I am suspicious of the Higgs announcement. Press mania aside, the scientists seem careful to say only that "we've found something which looks like the Higgs Boson".

The difference between Higgs-containing theories and non-Higgs-containing theories is a tiny bump on the energy curve, smaller than the resolution of the detectors, which is why we have to perform statistical gymnastics on large data sets to discover or refute the deviation.

In other words, the energy distribution of the reactions is consistent with there being a short-lived particle weighing 126GeV, and that's all the announcements seem to really say.

Is there anything else in the results which tells us that the extra element is Higgs and not something else? Is there any identifying feature other than lifespan and mass?


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Have a look at http://arxiv.org/abs/1207.1347 or this New Scientist article for a popular science level review.

The branching ratios and couplings are consistent with the Standard Model Higgs, though the cross section for diphoton production is a little high. At the moment there is nothing to suggest that the particle found at the LHC is not the Higgs.

The spin hasn't been measured yet. We know the particle is a boson, but not what spin it has. Establishing that it's spin zero will put the icing on the cake.


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