Higgs boson data collected by physicists at the US Department of Energy's (DOE) Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab) are surprisingly similar to similar batches of information collected by scientists at the European Organization for Nuclear Research's (CERN) Large Hadron Collider.
The LHC group reported a few months back that it had captured the first glimpses of the elusive particle, believed to complete the Standard Model of elementary particles. This particular boson is believed to be responsible for allowing energy to acquire mass.
Though it was first hypothesized to exist decades ago, scientists have been unable to detect it thus far. Finding the Higgs is one of the main reasons why the LHC was built, Daily Galaxy
Physicists from the now-closed Fermilab Tevatron particle accelerator say that data collected from experiments conducted before the facility shut down have found the same spikes that the LHC group identified. These anomalies may be caused by the Higgs boson.
Experts from the Tevatron CDF and DZero collaborations made the announcement today, March 7.
Analyses of particle collisions conducted in September 2011 indicate that the Higgs boson may have an energy range of between 115 and 135 gigaelectronvolts (GeV). Scientists use energy instead of mass for these calculations, because the two measures are the same in the theory of general relativity.
The new results have a degree of certainty of 2.2 sigma, which is still very low. A degree of certainty of 5 sigma is considered very strong, whereas 6 sigma is an absolute certainty. There is still a pretty big chance that the new results were produced by statistical fluctuations.
Chances of that happening are 1 in 740 for this experiments. A degree of certainty of 5 sigma implies only one chance in 35 million of these readings being produced by statistical fluctuations.
What is emerging as a fact from the recent investigations – by both the LHC and Tevatron teams – is that the Higgs boson is hidden somewhere between 115 and 127 GeV.
“The end game is approaching in the hunt for the Higgs boson. This is an important milestone for the Tevatron experiments, and demonstrates the continuing importance of independent measurements in the quest to understand the building blocks of nature,” explains the DOE Associate Director of Science for High Energy Physics, Jim Siegrist.