The Standard Model survives

I still suspect it will be refined considerably, but it appears that for the present, it remains in play:

Scientists believe they have captured the elusive “God particle” that gives matter mass and holds the physical fabric of the universe together. The historic announcement came in a progress report from the Large Hadron Collider particle accelerator.

Professor John Womersley, chief executive of the Science and technology Facilities Council, told reporters at a briefing in London: “They have discovered a particle consistent with the Higgs boson.

“Discovery is the important word. That is confirmed. It’s a momentous day for science.”

Scientists say it is a 5 sigma result which means they are 99.999% sure they have found a new particle.

I’ll admit that I was hoping for an outright negative result, not because I have anything against physicists or physics, but because their Standard Model hasn’t permitted them to make any significant material advances in quite some time. Hence the philosophical diversions of string theory, multiverse theory, and so forth. But, one can only work with what is actually there, and as an armchair economist, I somewhat envy a model that actually works reasonably well as a predictive model.

However, given the possibility that the characteristics of the particle are still unknown – and what an astonishing surprise to learn that more study, (translation: money), is needed to determine those characteristics – we can still hope for something unusual in this new “Higgs-like” particle that will upset the consensus apple cart and pave the way for some new scientific breakthroughs.