Higgs Boson Results From LHC ‘Get Even Stronger’
The Higgs boson-like particle whose discovery was announced on 4 July looks significantly more certain to exist. The particle has been the subject of a decades-long hunt as the last missing piece of physics’ Standard Model, explaining why matter has mass. Now one Higgs-hunting team at the Large Hadron Collider report a “5.9 sigma” levels of certainty it exists.
That equates to a one-in-300 million chance that the Higgs does not exist and the results are statistical flukes. The formal threshold for claiming the discovery of a particle is a 5-sigma level – equivalent to a one-in-3.5 million chance. That is the level that was claimed by the team behind Atlas, one of the LHC’s Higgs-hunting experiments, during the 4 July announcement. The other, known as CMS, claimed results between 4.9 and 5 sigma.