×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

CERN's Higgs Boson Discovery Passes Peer Review Publication Hurdle

samzenpus posted about a year and a half ago | from the one-step-closer dept.

Science 73

MrSeb writes "CERN's announcement on July 4 — that experiments performed by the Large Hadron Collider had discovered a particle that was consistent with the Higgs boson — has passed a key step towards becoming ratified science: Its findings have been published in the peer-reviewed journal Physics Letters B, effectively becoming science in the process. Before we actually know what the new particle is, CERN, the LHC, and the CMS and ATLAS teams must perform additional tests. The LHC had been scheduled to shut down for upgrades, but following the July announcement it has instead been smashing protons together nonstop, to produce more data for CMS and ATLAS to analyze. By December, it is hoped that both teams will have a much better idea of the properties of the new particle, and whether it is actually the Higgs boson."

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

73 comments

So... (5, Funny)

eexaa (1252378) | about a year and a half ago | (#41289637)

Where is your god particle now?!

Re:So... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41289715)

Where is your god particle now?!

Stuck. It didn't pass the hurdle.

Re:So... (2)

Sulphur (1548251) | about a year and a half ago | (#41290257)

CERN's Higgs Boson Discovery Passes Peer Review Publication Hurdle.

It took a second Higgs Boson to pass the "Discovery" as a member of the Higgs Boson club.

Re:So... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41289815)

Where is your god particle now?!

still coming up with an explanation for creating liberals.

they talk about "fairness" because they hate justice.

Re:So... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41290401)

Winston: Ray, if someone asks you if you are a particle, say yes!

(There's a duality joke in there somewhere)

Re:So... (1)

Sulphur (1548251) | about a year and a half ago | (#41298541)

Winston: Ray, if someone asks you if you are a particle, say yes!

(There's a duality joke in there somewhere)

Wave if you are a particle.

Re:So... (1)

mcgrew (92797) | about a year and a half ago | (#41300301)

Actually, "God Particle" was a cencorship by media of the real name. The researcher who came up with it (I don't remember hsi name, I'm terrible with names) called it the "God Damned Particle" because they were having so hard a time finding it. Media won't print the words "god" and "damn" together, so they dropped the "damn".

God damned MSM censors...

Seriously? (0)

zero.kalvin (1231372) | about a year and a half ago | (#41289669)

Big Whoooop! It is not a news that a paper written by god knows how many people, that was revised time and time again by a big time collaboration getting the ok to be published! Seriously this not news at all.

Re:Seriously? (4, Insightful)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | about a year and a half ago | (#41290015)

No, it is news in the same way that the January innageration of the winner of the US Presidential election will be news ( the winner having been announced in november). It won't be a suprise to anyone or really change anyone's life, but it will be a historical milestone that happens.

Re:Seriously? (2)

zero.kalvin (1231372) | about a year and a half ago | (#41290137)

Well you do know that this is not yet pinned down as the Higgs boson!

Re:Seriously? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41290267)

Yes, it is, and your use of an exclamation point doesn't change that.

Re:Seriously? (2)

Chris Burke (6130) | about a year and a half ago | (#41290693)

No, it really isn't, though that would be the leading hypothesis and if there were betting pools on particle physics that's where the smart money would be. But much like how you can argue and bet on a sporting event but at the end of the day you need to wait for the game to play out, so too do they need to conduct many more experiments to actually figure out if it is what they think it is.

Re:Seriously? (1)

zero.kalvin (1231372) | about a year and a half ago | (#41290695)

No it is not. The new particle found is a higgs candidate. Look back at the press conference they made few month ago, none of the scientists claimed they found the higgs boson.

Re:Seriously? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41295633)

Due to a very significant anonymous financial contribution to CERN, it has behooved the director that the particle will be named "Aladeen Boson" instead.

Re:Seriously? (4, Informative)

Pro-feet (2668975) | about a year and a half ago | (#41291551)

Nope, it isn't. It's a boson, that's for sure, but its properties are not very well established yet. It really looks like a Higgs boson, or something quite similar, but that will take more measurement to tell for sure.
Eg: we're not certain yet whether it has spin 0 (like a Higgs boson should have), or spin 2.

Re:Seriously? (1)

Redmancometh (2676319) | about a year and a half ago | (#41296389)

I hope that particle turns out to have spin 2, and is something out of right effing field! A gravitino! It will turn out we broke super-symmetry, and out popped an honest-to-god 100s of GeV gravitino. Holy oh em gee it gets even better! Breaking the supersymmetry created dark matter that we are just waiting to discover in the LHC. It turns out that at high enough energy levels supersymmetry breaks but only the gravitino decays. A vector force, both push and pull. Imagine discovering/providing VERY strong evidence for supergravity, supersymmetry, AND one of the gravitational mediators all at once! Much less boring than the higgs imho.

Re:Seriously? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41296513)

See if you can find the sentence that I didn't type all the way. I have 3 words of explanation: Brandy on ice (yes I used ice in brandy QQ)
And I know that isn't physics-sound, but it was more a parody of how so many (partially inclusive of us) laypeople (and me) have their own theories that are mostly insane. Also that "A vector force" sentence shouldn't be there.

Ah! But now... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41289805)

They have to get it past 12 monkeys.. or is that 12 angry men... eh, same difference

Physics Letters B?? (4, Insightful)

cpotoso (606303) | about a year and a half ago | (#41290045)

The impact factor of Physics Letters B is a mere 3.5. Not a high-profile journal by any means. This is a place where somewhat interesting results are published, not a place where one of the most important particle physics discoveries of the last decades should be published (Phys. Rev. Letters, Nature, Science, would come to mind as high-profile journals). This is a definite red herring.

Re:Physics Letters B?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41290185)

They don't need "Nature" on their citation to make it one of the most prestigious results of the last decades. Also, each experiment's paper is ~30 pages long, which is way over the 4-5 page limit in Nature, Science, and PRL.

Re:Physics Letters B?? (3, Interesting)

ILongForDarkness (1134931) | about a year and a half ago | (#41290333)

PRL is also used for smaller sort of interim reports. I have a PRL article as an undergrad, might have a high impact factor but I don't think I'm that good (wouldn't have landed a Nature for example). The impact factor might be more a factor of it being shorter articles so something you are moderately interested in you'll read where as you wouldn't dust off a Phys. Rev. B article unless you are interested in the area it focuses on (condensed matter). I'm just speculating but I'd imagine there will be enough spin off articles, and even just "we found God now what?" opinion pieces to land the cover of Nature, Science, etc.

Re:Physics Letters B?? (2)

Pro-feet (2668975) | about a year and a half ago | (#41291567)

The choice of journal is very intentional.
Btw, a broader-scientist-public Science article is in the works.

Re:Physics Letters B?? (2)

fph il quozientatore (971015) | about a year and a half ago | (#41292261)

It's simple my friend.

1) Publish another paper in PRL-B this year
2) watch its impact factor diverge due to citations to the Higgs paper
3) ???
4) Profit! -- or, rather, tenure!

Re:Physics Letters B?? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41293071)

This is exactly like complaining that a professional ballet company isn't auditioning for So You Think You Can Dance, the television dance competition show. The purpose for an author of publishing in a high impact rating journal is to buy weight for their career. This paper is so well known that there is no point in that, they don't need the publicity, so they can just publish in whatever journal is more appropriate in terms of its subject instead of trying to chase fame - like how all papers should be published if not for the game of perverse incentives that's been set in place.

Re:Physics Letters B?? (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | about a year and a half ago | (#41301461)

This is exactly like complaining that a professional ballet company isn't auditioning for So You Think You Can Dance, the television dance competition show.

That's an amazingly good analogy.

Re:Physics Letters B?? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41293259)

This is probably political -- note that PRL is USA and PLB is European...

Re:Physics Letters B?? (2)

ultracool (883965) | about a year and a half ago | (#41294747)

Different journals have different standards for the type of paper. For example, the format for Science and Nature articles tends to be less detailed and more focussed on the particular result obtained. Other journals are more suitable for more in-depth discussion of methods and their intricacies. Some of them, such as Physics Letters, promise rapid publication, whereas PRL etc., Science, and Nature can drag on for some time. Notice also that they have chosen to publish the papers open access, which not every journal allows. Impact factor isn't everything. And as another poster noted, there is a Science article in the works. Nothing fishy here.

Not important news, surprisingly. (5, Insightful)

ocean_soul (1019086) | about a year and a half ago | (#41290067)

In contrast to what many people think, passing peer review is not all that important. Among scientists, there is no such thing as 'ratified science'. This is only something that needs to be done to get a paper published in an scientific journal. That would be important if the publishers were trying to make other scientist aware of their findings or if they need publications in peer reviewed journals in order to secure money. Neither of those is really the case here.

Re:Not important news, surprisingly. (2)

Mike Buddha (10734) | about a year and a half ago | (#41290621)

Yep, all this means is that 3 people looked at their results and methodology and decided it looks legit. Three people is a peer reviewal.

Re:Not important news, surprisingly. (1)

mill3d (1647417) | about a year and a half ago | (#41290963)

Anyhow, I wonder who could peer-review findings coming from a unique instrument...

Re:Not important news, surprisingly. (2)

Pro-feet (2668975) | about a year and a half ago | (#41291603)

Well, to start with, there are two independent experiments.
And secondly, from experience, those few peer reviewers can still ask damn good questions, even about papers signed by ~3000 authors.

Re:Not important news, surprisingly. (1)

queazocotal (915608) | about a year and a half ago | (#41291451)

Science is a continuum.

At one end is remote viewing, telekinisis, and similar claims.

At the other is what is usually taken as axioms.
1+1=2, ...

The higgs, and indeed the electron, is somewhere between these two.
We have a good deal of evidence that the electron behaves mostly as current theories predict, to many, many decimal places.
Any change in understanding of it pretty much either has to find thousands of earlier results flawed, or to be a subtle effect only visible at unexplored areas.
Much like the initial (re) discovery of atoms.

Ratified science? (5, Insightful)

Missing.Matter (1845576) | about a year and a half ago | (#41290127)

What the hell is ratified science? Peer review is an important part of the scientific process, but make no mistake there is no process or entity (journals, institutions, or otherwise) which officiates scientific process. Our state of understanding of the universe is in a constant state of flux; even work that has been peer reviewed can be proven wrong by later work, or work that has been rejected by peers can later be proven correct. Peer-reviewed research has a little more credibility than otherwise, true. However, this talk about "how research becomes science" seems reminiscent of "how a bill becomes a law," and the scientific process simply doesn't work like that.

Re:Ratified science? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41290301)

[B]ut make no mistake there is no process or entity (journals, institutions, or otherwise) which officiates scientific process.

The Illuminati respectfully disagree.

Re:Ratified science? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41290325)

What the hell is ratified science?

It's when creationism supplants evolution in school curriculum via voting.

Re:Ratified science? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41290639)

What the hell is ratified science? Peer review is an important part of the scientific process, but make no mistake there is no process or entity (journals, institutions, or otherwise) which officiates scientific process.

There! See? Right there! See? SEE??? That's why GOD and religion and GOD are better than dumb ol' science! Y'all are just flinging crap around until you find something that sticks and then you all just scream about it until someone agrees with you, no wonder y'all think we came from monkeys! Over here, GOD and His religion made a perfectly well-structured boss man who tells us what science is and what we're allowed to do in GOD's name! And you city-boy college-types with your evil liberal liberalness think y'all got it SO figured out, you don't even know who you're reporting all these "discoveries" to! All this "science" just gets reported to everyone 'round the whole dang world and it confuses us, but we've got bishops and cardinals and THE POPE we give all our discoveries to, and they decide what's the best way to tell everyone! Sometimes they don't even tell anyone at all! When can you say science was smart enough to do THAT?

Pfft. Stupid science.

Re:Ratified science? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41294783)

What the hell is ratified science?

Science with rodents.

Wondering (1)

StripedCow (776465) | about a year and a half ago | (#41290203)

I'm wondering, given the fact that scientific results are by definition falsifyable, what is the percentage of publications in major peer-reviewed journals (Nature, etc.), that eventually turn out to be (partly) incorrect?

(Not that I'm questioning this particular discovery.)

Re:Wondering (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41293771)

This is probably a good place to raise a few references.

1 - this is the place where withdrawn papers are noted, together with reasons: http://retractionwatch.wordpress.com/
2 - this article is an easy introduction: http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2010/11/lies-damned-lies-and-medical-science/308269/
3 - to this paper, "Why most Published Research Findings are False: http://www.plosmedicine.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pmed.0020124

and if that doesn't get me modded +6 for Informative.... :?

Re:Wondering (1)

osu-neko (2604) | about a year and a half ago | (#41294023)

I'm wondering, given the fact that scientific results are by definition falsifyable...

Duhem and Quine have made some points you might want to review before continuing to spread that particular fallacy...

'Effectively becoming science...? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41290327)

"...Its findings have been published in the peer-reviewed journal Physics Letters B, effectively becoming science in the process..."

This is nonsense. There is no requirement for 'peer review' before something 'becomes science'. Peer review can give a bit more authority (though it often has the opposite effect, of closing down the truth in favour of an establishment consensus, as happened, for instance, with the Piltdown Man fiasco.).

Science works quite simply. Someone writes up a hypothesis, with evidence. If someone - anyone - can find a flaw, the hypothesis is disproven. It doesn't matter if the paper is written up by the Head of CERN, and a greengrocer from a nearby town disproves it - if it's disproven, it's gone.

The idea that peer review is what MAKES science is a deeply dangerous one. It implies that there is a specific class of people who are the only ones allowed to 'know' technical things, or who are allowed to comment on them. It implies that people must agree with this technological elite, and are banned from thinking for themselves...

Re:'Effectively becoming science...? (1)

newcastlejon (1483695) | about a year and a half ago | (#41291053)

The idea that peer review is what MAKES science is a deeply dangerous one.

Hear, hear. Perhaps substituting "independent" for "peer" might be worth consideration.

Re:'Effectively becoming science...? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41293639)

If a piece of science is checked by anyone, that tends to raise its credibility a little. It shouldn't matter if that person is Albert Schweitzer or Pol Pot, if they're independent or not. If the checking is done well, it aids credibility.

The huge problem with 'peer' review is that, in a small group, it becomes 'friend' review. And then the checking ISN'T done properly - instead, it can be passed on the nod. Particularly if grants are at risk. I think we all know where I'm going with this...

Re:'Effectively becoming science...? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41292961)

Except when the subject is Global Warming, of course.

Re:'Effectively becoming science...? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41294349)

"..Except when the subject is Global Warming, of course..."

We're talking about science. Global Warming is a religion, and those who deny this are heretics...

Quick couple of questions (1)

EmagGeek (574360) | about a year and a half ago | (#41290921)

Has consensus effectively become science?

Is this particle "consistent" with what we believe to be a Higgs Boson, or is it actually a Higgs Boson?

Re:Quick couple of questions (3, Interesting)

RaceProUK (1137575) | about a year and a half ago | (#41291125)

Is this particle "consistent" with what we believe to be a Higgs Boson, or is it actually a Higgs Boson?

It's within the expected mass range, but its properties have yet to be determined, making it a Higgs candidate.

Re:Quick couple of questions (3, Interesting)

ThreeKelvin (2024342) | about a year and a half ago | (#41291581)

Consensus has nothing to do with science. Following the scientific method is science.

And the particle the people at CERN have discovered is consistent with what we believe to be a Higgs boson, and might therefore actually be one. We haven't had time to do enough experiments to tell. The only things we know about the particle is that it's there and that it has a mass of ~126 GeV. We're assuming that it's the Higgs, because the Higgs is the only particle that is missing with a mass in that neighbourhood. (Gravitons ought to be heavier, as do dark matter, etc.)

Re:Quick couple of questions (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41293901)

Gravitons ought to be heavier

Gravitons are massless. (Hence, Newton's being an inverse-square law.)

Re:Quick couple of questions (1)

ThreeKelvin (2024342) | about a year and a half ago | (#41294143)

You're right, thanks!

I haven't touched quantum physics in quite some years, so I'm rather rusty.

Sure, that's the first step (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41291351)

But it's really not legitimate science until Al Gore makes a movie about it.

Re:Sure, that's the first step (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41291737)

...and wins an Oscar.

Becoming science? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41291511)

This summary is stupid. It says 'becoming science' as if it wasn't before. Science is JUST A PROCESS. Have idea, test idea, have others repeat test if possible. Test confirms idea = idea probably true with a non-1 value for probability.

To say something becomes science only when ratified by peer review is dangerous. Once when I was a kid I filled a small bucket with water and spun it in a windmill motion. The water stayed in, showing me centrifugal force in action. That was science. Also the other kids thought I was weird. That was also science.

Replication of results? (1)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | about a year and a half ago | (#41291805)

So...how were the results replicated? Did another, unrelated team of researchers use the LHC to achieve the same results? If not, what the fuck, science? Aren't irreproducible results [nature.com] the butt of jokes? Ah, nevermind. I don't have a Ph.D., so as I have been informed many times before, on this very website, how am I to question Ph.D.s? I promise to be more trusting and less vigilant in the future.

Re:Replication of results? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41293089)

Irreproducible results are ones that people have tried to reproduce and failed.

For example, the original Cold Fusion experiment was irreproducible, probably because the results were either fabricated or the result of experimental error

But _most_ scientific results are never reproduced. That's unfortunate, but it doesn't magically make those results invalid, it just means we probably shouldn't put as much trust in them as we do.

If somebody else builds a suitably high powered accelerator they will probably try to find Higgs candidates in this mass range. But there is every chance no-one else will ever bother to build such an accelerator.

Re:Replication of results? (1)

Pro-feet (2668975) | about a year and a half ago | (#41293873)

Actually, two independent experiments, with on purpose different technological choices, blinded their data until a little before the announcement. Once the box was opened, on both sides the evidence for a new particle emerged, independently. TFS mentioned there are 2 teams: ATLAS and CMS.

Btw, would you read my comment differently if you knew I had a PhD or not?
It's not about trust. The fact that irreproducible results happen does not mean that all science is bad (was that a computer full of quantum mechanics you used to type that comment?).

Re:Replication of results? (1)

ThreeKelvin (2024342) | about a year and a half ago | (#41293939)

There were two teams at the LHC that independantly came to the conclusion that there was a particle.

And, though you might have been ironic, you caught the exact reason there are two independant sets of sensors, data analysis, etc. (Everything besides the accelerator ring.) Now, a third, completely independant reproduction of the result would be golden, but until we get it we'll have to make do with just a single reproduction of the result.

Re:Replication of results? (2)

Chris Burke (6130) | about a year and a half ago | (#41295867)

I promise to be more trusting and less vigilant in the future.

Why don't you try being more vigilant, as in actually trying to discover the answer to your questions instead of asking them rhetorically and trusting that your own assumptions must be right?

In The Beginning .. (1)

mrawhimskell (1794156) | about a year and a half ago | (#41295635)

I discovered the origins of the universe a long time ago when i read this sentence: "In the beginning, God ..."
Check for New Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...