University > Physics and Astronomy > ITP > Susanne Westhoff > Teaching Winter 2016/17

Master Seminar "How to make a discovery: Search strategies at particle colliders"

Fridays, 11:15 - 13:00, Philosophenweg 12, seminar room 105.
First meeting: Friday, October 21, 2016.

If you plan to attend the seminar, please contact me by email: westhoff[at]


The goal of this seminar is to make you familiar with the guidelines and strategies for finding new physics at particle colliders. We will address questions such as `What are possible extensions of the standard model?', `What do we know about new models from previous experiments?', `Where are the best places to look for new particles?', `How do we search for them?'. Our discussion will be largely model-independent, but illustrated with concrete examples from up-to-date particle physics. While the focus is on the theory, experimental aspects will be covered when it comes to search strategies.


  • Extensions of the standard model: new gauge bosons, scalars, fermions
  • Theory guidelines to new models: symmetries, gauge anomalies, gauge invariance
  • Experimental guidelines: constraints from flavor and electroweak precision observables
  • Connections with the standard model: effective field theory, simplified models
  • Direct searches: resonances, suppressed and exotic observables
  • Indirect searches: precision observables
  • Examples in Higgs and top-quark physics, flavor physics, dark matter

Seminar course

Each student will give a 45-minutes presentation on one of the topics. We will distribute the topics at our first meeting. In addition, you will hand in a write-up of 5-8 pages that summarizes your topic. This write-up is due 2 weeks after your presentation.

Recommended prerequisites

To be equipped with background knowledge for this seminar, ideally (but not necessarily) you should have attended at least either of the courses `Standard Model of Particle Physics' or `Quantum Field Theory' (or equivalent courses).

Schedule and material

are available here.
If you have been accepted as a participant, please register here. (Log in with your URZ account; join group 'Discovery' by clicking "anmelden" at the bottom of the page.)

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