Higgs hunt heats up with final Tevatron data
July 3, 2012 | Source: Wired Science
On July 4 at 9 a.m. in Geneva (3 a.m. in New York), officials at the Large Hadron Collider are expected to present new results on, and possibly the discovery of, the Higgs boson.
Tevatron at Fermilab in Illinois announced their latest data on July 2, which gives more strong evidence for the existence of the Higgs.
The Higgs is the final piece of the Standard Model of physics, which explains the interactions between all known subatomic particles and forces, and is required to give all other particles their mass.
The mass of the Higgs boson itself is still unknown, though the new Tevatron data corroborate earlier results from both the Tevatron and the LHC that place the Higgs between 115 and 135 gigaelectron volts (GeV), or roughly 115 to 135 times heavier than a proton.
The new Tevatron data are 2.9-sigma — a relatively low significance but, because they support the LHC results, they place even greater confidence in the signal being a true indication of the Higgs. Furthermore, the Tevatron sees the Higgs decay in particular ways that the LHC isn’t sensitive to, meaning it could clarify certain properties of the Higgs that the LHC may struggle with.