Since I don’t see why Resonaances should have all the fun, I guess I’ll post something here about the big upcoming news of the summer: is the 750 GeV diphoton bump still there in the 2016 LHC data? We’re very soon about to hit a major fork in the road for high energy physics: if the bump is there, the field will be revolutionized and dominated by this for years, ft it’s not, we’re back to the usual frustrating grind.
Last year’s tentative signal was based upon 3.2 inverse fb of 2015 data, and as of today the experiments have over 6 inverse fb of new 2016 data. One can guess that within ATLAS and CMS, plots have started to circulate of preliminary analyses of some sizable fraction of the new data, and some number of people now know which fork we’re headed down, a number that will grow to 6000 or so in coming weeks.
If you’re not one of those, you could try accessing this data indirectly, using a model of how the CERN administration works. According to this presentation at LHCP this past weekend
the next major update of physics results from the LHC is at the ICHEP 2016 Conference, August 2016, Chicago
CERN management is in regular contacts with the experiments’ Spokespersons. It is agreed that any significant (i.e. discovery-like) result (such as the 750 GeV bump becoming a signal or other) has first to be announced in a seminar at CERN.
No detailed schedule yet for ICHEP, but the first day of plenary talks there is scheduled for Monday August 8. My CERN-modeling suggests that the two forks in the road will correspond to the following two possibilities
- A “special seminar” in Geneva mid to late July, where a “discovery-like result” will be announced jointly by the CERN DG and the two experiments.
- A pair of seminars in Chicago on August 8 or shortly thereafter showing off bump-less plots. Much of the drama will be gone by then, since not all 6000 physicists will have kept quiet, and everyone will realize that if “discovery-like” was going to happen, it would have happened earlier.
It may become clear which fork we’re taking relatively soon, since the “special seminar” route takes some planning and will get announced in advance. If there’s no such news by mid-July I think it will be clear we’re headed down the boring fork in the road.
Unfortunately, life being what it is, that’s the most likely one anyway. To supplement this CERN-administration-modeling, you can watch the comment section at Resonaances, where rumors of no bump have already started to appear…
Update: Now, it’s an official rumor (since it’s on Twitter). I can add to this that, of the rumors I have heard, there have been no rumors that this official rumor is not an accurate rumor.