Fermilab denies it's found 'God particle'

Posted by Emma Woollacott

Fermilab is denying reports that its Tevatron particle accelerator has detected a Higgs boson - the so-called God Particle.

Physicist Tommaso Dorigo suggested last week in a blog post that the lab had discovered a Higgs effect.

"It reached my ear, from two different, possibly independent sources, that an experiment at the Tevatron is about to release some evidence of a light Higgs boson signal. Some say a three-sigma effect, others do not make explicit claims but talk of a unexpected result," he said.

"That the result comes from the Tevatron is for sure, since the LHC experiments do not have nearly enough data yet to search for that elusive particle, and other particle physics experiments in the world have not nearly enough energy to produce it."

Meanwhile, Lubos Motl says he's heard the same thing from a prominent physicist.

"I've heard that there's a rumor going around Aspen that the Tevatron will be announcing discovery of gluon + b → b + Higgs, which would then require large tan(beta), which would fit the MSSM. I guess we'll find out in a couple of weeks," he quotes the physicist as saying.

The Higgs boson is predicted to exist by the Standard Model of particle physics - but is the only particle postulated by that theory that has never been observed. If it exists, it could explain the existence of mass.

Fermilab is denying the story. "Let's settle this: the rumors spread by one fame-seeking blogger are just rumors. That's it," it says in a tweet.

But the denial stops short of saying categorically that no evidence for the particle has been found. A definitive answer one way or the other is likely to emerge next week at the International Conference on High Energy Physics in Paris.