Particle Physics in Birmingham

Particle Physics Seminar

Wednesday 3rd February 2016 at 13:30
Poynting Small Lecture Theatre

(tea, coffee and biscuits served at 13:15)

Statistical Issues in Searches for New Physics

Louis Lyons (Oxford University)


Given the cost, both financial and even more importantly in terms of human effort, in building High Energy Physics accelerators and detectors and running them, it is important to use good statistical techniques in analysing data. This talk covers some of the statistical issues that arise in searches for New Physics. They include topics such as: Blind Analysis How should we deal with the `Look Elsewhere Effect'? Should we insist on the 5 sigma criterion for discovery claims? Significance P(A|B) is not the same as P(B|A) The meaning of p-values What is Wilks' Theorem and when does it not apply? Dealing with systematics such as background parametrisation. Coverage: What is it and does my method have the correct coverage? The use of p_0 v p_1 plots. Higgs search: Discovery and Spin