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All geared up for the Higgs March 13, 2008

Posted by dorigo in humor, news, physics, science.

Have a look at the recent restructuring of the Fermilab Hirise, the main building in the laboratory and a symbol of the lab. There is a hidden message somewhere…

hirise h

Seriously, though, despite the huge successes with top quark mass measurements, B physics results, electroweak rare processes, … (I could go on for a while), the Tevatron experiments are now really focused on the Higgs hunt. A new P5 committee will look into the plan of running the Tevatron through 2010, which will allow the machine to deliver up to an estimated 8.6 inverse femtobarns of proton-antiproton collisions – almost two more than what can be obtained by shutting down at the end of 2009.

CDF is doing very well, and the estimated manpower remains strong enough to grant easy handling of the detector operations in 2010. The experiment has published in its lifetime  415 publications, and 50 more are under review as I write this note. The mark of 500 publications is not far away.

I intend to discuss in more detail the most recent updates on Higgs search analyses in a separate post (I am currently at the CDF collaboration meeting and I should be doing something else than blogging!), but here is where CDF is right now. The plot below only includes CDF results on the Higgs boson and these data will soon be combined with D0 results in a world average of Higgs cross section limits.

cdf h comb

The plot shows on the x axis the unknown value of the Higgs boson mass in the Standard Model. On the y axis is the ratio between the lower limit on the Higgs cross section obtained by CDF analyses and the SM expectation for the same quantity: a limit higher than 1 does not really exclude the existence of the particle, but the accumulation of data and the increased precision of the analyses is pushing the black curve (combined limit) down to 1. CDF and D0, by combining their results, are already inches away from excluding the existence of a SM Higgs boson at 160 GeV. For lower masses, more work is needed in improving the analyses, by increasing b-tagging efficiency, lepton acceptance, and dijet mass resolution. I will discuss these issues in more detail in another post.


1. carlbrannen - March 13, 2008

Well if the “hidden message” has to do with US presidential elections, then I can’t but suspect that Hillary is the best candidate as far as putting money into physics. Of course, as everywhere, politics is local and voters will vote depending on other things.

2. dorigo - March 14, 2008

Hi Carl,

nope – I don’t think the Fermilab Hirise in the pic is hinting at endorsing Hillary. It is really not that hidden. Higgs.
Earlier this year I posted a similar pic where the hirise had been reshape to look like a single t – for single top. It was a work from a guy in Karlsruhe, as this one.


3. Euclidistheway - March 14, 2008

Yeah, good for you Dorigo. I have been saying this all along (I know I am not the only one). In America the Corporations are nickle and diming fees to the consumers. Administrative fees, x-fees, weird fees and who knows what fees. This a conspiratoral creeping Piracy. Congrees will not address this because I guess that they are part of the problem. Think of it, a 25 cent fee tagged to 10 million customers for a monthly fee is $ 2.5 million. Easily pure profit. That ‘s really not the worst of it. Try getting information from corporations, governments from the telephone or their websites. Time killers, which mean they don’t care how you waste your time (which may be money for you) which contributes to billions lost for the workplace and the family. Increasingly it looks like corporations don’t like to publish headquarter information or location anymore as they prefer to exist in cyberspace now. Now corporations are Global and all governments cater to them; they are not American, Italian, Russian, Chinese, British or whatever. They are in Dubai or other wealthy subsidised kingdom where they pay little tax and where the executives and their families feed from the fat in exotica. Halliburton was once an American corporation wave flagging and all.

4. Euclidistheway - March 14, 2008

Oops, I am an idiot. My thread above belongs in your Bankcard post.

5. dorigo - March 14, 2008

Never mind Euclid – I will copy it to the other ok ?

6. DB - March 14, 2008

What’s the general feeling at Fermilab about the facility’s future? I’m aware of the efforts to get Project X and some major neutrino experiments going as a way of eventually clearing the way to a frontier-energy machine, but I can’t help thinking – looking at the recent budget decisions – that the writing is on the wall and that Fermilab is going to be converted into a “user facility” come 2010 when the Tevatron shuts down. I don’t know how many more “Advanced Light Sources” or “Free Electron Lasers” the US needs but seeing as all the other US HEP facilities have gone this route, is there any reason to think Fermilab will be different?
I’m skeptical about Project X/neutrino facility since Fermilab made a decision to cut its Nova project in order to keep the Tevatron going, and yet they stand very little chance of discovering the Higgs before the LHC – although they may succeed in ruling it out at certain very limited mass ranges. Of course, they were between a rock and a hard place, but it makes me wonder. Am I wrong?

7. dorigo - March 16, 2008

Hello DB,

I think you know enough on the matter for me to be of any help. I can only say that I see a generally strong feeling of insiders that the United States should retain a working HEP laboratory in function through the LHC era. Whether they do it by working at project x or a new linear collider or whatever else, the underlying idea is there, in the minds of people who will advise a decision one way or the other.

BTW, did you read the document issued last year about the HEPAP directions for the future ? You may find there some hints of the ideas that are still on the table as far as Fermilab is concerned (see recommendation 3 for instance).


8. DB - March 18, 2008

Thanks for the link, T., my comments were based on the more recent presentation by Rameika on the future of Fermilab’s neutrino program to Fermilab’s p5 committee (Feb 21st):

It seems to me that the HEPAP document – and its recommendation 3: the ILC – was effectively blown out of the water by the recent budget decisions and that Rameika’s paper was an interesting and creative attempt to salvage a workable program for Fermilab from the wreckage. I did notice though that HEPAP used the light source carrot as a potential justifier for a linear collider – maybe this is the hint to which you refer – but this seems just a duplication of the LCLS currently being built at SLAC.

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