I was going to post this before anything started this morning, however the ICHEP committee decided not to purchase wifi in the main conference hall, so it took until now for me to have time to post this….
Today is the first day of plenary talks at ICHEP. Up to now it has all been plenary sessions – and there have been a lot of talks. Now everything collapses into one room. And it is a very big room. I don’t think I’ve ever been in a room this big for a physics conference before.
Several things happen today – but two I’m particularly interested in seeing are the final combination of the Tevatron Higgs searches and a speech by the president of France, Sarkozy.
Sarkozy's speech was much better than I was expecting! He and his speech writers had worked together to craft a quite good message. One part was a vigorous defense of why it is a good idea to invest in science now even though there is a financial crisis on. Basically, his message boiled down to: a country can not ignore the future for the crisis of the present – there is always a crisis of the present. A message I wish more of the legislators in the state of Washington would get. The second half of his message was the details of the investments that France is making. You can’t always trust the numbers that politicians give you in settings like this, but one stuck out: a reinvestment in Saclay – one billion Euros in the next 10 years.
The second thing I’m looking forward to are the combined results from the Tevatron. You can guess what will happen when you look at the CDF and DZERO higgs talks (which I’d link to if there was any wireless at all here!). Both experiments are basically excluding the region around 160 GeV on their own, and both have a downward fluctuation at low mass.
Update from the Higgs talk:
Ben’s fashion choice: Tour de France yellow tee shirt along with a suit jacket. Nice!
High mass region: from 158 – 175 GeV is now excluded (about x4 bigger than before).
Low mass region: Starting to exclude the really low mass region as well now. Expected limit is around 1.2 or 1.4 or so. But the exclusion right now looks like a fluctuation low, so it will be very interesting to watch the next update 6 months from how. The expected is getting quite close to expected SM cross section! Sweet!