ATLAS Higgs Update

13 December 2011

The ATLAS(*) and the CMS experiments today presented updates on their searches for Standard Model Higgs bosons. The results, though impressive, do not yet contain enough data to make any definitive statement about the existence or otherwise of the elusive Higgs.

Both experiments have managed to constrain the possible masses of the Higgs down to a narrow range. For ATLAS that range is 116-130 GeV and for CMS it is 115-127 GeV (where a GeV is approximately the mass energy of a proton).

It is perhaps interesting that this one region that has not been excluded is the same region which is most consistent with Supersymmetric extensions to the Standard Model, theories which could also explain the cosmological Dark Matter.

Both experiments have seen collisions that might be giving hints of a Higgs, but it is still possible that the small excesses observed could be consistent with background fluctuations. The 2012 data will be needed before any definitive statement can be made.

More details about the results can be found on the CERN web pages.

(*)The Oxford group has been of the leading contributors to the ATLAS experiment for more than 15 years, from design and construction through to operation and analysis.