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Paper Explainer: Digging Deeper for New Physics in the LHC Data

20 Jul 2017, 01:58 UTC
Paper Explainer: Digging Deeper for New Physics in the LHC Data
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

This is a post about a new paper I wrote with my fellow professor at Rutgers, David Shih; two Rutgers postdocs, Anthony DiFranzo and Angelo Monteux, and David’s grad student Pouya Asadi.Is there any new physics at the LHC?The answer appears to be “no.” If there was obvious evidence of new physics at the LHC, trust me, you would have heard about it by now. But how do we know? The LHC produces a truly ridiculous amount of data. For each event (and the LHC writes to permanent record 400 events per second) the LHC records all information from all the detector elements. But nowhere in that information is a little flag that says “New Physics!” Indeed, most new physics we can imagine can be aped by physics of the Standard Model. We look for new physics via statistical evidence: we hope to see more events with a particular character than we would have expected. But we haven’t seen such an excess, correct?Correct. At least, we haven’t in the places we’ve looked.Because the statement “excess over the Standard Model” means an excess of events with some set of final states (so, production of jets, or b-quarks or leptons, or photons, ...

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