Higgs rumour anaylsis points to 125 GeV

13 December: please follow the live blog for up-to-date news

A rumour that reached our comment section suggests that a signal for the Higgs boson has been seen at 125 GeV with 2-3 sigma significance. This would be a great result if confirmed because at this mass the standard model has problems with vacuum stability that are likely to require supersymmetry or something similar to stabilize. If on the other hand the Higgs were at 140 GeV we would be left with a simple but unsatisfying model that could exist without modification up to energies well beyond anything we can explore in man-made experiments. In other words we might never be able to detect anything new. A Higgs that is just 15 GeV lighter is a different story altogether, so theorists will be very happy if that is the answer.

A statement by the CERN DG circulated to staff says that the results that will be released on 13th December will be inconclusive. This means that a 5 sigma signal is not yet available. A Higgs signal at 140 GeV would probably be conclusive, at least with the 10/fb of data combined, but of course the combination has not yet been done. In other words, the inconclusion is consistent with the lighter mass but not conclusively. Another rumour says that the signal is only seen  in the diphoton end state for both experiments. This again suggest the lighter mass because anything in the range 130 GeV to 150 GeV would show up strongly in the ZZ to 4lepton channel but 125 GeV wont. Oddly enough the diphoton channels up to 3/fb combined showed no excess at 125 GeV, but events at this mass would be very rare and if there is a signal it will be just a few events on the 10/fb sample.

It has to be said that the best way to foil rumours is to spread false rumours, but the consistency of the rumours we have suggests that they are genuine. The only thing I know that counts against them is that the Tevatron search in the bb mode shows no signal at 125 GeV where they have good reach. This could have been just bad luck. Even so it will be interesting to see the whole plots which might have other potential signals at higher energy. A Higgs at 125 GeV may well be accompanied by other heavier Higgs states that may show only a partial signal, either because they have the possibility to decay into the lighter Higgs or because they have odd CP (rather than the even CP of the standard model Higgs)

With an inconclusive signal the combination of results from ATLAS and CMS is all important. Approximate combinations of the type I have been doing will be good indicators but only the carefully prepared official combination can lead to a definitive result. Last month I looked at best fits to the combined summer data and found the 140 GeV signal to be best. If I do a fit to a two Higgs model I get a second one at 128 GeV. The lighter peak at 119 GeV favoured by Italian bloggers has error bars too big to grab the second place.  It is going to be very interesting to repeat this with the 10/fb of data and see if both of these signals survives the fit.

One last thing worth mentioning is that the gfitter calculations have been estimating 125 GeV for the Higgs mass for some time as the best fit. Well done to them. This would mean that if it is confirmed at that mass, no further physics is required at this energy to account for precision tests. On the other hand, gfitter calculations also fit doublet models well to the data so other physics is not ruled out either.

Another piece of good news is that the results meeting on 13th December will be webcast. Unless they enlist the services of a heavy-duty streaming service their normal webcast channels will certainly be overwhelmed by the public interest  in this event which has already been reported by the BBC, Telegraph, Guardian, and many others.

Update 3-Dec-2011: Some clarification at NEW is that ATLAS has a 3 sigma excess at 126 GeV while CMS has a smaller excess at 126 GeV, perhaps 2 sigma, both in diphoton channels. These are close enough to combine to give a 3.5 sigma. That would be enough to claim an “observation” but is well short of “discovery”. There will be interest in whether other channels such as ZZ or WW add anything to the result. By the end of 2012 they will have up to four times the data which is enough to multiply the significance by two if the signal holds up. ( I am assuming that the results to be shown on the 13th will use the full 5/fb collected this year. It could be less. )

Update: The latest version of the rumour at NEW gives 3.5 sigma in ATLAS and 2.5 sigma in CMS which amounts to about 4.3 sigma combined for the 10/fb. This is about right for the expected significance at this mass.

Tommaso’s post at QDS is worth reading but we will need to wait until the official announcement for his analysis because he knows too much.

Update 4-Dec-2011: Nature blog has an interesting snippet of news about the rumours including a comment from Bill “Nonsense” Murray who says that ATLAS collaboration approvals will (hopefully) be finalized at a meeting on 7th December, followed by management approvals.

Update 6-Dec-2011: The latest report from PhysicsWorld is also worth reading. Ian Sample from the Guardian has elicited some interesting comments from well-known physicists

Update 8-Dec-2011: The BBC has run another story including an interview with John Ellis and a quote from Sergio Bertolucci that “I think we may get indications that are not consistent with its non-existence.” As director of research at CERN Bertolucci is likely to be one of a very small number of people who have officially seen both sets of results from CMS and ATLAS.

83 Responses to Higgs rumour anaylsis points to 125 GeV

  1. Ervin Goldfain says:

    The immediate question is: what if SUSY does not show up after all? What is then the stabilization mechanism that favors a 125 GeV Higgs?


    • i believe not the boson of higgs exist in the nature.as calculated by peter higgs,and that maybe there are several bosons of higgs in several energy scales.then the decayment of that boson could be observed in differents energy scales.the symmetry breaking appear of different forms.to several energy fields.

  2. Kea says:

    Oh FFS, there are no fairies. Obviously these are false rumours.

    • Indeed, if the status is “unconclusive”, I will held to it at least up to four sigmas. Meanwhile, I expect that the measuremente happens to be a zino or a wino. At all, it is very near of the W and Z…

  3. If there is a 125 G Higgs which can be produced with the Y collision energy, then any event with Yi > Y collision energy can have a non-zero probability (Pi) of producing this Higgs. Thus, the summation of NiPi for all Yi > Y should be the total signals for this Higgs in our data (Ni is the number of events at Yi) in addition to the direct measurement.

    Is the current bump at 125 G including the NiPi data?

  4. Cliff H says:

    “Obviously” Kea? I dont think so. The rumors before the last observation of CP violation were spot on.

    For what its worth, Woit is independently confirming the same thing on his blog.

    • Kea says:

      Cliff, we have put up with years of false rumours regarding fairies, and just like the first 100 times, they are obviously false.

      • Kea says:

        Moreover, I agreed with the LHCb rumours, just like I agreed with the FTL neutrino rumours. Let’s say I am selective.

      • Nick says:

        “Cliff, we have put up with years of false rumours regarding fairies, and just like the first 100 times, they are obviously false.”

        Hey let’s say science says, “We’ve discovered plasma-based parasitical lifeforms.” It’s not that improbable.

      • Noname says:

        Rather than selective I would call you clueless.

  5. kneemo says:

    Interesting rumors. E6 models usually have a light higgs in 120-135 GeV range.

    • Kea says:

      Yeah, that really narrows it down, humph.

      • Nick says:

        I think the problem is the Higgs Boson’s spin of 0. A particle with a non-composite spin of 0 just has something wrong about it. It may be completely motionless.

      • Paul Hoiland says:

        Not so much motionless. Personally I have long tended to like the idea it could be a composite even though I would love to see it be found, especially in a range that extends physics. One reason is the SM’s failure on bringing gravity into quantum theory. However, even with composite ideas the SM is not so much wrong,since the Higg’s would exist even if trapped as part of a hidden background. It’s more that the SM is part of a bigger more complete picture.

      • Nick says:

        Paul, I don’t mean the theory is wrong, I mean if they manage to create one, something would be wrong with it.

        Anything non-composite with a spin of 1 that is stable has no mass, has no volume, and likes to move at the speed of light. If it has mass, it is an unstable virtual particle and has a half-life so small it has to be measured in scientific notation.
        Anything non-composite with a spin of 1/2 has mass, has volume, and moves below the speed of light.

        So something non-composite with a spin of 0 should behave really weirdly. Extrapolating it would be infinite mass, infinite volume, and no motion, but that surely can’t be right. Since a Higgs Boson is synthesized, it’ll obviously not have infinite mass and infinite volume and therefore be unstable.

        But since it only interacts with mass, then it might be only as detectable as a graviton is.

      • Paul Hoiland says:

        There is a whole aspect of the Higg’s that has always led me to see it as a composite. The original idea of it beingh something particles with mass swallow, it being the marking post for where the arrow of spin points to etc. It is an odd thing indead even if there has to be something that generates mass. Only reason I would love them to find it especially in the right range goes back to M-Theory being so without proof even with the SM having problems. Find something for once that narrows the whole field down to one set of solutions.

  6. 1111 says:

    I don’t think you should use the error of signal strength fitted to data to judge which excess is significant. In the case that you calculate significance, you should get the the error of signal strength fitted to expected background. However, you don’t have these information.

    • Philip Gibbs says:

      I am using the approximation that the PDF is flat normal. This worked well enough for the combination and it means that you don’t have to worry about the size of the signal to background ratio. Of course a better analysis can be done if you have access to the exact PDF but this is the best that can be done with the published data.

  7. Nick Lewis says:

    I remember season 4 of the show Lexx.

    790: It makes little difference whether or not you destroy this planet [the earth]. It is a classic type 13 planet, which typically destroys itself about this stage in its development.

    Xev: How?

    790: Sometimes through war. Often through environmental catastrophe. But more commonly, a type 13 planet is unintentionally collapsed into a pea-sized object by scientists trying to determine the mass of the Higgs Boson particle.

    (In the final episode of Season 4, the Higgs Boson mass turned out to be a repeating 13131313131313)

  8. It seems that most of us believing that if there is something there it i must be Higgs. We are slaves of our preconceptions.

  9. Combine, lets say, these 2.8, 1.8, and .5 sigma signals. 1 sigma is the result. It’s delightful to think about.

    • OK, it’s 1.9 sigma. Now I get 3 sigma when combining more of the latest signal values. What is delightful to think about is that there is room for exclusion of the standard understanding by next year’s new data collection.

    • What does it mean anyway when the signal plus background exceeds the detection criterion ( 2 sigma over the brown line and dashed line on the Brazil band plots)? If most of this sum is background, then the prediction has still failed.

    • Extrapolation to 4.3 sigma is possible on the two gamma plot from last month here without redrawing the data, but only if the definition of the background is changed. So will they just redraw the background?

  10. Dude says:

    Isn’t it strange that with the old data both experiments both experiments were under the expected exclusion in gamma gamma and now with 3 times the data there is a significant excess?

  11. Paul Hoiland says:

    Works by Ashoke Sen, Chris Hull, Paul Townsend, Michael Duff and John Schwarz on string theory gave rise to M-Theory. There are Type I theory, the Type II theory, and the heterotic theory as far as a search on the subject goes. The original M-Theory started out at called 11-dimensional Supergravity which invoked super symmetry itself. Some starting references:

    ^ Witten, Edward. Radio interview, Vetandets värld, Swedish public radio, 6 June 2008.
    ^ Lowe, David A. (1998) “E8 × E8 Small Instantons in Matrix Theory”
    ^ Candelas, Philip; Perevalov, Eugene; Rajesh, Govindan. (1996) “F-Theory Duals of Nonperturbative Heterotic E8 × E8 Vacua in Six Dimensions”
    ^ “The Theory Formerly Known As Strings”, p.64.
    ^ Parallel Universes; BBC/TLC
    ^ Iqbal, Amer; Neitzke, Andrew; Vafa, Cumrun (2001), “A mysterious duality”, Advances in Theoretical and Mathematical Physics 5 (4): 769–807, ISSN 1095-0761, MR1926295
    [edit] References
    Banks, T., W. Fischler, S.H. Shenker, L. Susskind (1996). M Theory As A Matrix Model: A Conjecture.
    De Witt, B.; Hoppe, J.; Nicolai, H. “On The Quantum Mechanics Of Supermembranes”, Nucl.Phys. B305:545 (1988).
    Duff, Michael J. M-Theory (the Theory Formerly Known as Strings), International Journal of Modern Physics A, 11 (1996) 5623–5642, online at Cornell University’s arXiv ePrint server [1].
    Duff, Michael J. “The Theory Formerly Known As Strings”, Scientific American, February 1998, pp. 64–69.
    Gribbin, John. The Search for Superstrings, Symmetry, and the Theory of Everything, Little, Brown & Company, 1st BACK B Edition, August 2000, pp. 177–180. ISBN 0-316-32975-4
    Greene, Brian. The Elegant Universe: Superstrings, Hidden Dimensions, and the Quest for the Ultimate Theory, W.W. Norton & Company, February 1999. ISBN 0-393-04688-5
    Kaku, Michio (December 2004). Parallel Worlds: A Journey Through Creation, Higher Dimensions, and the Future of the Cosmos. Doubleday. ISBN 0-385-50986-3, 448.
    Smolin, Lee. The Trouble with Physics, Houghton Mifflin, Mariner 2007. ISBN 0-618-91868-X
    Taubes, Gary. “String theorists find a Rosetta Stone.” Science, v. 285, July 23, 1999: 512–515, 517. Q1.S35
    Witten, Edward. “Magic, Mystery and Matrix”, Notices of the AMS, October 1998, 1124–1129.
    The Elegant Universe — a three-hour miniseries with Brian Greene on the series Nova (original PBS broadcast dates: October 28, 8–10 p.m. and November 4, 8–9 p.m., 2003). Various images, texts, videos and animations explaining string theory and M-theory. Superstringtheory.com — the “Official String Theory Web Site”, created by Patricia Schwarz. Excellent references on string theory and M-theory for the layperson and expert. Basics of M-Theory by A. Miemiec and I. Schnakenburg is a lecture note on M-Theory published in Fortsch.Phys. 54:5–72, 2006. M-Theory-Cambridge M-Theory-Caltech String Theory, Super Gravity and M-Theory on Sci-Q Sundays with Dr. Michio Kaku; The Science Channel Brian Greene on string theory at TED 2005

    Mostly the basics as can be found on many places on the Web.

  12. Paul Hoiland says:

    For the SM vacuum out of M-Theory I might suggest: arXiv:hep-th/0001101

  13. Nichol says:

    sounds like a small number, pretty spectacular events. All depends on how well they were measured, how clean the signature, and how much background there is. Funny to see how theorists are already selling bearskins at the point when only a possible track of the bear has been seen. Even though we’re pretty sure it must be somewhere around these woods.

  14. Frank says:

    Is this going to be the Higgs boson or the 4th quark family b’ fermion? In this energy range a b’-b’bar produces gamma-gamma also. I suppose a determination of the original particle(s) may be difficult without significant analysis.

    • Philip Gibbs says:

      They don’t try to determine the original particle for individual events. They just predict how many events are expected from all processes not involving the Higgs or other unknown particles and call that the background. Then they count the number they see and if there are more than the background then they know they have something new. If the number of extra events is as predicted for the Higgs in each decay mode then they know that the seen unknown is the Higgs.

  15. Jin He says:

    I am afraid that THE HERO OF ALL PHYSICS is an indian!!!

    Will the center stage of Human Civilization return to eastern Asia?

    I foresee the bright asia full of fresh air and healthy souls.

    • Philip Gibbs says:

      Very nice but there are bound to be a few people that predicted the right mass to within a GeV because there are lots of theories and only a small reasonable mass range. I am afraid they need to do more than just get the Higgs mass about right to confirm their theory convincingly.

      • Jin He says:

        Yes but I see the Indian’s points to the basic principle of mother Nature whereas the others not!

        I am confident that the 126Gev is a truth. Would you please blog a list of 126Gev theories? People would thank you much more for the list than your graphs of combinations.

        Anyway, you are already a hero of the world, which I know. You dont need to answer my quest. We are grateful for what you do for the scientific progress than the “””elites””” did.

      • Philip Gibbs says:

        The survey at http://arxiv.org/abs/0708.3344 is a lot of fun. The best hit was http://arxiv.org/abs/0912.0208, but other predictions including the one from the 4 color theorem must be missing.

      • Alejandro Rivero says:

        In Woit’s blog, one Kahana revindicates their paper http://arxiv.org/abs/hep-ph/9312316 in its first version before PRD publication. And also a previous PRD using composites, http://prd.aps.org/abstract/PRD/v43/i7/p2361_1 and giving Weinberg angle, top and higgs mass ranges.

        I am not checking if it is related, but a naive composite model from Hans de Vries in 2005 built a quartic equation whose positive solutions have the quotient of Weinberg angle, and the negative solutions were at values 176.16 GeV and 122.38 GeV. It is at PhysicsForums, but I reported the results in hep-ph/0606171

      • Hmm, Hans composite implies also a mass sum rule for top (or vacuum/sqrt(2)),Higgs, W and Z, namely
        (h^2-W^2)/(t^2-Z^2)=3/8. Funny, because its origin is totally different of the GUT (Z^2-W^2)/Z^2=3/8

  16. What I do not understand, how is that CERN has not offered you and Peter to enter as official bloggers for some team? That would impose silence on you too 😀

  17. tulpoeid says:

    So, how does it feel feeding on the newest and the newest rumour?
    Are there soft and hard rumours?
    Are there lab rumours and kitchen rumours?
    Do the old rumours apologize when they die or is it considered impolite? (Ok, the last one doesn’t fit the theme, but whatever. Actually, it rather fits the theme of string theory.)

    • Paul Hoiland says:

      Actually, the real findings awaite the 12th. But as far as rumors go this is a good one with some graph evidence behind it.

  18. number26 says:

    Light Higss = 119.631 Gev

    Light Higss = Vacuum Higss ( 246.2212 Gev) / SQR( sqr(5) +2) )

    Second Higgs = 136.5958 Gev = Vacuum Higss ( 246.2212 Gev) x SQR( tan(2PI/5) /10 )

  19. Fascinating. People is reporting _observations_ of rumours. It could make a nice physics.soc-ph paper.

    • Kea says:

      Indeed, it boggles the mind that anyone could take such rumours seriously.

    • in that region must not exist the boson of higgs.i believe that are just signals of ” ghost fields”f chocks of particles.i think that that boson og f higgs must to be multiples fields into of spacetime,symmetry breaking in differents energy level-perhaps superpartners-or extradimensions.
      do not belive that there are fields that create mass to the particles.but small strings that vibrate in the quantic quantic with
      several energy states and these reasonances generate the
      different masses observed by us in the spacetime-it is each particles vibrates in a frequency only one-the strings nor particles are reality

  20. Paul Hoiland says:

    Ever wonder if the Bell State has implications for our search for the Higg’s.

  21. Albert Z says:

    Has theoretical physics entered its Tower of Babel era?

    I would say we are already well into it.

    But I am not a celebrity physicist.

    Maybe Brian Greene or one of his infinite doppelgangers from the multiverse can answer the question

    Albert Z

    • Paul Hoiland says:

      If you mean by Tower of Babel too many answers then yes, in some ways. It is part of the reason the whole thing needs narrowed down. Other than that with an infinite set of solutions it would be pure luck to find the exact right solution.

  22. It’s a non quantum sub ev world out there. Gravitation and mass are due to a very different form of particle or particles, no resemblance with Higgs. Look for DCE research in Sweden, if you want to see the shape of the things to come. Eventually STR will be marginalized and space and mass will be seen as interchangeable.

    • Kea says:

      Bullshit. The world is far more quantum than you realise. Researchers at Oxford have now entanglement diamonds of macroscopic size.

      • Simplicity says:

        What is interesting though, in my opinion, is that there is so many that doesn’t understand the simple physical process behind how the spin of two particles can be entangled with immediate/superluminal effect even though they are far, far away from eachother !? The physical answer to this is extremely simple.

    • Paul Hoiland says:

      I think he forgets that the whole basis of DCE is founded upon the zero point field out of quantum states itself. Sure, gravity can be viewed as emergent from interactions with it. But you still have to turn to the quantum world to even derive any real understanding of the ZPF itself.

  23. plm says:

    I posted the following at Tommaso Dorigo’s blog, about graphs such as the “Brazil-band” one in this post, but nobody replied so I try here, I would really appreciate comments or references.

    “There is one thing I have wondered about several times regarding Higgs exclusion graphs:
    The reference cross-section is the standard model’s but how stable are those graphs and the resulting exclusion regions under perturbation of the standard model?

    To explain myself:
    We start from a standard theory (SM) which has clear parameters (couplings, etc.), then we may consider perturbations of usual parameters, like masses of other particles, but there are other possibilities like adding particles, e.g. axions, or a 4th neutrino, or supersymmetric extensions, or GUTs. (Some of those perturbations can only be made “discretely” I think, though I could not give an example so I am not too sure.)
    For each perturbation parameter we may predict cross sections in a given channel. Then we have as many dimensions as parameters, for which to plot observed cross section upper bounds relative to prediction, \sigma/\sigma_T (\sigma_T denotes the theoretically predicted cross section for theory T, that is a parameter).
    The typical plot shows 1 dimension = 1 parameter, the Higgs mass, assuming the SM for all other parameters (with best fits provided by the Particle Data Group’s review I guess).

    So how do our hypothesis testing vary in function of those other parameters?
    Some theories will be totally unlikely but there are plenty of small changes to the standard model which are very reasonable given current experimental data, of all origins.

    My background in physics is weak so I’d appreciate any explanation or opinion.”

    Thanks in advance.

    • Philip Gibbs says:

      It is a good question because a lot of people assume that if no signal for a Higgs is seen on these plots then that would mean that it does not exist. In fact the analysis makes the assumption that the standard model is the correct baseline to work from. This is a reasonable thing to do because they will be very happy to see any divergence from that, but it means they have to be careful in interpreting results. For example if there is another particle as yet unobserved that the Higgs could decay into but which itself is hard to detect, then the Higgs may be hard to see even if it is there.

      Any modified version of the underlying model would change the background prediction by a lot. For the most part they are interested in anything that would be different from the standard model so they start from there and check to see if the experiment matches. If it deviates at any point then they can take that as a cue to try fitting to something else.

      Some variations of unknown parameters within the standard model may have an effect but it is small. These uncertainties have to be included in the plot, but most parameters that affect the Higgs cross-sections such as masses of Z,W, top and other decay products are quite well known now.

      They do also try different models even before they find a deviation to see what is excluded. For example the standard model with a 4th generation is often used as an alternative and in this case the Higgs is ruled out at almost every mass. Variations with Higgs multiplets, composite Higgs etc are likely to be looked at more if and when some deviation is seen that may not look like a simple SM Higgs.

    • plm says:

      Thanks alot.

      My understanding:
      There is alot of ad hoc statistical exploration, for instance varying SM parameters, which presumably lowers the 95%CL exclusion region from Higgs boson nondetection at each mass, but also much less well understood ones such as composite Higgs.

      So we must believe that we have explored all possibilities for Higgs-like decay (e.g. to bb) if we find a Higgs-like signal (using various channels to increase our confidence). I guess this is the easy part as the Higgs looks rather peculiar so all imaginable theories would yield only particles that we could differentiate from the Higgs from current data.
      I suppose excluding decays of the Higgs, and nondetection, looks more difficult though. Especially if we look at weak signals. A slight variation of the SM, e.g. a rare decay of the Higgs, may lower the real cross-section just enough for us to start writing headlines that there is no Higgs and the LHC was a waste of money.

      In any case it sounds like there is really alot at stake not to regularly remind those (difficult to quantify) alternatives you mention.
      I don’t know… It puzzled me very much, thanks alot for the clarification.

  24. Cliff H says:

    Thought Id point out: If we’re taking the rumors reported at NEW seriously, then it should be mentioned that those reports have the smaller CMS signal at 124 rather than 126 GeV.

  25. mfrasca says:

    Whar really escapes me in all this mess about rumors on a 125-126 GeV Higgs particle is why did Tevatron not see anything at that specific value with a well larger dataset?

    • Philip Gibbs says:

      It is a number of things, (1) their collision energy is less, so less Higgs Bosons are produced for the same luminosity (2) their energy resolution and angular coverage is not so good so that they cannot separate signal from background so well (especially diphoton). (3) possibly some bad luck with the statistics.

      Their best hope was the bb channels where they do better than the LHC. The reach they got to was not quite sufficient to show much beyond 1.5 sigma significance at 125 GeV. With bad luck this can be lost under the statistics while good luck would have produced a small signal. The full analysis with some improved techniques may yet catch a hint.

      It is also still possible that it is not there. We don’t expect the LHC signal to be conclusive.

  26. Neutrinoes and Higgs both cannot coexist — either one has to be wrong. It’s DCE research and supeluminal speed which has the potential of breaking current scientific barriers, rather than finding a nebulous statistical dual peak for a Higgs, which well could be due to many other anomalies, one that LHC could not decipher is that of the UFOs.

  27. Wilhelmus de Wilde says:

    If the Higgs boson is found, it is to said resposible for the mass of a particle.
    I was explained that the mass of a particle is comparable with our own movement in acrowd, the denser tha crowd the more difficult it is to make speed, so the more mass you have. In fact it is not the particle who has the mass but it is the amount of Higgs bosons around that are at the origin of mass. Ver understandable, only the problem here is that every particle has its own very specific mass, so its own specific amount of Higgs bosons around it, at aspecific density.
    This means that each particle has to have its own specific sort of magnetism (I call it magnetism, but it must be some field) that attracts the Higgs bosons nececerry to create its mass.
    This kind of mechanism is nececerry because there are particles with less mass then the Higgs boson.
    We are very busy finding the Higgs but should’nt we also be busy with further explaing the mass theory itself ? I am not a professional phycisist but I think that once we found the Higgs , then what is the origin of the field that is the cause of the Higgs clouds around particles ? If this view is right it means that every particle has a cloud of Higgs around it or a Higgs field this also means that ther must be a so called “bow shock” when a particle is “moving” , it drags along its own cloud og Higgs bosons.
    If this is right then massless particles like neutrino’s can perhaps indeed move faster as the speed of light, their locality is not interfered with the Higgs bosons cloud.

    keep on thinking free


    • The alternative view of mass (momentum actually) is that it is a derived property of curved spacetime, with conservation theorems that are also derived (the Bianchi identities), and with the realization that spacetime is curved merely because it is allowed by the premise of spacetime, the metric.

      My original view was that the Higgs boson is not then necessary, that with no spin and no charge there is nothing to quantize, no particular mass. So a complicated spectrum would imply a limit on the reality of the isospin and hypercharge that is imputed to the Higgs boson.

      • D R Lunsford says:

        Michael, Afsar Abbas had a paper some time ago in which the hypercharge and isospin of the Higgs could be picked arbitrarily and the SM dynamics are not changed.


        You will probably find this paper very interesting. After reading it, I was convinced that the simple Higgs would not be seen. The Higgs has a role similar to the interpretation of a Lagrange multiplier in Lagrangian mechanics as a sort of fictitious force, which is just right to enforce the constraint mediated by the multiplier. So for example, a ball rolling on a sphere can be thought of as experiencing a mysterious “sphere force” that keeps it on the surface. The Lagrange multiplier’s value is just this force. So the Higgs has a similar role, its hypercharge and isospin can be whatever they must be to allow the Higgs to play its role in the generation of boson masses.


  28. Thanks! “Higgs is a ghost” “no electric charge in the early universe”
    Afar Abbas

  29. wl59 says:

    This corresponds to the understanding, that the primary natural forces and corresponding dimensions are two aspects of one and the same. The inertia should exist as a property of the dimension of a spatial extension, which rised and develops itself away from the previous dimension of time with a ‘relative speed’ of c , what for itself puts the condition that nothing ‘connected’ or localizable in this dimension could get a velocity (or a proportion between intervals expressed in these both coordinates) bigger than that because otherwhise it could a) reach and influence the causal origin of its dimension, and also b) ultrapass its dimension and stay in its causal future. In these two dimensions (of time and extension), this ‘relative speed’ of c among these dimensions themselves appears us as the expansion of the space. Generally, it is the proportion of their elementary units, c = lpl / tpl , but which is valid until biggest scales of the size and age of these dimensions (ignoring details like the form or metric coefficients), R ~ cT , where the elementary units, formally something like a lengh-density, have the meaning of their global average action (or event) density. For example, no matter if a Planck-wave, mini-black-hole, normal-black-hole, galaxy-nucleus-black-hole, universe, the lengh density of any closed space is always M/R ~ c²/G, and this seems to be a property of the space itself (so that the ‘flatness paradox’ is no paradox at all), no matter if open or closed. This is a property of the dimension itself, independently if there are empty or accumulations like energy or matter. The inertia, that nothing can pass c, inclusive the lorenz transformations, is a property of the (sufficiently) one-dimensional extension relatively to the time, in smallest and in biggest scale, and has nothing to do with the question and characteristics of perhaps existing or not-existing particles (which alias appears many elementary times after the effectuation of time and space, but time and space had already these properties since their own beginning)

  30. Alejandro Rivero says:

    Can we guess the LHC results from our own logs? In my site, and in academia.edu, the last two weeks have seen an increment of searches for keywords such as “two photons”, “decay two gamma”, “three leptons susy” and so on. Check your own Analytics and see if there is some smoke. Hits from .edu and .cern.ch score double 😀

    • Nigel Cook says:

      Alejandro, suppose that you see two gamma rays with a combined energy 126 GeV or whatever.

      The key problem for the “Higgs boson” havign mass is that parity violation in SU(2). This is what explicitly breaks the U(1) X SU(2) electroweak symmetry: SU(2) is left-landed.

      The usual (confused) textbook “explanation” for the Higgs boson case is that the Higgs boson is a Nambu-Goldstone boson derived from spontaneous symmetry breaking, but that’s wrong because spontaneously breaking U(1) X SU(2) gives massless Nambu-Goldstone bosons.

      It’s only because the symmetry is supposedly broken explicitly due to SU(2) parity violation as well as spontaneously, that you’re supposed to get mass terms in the lagrangian which give a massive Higgs boson, rather than just a massless Nambu-Goldstone boson.

      If we dump the idea U(1) is electromagnetism, and treat it as quantum gravity/dark energy, and switch electromagnetism to SU(2) with massless bosons, the symmetry breaking scene is entirely different. The fact a spin-0 pion decays into a spin-1 weak boson (apparently violating the conservation of spin angular momentum) is given by Prof. N. Nakanishi as evidence of the existence an “unobservable” Nambu-Goldstone boson.

      You can have a spontaneous but non explicit breaking of an SU(2) electroweak theory – not the U(1) X SU(2) electroweak theory – which gives a massless Nambu-Goldstone boson which we have already observed indirectly. Even if the 126 GeV gamma ray pair (or whatever LHC has seen) is correct, it’s just phlogiston-mentality to try to interpret it as evidence for a massive Higgs particle. Massless Nambu-Goldstone bosons carry energy and could also produce a similar signal. The whole story is pathetically biased hype, it seems.

      • Nigel, was not SU(2) the first idea, and Z0, and SU(2)xU(1), not getting a quote for years, until experimentalist got the first hints of weak neutral currents? If you are going to step back, you still need to explain Z0 and all its peculiar properties. So we need to buy SU(2)xU(1) as a minimum. You can go higher, to SU(5) or to SU(2) x SU(2)x some G, but betting low to SU(2) only is not convincing, Your elevator speech should always tell how do you get all the four bosons. Wplus,Wminus,Z0 and gamma.

        I like your point about the description of the decay of the pion, it could allow for other way for the calculation of such decays. It is important to think of _complementary_ descriptions. Can you imagine Schroedinger vs Heisenberg calling each “real” his formulation and that the other is fake, mistake, or so?

      • Nigel Cook says:

        Hi Alejandro, thanks. SU(2) electroweak theory was first tried in the 1956 Schwinger-Glashow Yang-Mills theory, but they got it completely wrong: they lacked partial (Glashow-Weinberg) mixing of SU(2) with U(1) gravity to produce the mass of the SU(2) bosons! They were confused.

        Instead, what Schwinger and Glashow did in their SU(2) electroweak theory was to manually assign the two charged bosons to weak interactions and the neutral boson to electromagnetism. It was a failure, and was prior to not just neutral currents (massive neutral SU(2) bosons), but was also prior to the discovery that the weak force is left-handed. Weak parity violation was discovered in 1957. The resulting theory of SU(2) electroweak interactions was not only wrong, but also a complete mess, like epicycles.

        The correct SU(2) electroweak theory mixing only gives mass to half the SU(2) bosons at low energy because the mass arises not from a “Higgs mechanism” but instead from a partial mixing of U(1) gravity with SU(2). Because the mixing is only partial, some SU(2) bosons become massive (acquire gravitational charge from U(1)), but the rest don’t and they are electromagnetic charge. This explains the handedness of the magnetic field vector in electric currents in terms of spin; weak and electromagnetic interactions are properly unified by SU(2).

    • Aspen says:

      That’s the best answer by far! Thanks for contrbtiuing.

  31. Paul Hoiland says:

    It is because they tend to relate to the narrowed down range for the Higgs, and to supersymmetry with metastable vacuum solutions.

  32. Paul Hoiland says:

    In fact, vacuum decay is one possible way to account for a related issue out of Cern with the Neutrinos.

  33. Nigel Cook says:

    It’s starting to generate newspaper reports. There’s a report out today by Jeff Forshaw (co-author of Brian Cox of The Quantum Universe: Everything That Can Happen Does Happen) in the pro-groupthink Observer newspaper that the Higgs boson will be “unveiled (possibly)” this week:


    I shouldn’t give my view here but Phil is free to delete my comment: once you name a speculative particle or substance ahead of experimental evidence, you’re biased in favour of interpreting whatever happens as that thing. Great British experimentalist Joseph Priestley interpreted his experimental discovery of oxygen as the discovery of phlogiston. French guy Lavoiser visited Priestley, duplicated his experiment, and announced the discovery of oxygen (without credit to Priestley). Lesson: prejudice (like naming a speculative particle before you have seen it) doesn’t help. (Priestley actually had no choice, because all UK experts “knew” that anyone who didn’t work in phlogiston theory was an ignorant fool who shouldn’t be listened to. The French chopped off Lavoiser’s head.)

  34. wl59 says:

    I want to remember one of the problems, which continue anyway, if there is a Higgs or not.

    Particles or any structures arose rather late. Can you imagine an early cosmos which stayed 10³⁰ , 10⁵ or only 5 elementary units – in time, extension, or something else – without any natural forces ??? No. If everything linear, what then would be the meaning of a second, third time spot, space point, and so on ?? Would it be realized if everything runs linear ? Isn’t the realization of a third time or space spot the nonlinearity itself ? If not, how exactly linear would be the realization of such a third point, and as nothing in the realization is perfect, wouldn’t mean and constitute any smallest deviation from linearity between the first three spots of any dimension a natural force belonging to that dimension ? I cannot believe that time and space could exist as ‘linear’ and producing senseless 10^xx next point in vain.

    This is one of the many considerations, which supports the opinion, that the really existing, realized natural forces and dimensions of our world are two aspects of one and the same. And that in the same manner like earlier in mechanics very different effects like planetary motion, water waves, … could be explained by a few simple rules of the mechanics and gravitation, it’s right that also the SM ‘unifies’ certain appearent ‘natural forces’ which in fact aren’t basical ones, and with things like elementary particles or other structures as by-products or subjective occurences ‘on the ocasion’ or ‘near’ any action of natural forces but not causing them, however, that there is no further unification of the really BASICAL natural forces, and this are these belonging each to one and its own dimension.

    What concerns the inertia, my opinion is that it is exclusively caused by the existence of a limit speed (nearly the light speed), and the simple fact that this limit isn’t abrupt but continuously toward it becomes more and more delayed any speed increase relatively to any other object etc etc what we know as lorentz transformations. That’s the nature of the inertia; a pure effect of the dimensions, existing also in an ’empty’ space without ‘objects’. This limit speed in turn seems to be a relationship between the two dimensions of one-dimensional Extension and of Time, as explained before, and appearently is in turn a consequence just of the quadratic form of the metric ds² = 1/A² da² – 1/B² db² + … with any dimensions a, b, … and their elementary units A, B … (ignoring form factors = metric coefficients). Thus, this metrics or observer-variance / transformation of intervals is a property of the dimensions itself, and this already in smallest scale as an omnipresent near-range interaction (Nahwirkung), inclusive for the inertia it is independent on ‘far masses’ etc. The rest mass is a simple proportional constant for any ‘object’ etc situated in that real world and its dimensions. Further consideration leads to the result, that the Proper Time should be understand as discretized and its meaning is the number of world points or events, or actions expressed in h, along a track.

    • Wilhelmus de Wilde says:

      @wL59, I like your view, sometimes I think that what we are conscious of as “reality” is the tiny part of a fractal universe, limited downwards to the planck length and upwards to the speed of light, string theory tells us that we can go deeper in the enrolled dimensions, but if you accept the limitness of the fractal WHOLE, would’nt that be easyer to understand ? In this way you could see mass as a result from the neighbouring universe, the for us not reachable lengths and timeunits. The so called singulairity of the big bang is not a singulairity at all but just a continuation of the universe in another space/time “dimension”. This could mean that the number of dimensions are infinite also, upwards and downwards, and the neighbouring dimensions are influencing our “reality”, giving birth to so called dark energy etc.

      keep on thinking free


  35. wl59 says:

    I wanted to put only one aspect of my opinion – just what refers to the nature of the inertia and mass, relevant for the Higgs boson about what we speaking here. And this is, that, according to my opinion, the inertia is a property of the space, and sufficiently of its transformation behaviour or variance (and that in turn sufficiently by the existence of a limit velocity which is something like an expansion of the space w.r.t. the time dimension, and that in turn by the metric as quadratic in the intervals expressed in their elementary units). The whole inertia isn’t a property of objects, but of the space in relation to the time, and there is no additional mechanism necessary, than what was said — most easily imaginable, the existence of a limit speed towards to that it becomes more and more dificult to approach.

    It’s right that objects have a rest mass, however, that is only a proportionality factor, so that two, three … similar objects joined have a two, three .. times bigger rest mass, and this proportional rest mass is present in all dynamical variables (or four-vector) of the line element – namely, in S=Action , E=Energy, P=Impulse, …

    This don’t exclude, that elementar particles often occure near or at the ocasion of natural forces. Effects like phonons, wave packages, wave resonances also occure normally only at the ocasion of waves. However, they don’t cause them, but are caused by them. According to my opinion, the natural forces are aspects of the limited dimensions and vice-versa; one would not exist without the other.

    In another thread of this blog, I explained already other aspects of my opinion, that is, that the dimensions and their equivalent natural forces are the collective action and aftereffects of the 1, 2, 4, … events of the same rank happening in a primordial causet. The big bang happened, yes, but it is just that (since the beginning, from smallest to biggest scales) the dimension of Space w.r.t. that of Time is a new ‘unfolding direction’ or ‘development aspect’ of the World and they have a ‘relativ velocity’ of just the quotient of their elementary units, lpl/tpl = c , what appears us as an expansion. More general, the quotient between the elementary units of two dimensions (and correspondingly the square of that of their terms in the line element) is something like a lengh density, or in turn more general an average action density of the autonome realization of these dimensions. For example, the Schwarzschild equation M ~ c²/G R means that closed (and probably also open) spaces have something like a mean lengh density of one elementary mass por elementary length so that also the empty space is ‘realized’ by a mass, and an expanding university with roughly R ~ cT means that each elementary length also is realized by one elementary time (we ignore details like metric coefficients). Thus, the elementar units have the meaning of the average interval in which each dimension’s empty space is realized by one effective action h or correspondingly by 1 event.

    With strings etc has this nothing to do. I believe that the primary and primordial dimension and its natural force are simple events and their action. For example, one action of any event is, that there can’t happen an contradictionary event which makes it unhappened, nor any event which would re-affirm any other. I believe that really News is linear independent on Old. Thus, if we understand that the world started as a causet (whose causality is just like that, that everything what exists produces something, however it’s not predetermined what), then all elements should be linear independent and not representable by others, and it is plausible that the collective actions of the 1,2,4 … events of the same rank forms the different dimensions and them corresponding primary natural forces (fundamental interactions). The first dimension (world-points/action) is discrete (not-continuous), so that the line element gives a geometrical condition which values can get the variables of other dimensions, depending on the geometry of the world of the observer and conditions for the path of the movement of the observed object in it (f.ex. , kind of observation) . According to this, also the sequence of events or world-points on a path is observer-variable. For example, in an event-like proper-frame of a photon, emission and absorption are always neighboured, but in frames of observers like us can be events between such like diffraction.

    • Wilhelmus de Wilde says:

      You indicate that the world started as a “causet”.
      Here is what I call the unexplained beginning of your very interesting scientific view, I also am struggling with a “causet” but I thought to bring it back to “consciuosness” and a non causal fifth dimension called “Total Simultaneity” , this has no beginning and no end because it is non causal.
      if interested you could read my essay on
      Thanks a lot for your very clear explanations.

      keep on thinking free


  36. wl59 says:

    It’s a personal opinion that natural forces should exist independently on particles etc, however, even so, one can observe what’s going on.

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