Has CERN found the Higgs?

Although the statement is hedged so strongly as to almost bury its lead, in today’s press release from CERN, strong indications that they have found the Higgs emerge from the report once it is stripped from the hedging. According to ATLAS spokeswoman Fabiola Gianotti, ATLAS has found “an excess of events around mass of about 126 GeV”, consistent with earlier bounds set on the Higgs’s mass. Another experiment at CERN, CMS, has observed events pointing to a possible Higgs mass of 124 GeV. None of this is yet statistically significant (hence the hedging), but we are assured that in 2012 we will know for sure whether there really is a Higgs boson in the mass range as constrained by results so far from ATLAS and CMS. The result will obviously be important either way, but wouldn’t life be more interesting if there was no Higgs to be found?

UPDATE (4 January 2012): Nature has published a focus piece which can be found here.

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