Higgs boson “almost certainly exists”
Boston Globe reports on CERN scientists being almost as definite as particle physicists can be, stating that the subatomic particle that makes matter matter seems to have shown up at the Large Hadron Collider:
Instead, experts familiar with the research at CERN’s vast complex on the Swiss-French border say that the massive data they have obtained will essentially show the footprint of the key particle known as the Higgs boson — all but proving it exists — but doesn’t allow them to say it has actually been glimpsed.
It appears to be a fine distinction.
Senior CERN scientists say that the two independent teams of physicists who plan to present their work at CERN’s vast complex on the Swiss-French border on July 4 are about as close as you can get to a discovery without actually calling it one.
‘‘I agree that any reasonable outside observer would say, ‘It looks like a discovery,’’’ British theoretical physicist John Ellis, a professor at King’s College London who has worked at CERN since the 1970s, told The Associated Press. ‘‘We’ve discovered something which is consistent with being a Higgs.’’
Rob Roser, who leads the search for the Higgs boson at the Fermilab in Chicago, said: ‘‘Particle physicists have a very high standard for what it takes to be a discovery,’’ and he thinks it is a hair’s breadth away.
Rosen compared the results that scientists are preparing to announce Wednesday to finding the fossilized imprint of a dinosaur: ‘‘You see the footprints and the shadow of the object, but you don’t actually see it.’’
Tags: quantum physics