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Bet on Higgs @ Tevatron vs LHC! June 22, 2007

Posted by dorigo in games, internet, news, personal, physics, science.
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Many thanks to Alejandro for pointing me to the following link:

  http://ppx.popsci.com/security/view.php?symbol=BOSON

There, you can buy shares of a bet on which laboratory will announce the Higgs discovery first. Before you run to your wallet, though: we are talking of fake money in a fantasy market.

In any case, it is not totally clear to me how serious this might ever be, even if it were real money that people bet there. I can imagine several instances when the mechanism fails to produce a clear-cut answer:

  1. the Higgs boson might not be found anywhere. Who gets the money ?
  2. a particle could be found at lab X, not claimed to be the Higgs, then found at lab Y, then some theorist could argue the particle found at lab Y is conclusively the Higgs boson. Who gets the money ?
  3. the two labs announce the discovery jointly. Who gets the money ?

 Too unclear to ever put my $$ in a similar bet. I prefer to stay with my 1000$ out against new physics at the LHC. That bet is ruled by a gentleman’s agreement, and there can be no shaded areas.

…But if I were to bet…

I would bet against the Tevatron. Too many things can still go wrong and prevent CDF and D0 from acquiring even the 7/fb of data each which seems totally at reach today. And, even if they do get that much, it would take a lot of luck to see a significant signal.

But those are my two cents, and they are still in my pocket!

Comments

1. island - June 22, 2007

heh… you guys are narrowing the game down to the very last hand, and that’s pretty impressive, even if I can’t win any fake money from it.

2. Kea - June 23, 2007

the Higgs boson might not be found anywhere…

I could use the money! Oh, it’s not real. Well, it would be something!

3. dorigo - June 25, 2007

Hi you guys,

yes, fake money does not buy me shoes, as Riqie tells me, but it is still something for internet addicts such as we are…

Cheers,
T.


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