’ name for it I would be much happier, because this does nothing to unify any theory…. Matter was created but heck the scientific community needs to acknowledge the divine creator, all else is secondary…. I AM before anything else. Personally I refuse to consider that I am from extraterrestrial microbial life somehow mutating and slithering from a primordial swamp and evolving. On another line altogether, what damage has the LHC caused at the subatomic particle level to the planet we inhabit? Too many Earth changes happening. Volcano earthquake wild wealth wierd phenomina temperatures – in multiples all over the planet. NOW we do not believe it is CAGW, and we are dismissing G*D, so what is left???? Scientists playing with big toys at CERN???

James says:
July 2, 2012 at 2:55 pm
Not to be out done by the Cern Scientists, Chicago scientists are today claiming that they have also found God.
I was going to say they would have buckleys chance…… the USA has to one of the most Godless places on this planet these days……. however seeing as they are also playing with BIG TOYS, that too might help to explain all the terrible and wierd things happening with weather, climate, earth changes too. Why oh why won’t people allow God to do what God does best and stop trying ti imitate him?

Reg Nelson

I won’t believe it until someone does a survey that shows that 97% (of some) of these guys believe in the Higgs Boson. And why aren’t these guys busy dodging FOIA requests? This sounds like very shoddy science.

noloctd

I take a personal as well as scientific interest in this. Back in the early days of the internet, I used HiggsBoson as my handle. Of course that was back when hardly anyone aside from physicists knew what one was theorized to be.

G. Karst

I wish I may. I wish I might, find a 5 sigma higgs tonight. GK

NeedleFactory

The photo is captioned:
“The CERN Large Hadron Collider seen from the air”
but I don’t think the collider can be seen from the air…
it’s underground, is it not?

Pamela Gray

The degree of pre-hype is directly negatively proportional to the degree of “nearly”.

dukeofurl

Five Sigma for particle physics discoveries, does this mean that climate science uses
1 or 2 sigma ?

Rob L

the 3-4-5 sigma thing is all rather arbitrary, 3 sigma is 99.73% sure, 4 sigma is 99.99%, 5 sigma 99.9999% sure. No sane person would be betting against this even at 2 sigma. So perhaps we can scale back the criticism?