All geared up for the Higgs March 13, 2008Posted 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…
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.
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.