Everyone’s waiting with bated breath for the July 4th announcement. The Tevatron released its final analysis today. How are you gonna celebrate? (I hear fireworks are planned over much of the US.)
Me, I’m going to ask a question.
In the article Tevatron Scientists Announce Their Final Results On the Higgs Particle kicking off the week, there’s a graph showing an excess of events covering 120 to 140 GeV. There are five points of data, which appear to be at the 2.5 to 3 sigma level.
The LHC lest year saw an excess at around 125 GeV, at the 3 sigma level, and this covers that value. But why is the range of excess events so large? According to the article, a 2.9 sigma result has a 1 in 550 chance of occurring by chance. If it’s roughly 125 GeV, there are four other values where there isn’t a particle which are showing up. Isn’t the chance of all those occurring somewhere around the 1 in 10[sup]10[/sup] level?
Presumably, there’s some spread from the true particle, but on the one end, assuming the particle is really in the 124 to 126 GeV range, it’s spreading into energies where there isn’t enough energy to make any Higgs. On the other end, it’s spreading rather far from the “true” value.
So what’s going on? Does that make sense?