By Hamish Johnston
Things are heating up in the blogosphere after two A-list physics bloggers have speculated that a tantalizing hint of new physics seen by the CMS and ATLAS experiments at CERN is vanishing now that the latest collision data are being analysed.
The hint is a bump at 750 GeV in the spectrum of photon pairs created when protons collide in the LHC. It is not predicted by the Standard Model of particle physics and has not yet reached a statistical significance of 5σ – the threshold for a discovery. If it turns out to be real, the bump could become one of the most important discoveries in particle physics made so far this century.
Adam Falkowski, who writes the Resonaances blog, has Tweeted “Rumour: 750 GeV diphoton bump is going away as more data is collected by LHC. Most likely, excess seen in 2015 was just statistical fluke.”
This sentiment seems to be shared by several commenters on a blog post Falkowski wrote earlier this week about the surfeit of theoretical papers that have put forth explanations about the 750 GeV bump.
Meanwhile over on Not Even Wrong, Peter Woit plays augur and advises on how to read upcoming signs from the CERN public-relations gods. He reckons that if the bump has reached a statistical significance of 5σ, the announcement will be made at CERN in early August – with concurrent seminars at the ICHEP conference in Chicago. This is how the Higgs announcement played out in 2012, with journalists receiving a mysterious invitation to CERN a few weeks before the announcement.