Higgs boson: Was the 'God particle' found?
Higgs boson, aka, the "God particle" is a subatomic particle that is presumed to bestow mass on all other particles. An internal note from physicists at the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland has scientists buzzing.
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Stone was quick to point out that the note is not an official result of the ATLAS research team. Therefore, speculating about its validity or implications is decidedly preliminary.
"It is actually quite illegitimate and unscientific to talk publicly about internal collaboration material before it is approved," Stone said. "So this 'result' is not a result until the collaboration officially releases it."
Other researchers joined Stone in urging patience and caution before getting too excited about the possible discovery.
While it's still early, some researchers have already begun to cast doubt on the possible detection. For example, Tommaso Dorigo — a particle physicist at Fermilab and CERN, which operates the LHC — thinks the signal is false and will fade upon closer inspection.
Dorigo — who said he doesn't have access to the full ATLAS memo — gives several reasons for this viewpoint. He points out, for example, that scientists at Fermilab didn't see the putative Higgs signal in their Tevatron data, which covered similar ground as the ATLAS experiment.
Dorigo feels strongly enough, in fact, to put his money where his mouth is.
"I bet $1,000 with whomever has a name and a reputation in particle physics (this is a necessary specification, because I need to be sure that the person taking the bet will honor it) that the signal is not due to Higgs boson decays," he wrote on his blog today. "I am willing to bet that this is NO NEW PARTICLE. Clear enough?"
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