Reinterpreting Results

I’m Down South this week at Imperial College, for a meeting on “(Re)interpreting the results of new physics searches at the LHC”.


Given the lack of obvious signs of physics beyond the Standard Model (particularly supersymmetry at accessible energies), theoretical ideas are diversifying. This makes it increasingly important that we record and publish our data in a way that it can be used to probe a range of new models, some of which haven’t yet been thought of.

Essentially, if you don’t ask the right question of the data, you won’t really know what the answer means. Imagine doing a search for an imaginary extra-dimensions model say, finding that it doesn’t exist, and being told that when you said “no” to that model you’d also definitively ruled out the single market, EFTA, EEA, a customs union, and freedom of movement. If you haven’t asked the question properly you won’t know whether that’s true, and it is quite tricky going back to redo the experiment.

Ok sorry, politics leaking into physics posts is annoying. But not, I suggest, as annoying as still trying to explain your April Fools joke two days after the event (see image above).


About Jon Butterworth

UCL Physics prof, works on LHC, writes (books, Cosmic Shambles and elsewhere). Citizen of England, UK, Europe & Nowhere, apparently.
This entry was posted in Particle Physics, Physics, Politics, Science and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.