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I'm wondering if there is a textbook that describes the handiwork of a particle physics analysis. There are a bunch of books about theory, about the experimental aspects like detectors, and about statistical methods, but I haven't seen one that focused on the actual work of an analyzer.

I mean stuff like:

  • How to conduct a search vs. a measurement
  • What backgrounds to consider for a final state, and how to model them
  • What distributions to look at -- pT of various objects or MET are obvious, but there are things like transverse masses, $\cos \theta^*$, aplanarity, the Florida variable (seriously), or ptBalance, that you first have to know about
  • How to choose signal regions, sidebands
  • How to determine systematic errors concretely
  • How to perform a cutflow
  • How to do tag-and-probe
  • How to perform a multivariate analysis, and how to choose btw. techniques
  • How to set limits, and how to perform combinations

Most of this stuff is covered in various books, but mostly from a different perspective. For example, its nice to know how to solve an integral with Monte Carlo methods, and what the factorization theorem does. But for someone working on an analysis its more useful to know what the main differences between MC generators are, and how to deal with negative event weights in various situations. Similarly, there are a couple of textbooks about statistics for high energy physics, but those I've found tend to focus on derivations, instead of practical issues of the analysis.

Does anyone know of a book that fits my description?

(Note I don't believe this fits very well under the current book policy. Resource recommendation questions tend to be fairly broad, and thus the answers have to be very descriptive. In this case, the question is already descriptive, so a brief answer would also be OK, even a negative answer (a la "I've been a expert for 20 years and can say for certain that such a book doesn't exist").)

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Don't know of one and would expect that I have heard of it is there was one. I was a postdoc for four years in a High Energy Physics group that offers REUs as well as trains grad students and my bosses there did not know of such a thing. – dmckee Dec 6 '13 at 16:57
@dmckee how about the lecture notes of Tilman Plehn? I'm not an experimentailist myself, but I liked them – innisfree Dec 18 '13 at 11:33
@innisfree Interesting. I hadn't seen that before. – dmckee Dec 18 '13 at 15:30

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