Christmas Rumour

[Boxing Day Update: Indication over at NEW are that this rumour is not being backed up by other ATLAS sources. Chances are it will melt away and we will never know its origins. Update: of course it could also be that the analysis has not been communicated to the whole team yet.]

A rumour has surfaced in the comments at Not Even Wrong that ATLAS have a 5 sigma signal (local significance?) in like-sign dimuons at 105 GeV. This plot shows the relevant events from an earlier analysis with 2011 data where a small excess can already be seen.


First thoughts are of a doubly charged Higgs boson as predicted in Higgs triplet models with the potential to also explain the digamma over-excess in the Higgs decays. However, the signal is much weaker than expected for a doubly charged Higgs because CMS and ATLAS have already set lower limits around 300 – 400 GeV for H++. In a comment here yesterday on the digamma excess Frank Close pointed out that if a doubly charged Higgs is responsible for the digamma excess it should also affect the Bs to dimuon decay (see e.g. Resonaances) which is disappointingly inline with the Standard Model.

Of course the rumour could be incorrect or based on an analysis too preliminary to hold water, but if it pans out it will certainly pose an intriguing puzzle. A particle that decays to two like-signed muons must have lepton number two as well as charge two, unless the decay breaks lepton number conservation or there are missing neutrinos. It could be a spin two particle rather than a scalar. Working out what best fits other observations is not an exercise that can be done in the head, but it will be interesting to see what other first thoughts come out. It is also possible that this could be related to signals in multi-lepton channels that have been seen in the past (see e.g. Motl at TRF). Until we get an official report at perhaps Moriond 2013 this should not be taken too seriously. Some rumours evaporate during internal review and never see the light of day.

Merry Christmas.

38 Responses to Christmas Rumour

  1. Dear Philip,

    These are wonderful news!!! But actually for me they are not a surprise: there are 3 Higgs-like bosons that provide masses for quarks, but not for leptons. Please, go to the site to see it all. And also take a look at my papers which are on the net:
    1) Quark Mass, Quark Compositeness, and Solution to the Proton Spin Puzzle;
    2) The Ultimate Division of Matter;
    3) Weak decays of hadrons reveal compositeness of quarks.

    Have a Merry Christmas.

    • marni says:

      Have not read your quark papers, but your DM paper on spirals looks very interesting and led me to etc … from the abstract:

      “These findings demonstrate that a near-isotropic infall of cosmological sub-structure components onto the Milky Way (MW) is essentially ruled out because a large number of infalling objects would have had to be highly correlated, to a degree not natural for dark matter sub-structures. The majority of satellites, streams and YH GCs had to be formed as a correlated population … then the MW does not have any luminous dark-matter substructures and the missing satellites problem becomes a catastrophic failure of the standard cosmological model.”

      So the question is how to reconcile the simple dynamics of outflow with the MOND fits, which must be empirically correct. Does your Danv eqn fit with MOND?

      • Hi Marni,

        I don’t know if Danvar eqn fits with MOND, but as you see, MOND is wrong, and Newton continue to be valid at the galactic level. What was lacking in the theory was the consideration that galaxies expel matter from their centers. As I show in the paper there are uncountable examples of this phenomenon. Danvar eqn is an old eqn from the 1940s, but it was just an eqn for fitting. The paper shows its derivation from Newtonian Mechanics and as a consequence, rules out DM completely. In the site you’ll find a more complete version of the article. It contains the following paragraph:

        Moreover, it is easy to see that dark matter has no place in Particle Physics due to the following argumentation. Particles are either fermions or bosons. As it is well known bosons do not clump together simply because they make the mediation between fermion states. Thus, the supposed large volumes of dark matter cannot be composed of bosons. Therefore, dark matter would have to be composed of fermions, but from these we have to take out the baryons because baryons interact with light. Then, we are left with leptons, but only the light leptons (electron and neutrinos and their antiparticles) are stable. And also all leptons with mass are charged. This way dark matter would have to be composed of a very strange lepton that would have to have zero charge and be very massive, a WIMP. There is a very important question with respect to this proposal: where would the WIMP fit with respect to the 3 generations of fermions? Of course, it would not fit. It would have to be a particle of a separate generation of fermions. But the LHC did not find any new lepton. And Ahmed et al. [44] have presented the latest data on dark matter and have concluded that there is no WIMP with a mass below 10 GeV. Therefore, it is more than clear that dark matter does not exist at all.

        Best regards, Mario

      • marni says:

        I do not mean MOND as a theoretical framework – merely as an empirical fit – which works for many galaxies. Your classical picture cannot be the whole story, although I agree about dispersive structure formation.

    • Leo Vuyk says:

      In my 3D particle approach there is even a need for quark compositeness based on one Higgs as the mother particle able to convert with one or more singular shapes into all other SM particles. see;
      3 Dimensional String Based Alternative Particles Model

  2. Lubos Motl says:

    Fun news, Phil! I am a bit surprised you used your electron-muon (off-topic) graph without excesses instead of the muon-muon graph (on-topic) with excesses,

    • Philip Gibbs says:

      You are right. I was in too much of a hurry to go get my Xmas dinner. I’ll fix it.

    • Philip Gibbs says:

      Actually I will leave it and people can look at yours too. The e-mu plot has an excess in the 100-105 GeV bin while the mu-mu has it in 95-100 GeV. We will need to see the updated plots.

  3. carla says:

    Stupid question but… why didn’t lep see this in 2000?

    • Philip Gibbs says:

      Good question but it depends on what is being seen and what else it is produced in association with and with what cross-section. Most likely explanation is that this is just a phantom and a result of too many places to look for such an excess.

  4. mfrasca says:

    Merry Xmas, Phil!

    In the way this rumour popped out, it sound like a joke.

  5. mfrasca says:

    I would like to add this that goes into the opposite direction.

  6. New Higgs says:

    This is the double charged Higgs: 105 – 106.3 Gev

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  8. Ron Cram says:

    This is off topic, but I just came across your post

    It was very interesting. While I agree with your criticisms, I have different criticisms of Krauss and wanted to find others willing to discuss the topic. If there are errors in my thinking, I would like them to be pointed out.

    Did you happen to write a review of Krauss’s book after it came out?

    Would you be willing to do a new post on Krauss’s book so I could be part of the discussion?

    • Philip Gibbs says:

      I never read the book and was attacking versions of his argument that were available online. I dont think his book had even been released at the time. I only do book reviews when I am inclined to buy the book out of my own interest or when I am sent a review copy. After that post Krauss got into more controversy about the role of philosophers and this has been discussed in strong terms in many places. I think any further discussion here would be more likely to lead to heated personal attacks rather than any new reasoned arguments that have not already been covered elsewhere.

      I dont want to open up discussions on this blog about religion and only posted about that because it was related to what I had been saying about energy in GR. Although I am an atheist myself I would restrict my open opposition to the more bigoted views held by many religious leaders and the unjustified role that religion plays in government, education and foreign policy that affects other people. I find that most ordinary religious people I come into contact with have much more reasonable views so I have no appetite for the futile task of trying to talk them into a different philosophy any more than I could stand to listen to someone trying to convert me to their religion. The kind of argument that Krauss gave was no more rational than the arguments some people use as proof of their religion and is the kind of thing scientists should avoid in my opinion.

      • roncram says:

        I understand. No problem. While I am a Christian, I wanted to discuss the science of Krauss’s argument, not the implications of it.

        In the WSJ article you criticized, Krauss wrote:
        “A closed universe whose energy density is dominated by matter will one day recollapse. An open universe will continue to expand forever at a finite rate, and a flat universe is just at the boundary—slowing down, but never quite stopping.”

        This is clearly wrong since the universe is most likely flat and is clearly accelerating.

        It seems to me that a prolonged consideration of a closed universe when initially learning general relativity has precluded many scientists from fully resolving observations of a flat and accelerating universe with general relativity under these new observations. Krauss appears to be one of these.

        Anyway, no problem. It’s your blog. Merry Christmas to you.


  9. Willard Mittelman says:

    Sorry to prolong an OT discussion, but I want to clarify the above quote from Krauss’ WSJ article. The phrase “whose energy density is dominated by matter” is, apparently, meant to apply to open and flat universes, as well as to closed ones. And taking “dominated by matter” to indicate the absence of dark energy or a cosmological constant, Krauss’ claim that a flat universe (i.e., a flat universe dominated by matter) slows down is indeed correct. The reason our (flat) universe is accelerating is that it’s not dominated by matter.

    • roncram says:

      Willard, I don’t think your reading is correct. A closed universe dominated by matter will collapse. (true) A closed universe not dominated by matter will not collapse. (true) I think this is clearly what Krauss is trying to say.

      If your reading was correct, Krauss would be purposely talking about every type of universe except the one we live in. What would be the point of commenting on different types of universes without ever mentioning the universe we know and love?

      The simplest interpretation is Krauss was trying to address our universe but simply got it wrong. But this is not the only error Krauss made.

      • Willard Mittelman says:

        Krauss does, in fact, go on to describe our universe, i.e. a universe dominated by dark energy; and he observes that the large-scale geometry of such universes (namely, closed, flat, or open) does not by itself tell us whether they will (a) recollapse, (b) expand forever without slowing down, or (c) continually decelerate. His larger point is that this situation stands in sharp contrast with the case of matter-dominated universes, for which (i) a closed geometry entails eventual recollapse, (ii) an open geometry yields non-decelerating expansion forever, and (iii) a flat geometry gives us continual deceleration.

      • roncram says:

        Willard, you are correct that Krauss talks about dark energy later in the article. But this does not make it clear his earlier statement is talking about a flat universe whose energy is dominated by matter. He simply does not say that.

        Krauss goes on to say “If the positive energy and the negative gravitational energy of the universe cancel out, we end up in a flat universe.” This also is not true and this is the point Gibbs was criticizing him about.

        When Feynman did his original estimate of the net energy of the universe back in the 1960s, he estimated the net at zero. But this was before the discovery of dark energy and the accelerating universe. Everyone assumed the universe was slowing down and probably going to collapse on itself. We now know that is completely wrong. Krauss is still under the misperception the net energy is zero. In reality, in a flat and accelerating universe, when dark energy is far stronger than gravitational field energy, the net energy of the universe is strongly positive.

      • Willard Mittelman says:

        Actually, what Phil has argued is that the total (net) energy E of the universe is zero, even when dark energy is present; his point against Krauss is simply that this is a perfectly general result that does not apply only to flat universes.

        I think my interpretation of Krauss’ statements is supported by the fact that it fits coherently with what he says in the remainder of his article. I don’t think it’s worth pursuing this issue further, however, especially given its off-topic nature.

      • Philip Gibbs says:

        roncram, I agree except with your final point. The net energy is always zero in any closed cosmology, or on average in any homogeneous open cosmology, even with dark energy. The extra dark energy is cancelled by the extra negative energy of the accelerating expansion. As you point out, Krauss was wrong because he misinterprets the cosmological equations to conclude that the energy is only zero for a flat universe. He is even more wrong to think that if this were the case you could use it as some kind of argument against God.

      • roncram says:

        I agree that net energy is zero in any closed cosmology, but why would you say it is true in any open or flat cosmology? The idea a flat universe requires zero net energy is new in the history of cosmology. It is possible for a flat universe to have zero net energy, but it would not be an accelerating universe. It would have to be a decelerating universe (as I read Krauss to say in the WSJ article).

        The increase in dark energy cannot keep pace with the dark energy. Think about it. How can gravitational field energy keep pace with growing dark energy when the force of gravity on these distant universes is becoming less and less relevant to the behavior of the universes over time?

        The strong nuclear force is very strong over short distances but it loses its power quickly with distance. Gravity operates over very large distances but it is not well understood over the massive distances we are talking about.

        The one thing we know for certain is that dark energy is more powerful than gravitational field energy. If you think of it as a power struggle, dark energy is winning in a runaway.

      • Philip Gibbs says:

        In time dark energy will dominate over matter and radiation energy. Already in our universe it accounts for about 73% of non-gravitational energy and the percentage is increasing. This is because dark energy is constant in a fixed volume of space while material energy gets spread out as the universe expands.

        However the negative gravitational energy continues to cancel this out exactly. In GR it comes from the dynamics of spacetime, not from direct action between masses as in Newtonian gravity. The equation describing this for a homogeneous universe is given at the bottom of

        You say that gravity is not well understood over large distances. I am assuming that general relativity with cosmological constant is the correct theory on all scales. It may not be but even if there are modified effects the argument for zero energy is very general and would apply to any generally covariant model of gravity that is derivable from an action principle.

      • roncram says:

        The equation you provided works in a closed cosmology. It is not necessarily true in a flat or open cosmology. Above I wrote:

        “It seems to me that a prolonged consideration of a closed universe when initially learning general relativity has precluded many scientists from fully resolving observations of a flat and accelerating universe with general relativity under these new observations.”

        Everyone learns the dynamics of spacetime while considering a closed universe. The dynamics of spacetime in a closed universe with zero net energy would require the rate of expansion to be slowing. We could also have zero net energy in a flat universe, not required but it is possible, if the rate of expansion was slowing (as Krauss says in the WSJ article). But again, this is not what we see. Observations are irrefutable. Gravitational field energy is becoming less and less relevant to the behavior of distant galaxies.

        I’m not saying GR is necessarily wrong. I’m saying Einstein and Eddington would never have claimed that zero net energy would necessarily be true in a flat or open universe. A closed universe is useful in teaching GR, but a flat and unbounded universe is very different from a closed universe.

      • Philip Gibbs says:

        The equation I gave works for any homogeneous universe, whether open of closed.

        I dont know why you think cosmologists learn more about closed universes. I am not aware of such a bias. Most books and courses cover open and closed cases. The more prevalent bias is towards homogeneous universes with not enough consideration of non-homogeneous possibilities.

        By the way, with dark energy you can have an accelerating universe that is closed. This is one of the possibilities that is perfectly consistent with present observations but there are many others.

      • roncram says:

        I appreciate you discussing the topic with me. I suppose we will have to disagree on certain aspects. One final thought though. I very much dislike the common terminology used to describe our universe as “flat and infinite.” This terminology leads people to think the atoms and molecules of the universe are infinite (which could theoretically be true but is not required). I think the better terminology is “flat and unbounded.” Do you agree?

        Sorry for being off-topic for so long.

  10. Lubos Motl says:

    Phil: Indication over at NEW are that this rumour is not being backed up by other ATLAS sources.

    This is untrue, Phil. The only info that was added was that a particular hardcore crank wasn’t able to get any confirmation from anyone – which is not that surprising. The ATLAS people would probably remain silent even if asked by polite people, let alone a hardcore crank.

  11. I do not believe in this rumor but cannot avoid the temptation to explain the finding. The TGD explanation is based on TGD view about color: also leptons can move in color partial waves and color octet leptons might be light: this is used to explain the evidence for meson like states decaying to lepton-antilepton pairs.

    Since triality zero states (color octets) of leptons are in question, color confinement allows also meson-like states of same sign colored leptons.

    The production mechanism could be the same as I have proposed for the production of correlated charged particle pairs observed already by RHIC for heavy ion collisions and by LHC for proton proton collisions: the decay of strings of low energy M_89 hadron physics producing not only parallel or antiparallel charged particle pairs but also parallel or antiparallel gluon pairs. The members of parallel gluon pair could decay to colored lepton antilepton pairs which can get color confined also to pairs of colored like sign leptons. For details see the blog posting at .

  12. Anonymous says:

    I can verify the rumor. The excess is seen very recently and hasn’t gotten much time to spread within the collaboration. In the previous analysis, they didn’t see any excess because there was no missing energy cut. Following are the cuts used in the analysis:
    Exactly 2 same-sign muons + MetRel > 40 GeV+ 1Jet. Strong charge asymmetry more N(++) than N(–).
    I would like to remain anonymous. Thanks.

    • anna v says:

      One should add here the definition of MetRel , which is a qualified missing energy measure. I found it in page 13 .

      I wonder about the look elsewhere effect, with such conditional cuts.

    • Philip Gibbs says:

      The look elsewhere effect here is huge. We are probably talking about one or two bins of many in one plot of many in one analysis in many. That is enough LEE to take a big chunk out of even a five sigma excess. If the cut was not done blind the situation is even worse but normally the cut should be decided before the events are counted and not changed. We would have to see something appearing elsewhere before we take this too seriously, ideally in the corresponding analysis from CMS. If the analysis has not yet been scrutinized by the full collaboration it is really on shaky ground at this stage, but we can hope.

      The last time an analysis was leaked from ATLAS at an early stage (the early Higgs rumour) it was refuted very quickly because it spread to the mass media. This one will probably fade away more quietly.

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  14. four x (2Pi)^6 = mh/me says:

    This is the gluino with a mass of 105.297 – 105.429 Gev

    Vacuum Higgs = 246.221202 Gev= V(H)

    V(H)/[8 x (sin(2PI/11) )^2] = 105.297 Gev

    V(H)/[8 x (cos(2PI/2PI) )^2] = 105.429 Gev

  15. Orwin O'Dowd says:

    That would have to be a kinematic gluino – the dynamic scenario preferred in SUSY involves 4 jets. Again, its like the ghostly N=4 SYM margin of QFT. If the color octet is involved in the strong interaction, that certainly adds a new depth, which can be conveniently represented in octonions. But the full dynamic picture of SUSY is not there.

  16. google says:

    gan izin kopi artikelnya boleh?…thanks

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