“that damned elusive particle…”

Earlier this week there was unfounded speculation that the Tevatron particle collider at Fermilab had already discovered the Higgs boson.  But if their funding is continued, and it probably will be, they could still take that particular prize ahead of the Large Hadron Collider at Cern.

Understandably in the circumstances, all scientific eyes have been on the International Conference on High Energy Physics (ICHEP) in Paris this weekend.

The Guardian’s Science Blog’s Jon Butterworth is there

In the final session of the day we had presentations on the Higgs searches at the Tevatron particle collider at Fermilab in the US. Surprise, surprise – the room was packed (see photo above). I wonder why the organisers didn’t use one of the bigger rooms. They can’t have been taken unawares by the level of interest, surely?

Anyhow, what we saw were the component parts of a number of different searches for that damned elusive particle, carried out independently at the CDF (Collider Detector at Fermilab) and DZero experiments.

What is obvious is that no one is going to announce a clearcut observation of the standard model Higgs at this conference. What is not clear yet is how close we are, how much room the Higgs has left to hide in, and whether there are any hints of its presence. These questions will be answered at the plenary session on Monday, apparently, when the combined results of both colliders and all their different techniques will be shown.

Here’s a good introduction to the Standard Model of Particle Physics from Cern News – it’s the first in a series of videos.

Of course, there may be further wrinkles ahead…