Rumours have been spreading that scientists at the Large Hadron Collider facility may have now found the elusive Higgs Boson ‘God Particle’.
But while the Easter weekend is undoubtedly famous for certain surprise appearances, it seems that the theoretical particle which is the target of the ATLAS experiment may still be out of reach.
An abstract of a paper was apparently leaked on physicist Peter Woits’s ‘Not Even Wrong’ blog stated that the particle, which has been sought after since being hypothesised in the sixties leading to the 17 mile facitlity being built, had now been detected.
If found the particle will be the final piece of a 17 part jigsaw which forms what is regarded to be the theory of everything in the world of physics.
Apparently the note’s authors caught evidence of a Higgs particle decaying into two high-energy photons at a significantly higher rate than had previously been predicted, with the note stating that “The present result is the first definitive observation of physics beyond the standard model.”
However it seems that we should neither be jumping for joy at the discovery, or indeed cowering in fear that we have now ruptured the Geneva countryside with a world eating black hole, depending on your personal view of the Hadron Collider.
Woit admitted that the results were “the sort of thing you would expect to see if there were a Higgs at that mass”, however he had discrepancies over the number of events seen, claiming that the signal was around 30 times bigger than “the standard model would predict”, a viewpoint which has been echoed by many other scientists.
But despite widespread claims that the news could in fact just be a hoax – presumably due to the anonymous posting of supposedly conclusive proof on another scientists blog not being the most traditional way to publish major scientific findings – it appears that the paper alluded to is actually likely to be authentic, though there is little that can be drawn from it at this stage.
In fact, many scientists seem to believe that the note is a very early stage finding, which consequently means that any claims made have yet to go through vigorous rounds of peer reviewing before any announcement is made to the public.
Indeed CERN spokesman James Gillies told Wired that “It’s way, way too early to say if there’s anything in it or not.”
“The vast majority of these notes get knocked down before they ever see the light of day.”
And while it is perhaps a tad unfair to shoot down research before it is has been thoroughly examined, one scientist, Tomas Dorigo, is even offering a thousand dollar bet that the findings are indeed a fluke at best.
“I bet $1000 with whomever has a name and a reputation in particle physics (this is a necessary specification, because I need to be sure that the person taking the bet will honor it) that the signal is not due to Higgs Boson decays.”