The Higgs Boson Discovery Just Got More Certain

At the start of July, scientists announced that they'd discovered what they strongly believed to be the Higgs Boson, a particle that's believed to be the key to unifying the standard and quantum models of physics. Now, after a handful more experiments, they're even more certain that they've finally got it.


The experiments that were described on July 4th were enough for the scientists to prescribe a 5-sigma level of certainty to the finding: in other words, that there was a one-in-3.5 million chance that the finding was a fluke.

The new experiments however, which are described on pre-print server arXiv, boast a 5.9-sigma level of certainty. That means there's only a one-in-300 million chance that the Higgs does not exist. That's some jump.

But, it's still not quite enough. Particle physicists usually hold off until they reach a 6-sigma level to publish. Fingers crossed! [arXiv via BBC]

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