Tuesday, February 21, 2012 ... /////

CDF at 10/fb sees nothing in diphoton Higgs decays

As I told you on Saturday morning, the CDF Collaboration at the defunct Tevatron collider was going to publish a result on the Higgs physics that is based on 10 inverse femtobarns of their data. Here is the paper:

Search for a Standard Model Higgs Boson Decaying Into Photons at CDF Using 10.0 fb−1 of Data
The Standard Model expectation was a 3-sigma excess near 125 GeV. At least that's what the CDF spokesman Rob Roser has said. Important addition, thanks to commenters: the 3-sigma excess should only occur in a combination of other channels, not in the diphoton channel whose sensitivity is weak at the Tavatron.

Because the LHC indicates an excess of the diphoton events, we could still have been seeing a detectable signal at the Tevatron. Instead...

Instead, the CDF analysis shows absolutely no excess near 125 GeV, the mass of a nearly discovered Higgs boson at the LHC.

The Tevatron folks have some near-2-sigma excess around 120 GeV. If you wanted to ask me, I would say that after some experience with bizarre claims about Z-prime bosons, CPT-violation in top quark sectors, additional top quark asymmetries, and other things regularly coming from the CDF Collaboration in the recent year or so, I don't personally believe that the CDF Higgs diphoton analysis is too trustworthy.