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Is Higgs Boson Theoretical or Hypothetical?

  1. Jul 19, 2014 #1
    I had an argument at my university about it, since experiments at LHC aren't 100% confirmed.

    I mean, gauge theories are.. theories and Goldstone bosons are theorems.

    Someone share some light plese?
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  3. Jul 19, 2014 #2


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    Well according to wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Higgs_boson they believe they found a new particle at CERN at July 2012 that seems to be the Higgs Boson and at March 2013 they verified some of its major properties.

    Not sure what you mean but everything is theory, experiments and measurements done even if they are 100% correct, they cannot prove that a theory is true, we can only say that the theory is consistent or not with the results of the experiment. If the theory is not consistent with one experiment then the theory is considered to be false. 100 experiments in consistency with a theory cannot prove the theory true, however 1 experiment inconsistent with the theory it does prove the theory false.
  4. Jul 19, 2014 #3

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    1) I don't understand the distinction you are drawing between "theoretical" and "hypothetical".

    2) "It's not 100% confirmed" is a terrible argument. You can say that about absolutely anything. It's not 100% certain that my neighbor won't turn into a werewolf tonight and kill me. But I don't live my life as if it were a serious concern.

    3) There is no reasonable doubt that a particle was discovered at the LHC. This particle has the properties of the SM Higgs to within one's ability to measure.
  5. Jul 19, 2014 #4


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    No experiment confirms anything to 100%.

    In particle physics, the convention is to announce that a new particle has been discovered only when the evidence reaches a "five-sigma" level. This means that if the particle did not actually exist, then there would be a probability of less than ##3 \times 10^{-7}## that the data came out that way by chance.

    5 Sigma—What’s That?
  6. Jul 19, 2014 #5

    So are we on five-sigma level?
  7. Jul 19, 2014 #6


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    Both ATLAS and CMS were independently at that level two years ago. Now they have more than twice the amount of data, and the analysis methods improved a lot. Combined, they should be well above 10 sigma. The probability of a statistical fluctuation is completely negligible - somewhere in the range of "win the jackpot in a lottery many times in a row".
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2014
  8. Jul 19, 2014 #7


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    Had they really reached 5 sigmas? I thought they were at 3 until LHC re-runs... Nice clarification
  9. Jul 19, 2014 #8


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    Also what does the OP mean by gauge theories are just theories?
    We are pretty sure that the way to explain elementary particle interactions is through gauge theories...
  10. Jul 19, 2014 #9


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    My "theory" is that he's thinking in terms of the popular definition of "theory" which equates it to a "hunch" or "guess" or "speculation", rather than to a coherent mathematical framework that makes testable predictions. Gauge theory makes many other predictions which have been extensively tested and verified, especially for the electromagnetic and weak interactions which is where the idea of the Higgs originated in the 1960s.

    As I recall, there are "Higgsless" electroweak theories, but pre-Higgs-discovery they didn't match experimental data as "naturally" as the standard model with Higgs.
  11. Jul 19, 2014 #10
    Nop, I meant theory in the scence of the math definition for theory or theorem, which is good.

    I'm a mathematician by the way :).
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