PHYS 428 D/576 C/576 D: Special Topics in Experimental Physics

PHYS 428 D/576 C/576 D: Special Topics in Experimental Physics

 Advanced Techniques in Experimental Particle Physics


: 3 (Standard or CR/NC)


:  Tuesday 9:00 pm~10:20 pm 
   Wednesday 9:00 pm~ 10:20 pm 


: Physics & Astronomy B305

Vidyo Room

Name: EPE_group_meeting_indico_221658
Extension: 109221658
Phone number

Office Hour

: Wednesday, 1:00pm~2:30pm



: Shih-Chieh Hsu




: 206-543-2760


: Physics & Astronomy B313


Welcome to PHYS 428D and PHYS 576C/576D:  Advanced Techniques in Experimental Particle Physics. This course is designed to present concepts and applications of advanced techniques in experimental particle physics. It covers basic working principles of particle detectors, cutting-edge technologies in a variety of experiments, analysis skills to improve the precision of measurements, and statistical methods used to interpret experimental results. This course is open to all graduate students and advanced undergraduate seniors interested in learning more about advanced techniques to extract knowledge of Beyond the Standard Model physics from modern particle detectors.


Through a series of lectures in this course, students will learn basic understanding of detector working principles, state-of-the-art techniques to reconstruct charged, neutral or weakly-interacting particles, and their applications to selected experiments. In addition, you will perform a set of analyses to learn computation skills and statistical methods used to understand experimental results in this field of research. Technical discussions/tutorials of ROOT (, a CERN analysis toolkit, will be provided in order to enable you to conduct these analyses. The focus of the course is to provide the opportunity to see how experimental research is done in elementary particle physics.


Intermediate level physics courses (E&M, QM, and thermodynamics), or equivalent engineering courses.  If these prerequisites are not fulfilled, please enquire directly with me.


Lectures will take place twice a week. A good fraction of lectures will be given over video, for which B305 is well equipped. The remote connection software also supports you to participate in the course from any place where network or phone connection is available. This arrangement supports students taking the course from both on-campus and off-campus. Due to the increasing complexity of big science and large international collaborations, such remote connection has been a popular and also an effective way to exchange intellectual ideas nowadays, and becoming comfortable learning/working in such an environment will be beneficial as you further your education.


At the end of the quarter, there will be a final report in a form of a mini student symposium.  Each student will be responsible to prepare a10-15 minute presentation, to the rest of the students and additional visitors who are interested.  This forum is intended to mimic the setting of conference talks and as such, students will be strongly encouraged to ask questions and provide comments and discussion during the talk. The topics of the presentation will be agreed by discussion with the instructor in the first 3 weeks of the term and the draft of the presentation is required to be circulated no later than one week before the talk.


There is no single required textbook which this course will follow. However, there are a number of books covering the basics of particle physics that are recommended for reading but not required.

The Review of Particle Physics (2015), by K.A. Olive et al (Particle Data Group)

Quarks and Leptons by F. Halzen & A. Martine

Introduction to High Energy Physics by D.H. Perkins                                           

Introduction to Experimental Particle Physics by R.C. Fernow

Statistics References:

significance guideline by Glen Cowan, Eilam Gross  [pdf][url]

Coursework and Grading

The coursework will consist of weekly homework and the seminar talk.  The seminar talk itself requires an outline, a draft, and one individual presentation. The homework and the presentation slides are required to be submitted to the course DropBox prior to the due day (11:00pm). There will be a 10% penalty due to late submission and no points will be given for submissions that are made 72 hours after the intended submission time.

Course outline, schedule:  Vidyo Record Password: uw2016

Weeks Topics Comments HW Due
Week 1 Introduction
Week 2 Interaction of particles with matter Apr 6 Wed (cancel)
Apr 8 Fri (7:30am)
Week 3 Charged particle: Trackering
Charged particle: gas chamber
Apr 12 Tue (9pm)[Vidyo]
Apr 13 Wed (9pm)[Vidyo]
Week 4 Charged particle: semiconductor tracker
Calorimeter: Scintillation & EM

Apr 19 Tue (9pm)[Vidyo]
Apr 20 Wed (9pm)[Vidyo]

HW1 Apr24

Week 5

Calorimeter: EM & Hadronic
Calorimeter: Hadronic

Apr 26 Tue (9pm)[Vidyo]
Apr 27 Wed (9pm)[Vidyo]

HW2 May1
Week 6 Midterm student report
Neitrnos, dark matter detector
May 3 Tue (9pm) [Vidyo]
May 4 Wed (9pm) [Vidyo]
HW3 May 8
Week 7 Neutrino detection
Dark Matter detection
May 10 Tue (9pm) [Vidyo]
May 11 Wed (9pm)[Vidyo]
HW4 May 15
Week 8 Statistics and probability: Bayes vs Frequentist May 17 Tue (9pm)[Vidyo]
May 18 Wed (9pm)[Vidyo]
HW5 May 22
Week 9 StatisticsIII: test hypothesis, p-value vs limit
Multivariate analysis
May 24 Tue (9pm)[Vidyo]
May 25 Wed (9pm)[Vidyo]
HW6 June 5
Week 10 Final student reports May 31 Tue (9pm)[Vidyo1]
Jun 1 Wed (9pm)[Vidyo2]
Late HW Jun 12


Student report 

Title Speaker Reference
E/p Measurements in Particle Flow in ATLAS Alexandru Hostiuc CMS PAS PFT-09-001
The KArlsruhe TRItium Neutrino (KATRIN) experiment. Ying-Ting Lin Nucl.Instrum.Meth. A778 (2015) 40-60
Search for dark matter with the Higgs boson and the ATLAS detector Nikola Whallon arXiv:1510.06218; ATLAS-CONF-2016-019
The MuSun Experiment Ethan Muldoon

Xiao Luo's thesis

Search for extra dimension and graviton in the ATLAS detector Pak Kau Lim arXiv:1309.7847; ATLAS-CONF-2016-010/
Hidden Valley Pion Tom Lee Meyer Physics Letters B 743 (2015) 15-34
Positron Detection and Determination of Positron Fraction by AMS SUMAYA MARIE IFLAND Phys. Rev. Lett. 113, 121101
He6: Searching for Tensor Currents in the Weak Interaction Audrey Kvam arXiv:1208.6433v2
MuLan: the Muon lifetime measurement Anni Xiong Phys.Rev.Lett. 99 (2007) 032001 
Phys.Rev. D87 (2013) no.5, 052003
Upgrade of the Pixel DAQ System Nick Dreyer SP Chen's thesis
Scintillating-Fiber detectors to continuously monitor muon-beam injection into the g-2 storage ring in E989 at Fermilab Nathan Froemming Phys. Rev. D 73 (2006) 072003

Course Summary:

Date Details