"Three-sigma isn't seen as a 'discovery,' but it would be strong evidence for the existence of the Higgs," said Jon Butterworth, an LHC physicist working with the ATLAS detector. "Really, a 'five-sigma' is classed as a discovery. Five-sigma is the 'Gold Standard.'"
In an internal email, Rolf Heuer, director-general of CERN, attempted to manage the spiraling rumors:
"These results will be based on the analysis of considerably more data than those presented at the Summer conferences, sufficient to make significant progress in the search for the Higgs boson, but not enough to make any conclusive statement on the existence or non-existence of the Higgs."
So, though exciting, the possible announcement on Tuesday will allude to the fact CERN physicists are onto something, rather than any concrete evidence for the Higgs.