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Final Analysis Suggests Tevatron Saw Hint of the Higgs Boson 184

ananyo writes with exciting news from the world of particle physics: "A hint of the Higgs boson, the missing piece in the standard model of particle physics, has been found in data collected by the Tevatron, the now-shuttered U.S. particle collider at Fermilab in Batavia, Illinois. While not statistically significant enough in themselves to count as a 'discovery', the indications announced on 7 March at the Moriond conference in La Thuile, Italy, are consistent with 2011 reports of a possible standard model Higgs particle with a mass of around 125 GeV from experiments at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN near Geneva, Switzerland. The data is more direct evidence of the Higgs than the constraints on its mass offered by the precise W boson mass measurement reported on Monday. On a sad note, the find vindicates Tevatron scientists who campaigned unsuccessfully to extend the collider's run. The request was turned down by the Department of Energy but this last hurrah suggests that Tevatron might indeed have found the Higgs ahead of CERN's Large Hadron Collider if they'd secured the funding required. The Tevatron is currently being raided for parts."
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Final Analysis Suggests Tevatron Saw Hint of the Higgs Boson

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  • Re:50 years ago... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by geckipede ( 1261408 ) on Wednesday March 07, 2012 @11:52AM (#39275299)
    Mao once said that a communist nation would always be able to outmaneuvre a capitalist nation, because capitalism can only ever make moves that profit in the short term.

    I think it's fair to guess that in his own mind, he was comparing some utopian ideal of communism vs. a straw man capitalism, but even so, he had a point.
  • by hcs_$reboot ( 1536101 ) on Wednesday March 07, 2012 @12:02PM (#39275393)
    1. CERN finds some hints in where the Higgs is, ie around 125 GeV
    2. Tevatron looks at their logs in the range ~125 GeV and says "well it could have been here, indeed"
    3. Tevatron announces that they may have discovered the Higgs before, if ...

    1. What if CERN found at 110 GeV - maybe the Tevatron logs would show a similar indication?
    2. I thought there was a matter of collider power/energy, and the Tevatron is not powerful for that discovery in the first place, anyway?

    March 7, 2012 Not a good day for my karma
  • by krlynch ( 158571 ) on Wednesday March 07, 2012 @12:35PM (#39275785) Homepage

    Shutting down the Tevatron with the turn-on of the LHC was the right move, from my perspective in the field. The Tevatron would NEVER have reached the magic 5sigma threshold for discovery confirmation, something the LHC will do easily if the Higgs is really near 125GeV. And running the Tevatron isn't free: it's tens of millions of dollars a year, and many hundreds of man-years of effort. This funding would have been essentially "lost", but more importantly, the lost man-years would have decimated many other projects that Fermilab and the high energy physics community considered much more valuable than an additional year or two of Tevatron running. It would also have delayed for years the development of new accelerator projects at Fermilab that are considered extremely high priority within the field. These issues are why the shutdown decision was taken in the first place. Tevatron was a great machine for thirty plus years. But time marches on, and we don't keep high cost infrastructure running based just on nostalgia....

  • Re:50 years ago... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by u38cg ( 607297 ) <calum@callingthetune.co.uk> on Wednesday March 07, 2012 @01:16PM (#39276363) Homepage
    Well, it took China fifty years to recover from Mao's economic depradations, so possibly not the best authority to be quoting.
  • Re:Thank you... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ceoyoyo ( 59147 ) on Wednesday March 07, 2012 @02:37PM (#39277295)

    Actually, "The God Particle" is a name coined by a Nobel prize winning physicist. Sort of. He wanted to call it the Goddamn Particle but his publisher wouldn't let him.

    It's not exactly unjustified either. A sea of Higg's Bosons are theorized to pervade the entire universe and the interact with every particle of matter. That's not entirely dissimilar to the Christian description of god being a force or entity that is everywhere at once. Various Christian theologians have also posited that god's ongoing influence is required to keep the planets in their orbits, guide thrown stones, etc. all of which are things the Higgs is supposed to do.

How many Unix hacks does it take to change a light bulb? Let's see, can you use a shell script for that or does it need a C program?