Article: ‘That looks weird’ — evaluating citizen scientists’ ability to detect
unusual features in ATLAS images of LHC collisions
Authors: A.J. Barra, A. Haasb, C.W. Kalderon
As it turns out, non-expert citizen scientists can match or beat out ATLAS algorithms in identifying features in images of LHC collisions.
The ability of the general public to identify long-lived particles and other unusual features in images of LHC collisions recorded by the ATLAS experiment was studied using data from the Higgs Hunters project. The Higgs Hunters project was launched by NYU scientists and colleagues in 2014, and allows members of the general public to study LHC images to help search for previously unobserved particles. Writing computer algorithms to identify “weird looking things” in these images can be difficult, and human eyes, be they expert or non-expert, can help with the hunt. The Higgs Hunters project scientists are specifically searching for previously unobserved particles that could be created via decay of the Higgs. In some cases, the tracks left in the ATLAS experiment could be picked out better by human eyes than computer programs.
This isn’t the first time the scientific community has reached out to non-experts to classify images or ...