Sunday, December 11, 2011

Not so secret Higgs PR preparations at CERN

I wanted to know every detail about the preparations for the media fireworks associated with the evidence for (or against) the Higgs boson on Tuesday 14:00.

At 2:10, 117.3 GeV should be replaced by 125.5 GeV: not a bad guess for a 4-year-old composition by Don Garbutt. Also, I hope you will forgive the composer his somewhat careless mixing of the Higgs and the inflaton. ;-)

So I contacted a guy who has very good relations with CERN's bosses and who plans to make a visit to CERN.

Hi Ratzi,

what's up, buddy? I hope that you are excited that your boss will finally have His own particle named after Him on Tuesday. He apparently knows quite a lot about the events happening in this Universe, doesn't He?

And by a complete coincidence, I am uninterested in all the 10^{500} other universes and only interested in this particular bubble around us.

Could you please find out and tell me what the spokespersons and the public relations department at CERN are doing these days, before Tuesday?

Tschüss und cheers, Lumo

Superstring theory is the language in which God wrote the world.

The answer came in less than minus sixty nanoseconds:
Dear Hon. Lumo,

great to hear from you. Sure, I asked my boss and you may find the answer below.

Your H. F.

Kaj Dio diris: Estu lumo; kaj farigxis lumo. Kaj Dio vidis la lumon, ke gxi estas bona; kaj Dio apartigis la lumon de la mallumo.

Forwarded from: God

Hi Pope,

here is our report. Let me emphasize that all the information below was carefully accumulated from publicly accessible sources. In fact, they were made public by the CERN's communication office.

Don't forget that I'm just God and almost no one at CERN really believes me so I unfortunately can't receive more than that. Any sufficiently attentive human or divine entity could provide you with the same information.

CERN's spokesman, director general, and head of communication office are drafting the press release. The final version will be completed on Monday morning and released on Tuesday at 15:20, according to our winter time (as measured in the Vatican). You won't miss much if you start to watch on 11/12/13 at 14:15:16.

The word "hints" will be absent in this press release.

The press release will still be too complicated and CERN also has to prepare a simpler document. James Gillies wrote it as well and he sent it to Rolf Heuer, Sergio Bertolucci who will check whether Joe Sixpacks are able to read it, too. This simpler text is similar to the summary of policymakers explaining "what it means if there's no Higgs".

Lots of interview requests didn't make it; Tokyo University and Nature News are exceptions. All those things are under embargo until Tuesday 15:20.

Chaps from the BBC will come here on Monday afternoon. Only 15 journalists have gained access here for Tuesday so far; 10 of them are from media organizations. But the number will increase. CERN has tried to repel them by saying there is no discovery.

Journalists will be asking questions via Twitter and will be instantly answered under the hash tag #HiggsUpdate.

Lots of pictures of events will be distributed among the inkspillers so that they don't add stupid off-topic pictures into their stories.

ATLAS will provide examples of gamma gamma events and 4 lepton events.

Rolf Heuer asked me not to try to interpret the previous sentence. So I am not going to speculate whether or not ATLAS will report an excess not only in the diphoton but also in the four-lepton ZZ channel because that would throw me into politically sensitive waters, something that God cannot afford.

Tommaso Dorigo has vigorously tried to offer not so subtle hints that ATLAS will also release a signal in the four-lepton channel but everyone has fortunately found his leaked information too cryptic.

Some of the CMS' presentations will be animated, others will be static. The latter should only be leaked to the press after 15:20 but smart TRF readers will be able to get them earlier from the website.

I have mentioned that the word "hints" has been eradicated from the press release. But even the word "candidate" is at risk. The same holds for "evidence". The ultimate keyword may therefore be "glimpse". Rolf Heuer will prepare animated videos on the Higgs. One version will have subtitles, the other one won't. ATLAS and CMS will prepare their products, too.

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