Higgs Particle Announcement Soon

According to this article at CBS News: Science world abuzz amid countdown to Higgs:

The countdown has begun in advance of what some speculate may be one of the biggest announcements in the recent history of theoretical physics. We’ll find out for sure in a few hours when scientists at the CERN laboratory in Geneva, offer an update on their search for the Higgs boson particle, which has sometimes been called the “God Particle.”

CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, certainly has been generating headlines lately. We’re all still in a daze over Neutrinos Move Faster Than Light? Okay, now when exactly will the news be announced? CBS says:

The announcement is planned for 8 a.m. EDT (2 p.m. CET) at CERN, which is the home of the world’s biggest particle accelerator, the 17-mile-long Large Hadron Collider. Researchers at the facility have been working on two experiments, called ATLAS and CMS. Although scientists have so far failed to confirm its existence, the Higgs boson is believed to give all other particles mass. Scientists at CERN have carried out experiments hoping that the explosions caused by high-speed collisions between protons inside the machine would actually create the Higgs.

It’s at 8 AM Eastern time, but is that tomorrow morning? Let’s read on:

Despite CERN’s best attempt to take a low-key attitude, excitement surrounding this event has been building for weeks.

“Whatever happens eventually with the Higgs, I think we’ll look back on this meeting and say, ‘This was the beginning of something,” said Joe Lykken, a theoretical physicist at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia, Ill., and a member of the CMS collaboration [an experimental group at CERN].

That’s all CBS says. We did some looking around, and it appears that for those in the US, the announcement will be tomorrow morning, 13 December, at 8:00 AM EST.

Here’s a press release from CERN. They say they’ll “present the status of their searches for the Standard Model Higgs boson.” Whatever that means. Ah, it also mentions “significant progress in the search for the Higgs boson, but not enough to make any conclusive statement on the existence or non-existence of the Higgs.”

Every physicist we know has been talking about the Higgs for years. Tomorrow we’ll know something. Maybe.

One more thing — the Discoveroids are making a joke out of this. See their Higgs Boson “God Particle” Found!, which says:

It was behind the couch with the foldout bed in the living room that’s so heavy we almost never move it even to vacuum. But seriously …

Funny guys, those creationists.

Copyright © 2011. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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6 responses to “Higgs Particle Announcement Soon

  1. Funny guys, those creationists.

    Funny peculiar.

  2. Last I heard, they had it at 126GeV, but not quite at enough significance to declare it found… but pretty darn close.

  3. Ceteris Paribus

    If CERN does announce the Higgs is found, the game is over and there will be a whole lot of particle physicists wandering around unemployed tomorrow afternoon. Likely the Large Hadron Collider will have to be sold off at 10 cents on the Euro to Ken Ham, who would be the only person on earth with a use for it – “Creation Museum East ”

    No matter what CERN announces tomorrow it will surely be more exciting news than what the NASA space station mega project has provided the last decade. They just keep recycling press releases that a replacement crew of astronauts has been sent up to spend 6 days taking out the garbage and rearranging the furniture.

  4. Here’s this morning’s CERN press release, and here’s a BBC article. In a nutshell: they’ve made “significant progress,” but “not enough to make any conclusive statement on the existence or non-existence of the elusive Higgs.”

  5. The BBC piece has a decent discusison of the statistics and why they are down-playing the findings. But it is a good sign that two independent detectors saw the same thing; that rules out (or at least makes less likely) a lot of potential types of error.

  6. The only thing better than finding the Higgs would be to find conclusive evidence of extraterrestrial intelligence on the same day. What a blow to the creationists that would be.