A Marie Sklodowska-Curie ITN funded by the Horizon2020 program of the European Commission

What is Statistical Significance?

by Tommaso Dorigo

Yesterday, October 20, was the international day of Statistics. I took inspiration from it to select a clip from chapter 7 of my book Anomaly! Collider physics and the quest for new phenomena at Fermilab which attempts to explain how physicists use the concept of statistical significance to give a quantitative meaning to their measurements of new effects. I hope you will enjoy it….


As we near the discussion of the discovery of the top quark, we need to make a digression to explain an important concept used by particle physicists to measure the level of surprise of an observation, i.e., how much are data at odds with a hypothesis. In a nutshell, the statistical significance of an observed Continue reading “What is Statistical Significance?”

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Higgs

by Seng-Pei Liew

Recently we have witnessed the birth of gravitational-wave astronomy, as gravitational waves were directly observed for the first time. Subsequently, gravitational waves due to binary neutron star merger were detected along with associated electromagnetic events, opening a new era of multi-messenger astronomy. Continue reading “How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Higgs”

Classification with autoencoders: idle thought to working prototype in 2 hours

by Giles Strong

Continuing the series of 101 things to do in the cramped confines of a budget airliner:

Last Saturday evening I flew back from the mid-term meeting of my research network. The trip from Brussels to Lisbon takes about three hours, and since my current work requires an internet connection, I’d planned to relax (as best I could). Idle thoughts, however, during a pre-flight Duvel had got me thinking about autoencoders. Continue reading “Classification with autoencoders: idle thought to working prototype in 2 hours”

The Night of European Researchers

by Pablo de Castro

This post is a summary of my experience last Friday at the European Researchers’ Night event in Padova. It was an interesting experience and gave me some insights regarding public outreach in these type of events which might be worth sharing and discussing here.

Continue reading “The Night of European Researchers”

Summer activities at LIP-Lisbon

by Giles Strong

So, it’s been a while since my last post, apologies for that, but the summer has been both busy and eventful, so let me summarise what’s been happening. Continue reading “Summer activities at LIP-Lisbon”

The Physics of Vector Boson Pairs

by Tommaso Dorigo

At 10:00 AM this morning, my smartphone alerted me that in two months I will have to deliver a thorough review on the physics of boson pairs – a 50 page thing which does not yet even exist in the world of ideas. So I have better start planning carefully my time in the next 60 days, to find at least two clean weeks where I may cram in the required concentration. That will be the hard part!

Because of that, rather than an article about things that I know about boson pairs, this is a post about things I do not know well enough now, but on which my knowledge will see a rapid expansion in the near future. Don’t get me wrong: I know the matter, from the history of research in this interesting sub-field Continue reading “The Physics of Vector Boson Pairs”

«Es chulo», or «This night, I almost cried»

by Pietro Vischia

Today I had a very full day. It started with a working meeting (an informal meeting of the people working on some analysis) for planning how to improve the EWkino analysis (one of the searches for new physics we are involved in) with the new data CMS is taking. I then went on to the UniOvi CMS group weekly meeting, in which we all meet in the large common office (plus some people connected in videoconference from CERN) to discuss the various topics the group is involved it. Let me delay to another occasion my rant on the amount of CMS meetings we are subjected to!

Then, after some quick and frenetic coding work, I Continue reading “«Es chulo», or «This night, I almost cried»”

AMVA4NewPhysics: A Success Story

by Tommaso Dorigo

As I write this, I have on my desk a pile of brochures that INFN and the University of Padova Department of Physics and Astronomy have produced in the context of the program “Europe in my region”.

Thanks to the work, among others, of our press office coordinator Sabine Hemmer, these brochures are real nice booklets in the end. They will be distributed during the “Researchers’ Night” next Friday, September 29, in the context of the large number of initiatives that will take place in Padova – and to which will contribute the members of our network Martino dall’Osso and Pablo de Castro, who will man the INFN stand in the center of Padova.

What do these brochures contain? They describe the dozens of European Projects and Research in Physics and Astronomy that is partly funded by EU initiatives. Each main project takes one page – so AMVA4NewPhysics Continue reading “AMVA4NewPhysics: A Success Story”

Astro@stats Workshop

by Greg Kotkowski

On Friday, September 8 th I attended a Sino-Italian workshop on astrostatistics organized at the Department of Statistical Sciences in Padova. It touched current topics at the interface between Astronomy, Physics and Statistics. At a first glance, I was surprised by the similarity of the research topics that are faced across different fields of science. Often the main difference lays only in the data and the assumptions of the underlying data generating process. Continue reading “Astro@stats Workshop”

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