Finally, after some frantic waiting filled with rumors, we heard the truth from people at CERN. And we discovered that rumors were just right. Evidence is mounting for a Higgs particle at around 120-130 GeV, after new data were accounted for. All these evidences point toward a Standard Model Higgs. But some caution words are needed (see Matt Strassler’s post) as a discovery cannot be claimed yet. ATLAS sees a 3.6 sigma overall evidence but, accounting for look elsewhere effect, this go down to 2.5 sigma while CMS has a similar 2.6 sigma going down to 1.9 with look elsewhere effect. This is not enough to rule out a fluctuations but, anyhow, a strong indication where to point researchers attention for the near future. All the matter will be pinned down later next year. From my side, I just note a possible contradiction between the two experiments as ATLAS keeps on claiming an excess around 500-600 GeV, also with increasing number of data and indeed evidence now goes beyond 2 sigma, while, as for today, CMS claims this range ruled out. It is possible that this is another glimpse for a Higgs multiplet as required by supersymmetry. I think that also this matter will be fixed soon next year.
What makes these hints striking is the fact that both experiments see the excess in the same region where the particle was expected and with the proper rates. It should also be said that, with these data and energy, people at CERN have done an excellent work with the analysis of them. But, of course, it is still possible that we are coping with a fluctuation and the particle is hiding elsewhere or is something else. For sure, next year the puzzle will be completed and also this part of the Standard Model will be part of our textbooks in the right way. What we have here is a completely new situation holding the premises for a clear understanding of one of the greatest question of mankind ever. So, when a child will ask to you: “Mom, what are we made of?” this question will have an answer, an answer arising from the work of a lot of smart people running one of the greatest technological achievement of our history: LHC.