Sunday, June 26, 2011

Does the LHC see trivial Higgs at 750 GeV?

I predict that in 2015, in a far future, lots of people will look for blog posts about \(750\GeV\) Higgs bosons and they will land on this page. A message for those travelers in the future: this blog post discusses hints of a boson whose width is huge, in hundreds of \({\rm GeV}\), so it has nothing to do with the December 15th, 2015 ATLAS+CMS hints of a new boson whose width is between \(25\) and \(50\GeV\). Check newer, future blog posts for remarks on the new signals.

I don't discuss preprints that are disconnected from (or in contradiction with) the body of the research and findings about the physics beyond the Standard Model too often, especially not those that have 0 citations from other people. But this one is kind of fun.

Leonardo Cosmai and Paolo Cea have just claimed (1106.4178) that the ATLAS Collaboration has already found some evidence for their "trivial Higgs" model. They're excited about certain three events allegedly supporting their model although they don't seem capable of calculating any confidence levels.

An intermezzo: science and Miss USA

Misses of all the 50 (+1) states of the U.S. democratically vote that evolution should either not be taught at school, or it should be taught along with creationism. The only clean and enthusiastic pro-science viewpoint was presented by Alyssa Campanella of California (1:49); girls from MA, VT, and NM were also pro-science but not thrillingly so. Given the fact that she even believes the Big Bang Theory, it's hard to understand how such an extraterrestrial alien, a Sheldon Cooper in G-strings, and a self-described huge science geek could become Miss USA a week ago. ;-) Miss World will clearly be the best string theorist among the contestants who will beat the 99% of the Shmoit-Shwolin apologists who will be the competitors. Via Sean Carroll

Back to the trivial Higgs

In fact, it's even better. The ATLAS Collaboration hasn't found just some evidence. They claim in the very title that it has found "evidences" so their certainty converges to that of the creationists who have the monopoly over the term "evidences". ;-)

At the end of their new preprint, they discuss the rejection of their paper in a journal. To fix this problem, they propose to shoot the referee and make other changes to the system that will guarantee that their papers are always accepted.

Their model (0911.5220) of the trivial Higgs claims that the Higgs may have no quartic self-interactions and, building upon some computer simulations, it's still possible to have a nonzero vev and a stable Higgs potential because of some non-perturbative surprises.

They end up claiming that it's universally true (at any RG scale) in a non-perturbative regime of a self-interacting scalar with the interaction going to zero that
(Higgs mass) = pi * (Higgs vev)
where the (approximate or accurate?) factor of "pi" was found numerically, if I understand their statements correctly. That would mean that the Higgs mass is 750 GeV plus minus 20 stat and 20 syst GeV error margin. (It's an impressive achievement to list even the "statistical error" in a theoretical paper that doesn't measure anything.) The decay is dominated by ZZ and WW and the width is 340 GeV i.e. huge.

Well, I would bet it's not possible for a nominally non-interacting theory of a scalar to have this huge vev - especially because the perturbative conclusions should become more valid, not less valid, when the quartic coupling is sent to zero - but I like the "minimalistic" and "bold" character of their solution.

Lots of progress has been recently made in our understanding of various new phenomena and dualities in strongly coupled gauge theories - but we may be missing some analogous insights about the scalar theories and our opinions that at strong coupling, they can only hit a Landau pole and become inconsistent, could be wrong in a subtle way.

Don't get me wrong. I would still reject their paper as well because it contradicts many apparently known things and doesn't offer enough detailed evidence to support that their new answers could be right. But among the papers that end up in the non-serious category, theirs is kind of creative. It may be viewed as a good solution to the problem "how would you hide the Higgs sector so that the LHC will see as little new physics as possible?".

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