Blogging ICHEP 2010

A collective forum about the 35th edition of
the International Conference on High Energy Physics (Paris, July 2010)

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Day 4: the Higgs is not there. Yet.

But we also know that, if it exists, we would not find it in the 158-175 GeV mass range. The saga of the Tevatron Higgs talks finally came to an end, certainly matching the expectation, at least for what concerns the show part. Well, as for the scientific part, after all the preliminary steps of the last days nobody was really any hint of signal anymore. We mortals might not be able to make fancy statistical combinations by eye, but it was still not too complicated to anticipate that, since there was no excess in any channel or single detector combination, we should not have expected any dramatic announcement.

I found Ben's talk really excellent: the slides (that, by the way, were kept secret until the very last moment) were very well prepared, and Ben proved to be an excellent presenter. In a sense he was even rather humble, especially if you think about the fuss about a possible signal before the conference (at slide 46: "I'm sorry, this 2 sigma excess is the closest we have to a discovery"!).
Ben Kilminster
Still - but maybe it's just me- I had the feeling that the presentation contained a subtle innuendo. Of course Ben did not dare to say anything that was not scientifically backed, but take for instance slide 36. Ben gently dropped this CDF plot:
and casually commented: "People keeps on asking how would the exclusion plot look like if there existed a Higgs boson. We did the exercise of injecting a 115 GeV SM Higgs boson signal in several channels, and that's what we got". And, guess what, the results is that the exclusion curve jumps up like it had a 1 sigma fluctuation on a rather large mass range. Now, doesn't this jump remind you of any feature we saw in another curve? There a region where the unspeakable dreams and hopes of many live, between a green and a yellow band.
Do we see a tiny excess somewhere?


  1. Were there any non-SM Higgs results presented?

  2. Sure! That's actually what the 2 sigma excess is referring to... Have a look at the slides:


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