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

Posted by dorigo in games, internet, news, personal, physics, science.

Many thanks to Alejandro for pointing me to the following link:


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!



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…


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