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Blog

Fancy a flutter on the Higgs?

bethiggs.jpg

By Hamish Johnston

Alexander Unzicker wants you to place a bet on the Higgs boson — or more precisely whether it will be discovered at the LHC.

He has set up a site called www.bet-on-the-higgs.com, where he explains how you can bet on the discovery of the Higgs at intrade.com — which is a ‘prediction market’ based in Ireland.

If you are tempted to place a bet, please make sure that doing so is legal where you live.

Here in Dirac House I can’t even look at intrade’s Higgs pages — they are ‘forbidden’ — but Unzicker has posted a screen shot of his intrade account, which I have reproduced below.

bet2.jpg
Buy low, sell high

Sorry about the fuzziness, but if you squint you can see that he is wagering on the ‘Observation of the Higgs Boson Particle’.

What’s not clear from the screen shot is whether Unzicker — who teaches maths and physics in Munich — is betting for or against the discovery…you’ll have to check his website to find out.

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3 comments

  1. Dileep Sathe

    It is better not to have bets on possible scientific discoveries / inventions – otherwise there can be the danger of malpractices creeping in.

  2. Interesting post, but there’s something odd about the Unzicker website. He seems to have misunderstood the basic purpose of the LHC: it is not to’find’ the Higgs, but to verify whether or not the particle exists at the energies expected. There is an important difference – a null result would also be a significant find as it would force a rethink of the SM.
    Unzicker also compares the possible observation of supersymmetry to that of black holes, making one wonder whether he is a bona fide physicist.
    Finally, I left the comment above on the discussion board of the Unzicker website but it has been pulled which is rather odd…

  3. Insiders or not, the discovery of the Higgs boson is considered unlikely.
    The long-term estimate (detection until the end of 2013) is actually
    traded below 50 percent at prediction markets. Quite a poor performance
    for the most important thing to be found in the LHC…
    See
    http://www.intrade.com/jsp/intrade/contractSearch/index.jsp?query=higgs
    and
    http://www.Bet-On-The-Higgs.com

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