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TRIUMF | Vancouver, BC | Canada

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Higgs Seminar Liveblog from TRIUMF

Hi there! This is TRIUMF’s liveblog of CERN’s Higgs seminar, coming to you all the way from Vancouver, Canada, where it is quickly approaching midnight. As someone who is not a scientist, I’ll be offering the layman’s point of view of the seminar. So, to reiterate, it is quite late and I’m not a scientist, meaning I should be making a fool of myself at least once tonight. I apologize in advance for that and for any technical difficulties I am sure to run into tonight. Enjoy. See you at midnight!

1:48 – Okay. It’s over now. Good night. I hope you all enjoyed my illuminating commentary.

1:46 – Rolf just killed it with the most succinct explanation of what was actually happening tonight. I understand the science was necessary, but still.

1:45 – Rolf is getting feedback on the mic! Noooo.

1:44 – “as a layman, I would now say, ‘I think we have it.'” This is why Rolf is the best.


1:41 – My boss just told me that everyone has been applauding because they’ve announced 5 sigma, which is like a “slam dunk” for confirmation in physics. It’s not perfect yet, but there’s no going back now. Finally, something I understood.

1:40 – “Need more data” is a recurring sentiment in science, I’ve found.

1:38 – No idea what that discovery was.

1:35 – A lot of clapping. Big discovery.

1:30 – 80% of this slide is graph.

1:27- On to the results!

1:24 – Um.

1:17 – “This part is perhaps a little too technical for this presentation” please, continue.

1:13 – The science is impenetrable.

1:06 – These slides have their own, inexplicable color schemes.

1:04 – Seriously, though, not a nice font.

1:02 – Second biggest challenge of 2012: the use of Comic-Sans on these slides.

12:59 – They are working beyond design. Impressive.

12:58 – Pile-up was the biggest challenge for them in 2012. Too much data!

12:56 – ATLAS was conceived 2 decades ago, built 1 decade ago

12:55- This data is really fresh.

12:54 – The events really are beautiful.

12:53 – ATLAS. No snack break.

12:53 – Way to go.

12:52 – 3,300 scientists on CMS.

12:50 – Just heard him say  “New boson” Woo!

12:49 – “In conclusion” graphs pop up all over the screen. Not helping.

12:48 – Rolf just coughed.

12:46 – “Do I have five minutes?”

12:44 – “Jumping to my results. Don’t want to do that” YES YOU DO

12:37 – People clapping. One person whistled.

12:33 – Anytime there is a longish gap in coverage, it means I literally understood nothing, my eyes became unfocused, and I slipped into a waking dream.

12:31 – The 2011 data was reoptimized blindly.

12:30 – Higgs to zz (as if I know what this means)

12:30 – Seriously, graphs.

12:28 –  There is a little bump in the comparison between the 2011 – 2012 data. “This is very significant” dramatic pause. Next slide. What!

12:27 – “It’s quite hard to see if anything is there” yep.

12:26 – Many graphs. Many, many graphs.

12:25 – He’s close to coming to results soon.

12:23 – “Well, these are technical things” (like everything else so far)

12:22 – How wild, though, is not within the scope of this talk.

12:21 – Blind analyses in 2012. Never looked in the band where the signal would be. Keeps people honest. It also gets “wild” when people look in the signal band.

12:20 – He’s talking about the Higgs now!

12:18 – I might be in the minority here, but I prefer the look of Fake Tau over Real Tau. Sorry!

12:16 – I’m looking at my computer like I understand what is happening, but I don’t.

12:13 – “I’m going to run over, Rolf”

12:13 – The CMS detector weighs 14000t. Weighty, indeed.

12:11 – This CMS diagram looks really good.

12:08 – They moved to 8TeV this year.

12:05 – Okay. Here comes the science. Picture looks nice and 50 interactions is impressive…I think.

12:04 – CMS progress on the Higgs search beginning.

12:03 – “For a certain particle. I forgot the name.” Rolf, getting the laughs, as per usual. Awesome speaker.

12:00 – Rolf is talking now. Let’s do this.


Written by Jordan Pitcher (Communications Assistant)


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