Scientists Are 99.9999999999 Percent Sure the Higgs Boson Is There

The latest info from CERN shows that the Higgs boson is certain to exist, as predicted

By on December 18th, 2012 10:54 GMT

While CERN won't go out and say it, for good reason too, the Higgs boson has been essentially discovered. In fact, the latest reports from CERN scientists running the Large Hadron Collider, which are now rounding up their first three years of activity, show that the particle which seems to fit the Higgs boson as predicted by the standard model, exists with a 7 sigma degree of certainty.

Scientists normally require a sigma 5 level to label something a "discovery," meaning that it's accepted as proof.

7 sigma means there's a 0.000000000256 percent chance of the Higgs boson falling outside the energy levels determined by the experiments at CERN.

However, there are still plenty about the Higgs boson that scientists would like to find out, which is why they're not calling the particle they discovered the Higgs boson just yet.

More tests must be done to determine this and the data from the CMS and Atlas experiments will likely be merged to provide an even clearer picture. The goal has moved from discovery, which is certain, to measuring the particle's properties more accurately.

What is known so far is that the particle is at around the 125 GeV level and that no behavior outside that predicted by the standard model has been observed. More info will be provided in spring, when the next conference is scheduled.

But the LHC will be going down for maintenance and upgrades soon next year and won't be up and running again until a year later.

There's plenty of data already though, and analyzing it takes a very long time. There have been six million billion collisions in the past three years at the LHC and, while only five billion provided results that were deemed interesting and thus recorded, it's still a huge amount of data to go over.

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