Now, Even More Evidence of Higgs Boson

There's only a one-in-300 million chance it doesn't exist
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 1, 2012 11:37 AM CDT
Now, Even More Evidence of Higgs Boson
In this May 31, 2007 file photo, a view of the LHC (large hadron collider) in its tunnel at CERN (European particle physics laboratory) near Geneva, Switzerland.   (AP Photo/Keystone, Martial Trezzini,File)

One of the teams hunting the Higgs boson at the Large Hadron Collider says it has pinned down the particle so conclusively that there's only a one-in-300 million chance it does not exist. When the team announced that it had discovered the Higgs on July 4, it said it had achieved only a "5 sigma" level of certainty, the minimum to claim a discovery, the BBC explains. That amounts to a one-in-3.5 million chance the particle doesn't exist.

It's impossible to directly observe the particle, which exists for only a fraction of a second before decaying into something else. But the team has been conducting more analysis on these "decay channels," and as a result has boosted its certainty up to 5.9 sigma. Still, the particle may not be the exact Higgs boson theorists have always imagined; the researchers have been careful at all turns to call it only a "Higgs-like" particle until more analysis can be done. (More Higgs boson stories.)

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