There’s an article in the Chronicle of Higher Education about the Quantum Diaries Webloggers. It points out that since this project is organized by the high energy physics labs, it “presents a sanitized version of life in high-energy physics”, with one of the participants quoted as saying “None of us wants to be responsible for saying anything negative.” Well at least there is one weblog dealing with high-energy physics where things are not sanitized….
From Gordon Watts, one of the Quantum Diaries webloggers, I learned about the Tevatron Connection Program, which brings together theorists and people from the CDF and D0 experiments at the Tevatron. It seems to me that new results on the top mass were first made public this past weekend at this conference (see here and here). The latest combined CDF/D0 result is (“pending final CDF/DO review”):
top quark mass = 174.3 +/- 3.4 Gev
compare to the previous result using Run I data of
top quark mass = 178.0 +/- 4.3 Gev
In the standard model, the new top quark mass implies a value for the Higgs mass of 94 +54/-35 Gev. Note that much of this range is excluded by the LEP result that the Higgs mass must be above 114 Gev. In the minimal supersymmetric standard model with this top quark mass, getting the Higgs mass above 114 Gev requires making the superpartner of the top quite heavy, introducing a certain amount of fine-tuning into the theory. For more about this, see a posting by Jacques Distler.