Spare a thought for the American particle physicists at Fermilab, Batavia. They, like the European scientists at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, have been trying to prove the existence of the Higgs boson.
The Tevatron at Fermilab is, like the LHC, a high-powered atom smasher – but far older. Fermilab was behind the discoveries of the top and bottom quarks (two other subatomic particles) in the 1990s. In June, it released preliminary results that confirmed the presence of the Higgs boson to an accuracy of 95 per cent – not, unfortunately, accurate enough to say they had discovered the “god particle” (today’s LHC results were 99.9999 per cent accurate).
Yesterday, Motherboard asked Robert Roser, head of Fermilab’s collider detector team, what sort of party preparations were being made in Batavia ahead of today’s LHC results.
“None,” replied Roser.