Higgs boson rumours fly as Cern prepares to announce latest results

Alok Jha in The Guardian:

Simulated-collision-of-pr-008As soon as scientists at Cern revealed that they would host a seminar on 4 July to announce the latest results from its two main Large Hadron Collider (LHC) experiments, Atlas and CMS, physicists and bloggers started guessing. Would they announce the long-awaited discovery of the Higgs boson, a find that would be sure to trigger a raft of Nobel prizes and launch a new era of physics?

In December last year, Cern scientists glimpsed something that looked like it might be a Higgs boson in their data, but the results were not conclusive enough to be formally called a discovery. But now hopes are high.

“We now have more than double the data we had last year,” said Sergio Bertolucci, Cern's director for research and computing. “That should be enough to see whether the trends we were seeing in the 2011 data are still there, or whether they've gone away. It's a very exciting time.”

Even if the scientists next week report the signal for a new type of particle, it will take time to convince the scientific community that it is indeed the Higgs boson, or whether it is something else, perhaps something even more exotic that opens the door to new theories of physics.

More here.