Researchers involved with the two experiments (A Toroidal LHC ApparatuS [ATLAS] and Compact Muon Solenoid [CMS]) at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) indicate that 'Tantalising hints have been seen by both experiments in this mass region, but these are not yet strong enough to claim a discovery.'
Fabiola Gianotti, a spokesperson for the ATLAS experiment explains, 'We have restricted the most likely mass region for the Higgs boson to 116-130 GeV, and over the last few weeks we have started to see an intriguing excess of events in the mass range around 125 GeV.'
Gianotti, continues, "This excess may be due to a fluctuation, but it could also be something more interesting. We cannot conclude anything at this stage. We need more study and more data. Given the outstanding performance of the LHC this year, we will not need to wait long for enough data and can look forward to resolving this puzzle in 2012.'
Guido Tonelli, a spokesperson for the CMS experiment, adds, 'We cannot exclude the presence of the Standard Model Higgs between 115 and 127 GeV because of a modest excess of events in this mass region that appears, quite consistently, in five independent channels."
Tonelli continues, 'The excess is most compatible with a Standard Model Higgs in the vicinity of 124 GeV and below but the statistical significance is not large enough to say anything conclusive. As of today what we see is consistent either with a background fluctuation or with the presence of the boson. Refined analyses and additional data delivered in 2012 by this magnificent machine will definitely give an answer.'
For more on this story, please read the December 13, 2011 press release from CERN entitled 'ATLAS and CMS experiments present Higgs search status."