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Higgs Media Highlights

Half a million people tune into Higgs announcement

The numbers are in: about half a million people tuned in to watch the announcement of the Higgs search results on July 4, 2012, streamed live from CERN. More than 1,000 television stations and 5,000 news programs used video footage of the presentation. Two days earlier, about 20 reporters from Reuters, the Associated Press, the Los Angeles Times and other media attended or listened in on a media briefing at Fermilab about the Higgs search at the Large Hadron Collider and the Tevatron.

About 250 people gathered in Fermilab's Wilson Hall at 2 a.m. to watch the CERN announcement live. They joined an estimated 10,000 people at 150 institutions that had received a special HD connection to the webcast.

Here are the highlights of the Higgs week, which started with the announcement of the Tevatron results on July 2.

Press releases

July 2, 2012

Fermilab press release
Tevatron scientists announce their final results on the Higgs particle

July 4, 2012

CERN press release
CERN experiments observe particle consistent with long-sought Higgs boson
US LHC press release
Search for Higgs boson at Large Hadron Collider reveals new particle

More than 40 US institutions involved in the CMS and ATLAS experiments at CERN issued press releases.

Highlights of the U.S. media coverage of the Tevatron announcement

From CNN
Scientists edge closer to proving existence of elusive particle
From The Wall Street Journal
Physicists nearer to a key clue to the universe
From ABC News
Higgs boson: physicists see best proof yet of 'the God particle'
From The New York Times
Physicists inch closer to proof of elusive particle
From CBS News
Fermilab physicists close to conclusive discovery of ‘God particle’
From Chicago Tonight (WTTW Channel 11)
Higgs particle findings expected Wednesday [July 4]
From Live Science
Physicists get closer than ever to Higgs particle
From The Herald-News
Fermilab gives final report on hunt for Higgs boson

Highlights of the English-language media coverage of the LHC announcement on July 4, 2012

The discovery of a new particle, thought to be the long-sought Higgs particle, made front page news across the world. The Economist, for example, devoted the cover of its print magazine to the discovery. Google News shows more than 5,000 English-language news articles about the Higgs. And Higgs-related topics dominated the top 10 trending topics on Twitter. Below is a tiny selection of the articles that were published. Fermilab scientists were interviewed by television and radio stations and quoted in numerous articles. A photo of 200 scientists watching the CERN announcement at Fermilab appeared in The New York Times, together with photos taken at the CERN event.

From The Economist
Gotcha! The hunt for physics’s most elusive quarry is over
From The New York Times
Physicists find elusive particle seen as key to universe
From ABC News
'God particle' 'discovered': European researchers claim discovery of Higgs boson-like particle
From The Washington Post
Scientists’ search for Higgs boson yields new subatomic particle
From Voice of America
Higgs boson finding excites Fermilab scientists
From Chicago Public Radio (WBEZ)
Fermilab scientists applaud Higgs boson discovery
From The Beacon-News
Fermilab’s Tevatron laid groundwork in search for ‘God particle’

Commentaries and opinion pieces on the discovery

Hundreds of news sites posted opinion pieces that commented on the discovery. While some U.S. papers pointed out that this discovery could have been made in the United States if Congress hadn’t cancelled the Superconducting Super Collider, others heralded the U.S. role in this international research. Many articles explained that this discovery was just the beginning and that many questions remain to be answered.

From the Los Angeles Times
Higgs boson: Was July 4 announcement a blow for U.S. science?
From The Daily Beast
The Higgs boson: why you should care
From CNN
Higgs and the holy grail of physics
From Science News
Nature's secrets foretold
From Naperville Sun
Fermilab helped in hunt for ‘God particle’
From Physics Central
First the Higgs, next supersymmetry?
From the Los Angeles Times
Higgs boson binds the universe, but humans give it meaning
From the Los Angeles Times
Finding Higgs boson: A triumph of human curiosity
From The New York Times
Why the Higgs boson matters
From CNN
How the Higgs can lead us to the dark universe
From The Economist
Life after the Higgs
From the Chicago Tribune
Finding God, the particle
From Nature
Theorists feast on Higgs data
From New Scientist
Particle discovery is a start, not an end

Other noteworthy events related to the Higgs announcements

Fermilab’s Higgs video attracts more than 1 million viewers

In the weeks following the Fermilab and CERN announcements, the number of viewers of Fermilab’s “What is the Higgs boson” video on YouTube jumped from 500,000 to more than 1,000,000.

symmetry magazine articles receive shout-out

The New York Times and MSNBC highlighted and linked to symmetry magazine’s articles on the “Top ten things you may not know about the Higgs boson” and the “Photoshop contest: Where have you seen the Higgs.” Other popular symmetry articles were the Higgs boson explanation in the “Explain it in 60 seconds” archive and the Higgs commentary by CMS spokesperson Joe Incandela in the July 2 issue of symmetry:

symmetry magazine
Ten things you may not know about the Higgs boson
symmetry magazine
Higgs: Beyond ‘To be or not to be’
symmetry magazine
Explain it in 60 seconds: Higgs boson
symmetry magazine
Photoshop contest: Where have you seen the Higgs?

symmetry magazine posts Higgs celebration photos from around the world:

Scientists around the world organized viewing parties to follow the announcement of the CERN discovery announcement, with several hosted in the United States, including those at Fermilab, Columbia, Princeton and the University of Colorado:

symmetry magazine:
Scenes from July 4: The discovery heard around the world

CDF and DZero submit joint scientific paper

The CDF and DZero collaborations submitted their joint paper to Physical Review Letters on July 27, 2012. It is available at arXiv.org.

CMS and ATLAS submit scientific papers

The ATLAS and CMS collaborations submitted their independent papers on the observation of a new particle with a mass of about 125 GeV to Physics Letters B.

Ask-a-Scientist lecture on the Higgs boson - July 29

On July 29, Fermilab hosted a free lecture by Fermilab scientist Don Lincoln titled "The Higgs Boson. What is it? Has it been discovered?" The lecture was part of the laboratory’s Ask-a-Scientist lecture series. Following the talk, Fermilab scientists answered attendees’ questions about the Higgs boson, the Large Hadron Collider and particle physics.

From My Suburban Life
Fermilab scientists to discuss Higgs boson research

What’s the Higgs boson?

The Daily Herald, a local newspaper in the Chicago area, published an in-depth explanation of how elementary particles acquire mass through the Higgs field.

From the Daily Herald
What's Higgs boson? We, Fermilab try to explain
CMS Spokesperson Joe Incandela presents the experiment's Higgs search results at CERN during ICHEP 2012. Photo: CERN
CMS Spokesperson Joe Incandela shakes hands with the CERN crowd after presenting the experiment's Higgs search results. Photo: CERN
ATLAS Spokesperson Fabiola Gianotti presents the experiment's Higgs search results at CERN during ICHEP 2012. Photo: CERN
Francois Englert and Peter Higgs speak at CERN after the seminar. Photo: CERN
A crowd at DESY laboratory in Hamburg, Germany, watches the CERN broadcast of its Higgs search results. Photo: DESY
Members of the press interview scientists during CERN's Higgs seminar viewing at Nikhef laboratory in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Photo: Marco Kraan
At the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey, Chiara Nappi, Edward Witten, Nima Arkani-Hamed and Robbert Dijkgraaf admire the handiwork of Marilena LoVerde (far right) and her fellow ATLAS dioramist Laura Newburgh. Photo: Graham Farmelo
A crowd watching CERN's Higgs seminar broadcast at Fermilab, United States, erupts into applause at the announcement of the discovery of a new particle. Photo: Reidar Hahn
Fermilab's Dan Green, who initiated the laboratory's CMS collaboration with CERN, gives a toast. Photo: Reidar Hahn
Scientists and students gather to watch the broadcast of CERN's Higgs seminar at the University of California, Berkeley, in the United States. Photo: Paul Preuss
At TRIUMF laboratory in Vancouver, Canada, Higgs seminar viewing party attendees raise a toast to CERN's discovery. Photo: TRIUMF
Scientists and students get ready to watch the CERN broadcast at the University of Tokyo in Japan. Photo: University of Tokyo
At KEK laboratory in Japan, people gather to watch the Higgs seminar broadcast. Photo: KEK
The crowd applauds CERN's Higgs search results at ICHEP 2012 in Melbourne, Australia. Photo: CERN
Higgs and Higgs-related events trended high on Twitter on July 4, 2012, at 3:41 a.m. CDT. Image: Katie Yurkewicz
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