Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Do Fairies Exist?

Well, it seems I was wrong about that one. The excess may disappear next year, but that seems extremely unlikely. Then again, Strassler and others, who actually understand operations at CERN, remain skeptical that any conclusions can be drawn at this point. Is it an SM or MSSM fairy?

As reported on many blogs, both CMS and ATLAS report a significant excess at $125$ GeV. ATLAS claim a whopping $3.6$ sigma, but the CMS excess is much smaller. Until further data is analysed, the result remains inconclusive, but it certainly looks real, even if the number of events is rather small. The excess is seen in two channels, and strangely exhibits a cross section much larger than a fairy field would. This is considered a lucky fluke, which it probably is.

Congratulations to both teams for the most outstanding work and for showing us the way forward.


  1. OK, so kneemo was right that something is there. I must apologise for all my noise on this question. These are certainly interesting times!

    Note, however, that I don't believe this is a standard Higgs, for the many reasons previously stated. But that may be a question of semantics. Perhaps that 'four color' formula that Mitchell mentioned is a good place to start. What was it again?

  2. In an E6 GUT model, the Higgs can arise from the decay of a light isosinglet quark such as the D quark. See these slides (and these) and a nice paper from 2006 (also see hep-ex/0603005). It was stated that at roughly 120 GeV Higgs mass, best significance would be from diphoton Higgs decay. As we now see, there's Higgs evidence at 125 GeV, so it should be possible to predict a D quark mass, which can be checked at the LHC.

  3. Great, kneemo! Thanks for the links.

  4. A standard Higgs does not explain the Yukawa top coupling, so I hope it will be a different beast. Another year waiting!

  5. The bizarre thing to me, when I eyeball this CMS plot, is the excess the whole way across the mass range. What if we assumed the backgrounds were incorrect, due to non perturbative factors? What is the significance of the excess then?

  6. For details, see the ATLAS and CMS reports.


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