Blogging ICHEP 2010

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

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Things you see and things you don't see...

It's already more than a week ago that I saw my first president at a physics conference. Doesn't time fly? There were so many things to see (or not) during ICHEP that it really stands out from other conferences I have been to. Hey, after all it was the first real big one with first real LHC results, after Physics at the LHC at DESY, which didn't have quite as many participants. Last year, at the Lepton Photon conference, the main conclusion after every talk was: "We are looking forward to results from the LHC!" It's great to see that those times are over and that the community is buzzing over limits and cuts and simulations and candidates!
Of course what we didn't see was the Higgs. Many people thought we would (which meant we also saw more journalists than ever before at a physics conference), and now the next big question is: what's next? Will the Tevatron keep running for another three to four years? Will that mean it will see the Higgs? From what I hear, that's not a given, but it'll certainly be an exciting time.
Some people also saw the film Sunshine during the nuit des particules at the Grand Rex, and at the time time saw a lot of the actress Irene Jacob - that dress, and a story about balls of fire in a kitchen will go down in particle physics history.
Now it's time to see what's next - for me, that's the global Particle Physics Photo Walk next Saturday. More than 200 amateur photographers from around the world will get an exclusive look behind the scenes of five physics labs (KEK, CERN DESY, Fermilab, TRIUMF) and we are very much looking forward to see our labs through their eyes.


  1. Charles P GonsalvesAugust 7, 2010 at 10:19 PM

    like I wrote at the time when Dr. Garret Lisi claimed that he ad developed an Exeptionally Simple Theory 0f Everything; Reading serious comments and the run of the mill Blogs on the possible identification and/or proof of the existance of the Higgs Boson as presented at ICHEP 2010, it apears to me that to some extent, we are still either on the fringes of our understanding of the properties and behaviour of the more elusive particles or, that we do not at this point in time have the required experimenal facilities including the LHC to detect and verify the existence of the Higgs.
    From what I have read and understand a certain amount of inspired guesswork has transpired. I also do not agree that it is better to adopt the approach of "bit by bit" acceptance of indications that a particular Particle does exist rather than to to await a definitive experimental verification.

  2. Charles, your comment that we have to wait for a definitive (i.e. 5 sigma) result is certianly correct. Nature may or may not have a suprise in store for us.

    If it does not have a suprise in store and the Higgs is just waiting for us to uncover it then it really is going to be soon. The Tevatron will have a hard time seeing it at 5 sigma, but it will see it a 2-3 sigma - if it hits 3 sigma that will be enough to generate some excitement. The LHC is more than up to the task of finding such a Higgs - but it needs to collect data for a while before it can do this.

    The reason a rumor like this has such traction is that it "could" have been true. Rumors that are completely out of bounds don't last long and don't usually get picked up by serious journalists.

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