Higgs Boson may not have been found after all. Just a PR exercise?

Is this some new way to ensure that funding continues?

First some very high profile publicity to announce some fantastic new discovery – which then gradually gets debunked over the next few months but at a much lower level of interest. But the initial high-profile announcements probably help to maintain the perceptions necessary to ensure funding. The low profile debunking does not register. It seems to be getting to be a habit for CERN.

Last September the CERN PR apparatus went into overdrive with the announcements that FTL neutrinos may have been found. FTL particles were announced with great fanfare only to be debunked later. And by November the story had died but the publicity had no doubt helped to bolster the perception that CERN is important.

A few days ago the CERN PR operations went into full swing. Advance warnings of an “Important Announcement” were disseminated widely. Background information was spread to all the media. Physicists around the world were interviewed about what the Higgs Boson was and what the discovery would mean. It was not long before the new “discovery” was being hailed as the most important scientific discovery of the 21st Century, and on par with Copernicus’s discovery that the sun is the center of our solar system”.  And now just one week later it appears that whatever was found may not be the Higgs Boson and may not even be a separate particle at all.

I am naturally cynical about the extravagant trappings that sometimes surround “big science” but lately CERN’s PR seems more impressive than any physics they do:

CERN PR in action: Rolf Heuer, CERN Director General (C), Fabiola Gianotti, ATLAS experiment spokesperson (L), and Joe Incandela, a spokesman of the CMS experiment, look at a screen during a scientific seminar to deliver the latest update in the search for the Higgs boson at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Meyrin near Geneva July 4, 2012. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

DigitalJournalA new paper by Ian Low and colleagues at Cornell University casts doubt on the identity of the particle CERN scientists announced as consistent with the “standard model Higgs boson.” The study says the particle may not be the standard Higgs after all.
After a quest that spanned several decades, CERN scientists recently celebrated the disccovery of a new particle they believe is the Higgs. But Cornell University scientists Ian Low, Joseph Lykken and Gabe Shaughnessy, in a new paper titled, Have we observed the Higgs(imposter)?” have called for caution. While the scientists admit that “The new resonance discovered by the ATLAS and CMS experiments at the CERN Large Hadron Collider (LHC) could be the long-sought Higgs boson of the Standard Model,” the researchers point out that it is still uncertain that it is the “standard model Higgs.”
Apart from the possibility that the particle detected may be an exotic variant of the standard model Higgs, there is another possibility that what was detected is a mix of variants of the plain Higgs. According to the Cornell study: “We show that current LHC data already strongly disfavor both the dilatonic and non-dilatonic singlet imposters. On the other hand, a generic Higgs doublet and a triplet imposter give equally good fits to the measured event rates of the newly observed scalar resonance.”

What the technical language means simply is that what CERN scientists discovered could actually be a single particle or a mix of particles that are different versions of the plain standard model Higgs. …
Maybe Stephen Hawking will not lose his $100 after all.
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One Response to “Higgs Boson may not have been found after all. Just a PR exercise?”

  1. shamijacobus Says:

    There are many things behind the tunnel and IS NOT LIGHT.!!
    ROBERTO

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