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Tommaso DorigoRSS Feed of this column.

Tommaso Dorigo is an experimental particle physicist, who works for the INFN at the University of Padova, and collaborates with the CMS experiment at the CERN LHC. He coordinates the European network... Read More »

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A few weeks ago I posted here an idea of how one could design an algorithm that looks for new physics processes in Large Hadron Collider data, without giving the algorithm any knowledge whatsoever of how those new physics processes should behave.
Should you ever get invited to a party at my house in Padova, you will discover something that I otherwise do not publicize much - I am an avid mineral collector. I started as a child, fascinated by the colours and shapes that those shiny crystals could take - a rare instance of Nature betraying its inner secrets, for those shapes, easy to make out by sight or touch, faithfully reproduce the organization of their atomic lattice. 
Experimental particle physics, the field of research I have been involved in since my infancy as a scientist, consists of folks like you and me, who are enthusiastic about constructing new experiments and testing our understanding of Nature. Some spend their life materially designing and building the apparata, others are more attracted by torturing the data until they speak. 

To be precise, data analysts can be divided further into two classes, as I was once taught by my friend Paolo Giromini (a colleague in the late CDF experiment, about whose chase for new physics I have written in my book "Anomaly!"). These are aptly called "gatherers" and "hunters".

The European Commission pays close attention to document the work of the projects that benefited of its funding. With that intent, the AMVA4NewPhysics network has been described, along with its goals, in a 2016 article on the Horizon magazine.

It is a bit embarrassing to post here a graph of boring elementary particle signals, when the rest of the blogosphere is buzzing after the release of the first real black hole image from the Event Horizon collaboration. So okay, before going into pentaquarks, below is the image of the black hole at the center of M87, a big elliptical galaxy 54 million light years away.


Yes, this is supposedly a particle physics blog, not a machine learning one - and yet, I have been finding myself blogging a lot more about machine learning than particle physics as of late. Why is that? 
Well, of course the topic of algorithms that may dramatically improve our statistical inference from collider data is of course dear to my heart, and has been so since at least two decades (my first invention, the "inverse bagging" algorithm, is dated 1992, when nobody even knew what bagging was). But the more incidental reason is that now _everybody_ is interested in the topic, and that means all of my particle physics and astroparticle physics colleagues.