According to an earlier commenter on this blog, today is the cut-off date for the LHC to collect data for the ICHEP conference. Despite technical issues, overall the LHC has been “enjoying remarkable availability” Right on cue the luminosity delivered has passed the 5/fb mark promised by the operations group. The total LHC delivered luminosity is now about 11.2/fb for CMS and will soon pass the 11.87/fb total for the Tevatron run II.
Now the computer grid will light up as ATLAS and CMS push through the analysis for the Higgs and SUSY plots in time to get them approved for the massive ICHEP conference in one months time.
The schedule of talks shows that each experiment will be giving detailed talks for each individual Higgs channel (plus possibly a new H -> Z+γ analysis) using 2012 data at 8 TeV leading up to the final combinations for each experiment. They will leave it up to bloggers to complete the full combination. It is likely that they will fall just short of discovery significance in diphoton channels and combined plots for each experiment. The full combined significance for the LHC will probably pass the 5 sigma finish line but no official combination will show that. This is not certain because the statistical fluctuations are not predictable.
In the lead up to ICHEP there have been many lesser HEP conferences already but none have had data beyond 2011 available from the LHC. Even at this late stage ATLAS has added a new conference note with an update to the WW channel using multivariate analysis which improves the sensitivity from 2011 data. There have been a few interesting talks about the significance of the Higgs excess at 125 GeV and some comments about the fact that the diphoton channels are showing a stronger signal than expected while the WW channel is noticeably deficient. These irregularities are likely to be statistical but they are a sign of the interesting speculations that will follow further results.
Some questions we will be looking to answer:
- How much will the excesses seen in 2011 data be strengthened?
- Will the CMS and ATLAS peaks still be at slightly different masses?
- Will the channel branching ratios remain significantly different from standard model predictions?
- Will the 115GeV to 120 GeV window be excluded?
- Will the DG continue to call the observations just “interesting fluctuations” and get away with it?
On a slightly different topic, the 3quarksdaily blog has launched its science blog competition for 2012 which will be judged by fellow blogger Sean Carroll. About a hundred shameless bloggers have nominated themselves for the title and voting will begin for the final cut in the next couple of days. I have nominated my coverage of the December Higgs announcement so please support viXra by voting in our favour. Update: link for voting is here