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Statistical Methods and Analysis Techniques

in Experimental Physics

Spring semester 2019

Lectures by M.Donega and C.Grab

Institute for Particle Physics and Astrophysics, ETH Zurich

Assistants: N. Chernyavskaya, A.Gomez

Moodle website


Time/Place in FS19:

VL: Tuesday, 8:45 - 10:30, HIT-F21; start: 17.02.15

U: Tuesday, 10:45 - 13:30, HIT-F21; start: 17.02.15


These lectures are an introduction to statistical methods and various analysis techniques. Most of the examples and applications will be from particle physics, using real life examples from actual experiments. However, the students are not expected to have followed lectures on particle physics. The main focus of the lectures will be on the statistical aspects. A brief introduction to the physics background needed for the various topics shall be given.

The experimental analysis aspects will be mostly covered in the exercises hours. There, the students will split up into groups of two students, working on a particular physics topic. Thus, they are given the opportunity to get hands-on experience with real data and simulations from a few of the worlds leading experiments in particle physics. The students will at the end present their results in a short scientific presentation.

The physics topics are:

  • Z Physics at LEP : Analysis of the Z line shape with data from LEP, determination of the Z mass and the number of light neutrinos.
  • Higgs search at LEP : Search for the Higgs boson at LEP with data from the last high energy run. Determination of a lower limit on the Higgs mass.
  • Physics at HERA : Determination of the cross sections for neutral and charged current interactions at HERA (positron-proton scattering) as a function of the momentum transfer.
  • Astroparticle Physics with MAGIC : Measurement of very high gamma rays from the Crab nebula.

Further information on the individual topics are available on the respective web pages. For further questions don't hesitate to contact me or the assistants listed above, or consult the Lecture Notes.

The material of the course has been prepared over the years by: G. Dissertori, M. Donega, C. Grab, A.Holzner, F.Lehner, F.Pauss, C.Regenfus.