The Higgs Papers Are Out

I saw over at Cosmic Variance that the Higg Boson papers have been published. Sean comments that he is including the the plots from the papers in his new book. I was very excited to see those plots when they were first presented. I woke up at a normal time for a day off on July 4th. The seminars at CERN had been over for hours, so I searched online for the slides from the talks. I found the slides from CMS first. They contained this plot. 

This was a beautiful sight to me. The CMS researchers had combined pairs of high energy photons in the events and calculated the invariant mass of the pair, which is equal to the mass of the particle they came from if they were both from the same particle and the only particles produced in the decay. The fact that there is a bump in the plot indicates that a particle that decays into two photons with a mass of 125 GeV were in the events. This is about as compelling as evidence gets in particle physics. 

I showed the plot to my wife, but she was not as excited or as impressed as I was. She said that she preferred fields of study that are more concrete. She has a degree in rhetoric, which does exactly sound like civil engineering to me.