back to article CERN catches a glimpse of Higgs-like boson

CERN boffins have finally hit paydirt with the Large Hadron Collider, finding a particle that is pretty much almost certainly the long sought-after Higgs boson. CMS event showing characteristics expected from the decay of the Higgs boson LOOK - THERE IT IS! IN THERE SOMEWHERE! Where before numerous findings of "strong …

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  1. Chris Hainey
    Mushroom

    What????

    Lester didn't get to give an alliterative rundown of events in the latest proton billiards experiment?

    Shame on you El Reg.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Paris Hilton

      Re: What????

      IF THEY WOULD HAVE BUILT THE BIG PRATICLE ACCELERATOR IN AMERICA OUR SCIENTISTS WOULD HAVE FIGURED THIS CRAP OUT A LONG TIME AGO AFTER ALL WE BUILT ALL OF THE GREAT INVENTIONS OF MANKIND LIKE THE H BOMB NERVE GAS NAPALM AND BEEF JERKY

      1. Danny 14 Silver badge

        Re: What????

        I know you are a troll and probably fat enough. You mean something like the tevatron at fermilab?

        1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
          Headmaster

          Beef jerky was a good invention. There is no reason to make fun of it. Edison tried to patent his beef jerky but IP communists blocked him from entering the patent shed.

      2. Graham Wilson
        Flame

        @Big Dumb Guy 555 -- -Re: What???? ...But the US didn't

        "IF THEY WOULD HAVE BUILT THE BIG PRATICLE ACCELERATOR IN AMERICA OUR SCIENTISTS WOULD HAVE FIGURED THIS CRAP OUT A LONG TIME AGO..."

        But the US did not. It started building the SSC, Superconducting Super Collider in Texas and it was supposed to be even bigger than the LHC, but it got cold feet and cancelled it about 1993--now all there is to show for it is a damn big hole in the ground.

        Reckon that was the turning point for the US, it's been downhill ever since. Too lousy to afford science anymore, lost interest in teaching science to kids, bugger-all funding for NASA, off-shoring of US industry to China and so on, and so on.

        Instead, the US prefers wars and invading countries, annoying the world community, tying up world trade in its favour, fucking up the copyright and patent system to the disadvantage of ordinary people, suing mothers and kids for copyright violation, violating international law (UN's resolutions on the US over Cuba etc.), diplomatic sleazebag tactics a la WikiLeaks and prosecuting/attempting to prosecute citizens of other countries who commit acts outside US jurisdiction which the US doesn't like.

        Over the last 30 years, the US has morphed from a progressive scientific and technological society, to a backward, conservative bully-boy who doesn't play by the rules.

        1. Francis Boyle Silver badge

          Re: @Big Dumb Guy 555 -- -What???? ...But the US didn't

          According to the episode of QI I watched last night the US has the solid support* of Palau on the Cuba thing so it's not like it's an international pariah or anything. . .

          *At least until the aid money runs out and the way things are going it'll probably run out soon. Twenty years ago the US thought it had won the Cold War. Twenty years on it's becoming clear that it was just that the USSR lost it first.

        2. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge
          Mushroom

          Re: @Big Dumb Guy 555 -- -What???? ...But the US didn't

          Poor Graham,

          Had you paid attention to the news, the guys at Fermilab had discovered more evidence from the data they collected years earlier.

          The SSC was halted for a couple of reasons. While I forget the list of reasons, the major one was cost. Considering that it took the entire EU, including the US to fund CERN, having the US go it alone, let alone any country, would have been cost prohibitive.

          If it wasn't for the research done at Fermilab, then it would still take some more time for the boffin's at CERN to find it.

          Please don't let the facts get in the way of a good rant.

          While you may not care much for US politics, need I remind you that much of the US's foreign policy is based on events starting back at lessons learned from post WWI and WWII. And speaking of bailing out allies, I seem to recall the US getting put in a bind during this thing in the Falklands where the US tried to remain neutral as both a member of NATO and OAS. Of course that didn't stop the US in supplying in flight refueling to their NATO allies since they lacked both long distance capabilities along with suitable warships and aircraft to do the job.

          But what do I know?

          BTW, I do agree with you. The US is no longer spending our tax dollars on basic science for the world's benefit. We're too busy funding this global agency that has no real value. Its called the UN.

          The Nuke Blast Icon because we still have enough stockpiled weapons to end life as we know it. A left over from the Cold War Europeans helped start.

  2. Filippo

    Kudos for using the term "God particle" only once, and not in the title. I've seen other sites posting "GOD PARTICLE FOUND" with their comments sections swarmed by people who feel the need to say several variations on the theme "science is useless because God is unknowable". My desire of slapping them in the face is only mitigated by my desire of kicking the "a waste of money" crowd in the nuts.

    1. Dan 10
      Thumb Up

      Yep

      Checking Google news for this as soon as I logged on, the first link was for The Telegraph. This story is like a magnet for religious nuts!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @Filippo

      Couldn't agree more, although from a personal perspective even once is one time too many.

      1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
        Pint

        Re: @Filippo

        SNATCH PARTICLE FOUND!

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: @Filippo

          I see what you did there ;-)

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      waste of money

    4. tath
      Facepalm

      goddamn...

      What's especially irritating is it was an editor that decided "the goddamn particle" (originally called such as it was 'goddamn difficult to find') was too risque and edited the "damn" out, thereby ensuring far worse offence, connotations and arguing would immediately ensue.

    5. stuartnz
      Thumb Up

      I love that the only reason Lederman used the phrase was because he couldn't use "Goddamn particle"

  3. Him over there

    While I wouldn't pretend to know a lot behind the science of this, it certainly is exciting and interesting, even from from a layman's point of view. I can only imagine how exciting it must be if you actually understand the complex science behind it all.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's not the messiah particle - just a very naughty boy particle

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Or, in plain English...

    We've now spent a gazillion (insert preferred currency here) and have finally achieved a level of certainty that warrants a further multigazillion investment !

    Maybe.

    1. localzuk
      FAIL

      Re: Or, in plain English...

      Says the person typing that from a PC using technology developed by organisations who spent lots of money on experiments...

      1. Chris 3

        Re: Or, in plain English...

        And typing it on a medium devised by some geezer from Cern.

    2. Grey Area

      Re: Or, in plain English...

      Cern's budget is controlled via international treaty and has been for the last 60 years according to Prof Brian Cox. So no

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Prof Brian Cox

        Now there's someone deserving of a kick in the nuts

    3. Geoff Campbell
      Boffin

      Re: Or, in plain English...

      Well, let's look into the cost question a bit closer, shall we?

      The latest figures I can find are that the LHC had cost 7.5 billion euros to June 2010. Let's assume that expenditure has been about steady for the two years since then, that will be a further billion euros to date, in round figures.

      That's over 17 years, and it is funded by "Europe", so for the sake of argument let's say 15 countries, to err on the conservative side.

      That gives an expenditure of 33.3 million euros per country per year. Which is an utterly trivial rounding error on the budgets of any one of those countries, and is certainly way outside of any definition of "gazillion" I have ever encountered.

      I just wish we could get such cooperative international funding applied to more scientific projects, personally.

      GJC

      1. ElNumbre
        Joke

        Re: Or, in plain English...

        Quote Geoff "That gives an expenditure of 33.3 million euros per country per year. Which is an utterly trivial rounding error on the budgets of any one of those countries, and is certainly way outside of any definition of "gazillion" I have ever encountered."

        Can we make Bob Diamond pay our share? He'd still have change left over.

      2. CCCP

        Re: Or, in plain English...

        You want projects more scientific than the HLC?? Man, you're not asking a lot then. Oh wait...

        1. Geoff Campbell
          Happy

          Re: Or, in plain English...

          Well, we could start by dismantling the Higgs, now that we've found it.

          GJC

          1. Spoonsinger

            Re: Or, in plain English...

            "Well, we could start by dismantling the Higgs, now that we've found it.",

            I think you'll find that the whole basis of the experiment to find it, is the fact that it dismantles itself, and in doing so they can surmise that it might be there. Tiz a tricky thing to actually 'target' it in actuality for intentional dismantling.

            1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
              Coat

              Re: Or, in plain English...

              > "Expert Hydra Energetic Turbo Booster Moisturiser" for "men". Is it worth it?

              Only if you shave before application.

      3. Field Marshal Von Krakenfart

        Re: Or, in plain English...

        Only 7.5 billion yo-yos, that's about the same price as a Gerald R. Ford class aircraft carrier (9B USD).

        I suppose it's a question of priorities, furthering humanity through science or bombing third world countries.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Devil

          or bombing third world countries

          No reason why we can't do both is there?

      4. Barry Mahon
        Thumb Up

        Re: Or, in plain English...

        ....and compare that to what has been spent on the banks..... which would you suggest is better value for money?

      5. druck Silver badge

        Re: Or, in plain English...

        That's over 17 years, and it is funded by "Europe", so for the sake of argument let's say 15 countries, to err on the conservative side.

        It's funded by 20 countries, but the contributions are by no means equal. The top 3 contributors; Germany, Fance and Britain contribute over 50%, and the top 6 represent over 75%. See Cern 2010 budget.

    4. Richard Scratcher
      WTF?

      Re: Or, in plain English...

      The money spent on cosmetics in Europe per annum is around $60,000,000,000. And what have we got from it? "Expert Hydra Energetic Turbo Booster Moisturiser" for "men". Is it worth it? Lo'really?

      1. TeeCee Gold badge
        Joke

        Re: Or, in plain English...

        "Expert Hydra Energetic Turbo Booster Moisturiser" for men.

        Now available with Boson technology. Our Bosons penetrate the skin and individually stimulate cells to repair unsightly wrinkles.

        Liposome micro-capsules are sooooo five minutes ago.

  6. Crisp Silver badge
    Coat

    They found the Higgs Boson?

    And as usual with these kind of things, it's always in the last place you look!

    1. alain williams Silver badge

      Re: They found the Higgs Boson?

      Are you saying that I should check down the back of my sofa - see if some of the critters are hiding there ?

      1. Lars Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: They found the Higgs Boson?

        I wonder who lost it, and why.

    2. Annihilator
      Go

      Re: They found the Higgs Boson?

      "And as usual with these kind of things, it's always in the last place you look!"

      I know it's a joke, but the biggest excitement is that it's in the first place they looked as it enhances the evidence for the standard model :-) They predicted mathematically that it would reveal itself at around 125GeV and built a huge machine to go off and look for it experimentally. A very proud day for physics!

      1. MyHeadIsSpinning

        Re: They found the Higgs Boson?

        I'm not sure that they did find it in the first place they looked, in fact I think that they've tried looking for it for a number of years and that they narrowed down the possibilities using a couple of different colliders before arriving at the result that they have.

        I think I may have read stories to that effect in the news recently in fact.

      2. Sigfried

        Re: They found the Higgs Boson?

        Actually, a 125 GeV Higgs is probably inconsistent with the "Standard Model" at high energies, implying that something further is required. It is however compatible with some of the "super-symmetric" theories. To reinforce the SM one probably needs a Higgs at 135 GeV or more.

        1. FartingHippo
          Go

          Re: They found the Higgs Boson?

          "a 125 GeV Higgs is probably inconsistent with the "Standard Model" at high energies, implying that something further is required"

          GOOD. Be a shame if everybody just packed up and went home.

    3. JetSetJim Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: They found the Higgs Boson?

      >it's always in the last place you look!

      Of course it is, why would you keep looking once you've found it? Hence, whenever you find something, it's always in the last place you look.

      1. The First Dave Silver badge
        Boffin

        Re: They found the Higgs Boson?

        Because when I've found it, it is generally hiding in a box full of stuff that I had completely forgotten about, so I keep looking at all the other stuff...

    4. Richard Scratcher
      Angel

      Re: They found the Higgs Boson?

      I've been praying to St Anthony that they'd find it.

    5. Andy Fletcher

      Re: They found the Higgs Boson?

      @ Crisp. Cue the smartarse response. It was predicted they'd find it at 125 GeV, and they did. So maybe they looked in some other spots, but it turned out to be exactly where it should be.

      Just goes to show it's best to start where something ought to be when hunting it.

      1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
        FAIL

        Re: They found the Higgs Boson?

        > It was predicted they'd find it at 125 GeV

        LOLNO. Where do you people get that stuff?

        As close as 11 August 2011:

        http://indico.cern.ch/materialDisplay.py?contribId=54&sessionId=13&materialId=slides&confId=141983

        "ATLAS and CMS exclude 145 to 460GeV together. Islands (e.g. 300) not formally excluded, but are

        close. Focus on 114-145GeV"

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    captain cynical

    the cats out the bag. the western world is crooked . gov and banks conspire to make the rest of the world poor. Better trot out the cern story again to try to balance things out.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: captain cynical

      This is to pathetic to simply downvote. Captain Cynical ? Oh I don't think so sport. I'm cynical, you're an idiot.

  8. Pete 2 Silver badge

    Be careful what you wish for

    So, presuming that CERN have spotted the Higgs. What's next?

    In the popular mind the only reason for the billions spent on the LHC was to find the Higgs (before the yanks did). If it turns out that the scientists there have achieved that goal, how will they justify to the public spending oodles more euros?

    Sure, from a scientific perspective, this is just one step down the path to enlightenment - but for yer avrige tabloid reader, how can they be sold the idea that there's still a lot more work to be done.

    Unlike the moon landings where public interest dwindled after the "been there, done that" box got ticked, I hope that CERN soon manage to discover another great problem that needs even more billions, or the supercooled LHC could become the world's fastest ice-rink. Whetever CERN do propose for ongoing research, they're going to have their work cut out trying to get a catchier (if equally spurious) name than The God Particle.

    1. ledmil
      Alien

      Re: Be careful what you wish for

      From what I've read this (potential) discovery was from an 8TeV collision. Later this year they are planning to upgrade LHC to allow collisions at it's design limit of 14TeV, so they can go further down the rabbit hole yet.

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

    3. JetSetJim Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Be careful what you wish for

      >What's next?

      Now they need to enhance the LHC so that they can collide two Higgs Bosons to see what they're made of....

    4. Roger Greenwood
      Happy

      Re: Be careful what you wish for

      What's next?

      Well they could try and find the moral compass of Bob Diamond. I don't think it's very big.

    5. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Re: Be careful what you wish for

      Now that the Higgs has been "found" the next thing to do is to confirm that it is indeed what it is - a scalar boson doing the expected decay dances. One hopes that interesting deviations would appear. Apparently a special collider for that would be appropriate, which AFAIK, is a "muon factory".

      HIGGS HAS BEEN FOUND is actually a VERY bad phrasing - it should be "STANDARD MODEL FRACKING CONFIRMED, SUCKERS!!". What has been done is to confirm a prediction of the standard model that there is a so-called "Higgs field" that, when twanged hard enough, manifests itself in exceedingly heavy quanta that immediately decay, where the decay products can be observed classically in very heavy microscopes. And this of course, means that the standard model, i.e. the mathematical model consisting of all this group theory allied to complex Hilbert spaces and action integrals and Grassmannians and whatnot, is indeed amazingly consistent and somehow, though no-one really knows why, describes reality as it is. Indeed, describes the underlying platonic world that, when scaled up enough, somehow coalesces into everyday life. This is worth tons more than any old shit that humanity has ever done before. UNESCO-protected stuff? PAH!

    6. stanimir

      Re: Be careful what you wish for

      Pete, dude, the yanks actually sponsor CERN and actively participates in the program.

    7. Nigel 11
      Boffin

      Re: Be careful what you wish for

      Science advances in two ways. One is a prediction from a theory, later confirmed by experiment. the Higgs boson is in this class. The other is an observation of something not predicted by any theory, or which contradicts the generally accepted theory.

      So assuming there are no more predictions that everyone wants to confirm, CERN should start looking for the unexpected and currently inexplicable. (I think there are also many more tentative theories making predictions that CERN will in due course test).

      Eventually, if physics needs particles at higher energies than CERN can provide, a lot of new technologies will have to be developed. A usefully larger circular accelerator would be impossibly large and impossibly expensive. It'll have to be a linear accelerator with operational parameters way beyond anything we know how to build today.

      1. Michael Dunn
        Happy

        Re: Be careful what you wish for

        Finding the unexpected could be quite a surprise - but if you don't wxpect it, how do you know when you've found it?

    8. rvt

      Re: Be careful what you wish for

      You dont't get it. The Higgs boson can show up in many forms these can be detected. Additonally, there are many many more expriments that can be made.

      This is money well spend, and the rio is 3 times over.

  9. Joe K
    Thumb Down

    Oh FFS

    ...dont call it the "God Particle", please.

    Its offensive to science.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Oh FFS

      Just as the absence of apostrophes from your comment is offensive to grammar.

      Which is to say, wrong, and embarrassing to the perpetrator, but essentially meaningless and irrelevant in the grand scheme of things.

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

    3. JDX Gold badge

      Re: Oh FFS

      ...dont call it the "God Particle", please.

      Its offensive to science.

      The term is used by scientists, you moron. Maybe restrict your proclamations about what "is offensive" to fields you actually know something about?

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

        1. Thecowking

          Re: Oh FFS

          Yup, (ex)astrophysicist here and I never heard a physicist ever call it the god particle.

          It doesn't even make sense as a name. Might as well call photons the Lucifer particle, it makes more sense.

          1. Shakje

            @Thecoeking

            Hah!

            Upvoted.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Oh FFS

            Beelzeboson!

      2. Evil Auditor Silver badge
        WTF?

        Re: Oh FFS

        @JDX: used by scientists? If at all (such as in not used by scientists) it was called "goddamn particle".

        1. JDX Gold badge

          Re: Oh FFS

          I guess Physics Nobel Laureate Leon Lederman doesn't count as a scientist then.

          1. TheOtherHobbes

            Re: Oh FFS

            Yes, it's his fault.

            And all the other particle physicists looked at him, rolled their eyes, and said 'FFS' really loudly.

            I don't think you'll find many references to 'The God Particle' in Phys Rev D, or any of the other places the professionals hang out.

    4. Spoonsinger
      Headmaster

      Re: Oh FFS

      I can't see the problem with the phrase. You don't see people complaining about sea horses, jelly fish, silver fish, ear wigs, star fish, etc. Well ok, star fish seems to have gone through some sort of revisionist BBC type thing recently, so they are annoyingly called sea stars, even though they arn't stars. If the 'people' want to call it a God Particle, so be it, the professionals will always know what they are on about over the dinner table.

  10. Andy Farley

    I thought

    It was called that because everyone said "God! Where the hell IS it?"

    1. Mostly_Harmless Silver badge

      Re: I thought

      I think you're correct - my belief is that it's actually an abbreviated form of "goddamned particle".

      1. Frumious Bandersnatch Silver badge

        "God" particle nomenclature

        It's definitely too late to get that nomenclature out of the minds of regular folk, and even techie sites like this still succumb to using it despite knowing how wrong it is. I think I may have a solution: wherever you'd write "God", simply write "God*" instead. You could put a footnote at the bottom of the article if you wanted (eg, "Not your God", "No relation" or "Yes, we know") but I think it would be even better without the footnote. The asterisk has a fine tradition as a way to let people say "fuck" to prudish audiences, so why can't God* stand in for "Goddamn"? Occasional hilarity from readers confusing God* with a completely irrelevant footnote could be seen as a bonus.

  11. breakfast
    Coat

    Good news for the masses

    It turns out that the Higgs Boson was in our hearts all along!

    I think those purporting to be underwhelmed by this news don't understand the gravity of the situation.

    1. JDX Gold badge

      Re: Good news for the masses

      Badum-tish.

    2. Thomas 4

      Re: Good news for the masses

      Good lord that was dreadful, breakfast. You should be appalled.

  12. Scott Broukell
    Coat

    but, but .....

    If these particles that make up all this missing dark matter are so heavy, won't they all have sunk to the bottom of the universe. Have they tried looking there !

    1. John G Imrie Silver badge

      Re: but, but .....

      Unfortunately all these particles are also quite large and the larger something is the less dense it gets so the more likely it will be floating around rather than clumping at the bottom.

  13. Joey
    Devil

    Huh?

    Surely a 'God Particle' must be balanced by an equal and opposite "Devil Particle'? Now, there's something to worry about!

    1. Chris Leeson

      Re: Huh?

      That's the neutrino. A right tricky little devil too...

    2. Tempest 3K
      Devil

      Re: Huh?

      We already discovered those, they are the single cells a politician has instead of a brain.

    3. Thoguht Silver badge
      Angel

      Re: Huh?

      Thankfully, the Higgs boson is its own antiparticle, so no need to worry about that. Unless of course this means that God is also Satan...

  14. jai

    forty

    two

    1. ElNumbre
      Joke

      Re: forty

      Seventy Seven now if you account for the inflation of the universe.

  15. This post has been deleted by its author

  16. Christian Berger Silver badge

    Now the big question is...

    Will Brian Cox play at the celebratory party?

  17. Purlieu

    Gazillions

    Didn't the LHC cost around 8 billion euros, that's an avarage week's QE isn't it, get Mervyn to bung them anothe 8 bn we'll hardly notice it. And build the next one under the M25

    1. hplasm Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: Gazillions

      Doesn't the M25 already have an accelerator for Evil particles built into it?

      1. John G Imrie Silver badge

        Re: Gazillions

        "In fact, very few people on the face of the planet know that the very shape of the M25 forms the sigil *odegra* in the language of the Black Priesthood of Ancient Mu, and means 'Hail the Great Beast, Devourer of Worlds'."

        -- Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman, Good Omens

  18. 0laf Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Why

    Why can't they just call it 'Brian'.

    Nothing wrong with Brian, it's a good solid name.

    1. James Hughes 1

      Re: Why

      Yes, but I'm Brian, and so's my wife.

  19. bobbles31
    Coat

    Am I the only layman that thinks that the LHC sounds like nothing more than a powerful brownian motion generator?

    Expect someone to find hundreds of Higgs Bosons by plugging Atlas into a really hot cup of tea and subsequently being murdered for being a smart arse.

    Mines the one with the book in the pocket that has the words Don't Panic written on it in large friendly letters.

    1. Kevin Turvey
      Thumb Up

      LHC a powerful brownian motion generator? Seems awfully expensive just to do that, I had a powerful brownian motion earlier and all that took was several pints of the black stuff last night, took ages to flush!, might pop off and have a quick yellowian motion in a minute.

  20. sebacoustic
    Thumb Up

    Higgs found

    Alpinekat, please record the sequel to this:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j50ZssEojtM

  21. Beelzeebub
    Flame

    mmm....

    Noting at all to do with the Tevatron announcement yesterday then?

    1. Old Painless
      Go

      Re: mmm....

      other way round comrade - yesterdays tevatron announcement was a spoiler dredged up to ruin todays well publicized LHC announcement. Bad show all round, what?

      As to the power of the CERN collisions, at what TeV limit does an ascended being lean into the frame and ask that we turn the noise down please, we're really ruining the yogic calm?

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "the longest and most expensive scientific search is nearing its end"

    more like "has just opened a whole new chapter

  23. Rusty 1
    Boffin

    So what colour is it, and does it taste of chicken?

    1. Richard Ball

      It tastes of crocodile, which itself tastes of chicken, so that's a yes.

      1. Mr Anonymous

        Actually, crocodile tastes of fishy chicken!

        1. Evil Auditor Silver badge

          Chicken tastes of fishy chicken for they are fed fishmeal. So yes, it tastes of chicken.

          1. TeeCee Gold badge
            Coat

            Strictly speaking it tastes of mass...........which tastes like chicken.

  24. Alan Johnson

    W eknow the standard model is not the end

    That theory (the standard model) describes the entire physical universe, every bit and piece that makes up everyone and every visible thing and the forces that act between them.

    Actually it does not. It does not describe gravity, does not account for the dark energy and dark matter observations, does not account for the observed Neutrino oscillation (meaning Neutrinos have mass), has difficulties at high energies. It also does not explain why we see three families of particles identical apart from mass ,and why the families have the members that they do have.

    All in all it is very clear that there is physics beyond the standard model, the problem is that we do not know what it is and desperately need new experimental evidence.

  25. Alan Johnson

    We know the standard model is not the end

    That theory (the standard model) describes the entire physical universe, every bit and piece that makes up everyone and every visible thing and the forces that act between them.

    Actually it does not. It does not describe gravity, does not account for the dark energy and dark matter observations, does not account for the observed Neutrino oscillation (meaning Neutrinos have mass), has difficulties at high energies. It also does not explain why we see three families of particles identical apart from mass ,and why the families have the members that they do have.

    All in all it is very clear that there is physics beyond the standard model, the problem is that we do not know what it is and desperately need new experimental evidence.

  26. This post has been deleted by its author

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What?

    This is all complete rubbish, they've not seen the Higgs Bozon, it's all based on models these idiots don't know what they're talking about, how can a model show anything. etc. etc.

    Oh, hang on, it's not a climate science article, we think that these scientists know what they're talking about, don't we?

    This is despite the vast majority of commentators on the Reg knowing next to sod all about either sub atomic physics or climate science disciplines, let alone having phd or post-doc level qualifications in the subjects.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What?

      Just to clarify - I think they know what they're talking about, and my hat is off to them, I also think that most of the climate scientists slagged off here so often also know what they're talking about.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: What?

        Somehow I don't think climate scientists would understand the 5-sigma bit, though. Not without shifting the decimal point to the left, anyway.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: What?

          Actually it was a climate scientist who explained to me what 5-sigma actually means.

    2. Fading Silver badge
      WTF?

      Re: What?

      Erm I think you missed the point. The current standard model predicted a subatomic particle around the 125GeV level. The LHC has found evidence of such a particle to a 4.9 sigma confidence level (there's still a very small chance that what they are seeing isn't this predicted particle) . So to sum up. Theory makes prediction. Experiment designed and built (LHC) to test prediction. 4.9 sigma confident that experiment has worked successfully (need a 5 to call it a discovery). If we get a 5 then we can say the theory is validated. That is an example of science.

      Climate science is invent thoery... something something... then profit. That is not science that is underpants gnomes.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: What?

        How do you feel about measuring things with proxies, rather than actually seeing them?

        The point I'm making and that you eloquently demonstrated for me, with your last paragraph, is that the vast majority of people have no idea about this level of science, they just know that something good has happened because the scientists say so. Now many people think that they can understand climate science, "cuz it's all clouds and you can see that", when in actual fact, they know nothing about any of the statistics, remote sensing, atmospheric physics/chemistry, quantum, etc. etc. and are totally prepared to slag it off. Somehow, subatomic physics is just accepted as always correct by these people.

        1. Fading Silver badge
          Stop

          Re: What?

          And you've managed to demonstrate an appeal to authority without understanding that "people" (sorry who are these mystical straw men you have invented to make a point) can smell BS a mile off even if it's hidden by a few scientific sounding words.

          No I'm not denigrating atmospheric physics or atmospheric chemistry but I will slag of the state of "climate science" that allows "pal" review instead of peer review and pushes a "cause" ahead of science. Now back to real science instead of underpants gnomes (I will hence forth be using this terminology as it appears to have struck a nerve).

    3. Anonymous Coward
      FAIL

      Re: What?

      Why on earth are people even responding to this fairly obvious troll seriously? Unless he is presently sat at his PC wearing his tinfoil deflector hat I don't understand why he would think they had any good reason to lie for a moment. Have particle physicists demonstrated a tendency or predilection toward lying or incompetence that I am unaware of?

      As is always the case their data will eventually be available for the rest of their field and anyone else who is interested to review. With a few notable exceptions competing scientists are not renowned for going easy on one another. Their data will be picked apart with a fine toothed comb by everyone with the interest and knowledge to properly interpret it because if there is one thing a scientist loves it is proving another scientist wrong. Many people seem to believe that the fact that scientists often disagree demonstrates that their conclusions are irrelevant. On the contrary, this is the very essence of how our knowledge advances; different people approach problems from different angles and predict how they think things are working. Then everybody tests it; the scientists that were correct are vindicated and those that were incorrect lick their wounds but are still pleased that we have inched a little closer to a comprehensive understanding of our world.

  28. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Devil

    Are the stats good enough?

    I know what you’re thinking: “Did we find five sigma, or only four?” Well, to tell you the truth, in all this excitement, I’ve kinda lost track myself. But being this is the LHC, the most powerful collider in the world, and would blow your mind clean off, you’ve got to ask yourself one question: “Do I feel lucky?” Well do you, punk?

    (Originally by Neil Bates)

    1. Simon Harris Silver badge
      Coffee/keyboard

      Re: Are the stats good enough?

      Very good...

      If I hadn't finished my tea 5 minutes ago, it would be all over my screen now!

  29. Neil Bauers

    Gazillions, Ring Tones and Nuclear Fusion

    Apparently, [Citation Needed], the UK spends more on ring tones than on planet-saving nuclear fusion for power generation. We seem to have trouble setting sane funding priorities.

    1. John G Imrie Silver badge
      Unhappy

      Re: Gazillions, Ring Tones and Nuclear Fusion

      No point funding it if it does not make a positive impact on next quarters financial report.

      An certainly don't fund it if it will have a negative impact on the annual report, that could reduce the bonuses of the board.

  30. Steve Knox
    Boffin

    Adams' Constant

    would be about 0.336, then?

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why's the standard model so complicated, anyway? Think there's another universe out there, with a load of physists sitting around twiddling their thumbs, content that there's just one type of particle and force? What's the minimal complexity universe that could evolve to develop sentient life? Or if we simulate it on a computer and something running on the simulation achieves sentience, have we just created our own universe? That sounds fun... kinda like the idea of being a god. How long 'til computers get that powerful?

    1. breakfast

      Theoretically they could be that powerful already, as long as the simulation didn't run in anything close to real time. The computation could be performed by a Turing Machine, assuming it is computable at all. Obviously, time within the system would be subjective, so there would be no way to know from inside the simulation.

      If this is possible, then it is likely that a civilisation capable of creating these simulations would create more than one. At that point, it becomes statistically far more likely that any universe is a simulation as a single "real" universe can have many simulations.

      There's no way to tell, of course, so no point worrying about it really. But the probability that we are alife is quite high.

    2. Chemist

      "How long 'til computers get that powerful?"

      What makes you think it's not already happened ?

    3. Nigel 11
      Alert

      Virtualities

      There is absolutely no way to determine if the universe is really real, or is just a perfect simulation of its physical laws and an initial state running on a computer within a universe with completely different physical laws. This is pretty much by definition. The perfect virtuality hypothesis also has zero predictive value, so we apply Occam's razor to it.

      Note "Perfect". The most dangerous thing physicists could do is to find the bugs in an *imperfect* virtuality, and then tickle them. (There's a variant which says this has already happened many times over).

      There's a scarier possibility, that it's our brains and sensoria that are being simulated by distant descendants of real beings much like ourselves. The simulation is running in their university department of pre-digital history. Sometime soon a grad student is going to realize that the simulation has progressed past the dawn of the information age, and is therefore pointless, so he'll stop the run.

      (Ever had the feeling that your life has suffered a subtle continuity error, usually simultaneous with the desire never to drink so much again? Now you know why. Both the continuity error and the getting drunk. One's the bug, the other's the fix).

    4. Nigel 11

      Simplicity

      It's the everyday world that's complicated! The standard model is really quite simple, but obviously not complete. There may be an even more simple underlying theory that so far we have hardly glimpsed.

  32. the-it-slayer
    Coat

    Oh, I thought it was higgs bottom?

    He better pulls his pants up next time he gets smashed to pieces in the rear. Wouldn't be so painful.

  33. Justin

    Has anyone else noticed that eBuyer are already taking pre-orders for the Higgs Boson?

    http://www.ebuyer.com/390394-higgs-boson-higgs126

    Never miss a moment!

  34. Andrew Peake

    How long before...

    We find out it was Leonard and his electric can opener fluctuation?

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Making the difference between people

    The work at CERN is differentiated when it is performed by westerners or by people from the East:

    "The cost [...] has been evaluated, taking into account realistic labor prices in different countries. The total cost is X (with a western equivalent value of Y)" [where Y>X]

    source: LHCb calorimeters : Technical Design Report

    ISBN: 9290831693 http://cdsweb.cern.ch/record/494264

    Western discrimination is firmly in place there.

  36. JeffyPooh Silver badge
    Pint

    Gives mass via drag... ...somehow...

    Anyone else bothered by the sound-bite explanations (they're all over the media) that the Higgs field somehow creates mass by adding drag? Mass? From drag? Huh?

    Worst. Explanation. Ever.

    1. Mad Chaz
      Mushroom

      Re: Gives mass via drag... ...somehow...

      Or it's just that you don't understand it. It's actually exactly how it works. But to understand it, you need to realise WHAT space/time is for it to create drag against. There are several nice documentaries on youtube about it. Go learn something.

      1. JeffyPooh Silver badge
        Pint

        Re: Gives mass via drag... ...somehow...

        It is not unreasonable to expect that sound-bite explanations offered up on internationally syndicated TV channels should be self-contained and make sense to the average viewer. If the explanation relies upon unmentioned and not-referenced YouTube documentaries so that it makes sense, they they completely fail as a sound-bite explanation. Might as well just provide the YouTube URL. A complete waste of expensive airtime and Brian Cox's otherwise valuable breath. Thus: Worst. Explanation. Ever.

        My post stands. My point is valid. So there. :-P

  37. Bassman_Si
    Pint

    CERN and Coburn

    Is it just me, or does the Director of CERN look like James Coburn's long lost twin...?

  38. Scrads
    Angel

    What they were really doing at CERN

    Here's what they were really doing at CERN

    www.youtube.com/watch?v=8i1a3kE6aw8

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Forgive the yanks

    Forgive them. They are just now starting to realise the latest scientific achievement of the world slipped them by because a US senator couldn't understand these things aren't about finding God.

    That all modern society works thanks to these kind of experiments (Yes, your computer works because Quantum theory was proven using these kinds of experiments) or that they are the most vital part of the next step in our evolution as a specie is hard to grasp for them as well. After all, evolution's "just a theory"

    1. Steve Knox
      Boffin

      Re: Forgive the yanks

      That all modern society works thanks to these kind of experiments

      Incorrect. All modern society works because of the physical realities that these kind of experiments prove in greater and greater detail. We could do exactly the same things we have been doing, except not doing these experiments, and still have the same results. The majority of modern technology is based on principles so much simpler than these experiments that we were able to design the prototypes for modern systems decades before the sites these experiments were conducted in were even built.

      (Yes, your computer works because Quantum theory was proven using these kinds of experiments)

      No, my computer works because it was designed with principles of physics much simpler than quantum theory. The consumer technology closest to the bleeding edge of physics today is GPS, and as I understand it, that's affected primarily by relativistic, not quantum, effects.

      or that they are the most vital part of the next step in our evolution as a specie

      Are you alleging that these experiments are creating biological side effects, or just misusing the term evolution?

      is hard to grasp for them as well. After all, evolution's "just a theory"

      Evolution is just a theory. And it's a damned good one. And those of us who understand what a theory is recognize that it's the best one we've got for the question of development and differentiation of life on this planet.

      These experiments are incredibly useful to help us understand how our universe works. They pave the way for amazing advancements in all sorts of fields. But the benefits of these experiments for the average man in the street are decades away. Over-hyping them now does nobody any benefit.

      I guarantee that there are individuals (most likely some in high office) in your country who are even more ignorant than your stereotypical view of us "Yanks". From your post, it seems quite possible that you are one.

      Oh, and by the way, the singular of species is species. Specie is a term coined by ignorant people who don't understand science or Latin.

      1. Nigel 11
        Boffin

        Lasers and some forgotten alternatives

        We rely on Lasers for optical disk devices and for data-communications. The science of Lasers is definitely simple quantum physics. If someone had experimentally discovered a lasing medium in the 19th century, quantum theory would have had to follow along rapidly. As it was, Einstein got the theory right decades before anyone made a laser.

        You can have fun imagining a future where computers still run on purely classical vacuum tube technology. (Yes, micron-scale vacuum tubes are possible, as is integrated circuitry containing millions of them! ) Or, you could try having the Babylonians or Romans discover pneumatic computers (clock speeds of 100kHz, logic element size a few mm - Rolls-Royce did actually once build one to embed in the hot end of a jet engine). If Babbage had known about pneumatics, today's world would have been quite utterly different.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Forgive the yanks

        Actually, yes, without quantum theory your computer would not work. Look it up. As for the rest, it's always hilarious to see someone not getting sarcasam. O, as for your personal attack on myself based on a simple gramar mistake, consider that english is my second language. How many do you speak?

        1. JDX Gold badge

          without quantum theory your computer would not work

          Quantum theory we understood when building them, or quantum theory we discovered afterwards? Considering you can build a mechanic computer, or one using very simple school-level electronics, I think you're the one who is wrong. Electrical components might behave in a certain way due to quantum effects but that doesn't mean they were created/invented based on an understanding of those effects... often we invent something by discovering a certain behaviour without knowing why.

  40. TheOtherHobbes

    Possibly

    the biggest and most expensive search for something really, really small in the entire history of the world.

    Although technically, like all quantum fields, the Higgs Field fills the entire universe and particles are local-ish excitations. So I suppose that also makes it the smallest search for something really, really big.

    Anyway - well done chaps and chapesses.

    Can I have my anti-grav flying car now?

  41. Scott Broukell
    Boffin

    Ah! well .........

    I've been keeping a half a jam jar of Phlogiston on the top shelf at the back of the shed for some considerable time now, you know, just in case that held the answer to what they've been looking so hard for at CERN / Fermilab. Sadly it looks very much as if this might all have been in vein and that the jar and it's miraculous contents are now redundant. Any offers ?

  42. CCCP
    Thumb Up

    Higgs is a cannonball and it just hit

    Using the reg as a weak shelter from the God botherers I posit the following. Religion is a 16/17th century warship, like the Mary Rose or the Vasa, and the Higgs cannonball (made of?) just hit the second plank below the waterline. The ship isn't gonna sink tomorrow, it probably got hit by a boson before after all, but she sure as hell is sinking faster than before. Christ, even the beeb extolls that the Higgs might explain the origin of the universe. Randomly, they also suggest we call it the Justin Bieber Particle (BBC World News) because if Justin walks through a room of teenagers he'd slow down and gain mass, whereas others wouldn't. Actually, that's not bad. Disclaimer: I grew up Christian but now am not.

    1. JDX Gold badge

      Re: Higgs is a cannonball and it just hit

      Given that many physicists assumed Higgs existed, or at least built theories around its theoretical existence, and none of them have explained why the universe happened, finding Higgs does exist doesn't mean squat in the [non existent but perpetual] argument between science and religion.

      I wonder if it can be scientifically proven that science can't explain WHY things are how they are. It would be a lovely circular field of study :)

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    More Catholic Arrogance!

    Who is Fr. Higgs-Bosun and what right does he have to give mass to the whole Universe? Yet another Catholic diocesan land-grab IMHO.

    And in any case, I couldn't care less about all this nerdplay in laboratories. I'll start caring when these elitist geeks allow companies like Tesco in to find real-world practical applications for the hadron collider, such as throwing a satsuma in one end along with a tangerine in the other until they collide to produce a satserine. Or let OddBins hurl in some white rum, sugar, lime juice, fizzy water and finely chopped mint.

    Is true though, innit.

  44. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Another particle =

    more gaps for the religious apologists to hide god in.

    If you fill a gap, you get two new ones!

    1. JDX Gold badge

      Re: Another particle =

      You don't understand the very nature of the science Vs religion discussion if you think that way.

  45. Michael Dunn
    Joke

    Higgs?

    Is there, or has there ever been a Bosun named Higgs?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Higgs?

      Wasn't Captain Pugwash's bosun called Master Bates?

      1. Spoonsinger

        Re: Wasn't Captain Pugwash's bosun called Master Bates?

        Careful now, John Ryan might come back from the grave and get you, (or his estate).

  46. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Particle

    Was it travelling faster than the speed of light?

  47. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm just wondering

    How you get a Cod particle when you collide oversize Haddocks.

    1. Swarthy Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: I'm just wondering

      I'm not sure about the how, but I do know the why: For the Halibut!

  48. Local Group
    Trollface

    Higgs boson "Answer to life, the universe and everything coming soon."

    I suppose by "everything coming soon" you mean this:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=endscreen&NR=1&v=HN9CzHf9aKk

  49. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge
    Alien

    So can they answer this question?

    Can they predict the number of Angles that can dance on the surface of a Higg's Boson?

  50. abedarts

    Could they find others?

    Is this a case of finding what we are looking for. I wonder if they shouldn't posit some imaginary particle, call it the 'devil' particle if you like, and then see if they look hard enough do they see evidence of it.

    Just a thought.

  51. mhenriday
    Boffin

    Just to keep that IT angle in,

    some readers here who aren't already aware of the fact might possibly be interesting in learning that the computers used to analyse the LHC collision results run GNU/Linux (http://www.ubuntuvibes.com/2012/07/linux-played-crucial-role-in-discovery.html)....

    Henri

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