April 6, 2011

Could it be?

Physicists at Fermilab have big news: they've identified a three-sigma bump in their data, which could be (keep enthusiasm very tentative) "evidence of a new elementary particle" or force. Obviously, Higgs is on the tip of everyone's tongue, but it's probably something else--the data doesn't exactly align with the expected decay patterns of the Higgs. Still, this would be a huge coup for the underdog accelerator, which has basically run out of money and plans to close for good later this year. Scientists expect that if this data bump is for real, the LHC will soon see similar evidence, which will really get the particle physics world excited. Fermilab's holding a press conference tonight at 11pm EST.

More here, here, here, and here.

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