Official announcements won’t come out until the Moriond conference first week of March, but reliable rumors are starting to trickle out about what the Higgs news will be. ATLAS will report (based on about 21 fb-1 of 8 TeV data + the 2011 7 TeV data) that the gamma-gamma excess has gone down slightly (from 1.8 to 1.65 times the SM value). Still about 1.5 standard deviations high, but this isn’t encouraging if you want something that disagrees with the SM.
At the AAAS 2013 meeting in Boston this past week, a press conference was held to update the media on the Higgs. What the media got from the press conference was the news that the Higgs may spell doom, unless supersymmetry saves us. This isn’t just doom for HEP physics research, it’s doom for the entire universe:
“At some point, billions of years from now, it’s all going to be wiped out…. The universe wants to be in a different state, so eventually to realise that, a little bubble of what you might think of as an alternate universe will appear somewhere, and it will spread out and destroy us,” Lykken said at AAAS.
This is based on a renormalization group calculation extrapolating the Higgs effective potential to its value at energies many many orders of magnitude above LHC energies. To believe the result you have to believe that there is no new physics and we completely understand everything exactly up to scales like the GUT or Planck scale. Fan of the SM that I am, that’s too much for even me to swallow as plausible.
If you are being kept awake by the Higgs metastability issue, you’ll want to know the Higgs mass as accurately as possible. The rumor from ATLAS is that the difference in best fit masses between the gamma-gamma and ZZ channels has narrowed, with gamma-gamma moving up slightly to 126.8 GeV, ZZ quite a bit, to 124.3 GeV.