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Submission + - Higgs 1

The Bad Astronomer writes: "Scientists at CERN announced today the discovery of a new fundamental subatomic particle that is almost certainly the Higgs boson — a particle that is crucial in giving other particles mass.

The new particle has a mass of about 125 — 126 GeV (roughly 125 times the mass of a proton) which is just what the Higgs mass is predicted to be by the Standard Model of particle physics. A signal was seen in preliminary results from 2011, but observations since then have raised the confidence level hugely: the strength of the signal indicates it is real to the 5 sigma level — that is, with 99.9999% confidence. In physics, that qualifies as a "discovery". This is a monumental step in particle physics, and toward our understanding of one of the most fundamental and mysterious properties of matter in the Universe: mass."
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  • It just means that the Standard Model has got a bit longer to live before it gets replaced by fairies and pink unicorns, aka Supersymmetry.

    Troll? Flamebait? Legitimate comment? Or an observation that "almost certainly the Higgs boson" is trying too hard. So far there is confirmation at the 4.9 or 5 sigma level (depending on which you want to believe) that there is a something there. Now the work has to start of finding out whether in fact it is the Higgs. At the moment, that is merely probable. I hope it pr

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