Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Hurricane Higgs Makes Landfall - Record Hypefall Ensues

Fact : The Higgs Boson has NOT been found, in spite of what you will hear this week. What HAS happened is a pair of anomalies at the Large Hadron Collider in CERN, possibly the Higgs boson, possibly and much more likely: experimental screwup.

The endless whirl of science "reportage" this week, however, will be in full bloom.

For an experiment to give quantifiable results such that the community accepts it as gospel, two things have to happen:

1) The experiment must be verified by independent sources, and at the very least:

2) The experimental data have to be presented with at least 5-sigma confidence level. The press conference today shows two sets of experimental results, one at less than
 3-sigma, and another at just more than 3-sigma, so no, No new Science, sorry.

These are not the droids you're looking for. Move along.

ONE good thing to come out of this though is, there will be MUCH more attention paid by the media to Science this week, and that's never bad IMO.

But there is nothing new here.

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