The confirmation of the negative is finally here. A report has been released from ATLAS, CERN, which, after extensive analysis, has put to rest all rumors about any detection of the Higgs Boson the God Particle, which is supposed to endow all particles in the Universe with mass. We covered the news of the rumor here, urging readers to take the rumor with a healthy pinch of salt. The aforementioned report, surely enough and as we predicted, hasn’t found any Higgs.
The bottom line: The Higgs remains as elusive as ever, and physicists remain hopeful.
The news of this negative report was greeted with a little disappointment and lot of relief from the physics community, the latter emotion stemming from the fact that the Higgs was never expected at the position it was reported to have been found by the leaked memo. Many physicists were also appalled by the way a confidential memo was leaked a violation of both the ethical code of conduct and a personal breach of innate scientific spirit.
The present report (about the di-photon mass spectrum) from ATLAS has a lot more data points than the memo, and the data has been thoroughly analyzed. Find the report here. The key diagram in the report is given below.
Forget all the complications and the different plots. Note the monotonic step-like appearance of the plot. If the Higgs were detected, you’d find bumps in the graph (or at least one bump) localized at particular energies. If the memo were really right about the detection, there would have been a bump at 115 GeV (on the yellow band above the number 115′ marked on the horizontal axis), as the memo had reported the detection at this temperature. No irregularity is found, as is plainly visible to the naked eye.
There’s no real ambiguity anymore. At the risk of sounding repetitive, let’s say it once more: The Higgs has not been found.
If the Standard Model is correct, however, you should expect news of detection soon enough, especially when higher energy ranges are being probed. Watch this space…