Higgs Exclusions at 900/pb

This plot was shown yesterday at a seminar which as far as I know was public. It uses 900/pb for the Higgs->ZZ channels combined with around 200/pb for the decay modes favoured at lower masses. Hence the surprising exclusion at higher masses. There are some interesting excesses but nothing of sufficient significance to get really excited about.

This is a draft preview of what will be shown at EPS-HEP in two weeks time although it is possible that more data will be added by then. ATLAS will also contribute results with similar amounts of data. Shortly after EPS-HEP they will combine CMS and ATLAS results to provide a much better plot.

For those of you not familiar with this kind of plot, it shows limits on cross-sections for processes beyond the Higgless standard model with three generation. When it dips below the red line at 1 on the y-axis that means that a Hiiggs is excluded at that mass with 95% confidence. The dotted line shows the expected value given the amount of data collected. This line sinks down as more data is added. The black line is what is observed and is different either because there is new physics or because of statistical fluctuations. So long as it stays inside the green and yelklow bands that mark one or two standard deviations away from the expected, then there is no signal. An excess above this line starts to look interesting but you do expect it to go beyond the bounds somewhere so small deviations are not to be counted on. When it exceeds 5 standard deviations we get excited.

The dotted line going below the red line indicates where an exclusion was expected. As you can see they failed to get an exclusion in the 135 GeV to 200 GeV range. This can either be because there is a Higgs boson lurking or because of statistical fluctuations. For now we have to assume the latter until more data pushes the green and yellow bands down. The exclusion at higher masses was not expected yet and is also due to statistical fluctuations, but it still counts. There are interesting excesses around 115 GeV, 130 GeV and 210 GeV, but they need more data to make these interesting. We may see more data in the next two weeks either from other CMS channels or from ATLAS, so it could get a lot more exciting at EPS-HEP.

The latest technical stop at the LHC has ended and cryogenics are back on time to restart physics (well done). During the next 6 week run they will quickly get back to 1380 bunch fills and then slowly increase luminosity further using bunch intensity and emittance increments. How far they get will depend on how smooth the runs are but luminosities up to 5/nb/s are possible given favorable conditions. That means anything from 1.5/fb to 3.5/fb could be delivered before the next technical stop. There will be a further run of eight weeks after that. My prediction of 10/fb for 2011 is no longer looking so over-optimistic, but the vagaries of the LHC systems will have their say.

83 Responses to Higgs Exclusions at 900/pb

  1. Luboš Motl says:

    What do you dislike about the graph? It’s pretty cute.

    There is a 2+ sigma excess near 115 GeV – the light MSSM Higgs – and another excess near 140 GeV – the heavy MSSM Higgs.

    Then there is a near 3 sigma excess near 205 GeV which I will choose not to interpret but it could be another heavy Higgs haha.

    • Philip Gibbs says:

      I certainly like it but the piecemeal nature of the plot suggests it is very preliminary and the excesses may not be trustworthy. If ATLAS shows excesses in the same places I will start to get more excited.

      • Luboš Motl says:

        Piecemeal? Do you mean the fact that the “CLs observed” curve is wiggly and complicated? I assure you that it will always be wiggly and complicated – and in fact, increasingly more so. 😉

        It’s inevitably more complicated than the expected upper limit – which is the average of similar wiggly curves, so the wiggles are mostly averaged out. And even the expected upper limit is pretty complicated, for good reasons.

        The only invariant thing that matters are the excesses above “expected + 2/3/5 sigma”. And of course, with more data, all the graphs will be moving “down” (the LHC will be able to make tighter, smaller upper limits on the cross section – with the exception of places where it actually finds something) but the yellow and green bands will be shrinking relatively to the total cross section.

        The only preliminary feature here is that the excesses are “just” 2 or 3 sigma. With N^2 times more data, they will be N times more sigmas or so.

    • Philip Gibbs says:

      Given the non-linear mass scale I think your 140 GeV excess may be more like 125 GeV-135 GeV. It might combine well with the 2-sigma peak around the same region on the 209/pb diphoton plots from ATLAS

    • Ray Munroe says:

      Hi Lubos,

      You said “another heavy Higgs haha”. I know that you are very-well versed in the MSSM, and that the MSSM requires two complex scalar doublet fields (it is one way to yield the significant mass difference between top and bottom quarks) with 8 degrees-of-freedom leading to three longitudinal modes for W+,W- and Z, plus five physical scalar bosons:light Higgs, heavy Higgs, psuedoscalar Higgs, and plus/minus charged Higgs.

      I would not expect a charged Higgs to decay into ZZ, but I would not be too surprized if that was a possible decay mode for a pseudoscalar Higgs. I know that you are convinced that reality is based on complex numbers, but pseudoscalars are quaternions…

      Have Fun!

  2. OhDear says:

    So on the plot, “expected” is what you expect to observe assuming there is no Higgs, just background contributions. Is this right? What do the 1,2 sigma bands indicate – the uncertainty on this background?

  3. […] de ver no blog viXra log o primeiro resultado da procura pelo bóson de Higgs com dados de 2011 anunciado pela colaboração […]

  4. algernon says:

    Nice find, Philip 🙂

    I thought SM Higgs masses above 185 GeV were already excluded by previous experiments?
    What happens if the excess above 200 GeV is confirmed? Would it be the first time the SM fails or maybe we would question the validity of previous exclusions?

    • Philip Gibbs says:

      The direct exclusions from the Tevatron are from 157 to 173 GeV so nothing seen here is inconsistent with that.

      There are indirect exclusions from precision measurements that exclude above 185 GeV but any new physics other than a SM Higgs would invalidate the assumptions of those exclusions, so we should not take them too seriously. It does mean that an excess above 185 GeV would point to more new physics than just the bog-standard Higgs, if you trust the precision results.

    • MS says:

      In two-higgs doublet models, including the MSSM, there is always a second neutral Higgs. Since it is usually heavier, and since mass scales from 180-500 or easier to detect than 115, it is very possible, perhaps likely, that the heavier neutral Higgs will be discovered before the lightest. That could be happening here.

    • Luboš Motl says:

      Right, so the bump near 205 GeV may be viewed – in combination with the other known exclusions – as a 2.5-sigma piece of evidence against the Standard Model – I mean the Standard Model with a single Higgs doublet, more precisely with a single Weinberg toilet, using Sheldon Glashow’s accurate terminology. Or evidence for new physics beyond a single Higgs.

      (You need something like that in your apartment, but you’re not necessarily proud about it.)

      With the same bump of ATLAS, we would have an over 4-sigma combined evidence.

  5. Bill K says:

    “If ATLAS shows excesses in the same places I will start to get more excited…”

    “With the same bump of ATLAS, we would have an over 4-sigma combined evidence.”

    Does no one see the paradox in combining things when they agree, separating them when they do not, and claiming that this is a valid way of handling probability? You must pick your methodology ahead of time – you cannot retroactively base it on what the results look like.

    • Luboš Motl says:

      Dear Bill, I have chosen my methodology ahead of time. The methodology says “look at all evidence – new evidence as well as old evidence – that may be relevant”.

      CMS and ATLAS may be unable and/or unwilling to look at the competitors’ data but as you can see, I and probably also Phil are able and more than willing. 😉

    • Philip Gibbs says:

      If they dont publish the combined data then any theorist can make a crude combination and show them where the Higgs lies to claim the Nobel prize 🙂

      Seriously, if they reach the end of year technical stop and have a near discovery they are ready to combine with the final Tevatron data too.

      If you prefer individual detectors to have conclusive evidence you just have to wait another six months or so. You will arrive at the celebration party to find everyone else has moved on.

    • Luboš Motl says:

      Dear Phil, this “forced” combination occurred with CDF and D0 when they finally wanted to discover the top quark.

      Bill, try to think rationally. It’s a certain amount of collisions – and if you use the data from both detectors, you effectively double the amount of collisions. Or, using the opposite language, if you only use the data from one detector, you are throwing 1/2 of the data away.

      A femtobarn of data costs tens of millions of dollars in energy etc. so it’s pretty stupid to throw them away. Now, the ATLAS and CMS are complementary and they want to check one another, and so on. So it’s the very point that they want to dismiss the other collaboration’s data and only use theirs.

      But that’s just their internal policy that an outsider like I and Pihl may find excessively kosher if not ludicrous: this duplicity or redundancy may be way too expensive and unnecessary. Of course we always want the most complete data. We are roughly able to combine the graphs from ATLAS and CMS to get combined graphs that are pretty much the same ones as if the location of the collisions – ATLAS vs CMS – wasn’t even taken into account.

      We’re removing the discrimination and segregation between the two datasets, if you want to sound it politically correct. 😉

      And yes, if the data speak the same language, they support each other. If they don’t, it increases the likelihood that the signal or signals in the partial datasets were flukes. There is nothing illegitimate about this reasoning. Of course that the outcome of this reasoning may only be obtained after we actually learn what the data are – “retroactively”, in your language. We can’t know in advance what the data are: that’s because of causality or the arrow of time haha. But we know what the logic is: we know how we will react if ATLAS sees this or that.

      • daniel says:

        The isolated / competitive nature of the detectors is critical. Its the only way you can do real science.

        Since most of the time I spend hearing about studies its psuedoscience, so its easy to see the problems. Honest people doing research? What is that?? 🙂

        Systemic errors are a big problem with combining data from different datasets. One set of data might be positive but the other isn’t. Though when combined you might still have a positive signal. Well its worse when you just use the one flawed set 🙂 Though combining two can make make it seem more reliable than it is.

        Since more data will be collected its not really that big of a problem. With the next run you can revise. Particle physics is just way more public than it ever was. Most the news is based on leaked reports not peer reviewed papers.

        Its not a great situation regarding the public perception of what is really going on 🙂

      • Luboš Motl says:

        Daniel, your opinions about the essence of science are rubbish. Multiple detectors and split teams are not needed to do science. Virtually all important advances in the history of science were done by scientists (or groups of scientists) who didn’t have any competitors whatsoever in doing the exact thing they were doing. Newton, Maxwell, Einstein, Rutherford, Darwin, CERN’s discovery of W-bosons, NASA on the Moon, say any name you want.

        Science doesn’t depend on redundancy in any way.

        Redundancy is not what distinguishes science from pseudoscience. Quite on the contrary, it’s pseudoscience that loves to be excessively redundant – e.g. by having lots of astrologers or global warming scientists who are in “consensus” and who also do “science” except that it is not science. The difference between science and pseudoscience is that excluded hypotheses are being eliminated in science but not in pseudoscience. But you don’t need more than one detector to do that.

        Having two major detectors at the Tevatron or the LHC is just a historical accident justified by purely technical and economic considerations. The rings themselves are more expensive than the detectors, so it’s better to balance the expenses and build several detectors along the ring – to use the space and balance the money. They’re far so it’s been decided to try different options. Building 2 identical detectors wouldn’t be too much cheaper. But it could have happened, too. I am sure that if there were 10 detectors, most of them would be identical.

        You are also wrong that splitting the LHC detectors to 2 teams reduces systematic errors. You can’t reduce them in this simple way. Large numbers don’t reduce systematic errors: that’s why they’re systematic. Only statistical errors drop if you have higher numbers – but higher numbers of total measurements, not number of detectors. (You’re thinking like the blonde from the joke about pizza. Do you want to cut it to 4 or 8 pieces? Only 4: 8 would be too much for me to eat, she says.) Most of the systematic errors are due to bad things that affect both detectors, like errors done by the theorists. But even things that are not shared by the detectors don’t guarantee that the systematic errors tend to “cancel”. They don’t cancel because there’s no guarantee that the expectation value of the systematic errors is zero. So even with 1,000 teams and detectors, you can’t make systematic errors 10 times smaller. It’s Feynman’s famous parable about the length of the nose of the Emperor of China. You can’t improve your accuracy by asking many people who suffer from a systematic error.

        Public is surely confused by science because 99.99% of the people – including you – have no clue what science is. But it is not science’s fault or scientists’ fault. It is mainly due to the limited education and limited intellectual abilities of 99.99% of the people.

  6. Tony Smith says:

    In the public seminar at which you got the Brazil-Band plot on which this post is based
    did the CMS people show any slides for Higgs to ZZ to 4l
    that looked like the slide 39 of Andy Parker’s 2007 CMS Higgs presentation a copy of which I put up on my site at
    If so, could you share it (or them) here ?


    • Philip Gibbs says:

      It does not include the plots you are looking for. There is more interesting stuff there and if they leave it where I can see it for a for a few more days I will assume they don’t mind me passing on the link. Otherwise I am sure we can wait about two weeks when much more will be shown at EPS-HEP.

      • Tony Smith says:

        Two weeks will go by very fast compared to the years waited to get to this point.

        In the meantime, it is fun to look at stuff as it comes out.

        With respect to “… The exclusion at higher masses [that] was not expected …”
        could it be related to the onset of the tt branch of Higgs decay
        which might cut into the branching ratio for ZZ ?


  7. bemused says:


    No matter how many hand-waving arguments you hear from Lubos, your intuition points in the right direction:

    It’s cherry picking from people with an agenda…deja vu for so long now!

    • Luboš Motl says:

      These are no handwaving arguments, it’s common sense as well as rigorous maths, One always wants to use all the evidence if he wants to find the most accurate information about something.

      Quite on the contrary, cherry-picking is when one does *not* use all the evidence and only picks, well, the cherries – for example the collisions from one detector and not the other.

      It really looks painful when people like you who clearly don’t have the slightest clue about rational reasoning are inventing conspiracy theories.

  8. Ervin Goldfain says:

    Phil, Lubos,

    How would you rate your expectations for MSSM in light of this plot?



    • Luboš Motl says:

      Dear Ervin,

      good question, and yes, an encouraging graph. It could be showing the 115 GeV light Higgs with some modest tan(beta) enhancing the decays to bottom quarks – see the left upward excursion of the graph – and a heavier Higgs e.g. around 140 GeV with a cross section comparable to the Standard Model.

      I don’t know what to say about the 205 GeV excess then. At any rate, as far as I can say, this graph, if true, is increasing the likelihood that a supersymmetric Standard Model is right.

      Best wishes

  9. […] que ha aparecido en un seminario el 8 de julio y del que se ha hecho eco Philip Gibbs en “Higgs Exclusions at 900/pb,” viXra log, 9 July 2011. La figura muestra la gran ventaja del LHC sobre el Tevatrón para […]

  10. Paolo says:

    “This plot was shown yesterday at a seminar which as far as I know was public.”

    How can you say that!??
    If , as I think, the seminar was not public,
    this blog is a scientific theft.

    No point to discuss a plot that could be done on purpose to
    make bloggers to publish rubbish


    • Philip Gibbs says:

      It was in a public part of the CERN repository.

      • Paolo says:

        link please

      • Luboš Motl says:

        Dear Paolo, I want to confirm, as an independent witness, that Phil obtained the graph from a public web space at CERN. I was shown the place by Phil.

        At any rate, it’s ludicrous that this is “discussing rubbish”. Most of the physics blogosphere is much more rubbish than preliminary results of CMS, so discussing preliminary CMS inevitably increases the quality of the physics blogosphere.

        Also, it’s a misunderstanding of yours that it’s a “theft” because Phil credits whom he should credit – the graph is reproduced with the “CMS Preliminary” title. He’s just informing about a thing that people into particle physics are undoubtedly curious to hear.

    • Luboš Motl says:

      Dear Paolo,

      I, for one, will happily run the risk of discussing graphs that are engineered for the bloggers to discuss rubbish. At least, if it is a fabrication, it’s a good one and because of its quality, it deserves some time of the physics bloggers.

      I am running an even higher risk – that Phil has fabricated the graph himself. Still, the probability looks low to me because of various benchmark tests whose precise algorithm will remain my proprietary knowledge because I want to use it in the future, too.


  11. guest says:

    The result you are showing is not a CMS public result and is not approved by the CMS collaboration.

    A serious scientific blogger should check and quote its sources.
    Or all that you are after is the buZZZZZZZZZZZZ?

    • Philip Gibbs says:

      The link is no longer public but it was in an area that was public and appeared to be intentionally so. We are expecting a lot of new results to appear any time now and in the recent past they have appeared first in seminars and conference notes.

      Since it apparently was not intended to be public I wont show any more of the plots on the slides and I apologize if I unwittingly caused anyone any embarrassment. Although I deny that I have done anything wrong.

      Yes we are after the buzz and excitement of these imminent results. Show me a physicist who isn’t. They could answer questions we have been working on for decades.

    • Luboš Motl says:

      I just want to praise Phil for being willing and able to find this CMS talk and graph(s).

      This source is almost certainly more robust than 95% of what the blogosphere – and even the mainstream media – are using in their writing about science.

      A person who is not eager to see what the LHC folks are seeing as soon as possible doesn’t have the heart of a physicist. Also, I am confident that Phil hasn’t violated any law or any regulation he has agreed with, and so on, so I can’t possibly understand how someone may have a problem with that.

      • Zakarov says:

        One thing to mention. It wasn’t Phil’s mistake that this plot went public. The people that held the internal meeting were supposed to protect the results and they did give an apology and all of CMS mailing list heard of it.

      • Philip Gibbs says:

        Thank you, and by the way the location where the document was available is in Google and if it had not been secured by now the whole PDF would be in the Google cache.

      • Luboš Motl says:

        Dear Zakarov,

        let me remind you that Sakharov has fought for the freedom of expression, too.

        I find this mob mentality, trying to impose a strict omerta on all CERN members, and maybe beyond, to be unfortunate. And in fact, these omerta attempts contradict the official CERN policies on communication.

        CERN’s spokesman and head of communication, James Gillies, has spoken about the communication on the LHC in the media and the blogosphere here:

        In the whole discussion, he makes it very clear that an increase of coverage about CERN in the communication channels is a good thing – he is praising links to the LHC made by Dan Brown and and he is even slightly leaning to support the crazy speculations about a black hole that would swallow the Earth because it added some publicity to CERN, too. That was a good consequence.

        At 3:30, he also says that it’s inevitable for rumors about the data to be promoted by blogs etc. – and the right thing for CERN to do is to make their communication more efficient, faster, and more accurate i.e. to be the leader in the spreading of the information – and not to try to be more secretive.

        So the bullies who are trying to completely silence Phil or CMS members are just bullies and they are pretty much doing things that violate the CERN policy – and they are trying to reduce the importance of the CERN experiments in the eyes of the public and sometimes even the expert public which is an extremely bad effort.

        The scientific public’s interest in the newest data evaluated by the LHC is a natural sentiment and it is a very good one, too. It’s just extremely bad if a sourball is trying to criminalize it.


  12. franco simonetto says:

    what really troubles me in that plot is that, all along the shown range, the observed limit does often miss the expected by two sigma or more. There are large excesses at ~120 GeV (if a signal, it would have ten times the rate predicted by the SM), in the range 150 to 200, and a sizable dip between three and four hundred GeV. While the first two could be interpreted as a signal, the last one is only the proof that – at least in that region, the simulation largely overestimates the background contribution.
    Then the question : if I cannot trust simulation in the 300-400 range, while should it be more reliable in the other ranges?

    • Luboš Motl says:

      Dear Caudillo de España, por la gracia de Dios,

      there is no statistically significant inconsistency in the graph. Tthe 2.5-sigma dip near 325 GeV is a fluke – such flukes have to happen sometimes and it is not an extremely unlikely one. In roughly 5% of the bins, statistics guarantees that one will find a more than 2-sigma deviation.

      On the other hand, the excesses are not inconsistencies because there’s no reason to assume that the Higgs bosons in the real world are governed by the Standard Model. The number “1” corresponds to the cross section in the Standard Model which is just a simplified model that neglects key features of the real world such as supersymmetry.

      Supersymmetry guarantees that the coupling of the light Higgs boson to the bottom quarks is increased by the factor of tan(beta)^2 where the conceivable values of tan(beta) – the ratio of the two Higgs vevs in a two-Higgs supersymmetric Standard Model – are between 2 and 50 or so. See e.g.


      to get some context.

      So there’s absolutely nothing wrong if they observe 5 times or nearly 10 times the SM cross section, including the decay to a bottom quark pair, at 115 GeV. This is no anomaly and no reason to distrust the experiments – quite on the contrary, it agrees with the best theorists’ expectations.

      The upper bound on the cross section for the 140 GeV and 205 GeV is just 2-3 times the Standard Model which means that the optimum value is comparable to 1 times the Standard Model or slightly above it. One of these excesses could be the heavier supersymmetric Higgs, the other one could be a third Higgs in a multi-Higgs model or an upward fluke.

      At any rate, an internal inconsistency only exists in the graph if you assume the Standard Model – and in this modern era of the LHC, you really shouldn’t! Chances are that you will be experimentally prohibited from making such assumptions, maybe within months (if not weeks).


    • Luboš Motl says:

      Let me mention one more thing. Even the deficit at 325 GeV could be a result of real physics.

      D0 has seen a 2.5-sigma excess indicating a 325-GeV top prime quark (yes, exactly the same mass)


      and CDF has seen two surprisingly similar 325-GeV ZZ events (ending with 4 gluons), indicating that a new particle – although different than the top-prime quark – could exist at 325 GeV and divert some activity which could cause a dip in the graph above.

      Many things may be happening and indeed, as we’re entering the “real” LHC era, it’s very likely that we will see increasingly strong evidence that the Standard Model is wrong. 😉 But inconsistency of the data with the Standard Model doesn’t mean that the data are unreliable: on the contrary, it will mean that the Standard Model is falsified. 😉


    • Paolo says:

      ??? A Fra’
      why do you speak about something that was inappropriately taken among CMS unapproved results?
      If scientific bloggers .act as tabloid journalists ready to publish
      anything provided it makes a lot of “noise” we shall treat them
      as tabloid journalists, and not start any scientific discussion with them..

      On my side, this is the last word I add to this topic, not to contribute to the buzzzz itself. I just wrote what I think about
      this blogger attitude.

      • Philip Gibbs says:

        Approval by the collaboration is just one small step in the process of review that the results have to go through. Even after approval they are usually described as preliminary and we have seen recently how they can be wrong. It is not obvious why the approval step should be taken as a particularly significant point by an outside observer, especially since we are not usually informed about it when it happens.

  13. someone at CMS says:

    “Since it apparently was not intended to be public I wont show any more of the plots on the slides and I apologize if I unwittingly caused anyone any embarrassment.”

    Just remove the plot and the blog entry altogether. That’s the right thing to do, and it shows you are being honest when “apologizing”.

    • nobody says:

      Why play the spoilsport instead of put the interesting preliminary plots and results on a puplic place such that everybody interested can look at and enjoy them in these exciting times ?

      Sourballs and their followers should of course be excluded from the access to it …

      I want this plot to stay here 🙂 …


      • Fede says:

        Because that plot is SO out in any of its prediction that can easily spoil any future CMS work.
        That’s why internal review of the analyses is not easy and it’s a FUNDAMENTAL step in the publishing of any REAL physics result.
        Publish a not carefully reviewed plot and do speculation about it has nothing to do with science and still less to do with physics.

        Sorry to say that, but I am sadly surprised by the lack of professionalism and scientific approach of the theoretical community following this blog

      • Luboš Motl says:

        Fede, could you please mention at least one thing in which the graph is wrong, and the argument that exactly led you to make the conclusion?

        We have more detailed partial plots as well so we might be willing to check whether your ideas make any sense.

      • Fede says:

        Well, this plot is supposed to show 95% exclusion limits for the SM Higgs boson comparing background predictions in the Null and test hypothesis. So can be risky to draw conclusions about physics different than the SM Higgs boson only on the basis of this plot.
        Furthermore some reasons of the M_inv spectrum are surely well known in all their processes (SM). An expectation always out with respect to the prediction, means only a problem in the background understanding from the CMS experiment. Especially if the region of disagreement extends more than 100GeV! No resonance can produce such a wide effect, unless my resolution is really really poor, I completely miss the energy scale of the leptons coming from ZZ, or I miss a large background contribution (I hope not for CMS….).
        Finally keep in mind that a 3 sigma fluctuation is something statistically BIG, it means a probability<0.001, physics want to stay on the safe side but you can't say that all your points in that exclusion limit are statistical fluctuations, by the experimental point of view it doesn't make any sense… you are simply doing something really wrong.
        That's why internal plot are meant to be internal, this is (hopefully) just a work in progress and any conclusion about it is just that they have more work to do, absolutely not new physics.

  14. kevin says:

    I really don’t understand why a scientist would like to hide some knowledge, the obviously right thing to do is to put the slides back online. CMS is a public colaboration, the knowledge has to be public. Look at arxiv or vixra, this is a little step toward a more generalized to academic knowledge. A step further is to put the slides back online.

    • Luke says:

      Yes and no. Every result will be published at some point but you can’t publish results you which can be wrong!

      If you publish wrong results you basically shoot yourself in the foot because you will loose credibility in the long run.
      This is why not everything is open to public. It is not to hide knowledge but to make sure that what we see is really there and not just a mis-understood process, a ‘feature’ of the detector or a simple bug in the analysis code.

      I hope this is understandable.


  15. Experimentalist says:

    Keep in mind that these plots are quite hard to get right – but any CMS member has ability to make them using a simple statistics tool and access to data and simulations, and this includes fresh summer students at the LHC. Therefore save your breath for later. It looks as someone’s statistical exercise gone wrong.

    • Philip Gibbs says:

      “fresh summer students at the LHC”

      In this case the speaker was at the other end of the scale.

    • kevin says:

      My point is that in an ideal world, I should have access mysellf to your raw data (sure it’s an expensive dream). We are all more less scientist. We know how to make the difference between a fact and a possible fact. There is no less confidence in an unapproved graph than in a 2.5 sigmas bump published in a renown conference.

  16. Luboš Motl says:

    Dear Luke, the idea that the results are wrong because they’re not approved yet and become correct only because they are approved is a preposterous attempt to transform physics into a cult that worships infallible committees of Holy Fathers.

    One can show lots of papers – in experimental HEP physics and elsewhere – which were perfectly approved and wrong, too. There is really no good reason why this particular graph should be more wrong than the average approved one.

    • Nello Nappi says:

      I think that this comment is rather superficial. Large collaborations use a process with many steps to scrutinize results that entail the responsibility of a large group of people. Committees is one of these steps. Making results public before the process is terminated is apt to generate noise of all kinds, going from the gossip to the crazy theoretical models. I do not think you are arguing that there are positive aspects to noise. If you do, I would be interested to listen to your arguments.

      This is not to say that committees are infallible. It just certifies that the process is concluded when committees have “blessed” a particular result. The result can still be right or wrong, but only after this last step, it can be ascribed to the responsibility of the collaboration.

    • Luboš Motl says:

      Dear Nello,

      neither Phil nor I are ascribing any “responsibility to the collaboration”. The relevant Higgs cross sections underlying this Phil’s article were prepared by the Higgs CMS Cross Section team, if you care about such things. I am interested in these results because of the physics, namely the pure data found by a detector, not because of some responsible or irresponsible committees’ social mumbo jumbo which I find utterly annoying, having served in dozens of usually idiotic committees at Harvard. There are some people who have a capacity to really correct errors and they’re usually in the core of the teams doing the work.

      When I see that a collaboration has been actually failing or overstating their results, I will not trust the collaboration much, but this is not the case here – first because it’s a very new result and everyone knows that; second because it is likely to be valid – but I also think that the EPS talks will already be based on more complete data than what we have today.

      It’s absurd to call this graph and other data behind it “gossip” or “noise”. It is the most interesting content of an LPC (LHC Physics Center) seminar at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory by the key person in the team that is evaluating these things, and I won’t tell you any more details. But the person who presented it – one of 10 most competent people in the world in this kind of search – and the context where he presented it – the 2nd most important collider in the world 😉 – is about 10 orders of magnitude more credible than everything that you and all your secretive sourball soulmates have ever written on the blogosphere combined so I find it more interesting what this guy had to tell us and not you.

      Physics is based on empirical data so it’s preposterous for you to suggest that the theorists shouldn’t care about the newest experimental results. This year is likely to be very fast and indeed, by getting more up-to-date data, theorists may gradually start to redirect their research in agreement with the data. There may be hundreds of phenomenologists in the world who will spend months working on a model that is already excluded and they could know if they paid attention to the newest data. And on the contrary, some theorists may be on the right track but they’re not giving enough time to their models even though the data unknown to them may be showing that they are on the right track. This comment will be getting increasingly more important in coming weeks and months.


      • Dilaton says:

        Dear Lumo (You are completely right with the above comment) and Phil,

        Maybe You should read this 😉


        to get the interesting data and plots the spoilsports are hiding, ha ha …

        Keep both of You up Your good work

        BTW the plot is already leaked to the big sourball of sourballs as can be seen below, darn! 😦

      • Philip Gibbs says:

        Thank you dilaton, but no I will not be using any nefarious methods. Just watching the public areas of document repositories is time-consuming enough.

      • Dilaton says:

        Of course Phil,

        it was just a joke to cheer You and Lumo up …

        Have fun 🙂

      • Luboš Motl says:

        Dear Dilaton, thanks for your literature tip! 😉

        I have been banned in a computer lab as an undergrad for 2 months for showing an innocent DOS simulator to catch people’s passwords – that I had never used for any purpose – and since that time, as far as I remember, I am holier on the Internet than Jesus Christ. So let me leave the literature to others. What I am doing is a holy mission and it is not only legal: it is the most ethical thing that homo sapiens can do. So no, thank you. 😉


  17. Tony Smith says:

    As Zakarov said:
    “It wasn’t Phil’s mistake that this plot went public.”
    as Lubos said
    “There is really no good reason why this particular graph should be more wrong than the average approved one.”

    I have put some thoughts about the plot
    and its relation to my work at vixra 1106.0042
    on the web at


  18. […] Gibbs at viXra log has posted here what looks like the bottom line for CMS. They are not yet able to exclude a Higgs at lower masses, […]

    • Walter says:

      Why is this the bottom line for CMS?
      This plot has H–>ZZ at 0.9 fb^-1 and H–>WW at 0.2 fb^-1. Once the 0.9 fb^-1 data for H–>WW is added to the plot, it looks like the exclusion should go all the way down to around 130 GeV.

    • Philip Gibbs says:

      I agree, this will probably not be the plot shown at EPS-HEP, they should be able to put more data in for some channels.

  19. mr nothing says:

    The Higgs potential for a collision energy of particles is given by:

    \ V(x)=2x^{4}-(1-T^{2})x^{2}+\frac{1}{8} \

    Where T is the collision energy and x is the mass of the Higgs boson

    In a vacuum state, that is during the collision energy is 0 and when the potential V (x) = 0 (“empty”) we have:

    \ V(x)=2x^{4}-x^{2}+\frac{1}{8}=0 \

    Which brings us to:

    \ V(x)=16x^{4}-8x^{2}+1=0 \

    And this equation has 4 solutions: x = -1 / 2, -1 / 2, 1 / 2, 1 / 2

    Discarding the negative mass solutions have the mass of the Higgs boson is x / 2
    Now, as to what is x / 2?

    The answer is about the equivalent mass Higgs vacuum which is given by the Fermi constant

    1.16637 x 10 ^ -5 GeV ^ -2
    To become mass to the mass of the electron gives the following dimensionless number:

    Higgs vacuum equivalent mass = 481842.46525

    Mass of the Higgs boson would be a maximum = 481842.46525 /2

    Now you can easily show that this value of the higgs vacuum must meet the following equation:

    \ m_{vH}^{2}=(Sum\: mass\: leptons)^{2}+(Sum\: mass\: quarks)^{2}+m_{w}^{2}+m_{z}^{2}+m_{H}^{2} \

    Where: mVH = equivalent mass of the Higgs vacuum given by the Fermi constant and related to the electron mass = 481841.46525
    Boson mass Mw = w to the mass of the electron = 157332.3391

    Z boson mass Mz = to the mass of the electron = 178449.6957

    Lepton mass sum to the mass of the electron = 3684.91855
    Quark mass sum over electron mass = 347515.614091
    Solving the above equality, we have that the mass of the Higgs boson to the mass of the electron is equal to:

    SQR( 481841,46525^2 -347515,614091^2 -178449,6957^2-157332,3391^2 -3684,91855^2 ) = 234078,5299

    Since the Z boson mass = 178449.6957 times the mass of the electron and Mz = 91.1876 GeV, one has the mass of the Higgs boson is = 119.61 GeV

    It is noted that equality need 5 terms, which is related to the group SU (5) of the 5 Higgs, 2 and 3 loaded loaded, SU (2) and SU (3)

    SU (5) has dimension group = 5 ^ 2 -1 = 24 = 6 quarks leptons + 6 + 3 electroweak bosons + 1 photon + 8 gluons

    The standard model gives a value to the boson mass

    Higgs with a stranger for metro lambda:

    \ m_{H}=v\sqrt{\frac{\lambda}{2}} \

    \ \lambda=\frac{2\cdot\cos(2\pi/5)}{1+\cos(2\pi/5)} \

    the 5 Higgs bosons divide the angular space
    symmetry group SU (5) generates the standard model particles 24 with an angle:

    \[ \frac{2\cdot\pi}{5} \

    Other results of my research are these:

    \[ (1+\sin^{2}\theta w+\sin\theta w)\cdot5=\frac{2\cdot\cos(\frac{2\cdot\pi}{5})}{1+\cos(\frac{2\cdot\pi}{5})} \

    The symmetry of the icosahedron plays an important role, as well as the numbers in the Fibonacci series

    group E(8) implies Kissing number in 8 d, 240 as maximum number of sphere packing in dimension 8

    and 240/ 2 = 120 order number of symmetries of the icosahedron

    and 120 is the dimension of the group SU (11), 11 dimensions

    240 is the product of the first 6 Fibonacci numbers

    240= 1x 1x 2 x 3 x 5 x 8

    Very important: The Kissing Number of 24d is = 196560 = the product of three times the first 7 series of Fibonacci numbers

    196560= 2x ( 1x2x3x5x8x13x21)

    There are 120 particles, including their symmetrical

    120 = dim( SU(8) + [2 x dim (SU(5) ) = dim(SU(7))] +[ dim(SU(3)= 8

    gravitinos ] + U(1) ( graviton )

    dim( SU(8) ) = 28 bosons spin 1 + 35 bosons spin 0

    120 x 2 = 240 = particles + antiparticles

    There is a privileged reference frame with respect to the ratio of the masses of the particles.
    The prime reference is the electron mass, the stable particle with mass smaller load


    \ \left\lfloor \alpha^{-1}\right\rfloor =137 \

    \ \left\lfloor \ln^{2}(planck\; mass/m_{e})\right\rfloor =103\ &  103 + 137 = 240; and 103 :  latex \
    \ $

    sum of square divisors of 240, the first 6 Fibonacci numbers, and generators of symmetry groups U (1), SU (2), SU (3), SU (5) and SU (8)

    Important twin primes associated with quantum entanglement

    103 and 137 belong to pairs of twin primes

    120 = sum of a pair of twin primes = 59 + 61 (entanglement )

    The group E (8) = E (6) x SU (3) = 162 +78

    162 is the sum of consecutive states of the sum of squares of the first 6 Fibonacci numbers, divisors of the nonzero roots of E (8) = 240


    \ 1^{2}+(1^{2}+2^{2})+(1^{2}+2^{2}+3^{2})+(1^{2}+2^{2}+3^{2}+5^{2})+(1^{2}+2^{2}+3^{2}+5^{2}+8^{2})=162 \

    sum of 5 states, factorial of 5 = 120 = dimension group SU (11), 5 Higgs bosons

    An interesting result, for example:

    maximum density spheres packing in 24 dimensions

    \ (\frac{12!}{\pi^{12}}) \

    \ 120/(\frac{12!}{\pi^{12}})=\sin^{2}eff\theta_{W}(m_{Z}) \

    Dark energy density is equal maximum density spheres packing

    in 3 D:

    \ \Omega_{\Lambda}=\frac{\pi}{\sqrt{18}} \

    12 spheres, 12 icosahedron vertices, dim(SU(5))/2

    To conclude: there is a very close relationship between the group monster, the Fibonacci numbers and the structure of space-time-energy.
    Consider just a touch

    Order Monster group:

    \ 2^{^{46}}\text{·}3^{20}\text{·}5^{9}\text{·}7^{6}\text{·}11^{2}\text{·}13^{3}\cdot17\text{·}19\text{·}23\text{·}29\text{·}31\text{·}41\text{·}47\text{·}59\text{·}71 \

    Let: sum of the squares of prime numbers whose power in the order of the group M is greater than 1

    \[ 2^{2}+3^{2}+5+7^{2}+11^{2}\text{+}13^{2}=377=F_{14}=(2+3+5+7+11+13+17+19+23+29+31+41+47+59+71)-1 \

    377 = 14 Fibonacci number = 240 + 137

    (1+ 1+2+3+5+8 ) + ( 2+3+5+7+11+13 ) = 61

    120-61 = 59 ; dimension generated group M = 196883 = 47x59x71

    47+59+71 = 59 x 3

    All glory to God, creator of the universe and all that is

  20. YOU **** says:

    This plot is not ment for the general public ********. It is not an official plot, nor is it even endorsed by CERN. It is an ******* internal plot. I just got a email by the higher-ups about your ****. You should take it down you ***** **** **!

    • Philip Gibbs says:

      Dear YOU **** posting from a CERN IP (foul words removed) I think you should calm down and take some rest, you may have been working too hard lately :).

      The slides of this talk were published on the CERN document repository in a very public place that could be accessed with two clicks from the CERN indico home page. They were linked from http://lpc.fnal.gov/programs/topic/index.shtml in a way that was indistinguishable from other seminar series where new results have been announced recently. The slides had nothing to indicate that they were not approved beyond the usual “preliminary” warnings that every plot has until journal submission. They were delivered by a senior member of the CMS team. I reproduced the plot in good faith but held back from revealing everything just in case it was not intended to be public, despite all the signs indicating that it was.

      Google picked up on it as quickly as I did and the slides are now cached in Google in an HTML form without the images. If I had not posted so that CMS were prompted to remove the slides quickly the entire PDFs would be in the Google cache (it may yet appear because there is often a delay) so my actions have probably saved CMS from a bigger leak, not made it worse as some have suggested.

      There is no point in me retracting the plot now when it has been seen by a large number of physicists. Also I am not held under any conditions by CMS or any other research institution and would not be doing anything wrong even if I were to show more details. I do not make any money out of it. I expend a lot of effort keeping people informed of LHC progress in a positive way without any prospect or expectation of recognition, favours or even thanks from CERN or any other body involved

      This plot being public does not do any harm. It is just a Higgs exclusion plot, not the whereabouts of secret agents. CMS has a lot more to show us in two weeks time at EPS-HEP and this plot will probably be superseded by then, so relax and be grateful that there is so much public interest in your work. It is because of that interest that people are willing to fund it well. Very few people have that luxury these days

      • Ray Munroe says:

        My opinion for what it’s worth – This is a cool plot, but >2 sigma is not sufficient to declare any kind of discovery. I would love to see an official CERN plot like this with 4 or 5 sigma bounds and all current data.

        Have Fun!

      • algernon says:

        How sad Philip, the rudest comment of them all coming straight from CERN… ok they’re directly involved, but 1) it was their mistake and 2) one always hopes they can show higher standards of behaviour than this.

        FWIW l just wanted to show my support for you.
        You kept your cool and were extremely kind to everyone, including people who didn’t really deserve an answer.
        Thank you, I’m proud to be one of your readers.

    • Willard Mittelman says:

      Maybe the folks at CERN think they’re protecting themselves by lashing out at Phil, but to me it just makes them look petty and mean-spirited, and it diminishes my respect for them. Not the best public-relations work, guys.

    • Luboš Motl says:

      Dear You ****,

      could you please sketch what is happening in your skull and the chemistry of your hormones? I am a bit interested in biology and I would like to know something about the hormones of lower life forms that happen to survive at CERN.

      Phil, it’s kind of interesting that despite my blog’s 4 times higher traffic relatively to yours, I didn’t get any hate mail or complaints from similar **** *** who have **** and **** with ***** through their ****** every night, producing **** **** along the way. As you can imagine, Phil, I am jealous.

      To summarize, *** your **** you **** CERN ***** and **** off. 🙂


      • AS says:

        In astrophysics and cosmology data are fully made public on internet. Why particle physics has this different obsolete habit?

      • Philip Gibbs says:

        The LHC will produce an estimated 15 petabytes of data which in its raw form requires expert knowledge to process. We don’t expect them to put this online.

        They are publishing results as quickly as they can approve them. Results are coming out much faster than some astrophysical surveys, e.g. PLANCK

        It would be nice to have more processed data in numerical form, e.g. plots in tabular data form. This would save theorists from having to digitise plots or request data from the authors.

        Interesting topic but not really the issue here.

      • Kea says:

        LOL, Mottle. Good one.

  21. Ervin Goldfain says:

    Accusations against Phil and viXra are unfair and outrageous. The plot was posted on the website with no disclaimer. It ought to be crystal clear that, once in the public domain, posted data can be accessed and disseminated without restrictions. It makes no difference that the plot has not been reviewed and approved by the CMS collaboration. It is entirely the author’s responsibility to indicate that the document is preliminary or protect the document from being shared with the rest of the world.


  22. YOU **** says:

    Dear friends,

    we have been informed sunday night that our internal, undigested Higgs limit plot appeared in blogs.


    After some investigations we concluded that the source was very likely a seminar held on Friday July 8 at Fermilab
    The Seminar was supposed to be internal to CMS and not approved material was shown there as it is normal in these cases.
    Instructions had been given to protect the material of the seminar but, for reasons yet to be established, the slides were not protected.
    The organizers take full responsibility and apologize profoundly. We would therefore close the incident here.

    We will take every step possible to ensure this does not happen again. The really important lesson here is that we must continue to be vigilant
    on these matters. We’ll try to use this unfortunate incident to put in place additional preventive actions
    to protect internal material all over CMS. We remind everybody that Indico pages for talks where internal material is even only occasionally shown
    should be protected by default.

    Now back to the preparatory work for EPS/LP
    Best regards

    Guido and Teresa

    • Luboš Motl says:

      Guide and Teresa at least understand that the story is over and they can’t do anything about this particular episode.

      Much more generally, however, I don’t think that the members of the CMS Collaboration “possess” the LHC data. The LHC data are the main product of a $10 billion investment they didn’t pay for and those ten billions were not donated to a small group of people for their private games, either.

      They still belong to the public – in reality, the scientific public only because no one else cares – and the ATLAS/CMS physicists have only been hired to evaluate the data, without being given any exclusive rights. They’re also being paid by the taxpayers which also means that they’re giving up exclusive copyrights for their work.

      Above, Phil has explained why the (huge) raw data can’t be made fully public. But some of their “projections” and simplified statistics can be made public and were made public in this case. For example, the graph above is still the result of a straightforward evaluation of the collisions that Mother Nature managed inside the CMS detector – and the latter device wasn’t paid for by the CMS Collaboration.

      So the CMS physicists should stop their outrageously arrogant behavior suggesting that they’re the exclusive owners of the data. They’re not.


    • Philip Gibbs says:

      The above internal mail to the CMS collaboration explains why the post got 3000 extra hits. Only one of them feels the need to post nasty attacks here.

      Some further messages from this person have been deleted and comments may be temporarily placed on moderation while I am not here to monitor them.

      “The organizers take full responsibility”

      So there is no implication in there that I was at fault. The material was leaked in a public place for inexplicable reasons. It would have been picked up by others in a few days when it appeared on Google if not before. I was just the one who noticed it first.

      Hopefully this person calling himself “YOU ***” will stop now or I will have to reveal the IP and time of the first post which came from CERN, and that might spoil someones career.

  23. Mr. Nothing,

    I acknowledge your post here as being very close on the right track of how we should enhance the new physics. The truths in science should not be a private thing in which ideas can be considered as something one can steal- can anyone patent the universe?

    I have some of the same sort of thoughts lately on my blog efforts. Perhaps there are as many true theories as their are some many world statistics to consider, and each one has a graph that strives for actuality to control the evolving scientific consensus.

    But no one seems to have recognized the deeper core of the problem and why some things we have not found- if we do not then the bloggers at least have alternative explanations- yet these do not seem to resonate with some minds talking to the empty wind- so I, another not particularly anybody myself has heard you.

    The PeSla

  24. mr nothing says:

    Thank you very much, I agree with his views

  25. […] éste que ha aparecido en un seminario el 8 de julio y del que se ha hecho eco Philip Gibbs en “Higgs Exclusions at 900/pb,” viXra log, 9 July 2011. La figura muestra la gran ventaja del LHC sobre el Tevatrón para […]

  26. […] on the Higgs are to be announced tomorrow afternoon (an early version of the CMS results leaked here). A combination of results from the two camps will be done after the conference, planned to be […]

  27. […] is no longer looking so over-optimistic, but the vagaries of the LHC systems will have their say. Higgs Exclusions at 900/pb viXra log […]

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