Is Higgs Boson Theoretical or Hypothetical?

  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?
  2. jcsd
  3. Well according to wikipedia 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. Vanadium 50

    Vanadium 50 18,463
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor

    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. jtbell

    Staff: Mentor

    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. So are we on five-sigma level?
  7. mfb

    Staff: Mentor

    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. ChrisVer

    ChrisVer 2,403
    Gold Member

    Had they really reached 5 sigmas? I thought they were at 3 until LHC re-runs... Nice clarification
  9. ChrisVer

    ChrisVer 2,403
    Gold Member

    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. jtbell

    Staff: Mentor

    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. 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 :).
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thead via email, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?

Draft saved Draft deleted
Similar discussions for: Is Higgs Boson Theoretical or Hypothetical?
: LHC, higgs boson