By Hamish Johnston
It seems like only yesterday that the particle-physics blogosphere was on fire with rumours, speculation and even a bit of real information about the hunt for Higgs boson at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC).
How things have changed since a Higgs-like particle was identified in July last year. Since then, further analysis has revealed that the particle is even more Higgs-like – and today CERN has officially said that the particle is “a Higgs boson”.
The use of “a” rather than “the” is important, as it refers to the last big mystery surrounding this particle: is it the one and only Higgs of the Standard Model, or is it the lightest of several bosons predicted by some theories that go beyond the Standard Model?
We will probably have to wait until at least 2015 for the answer to that question because the LHC is currently being upgraded so it can be run at higher collision energies.
In the meantime, it looks as if some of those bloggers have lost their enthusiasm for the Higgs. In his blog Résonaances, Adam Falkowski writes “One thing I learned is that Higgs remains exciting enough to make me wake up at 8am. But barely so. Indeed, the time of the revolution is over, we are now entering a 20-year long period of incremental progress and painful squeezing of experimental errors. The best evidence of declining enthusiasm is that it took me 3 days to scribble a summary for Résonaances.”
Oh dear…please hang in there Adam, we’ll need your insight when the LHC fires up again!