NFYK13010U  Particle Physics at the Energy Frontier

Volume 2016/2017
M.Sc. Physics

The course aims to give the student insight in the way modern particle physics experiments at hadron colliders are constructed and operated and educate the students in experimental particle physics at present and future high energy hadron colliders. The student are introduced to fundamental high energy physics computer tools as employed to calculate reactions cross-sections, to simulate physics processes and describe detector response. This course is suitable for master and graduate students interested in working as researcher at the frontier of particle physics research.

Learning Outcome

A student that has successfully followed the course is expected to be able to

  • Review the current understanding of particle physics at hadron colliders as encompassed by the Standard Model
  • Comprehensively explain the experimental detection techniques and their use in general-purpose high energy particle detectors, covering
    - Tracking
    - Electromagnetic calorimetry
    - Hadronic calorimetry
    - Muon detectors
    - Particle identification
  • Account for the concepts and methodologies employed in the reconstruction of the primary physics process in today’ hadron-hadron particle physics experiments and detail their performances and limitations on physics
    - Underlying events
    - Multiple collisions
    - Jet physics
    - Detector resolution
  • Qualitatively describe and calculate cross-sections and dynamics of high energy hadron collisions at present and future energies
    - Structure functions
    - Hard process dynamics - Photon, lepton and jet production
    - Final state radiation and hadronization
  • Employ principal tools and techniques to calculate process cross-sections (CompHep), simulate complete physics processes (Pythia), model the detector response (Geant4) and jet reconstruction
  • Review the current experimental status of Quantum-Chromo-Dynamics and Electro-Weak physics from past and present high energy hadron colliders and elaborate on the connection to the Higgs boson and new physics beyond the standard model
  • Describe and evaluate physics of the Higgs boson and the complications at hadron colliders
    - Higgs Production processes
    - Higgs decay
    - Standard Model backgrounds
  • Develop a strategy for searching for the new physics at hadron colliders by taking into account the expected nature of signal and Standard Model background distributions
  • Give an qualitative overview of the outstanding limitations of the Standard Model and explain possible physics beyond the Standard Model from Grand unification and Supersymmetric theories.

The course provides a comprehensive introduction to high transverse momentum reactions at hadron (proton–proton or proton–antiproton) colliders. It begins by a short review of the Standard Model of high energy physics and describes the specialized detectors used. It then gives a general treatment of the physics processes to be studied at hadron colliders and summarizes the state of the art in hadron collider physics, defined by Tevatron and LHC results. The experimental program at the detectors built for the Large Hadron Collider at CERN is described, with details of the search program. The SUCCESFULL strategy to find the postulated Higgs particle is outlined as a template for search for new physics. Speculations of physics beyond the Standard Model, such as Supersymmetry, and the road towards a “Theory Of Everything” are also discussed.

Students following this course will acquire knowledge in experimental methodology, statistical techniques and data analysis, which cover data-mining, computer modelling and simulation techniques. The student will practise cooperation in groups.

Dan Green, ”High Pt Physics at Hadron Colliders”  and notes.

Bachelor or equivalent in Physics and the course ”Experimental Nuclear and Particle Physics” (block 3). In addition it is recommended to follow the course ”Elementary Particle Physics” (block 2) and "Particle Physics Phenomenology" (block 3).
Lectures and exercises
Restricted elective for the specialisation "Quantum Physics"
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Oral examination, 30 min
Practical oral examination, 30 min
The final grade is based on two components:
i) 30 minutes of oral presentation in the last week of the course on the use of the computer tools (25%), and
ii) 30 minutes of oral examination based on an article the student will be given two days prior to the oral exam (75%).
All aids are allowed during the time for preparation.
All aids allowed
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
More internal examiners
same as ordinary exam. The presentation and examination can take place on the same day if the student wishes it.
Points from a previously passed oral presentation may be used to cover 25% of the final grade. In this case the re-exam only consists of the examination.
Criteria for exam assesment

12 is given for the excellent performance, demonstrating exhaustive fulfilment of the course goals, with none or very few unimportant points missing.

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Lectures
  • 56
  • Theory exercises
  • 28
  • Exam
  • 48
  • Preparation
  • 74
  • Total
  • 206