28 August 2012

Why is CERN silent?

The LHC is producing collisions at a steady pace. The amount of 2012 data (12.7 inverse femtobarn) is already the double of that used in the July 2012 announcements (below 6  inverse femtobarns). But there are no updates on the results. A few week ago I questioned why the ATLAS experiment changed its data retroactively, and Matt Strassler answered that he hopes that this will happen regularly. (I am simplifying the statements somewhat, of course :-)

Well, it is now time for CERN to change their old data again! We all remember that the Higgs bump was huge in December 2011, and then much smaller in July 2012. We are all waiting to see, using the newest data, whether the Higgs bump remains or whether it is reduced even further.

Of course, people have invested 5 billion Euro to show that the Higgs exists, so they will probably produce new data that confirms it.  After all, who will ever be able to check the result? Nobody will spend 5 billion to do so. Whatever CERN says, it will be the "truth". For ever.

Remember what Putin said to his aides when the United States failed to find nuclear arms in Iraq: "If I had been the president of the US, I would have found them."

So why is CERN silent? Is it because faking the new data is taking too much effort? (Last time, it took only a few days.)

P.S. I am not sure that the CERN people can stand satire. A few weeks ago, I added some satirical comments on a page of Dorigo's blog, and when I came back to read the reactions, he had taken the whole page down...