back to article Higgs boson even more likely to actually be Higgs boson - boffins

Boffins are becoming increasingly hardline in their stance on the particle discovered in 2012 and lauded as the Higgs boson. They say it is, in fact, the Higgs boson and not something else. CMS event showing characteristics expected from the decay of the Higgs boson Researchers have discovered that the bosons decay into …

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If there is more than one Higgs boson . . .

. . . then the first one should be called Peter.

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Re: If there is more than one Higgs boson . . .

The Higgsettes!

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Re: If there is more than one Higgs boson . . .

Brian

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Anonymous Coward

Re: If there is more than one Higgs boson . . .

Steve Bullmer

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Re: If there is more than one Higgs boson . . .

Mind if we call them all Bruce to avoid confusion?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: If there is more than one Higgs boson . . .

As they don't have any spin there's no way to tell them apart, so feel free to call them all Bruce.

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Anonymous Coward

Standards

"For example, there could be a single Higgs boson or there might be a group of many different kinds of Higgs particles, depending on different extensions of the Standard Model."

Ah, standards. So many to choose from...

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"the team from the CMS Collaboration, which includes boffins from Imperial College London, Ecole Polytechnique in Paris and the University of Wisconsin, fired protons at each other in a six metre diameter solenoid"

It'd be a tight squeeze, but it sounds like they had fun.

Did they use modified paintball guns?

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Proton packs?

Naw, I'm sure they used Proton Packs from a certain New York City based extermination company.

My question is: Did they cross the streams?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Proton packs?

If there had been a total protonic reversal, we wouldn't be having this conversation... also, they're waiting for you, gordon, in the test chamber...

need crowbar icon

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Silver badge
Coat

particles like electrons get their mass by coupling to the Higgs field, which is really exciting

Personally, I do think this is a massive advance!

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Anonymous Coward

One small fermionic decay for a boson

One giant step for the theoretical physics community.

Being semi serious for a moment, in a way 2012 was the equivalent of the Moon orbit for particle physics. This is more like the equivalent of the manned Moon landing.

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Re: One small fermionic decay for a boson

I agree, the discovery of the Higgs is as significant as the moon landings and the discovery of Piltdown Man which changed our understanding of evolution for ever.

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Re: One small fermionic decay for a boson

As a one-time particle physicist myself, I could not agree with you more, this is fantastic stuff. I wonder who the scumbag mouth-breather was that voted you down?

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Re: One small fermionic decay for a boson

It was obviously for the mention of evolution...we get the stray American in here, and anything that claims to "have proven evolution" must get a down vote, especially if they hail from south of the Mason-Dixon Line.

It is one of the reasons I relocated across the Pond...how America expects to keep a lead in science when they care so much about the literal interpretation of their sky fairy stories is beyond me...

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a53

I can sleep soundly at night now.

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a53

Re: One small fermionic decay for a boson

I wonder who the scumbag mouth-breather was that voted you down?

Presumably the same one that voted you down too

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Where's my anti-gravity Flying Car?!?

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Anonymous Coward

Where's my anti-gravity Flying Car?!?

You do realise that the Higgs field means that anti-gravity isn't very likely to happen?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Where's my anti-gravity Flying Car?!?

"Isn't very likely" .. Hate to rain on your parade but CERN were the ones who first suggested that the anomalous behavior of antiparticles could be due to antigravity or substantially weakened gravity.

Proving this experimentally would assure a Nobel, as it would also mean that under certain conditions antimatter could be used to warp space without the need for exotic matter in the first place.

I have been working on an extension to the work of Evgene Podkletnov that suggests pairs of positrons within a spinning superconductor of the correct geometry and lattice structure could possibly interact with the Higgs field and reduce its effect on matter nearby.

2-5% for a disk 1" thick isn't totally outlandish and CoE would assert itself in the form of drag on the disk and indirectly by affecting Tc requiring more cooling.

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Headmaster

Re: Where's my anti-gravity Flying Car?!?

CERN were the ones who first suggested that the anomalous behavior of antiparticles could be due to antigravity or substantially weakened gravity.

Oh yeah? Citation needed or you are full of it.

CERN would never be "the first to suggest" unless we are in a Hollywood thriller.

anomalous behavior of antiparticles

What "anomalous behaviour" is that?

Evgene Podkletnov

>2014

>Still doing Podkletnov

laughing_girls.jpg

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Where's my anti-gravity Flying Car?!? - "Evgene Podkletnov"

I'm not sure whether this is a troll or not.

I'm not going to comment on Podkletnov except to observe that the account in Wikipedia is almost as funny as the Laithwaite story - he (Laithwaite) hadn't realised that a spinning gyroscope drags air around with it. Podkletnov and Laithwaite were/are principally engineers rather than theoretical scientists, but sadly Laithwaite's dalliance with fringe science has rather overshadowed his very real engineering achievements.

But if you want to be convincing, please note that if you Anglicise the Russian name Yevgeniy, you get Eugene, not Evgene (which makes no sense.)

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Boffin

"Where's my anti-gravity Flying Car?!?"

Beyond the orbit of the moon. It anti-gravitationally flew too well.

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Anonymous Coward

Re. Evgene

Seems that both spellings are used online.

Also Sheffield University tried to replicate his work but couldn't get the disk structure quite right.

Will have to post links to my attempted replication, so far have confirmed that proximity of 40K might be as important (positron source) or possibly cosmic ray flux at the time.

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"Although if we do find a deviation from the Standard Model, it is likely to be a very closely related one ..."

... because if it's not closely related we're frelled ...

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Yeah, heard something like that before...

"Uh, it's probably not a problem, probably, but I'm showing a small discrepancy

in... well, no, it's well within acceptable bounds again. Sustaining

sequence."

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"All right. And don't jinx me!"

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Mass ejection

Have to keep an ion that one

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"...coupling to the Higgs field, which is really exciting.”

Yes REALLY exciting....

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ZZZZZZZZZ

Physics used to matter.

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Mushroom

Physics used to matter.

Yea lets split

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Re: ZZZZZZZZZ

It is rather boring that the standard model keeps getting confirmed over and over and we never find any deviations.

Where is Douglas Adams when you need him to set this right?

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Re: ZZZZZZZZZ

So many Z bosons!

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Coat

Re: ZZZZZZZZZ

"Where is Douglas Adams when you need him"

In Stretch's anti-gravity Flying Car...

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Re: ZZZZZZZZZ

Standard Model meets LENR. Three guesses who wins. Observation trumps theory every time.

http://arxiv.org/pdf/1305.3913.pdf

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Anonymous Coward

so

they built that massive tunnel at hundreds of trillions of euros for what?

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Re: so

You're overestimating the cost by a couple orders of magnitude...

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Re: so

. . . to help confirm a possible explanation for one of the the most important outstanding questions in the universe - why do things have mass?

To oversimplify, if the Higgs Field does not exist then the standard model is wrong. As the field itself cannot be observed, the discovery of the Higgs Boson is crucial to confirming that the Standard Model is still accurate.

To put it another way, without the Higgs Field, the Standard model cannot account for mass and thus, while it might otherwise explain many things very nicely, it can't explain one of the seemingly simplest properties of the universe - that (most) particles have mass - and thus must be incorrect.

The Standard Model is a base from which other inferences and predictions can be made so how sound the resulting science is is partly dependent on how sound the Standard Model is. Proving the accuracy of the SM is thus rather important and gives physicists confidence to address other questions.

Short version: having a well-supported 'base' (The SM) is important for the advancement of physics.

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Anonymous Coward

Mass hysteria at El Reg

Makes you want to time travel

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Bad news for a lot of physicists

Apart from the mildly amusing snark comments (and a few trolls), I'm surprised that nobody has commented on the fact that this is very bad news for a lot of physicists. If you hang about physics sites like Not Even Wrong, Of Particular Significance, Resonaances, etc, a lot of the posts and discussions there are/were about the fact that a lot of the "pop science" - string theory, multiple dimensions, supersymmetry, multiverse - depended on a "non-standard Higgs".

Some people had built careers and tenure on that. Even quite lucrative media presences (Michio Kaku, I'm looking at you). The more standard the Higgs becomes the more it's ripping to shreds a lot of the fashionable physics of the last 30-40 years (which is probably why theoretical and experimental physicists aren't on speaking terms anymore ;-) - and some people may be asking themselves just what the hell they've been doing all that time.

There's quite a lot of agonising over it: where does physics go now? who's going to fund it?

Obviously "if only we had even bigger accelerators" isn't going to fly.

I'm no physicist, just very scientifically interested, and following those blogs can be a bit disheartening.

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Re: Bad news for a lot of physicists

@Michael Hoffman

Maybe but that will always happen. It important to have people working on different (competing) theories and possibilities but, sooner-or-later, one theory accumulates a weight of evidence and pulls ahead. The way I see it, the more confirmation there is of a given contentious theory like this, the better able physicists are to move forward.

There will always be kooks who maintain that science is ignoring the problems with their pet theories and deliberately avoiding whatever out-there idea is being promoted but going forward, it means 'confirming' one theory means that the next generation of physicists can tackle a new range of problems without getting bogged-down in questions about whether the Standard Model and the Higgs Mechanism is correct or not.

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Re: Bad news for a lot of physicists

@dan1980

I would overall completely agree. My concern is that we have had 30-40 years of *mainstream* theoretical physics apparently rambling through the wilderness. When you have decades of grant money flowing into theories that even their adherent admit can't even be proven one way or the other, I can't but call that a "discipline in crisis". I'd barely call it science, seeing how they've left the scientific model behind.

Reading the books by Lee Smolin and Peter Woit was depressing.

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Re: Bad news for a lot of physicists

@Michael

Yes, but, if the Higgs was, after the best efforts of CERN physicists, still undetected then that's a 30-40 year head-start on alternate theories. You certainly don't want all your chips on one number.

That's why you have R&D teams working on several simultaneous prototypes and authors and songwriters working on several simultaneous ideas - not everything pans-out so spreading your focus might seem inefficient but if you concentrate it in one area and it turns out not to yield anything then it's an even bigger waste!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Bad news for a lot of physicists

On the other hand, Bill Ockham is out there shouting "I told you so! I told you so! Entia non sunt fucking multiplicanda praeter fucking necessitatem, and all this computer-modelled multiverse stuff is just fluff until someone comes in from the universe next door and remarks "ooh, your weak force is much bigger than ours! cool"!.

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Re: Bad news for a lot of physicists

For a great example of this, figure out how much money was spent on the Steady State theory of the universe's birth before overwhelming evidence of the Big Bang theory was discovered. They didn't just spend decades on that theory; Steady State was the preferred theory for centuries...

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Angel

Re: Bad news for a lot of physicists

There are always careers in Theoretical Theology, or any other of the social sciences, for the people inclined to believe in the stuff they made up themselves.

If you do not like being proven wrong, stay away from physics.

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Re: Bad news for a lot of physicists

Steady State wasn't that old. People barely had proven that there were other Island Universes (what we now call galaxies) before Hubble showed that galaxies moved away from each other, the further apart, the faster.

More importantly, Steady State is the name for the theory that Hoyle invented in response to the Big Bang theory. So it has moving galaxies too, but in addition spontaneous generation of hydrogen atoms, to make new galaxies from.

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Of course, when they figure it out, the universe will be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable.

Just like last time...

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Me sad now...

So... they've (come close to) nailed down a standard Higgs Boson and will devote more study to it. Great, good for them, Science advances, England endures etc.

Can anyone weigh in on the chances that manipulation of the Higgs Boson in some fashion will allow us to alter or change an objects mass?

After all, if there are no flying cars, as seen on the Mass Effect series of games, in the future then I for one won't go.

I won't, I won't, I won't [Begin Tantrum]

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Now they're SURE its a Higgs Boson......in an even increasing vain attempt to make man the sole center of the universe... how small men must be.

Like Einstein's "nothing can go faster than the speed of light" (equally ridiculous) man keeps putting himself at the pinnacle.

Sure, they can say whatever they want to say thinking it impossible for anyone to prove differently.

Hey: how about alittle humility humanity?

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