HMC Physics Colloquium

Tuesdays at 16:30 in Shanahan Center for Teaching and Learning, Room B460

Adam Edwards

Pomona College

Particle Physics — Physics at the Petabyte Scale

Feb. 5, 2008

Advances in experimental particle physics have often been achieved through colliding particles together at ever higher energies. In recent years however, an alternative way forward has been implemented: precision measurement with particle factories. Achieving “needle in a haystack”" precision out of extremely large amounts of data creates new types of challenges for today’s particle physicists. Computer hardware and software skills are key. The complexities of analyzing the data require both acute physical understanding and solid statistical foundations. After a brief introduction to the field of particle physics, I will discuss some of the challenges to precision measurement and detail some recent results on the discoveries of new particles.