Discovery statistics in high-energy physics

Who: Alexander Lincoln Read (University of Oslo)
When: Monday, December 10, 2018 at 14:15
Where: The CP³ meeting room

I will introduce statistical concepts and methods routinely used in high-energy physics experiments to characterise the results of searches for new particles and phenomena, e.g., at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN. The pervasive use of likelihoods enables the whole spectrum of results from exclusion (null results, which in the culture of HEP are published) to discovery to precision measurements to be obtained in a common framework. The role of trials factors in estimating the significance of an observation will be discussed. We will see examples of the methods being applied to the search for and eventual discovery of the Higgs boson in 2012 as well as in recent results on more challenging Higgs boson processes and some tantalising results on searches for more exotic phenomena.