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15
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2answers
2k views

Did the researchers at Fermilab find a fifth force?

Please consider the publication Invariant Mass Distribution of Jet Pairs Produced in Association with a W boson in $p\bar{p}$ Collisions at $\sqrt{s} = 1.96$ TeV by the CDF-Collaboration, ...
12
votes
1answer
321 views

Statistical analysis of data in Physics

Analysis of data is integral in bridging the gap between theory and experiment. How much do the results of the analysis depend upon the choice between Bayesian and frequentist methods? For instance, ...
11
votes
2answers
18k views

How do you find the uncertainty of a weighted average?

The following is taken from a practice GRE question: Two experimental techniques determine the mass of an object to be $11\pm 1\, \mathrm{kg}$ and $10\pm 2\, \mathrm{kg}$. These two ...
11
votes
2answers
983 views

Use of Monte-Carlo simulation in High-energy Physics

I've been doing some research into the analysis used in particle physics when determining the significance of a finding (e.g. the recent Higgs candidate was announced as a boson in the 125-126 ...
11
votes
1answer
1k views

Which areas in physics overlap with those of social network theory for the analysis of the graphs?

I am studying social networks in terms of graph theory and linear algebra. I know that physicists have published and worked a lot in this field. This causes me to assume that there are sub-fields in ...
10
votes
2answers
207 views

Converting impact speed to pressure magnitude

In explosive safety and stability testing, a drop test is commonly used to determine the sensitivity to impact. In the test, an impactor of known mass is dropped. The initial height varies throughout ...
8
votes
2answers
915 views

Does a muon detector on Earth's surface correctly measure the mean lifetime of a muon?

Just a simple question. Does a muon detector on Earth's surface correctly measure the mean lifetime of a muon? I would think the answer is no because most muons detected are created about 15 km above ...
8
votes
2answers
417 views

Arrhenius Fit: Linear or exponential form?

I have a seemingly easy question about performing an Arrhenius fit to the equation $$y = A \times \exp \left( -\frac{E_A}{RT} \right)$$ I can either fit this in the exponential form using a ...
8
votes
2answers
256 views

How to predict how much data to collect

The same question on CrossValidated Apologies if I'm being a bit vague in what follows, I've been asked to keep certain aspects of the experiment confidential for the time being. An analogous ...
7
votes
1answer
150 views

Textbook about the handiwork of a HEP analysis?

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 ...
5
votes
3answers
778 views

What does it mean to “bin” in a spectroscopy context

In the following online article http://www.star.le.ac.uk/~sav2/stats/a.html I see the word "bin" used, in relation to x-ray spectroscopy, both as a verb and as a noun (people both "bin" things and ...
5
votes
6answers
6k views

How to guess the correct fitting function to some data?

Imagine we are plotting some date points $\left(x_i,f(x_i)\right)$ that we obtained experimentally, and that we want to know what $f(x)$ is. The way to do this is to use some software and try to fit ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

What is meant by “combinatorial background” in experimental high energy physics

My guess is that they find a certain tracks coming from a certain source by "combintaorially" selecting all track pairs and finding their invariant mass. If this is true, of which I am not sure, how ...
5
votes
1answer
442 views

Finding coefficient of proportionality

Recently in my AP Physics class I did a lab in which I measured k for a spring by setting up an oscillating system with it, and timing the period, repeating for different masses. Since ...
5
votes
2answers
507 views

How are the HEP experiments' invariant mass plots generated?

I am experimenting and playing around with some data, and I'm having trouble seeing how to generate invariant mass plots. The data I have has a bunch of events, and variables such as ...
5
votes
1answer
168 views

Statistical significance in Z boson excess paper

In a recent ATLAS paper, a excess of $3\sigma$ was reported from the Standard Model prediction in a search looking for a same-sign dilepton signal with an invariant mass around the Z peak. For brevity ...
5
votes
1answer
314 views

Advanced data analysis in Physics experiments

I know that regression, chi-distribution, covariance, error propagation, etc. are frequent tools for experimental physicists. So, I'd like to know if advanced statistics topics are used in data ...
5
votes
1answer
177 views

Data requirement to determine proportionality

A common result of theoretical analysis in physics is some sort of relation derived from physical parameters and typically expressed in the form of a non-dimensional parameter. These scale relations ...
4
votes
3answers
3k views

What does a curved natural log graph suggest?

Sorry if this is rather simple, but I've only just started learning about using logarithms in experimental physics. I did an experiment to test the amount of time it would take for an amount of ...
4
votes
3answers
2k views

What are the easiest ways to get data out of a FITS file without a library?

There are FITS libraries for most programming languages (see this list), but FITS is a simple enough format that it should be pretty easy to extract data without the need for such libraries or ...
4
votes
1answer
473 views

How do I calculate the experimental uncertainty in a function of two measured quantities

I am performing an experiment where I'm measuring two variables, say $x$ and $y$, but I'm actually interested in a third variable which I calculate from those two, $$z=f(x,y).$$ In my experiment, of ...
4
votes
1answer
526 views

Pendulum: Deduce proportionality from experiment

I know, very easy for all of you, but I'm a beginner in physics ... ;) I have to work with the mathematical pendulum. After some experiments (changing mass, chaning pendulum's length etc.), I could ...
4
votes
1answer
404 views

White Noise Generator Through Low Pass Filter - Autocorrelation of normalized data dropping below 0 (showing negative correlation)

I am doing the following experiment: http://physlab.lums.edu.pk/images/a/ab/Correlation.pdf It is basically a white noise generator running through a low pass filter. Sample voltages are taken and ...
4
votes
2answers
78 views

How do you measure neutron energy?

I think you can detect a neutron event with a scintillator (neutron to photon), photomultiplier tube (photon to electric signal) system, but how would a fusion neutron's energy (2.45 MeV) be typically ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

What do “local” and “global” mean when talking about standard deviations in experimental particle physics?

I found the following sentence: The excess is most compatible with a SM Higgs hypothesis in the vicinity of 124 GeV and below, but the statistical significance (2.6σ local and 1.9σ global after ...
4
votes
1answer
132 views

Reference request: statistical inference with real world (chaotic) data, e.g. climate/weather data

I'm interested in the process that goes from, for example, huge data sets of temperature, pressure, precipitation etc readings to a model of the atmosphere. I'd like to know about how much relies on a ...
4
votes
1answer
852 views

Calculating Lyapunov exponents from a multi-dimensional experimental time series

Wolf's paper Determining Lyapunov Exponents from a Time Series states that: Experimental data typically consist of discrete measurements of a single observable. The well-known technique of phase ...
4
votes
1answer
631 views

How to determine frequency components present in distorted signal, with the set of possible components already known?

I am trying to choose the best approach to digitally analyse a signal, which is a mix of an unknown number (but less than 16) fundamental signals at specific frequencies (e.g., sines). The goal is ...
4
votes
0answers
45 views

Calculating statistical significance of peak over background in counting experiment

I histogrammed the invariant masses of particular events in a counting experiment. There is a specific peak which towers over the expected exponential background. How can I give the statistical ...
3
votes
3answers
868 views

Should a Gaussian Curve Always Be Drawn Symmetrically?

This question is more about the appearance of a curve that comes up while I am analysing my data rather than an actual physics question, but I think it's relevant. I have analysed some data from an ...
3
votes
1answer
98 views

How to make sure that two electrons collide head to head?

In high energy experiments, people smash particles into particles. But how to make sure that they really run into each other, instead of just passing by?
3
votes
1answer
181 views

Absorption line detected with a significance of $2.2\sigma$

What do we mean by the following statement? The SV $\lambda$ 786.46 line is detected with a equivalent width of $W = 22.7\pm10.2$ corresponding to a significance of $2.2\sigma$ How does one ...
3
votes
1answer
334 views

What algorithms are used for track reconstruction in cloud chambers?

In particular I'm interested in any algorithms that can separate multiple tracks from one another reliably.
3
votes
1answer
777 views

Fitting to a high density scatter plot

I am trying to do a crude particle identification, using a Bethe Bloch tenchnique. Here is a plot I made from the data that I have From what I've read, the standard method to identify charged ...
3
votes
2answers
59 views

Best way of calculating average acceleration in lab experiments

I am doing a lab experiment that works as follows. An object moves along the $x$ axis with an initial acceleration and then moves with a pretty constant velocity that may slightly vary within $20\%$ ...
3
votes
2answers
84 views

What exactly is an arbitrary parameter?

I was reading the article Turning Points: A meeting with Enrico Fermi by Freeman Dyson (available e.g. here), and I had a question about Dyson's use of the term 'arbitrary parameter'. More ...
3
votes
1answer
3k views

Where are the ice rings in X-ray crystallography located?

I threw this image of one of my protein crystal's diffraction pattern (not the greatest) on a poster, and was wondering where (what reciprocal dimension) the ice rings are located as it might be a ...
3
votes
1answer
35 views

Machine readable database of gamma lines

Friends of mine did a lab experiment where they recorded $\gamma$-spectra in the range from 0 to 1500 keV with a soil sample. The data contains some background and a couple sharp peaks at different ...
3
votes
1answer
229 views

Combining uncertainties - multiple measurements

I am trying to understand how to combine uncertainties when they are dependent and independent from each other. Using this formula : $$\delta z = \sqrt {\Biggl(\dfrac{\partial f}{\partial x} \delta ...
3
votes
1answer
264 views

Rutherford Experiment - practical and theoretical questions

I performed the Rutherford experiment the other day, using Au thin foil of $2\,\mathrm{\mu{}m}$, a source/gun of α particles (241Am) and a detector/counter. α particles were shot from the source ...
3
votes
1answer
174 views

Galaxy Kinematic Fitting: How to deal with Point Spread Function (PSF)

The past few months I have been studying astronomy and Integral Field Spectroscopy (IFS). What I want to do is to fit a galaxy kinematic model to data (ie: estimate the model parameters that give the ...
3
votes
1answer
955 views

Lab observation correct? As distance decreases, velocity increases, stderr decreases

The experiment goes like this: Allow a moving cart to move from the top of an incline plane ($x_0$) downwards. The time taken will be recorded by the picket fence (those things you see wired up). ...
3
votes
1answer
99 views

Measuring tensor rank of the Higgs resonance

The Higgs boson is the first scalar field ever measured that is fundamental rather than composite. How do high-energy physicists determine that a given resonance in the statistics is either a scalar, ...
3
votes
0answers
29 views

Normalizing temperature data of CPU sensors to ambient

My scenario: I want my application to stop or take some decision based on temperature. say like if my ambient is morethan 41 i want to switch off the application and we do not have an separate ...
3
votes
0answers
153 views

Free-Fall Lab Help - Getting weird results

So, I am doing a free-fall lab for my physics class. We got the values and I have the results here(we used a infrared photo-gate). Basically, we have a brass cylinder and a wood cylinder. Each are ...
3
votes
0answers
173 views

Production vs. Collection, and Contaminants vs. Depositions, what might be missing in cold fusion research

I though cold fusion and LENR were discredited, but just a few days ago I found out that NASA is claiming LENR is real. So I thought if they're detecting something, what could it be, and why wasn't it ...
3
votes
0answers
167 views

Obtaining point of application of Ground Reaction Force with use of a hyperstatic load-cell array platform

I'm looking for the theory of an experiment that is giving me a hard time to perform. I have an instrument composed of a rigid horizontal square plate rigidly supported under each corner by a ...
2
votes
2answers
152 views

What is the Benefit of Plotting a Log of Net Force vs. Log of Acceleration Graph?

In preparation for a quiz, I've been going over a set of sample questions. One question in particular asks that if I am to graph the logarithm of the horizontal net force of a system vs the ...
2
votes
1answer
47 views

Measurements and errors

I've measured several values of $V$ and $I$ in a simple circuit to determine de value of a resistance $R$: $$R=\frac{V}{I}$$ I have a list of points $(V,I)$ with their corresponging error (from the ...
2
votes
1answer
34 views

What does it mean for a map to be “coadded”?

So there is this wiktionary definition of coaddition, but it's rather brief. Could anyone expand on this, perhaps giving a short example and explaining why its useful? The context that I initially ...