- Results for experiments to find - or rule out - the Higgs boson expected on July 4
- Blogs and rumours suggest a positive result
- Particle will complete Einstein's theory of the universe
By Eddie Wrenn
This may be smoke without a fire - or it could be we are about to get an announcement which will fundamentally change our knowledge of the universe.
The physics world has been set alight with a wildfire rumour that CERN will announce they have discovered the Higgs boson particle - that elusive 'God' particle which is believed to give all other particles their mass.
Even Twitter went crazy for the elusive particle, with #HiggsRumour at the top of the Top Trending lists on Wednesday.
The particle accelerator: It is within these tubes that physicists are hunting for the 'God' particle
Physics blogger Peter Woit, who writes for Not Even Wrong, started the discussions, saying that CERN had replicated last year's study which seemed to spot the particle.
This year's result saw the same spiking as the tests last year, indicating last year's result were not a mistake or aberration.
Woit write: 'To oversimplify the situation, last year both experiments were seeing roughly a 3 sigma excess in gamma-gamma around 125 GeV.'
While Woit says this is oversimplifying matters, this may still be a but too much for anyone without an advanced desgree in particle physics.
The even simpler form is that in 2011, CERN was hoping to see spikes in their two experiments, which would offer evidence to support the hypothetical particle. And these spikes did occur.
Woit continues: 'This was enough to convince many people that it was highly likely that this was the Higgs. However, that size excess is not completely convincing, it is not unheard of for there to be statistical flukes of such size.
'The 2012 data that is being analysed... is of a similar size to the 2011 data.
'If 2011 was a fluke, you expect to see nothing much around 125 GeV in the 2012 data.
'If the 2011 signal really was the Higgs you expect the signal to strengthen. What I’m hearing from both experiments is that they are seeing an excess in the new data, strengthening the significance of the signal.'
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Most analysts say that any such announcement cannot be made until every figure has been checked and cross-checked.
When The New York Times reported on the rumours, CERN
spokesman Fabiola Gianotti replied: 'Please do not believe the blogs.'
The Collider Blog's Michael Schmitt added: 'As a member of the CMS Collaboration, I know precisely what we have.
'But my loyalty remains with my collaboration, especially the people who are working right now to carry out the analysis and verify the results, as well as to the people at the top who have to chart strategy and make difficult decisions.
'A little splash in a blog is not worth the bother it would cause all these people.'