UPDATE: LHCb reports precise measurement of B_s meson decaying to J/Psi meson + Phi meson. Agrees beautifully with the Standard Model. Fantastic measurement!! But disappointing — no sign of any new phenomena.
Well, the hurricane now arriving on the east coast of the United States has forced significant changes in many people’s plans, mine included. Certain big chores simply had to get done in preparation for the storm’s arrival. Consequently the post that I had hoped to write analyzing the results from Mumbai on the searches for the Higgs particle, and for more speculative phenomena, simply hasn’t been composed yet. But since Irene the Giant is expected to impact the New York area for about 24 hours, starting late tomorrow afternoon, I should have plenty of time to catch up while it’s on its way in. Whether I’ll be able to finish the post, or post it when it’s finished, will depend on when the power goes out, and for how long.
[p.s. apologies to those who have asked questions that have gone unanswered; I’ll get to those during the storm as well.]
Meanwhile, there are some “flavor physics” results being presented in Mumbai right now. Flavor specifically refers here to the behavior of bottom quarks and of charm quarks, as they behave inside of hadrons, and as they decay to other quarks lighter than themselves. These behaviors are predicted in considerable detail by the Standard Model of particle physics, and it is rather easy for some new phenomena, involving some new heavy particles, to come along and screw up the Standard Model prediction. In fact there are several measurements, from various experiments including the Tevatron and also the so-called B-factories [which make lots and lots of bottom quarks and anti-quarks] that don’t currently agree with the Standard Model very well.