Likelihood Inference for a Problem in Particle Physics


Monday, 30 July 2007 - 6:00pm


Venue: Room 101, Law Building, UNSW

The Large Hadron Collider (LHC), a particle accelerator located at CERN, near Geneva, is (currently!) expected to start operation in early 2008. It is located in an underground tunnel 27km in circumference, and when fully operational, will be the worlds largest and highest energy particle accelerator. It is hoped that it will provide evidence for the existence of the Higgs boson, the last remaining particle of the so-called Standard Model of particle physics. The quantity of data that will be generated by the LHC is roughly equivalent to that of the European telecommunications network, but this will be boiled down to just a few numbers. After a brief introduction, this talk will outline elements of the statistical problem of detecting the presence of a particle, and then sketch how higher order likelihood asymptotics may be used for signal detection in this context. The work is joint with Nicola Sartori, of Universit Ca' Foscari, in Venice.