Experimental High Energy Physics II

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This course has an experimental approach and aims to illustrate the experimental techniques and analyses of some of the most current research in the field of High Energy Physics, with a focus on CMS and LHCb experiments operating at the Large Hadron Collider.  The course is designed for doctoral students, but can also be attended by master students. It requires a basic knowledge of particle physics, for example, having attended the course of 'Experimental Physics High Energy I' is welcome.


The course consists of two modules of 20 hours each. The first (Module A) focuses on electroweak precision measurements at e+e- (LEP) and hadron colliders (LHC) at the energy frontier, while the second (Module B) covers the domain of high-precision measurements in Heavy Flavour Physics at the intensity frontier.

Module A (Prof. Ligabue, 20 hours)

  • Electroweak parameters, radiative corrections, pseudo-observables. Electroweak global fits and indirect constraints on quark top mass, and the mass of the Higgs boson before its discovery.

  • General-purpose 4-pi detector at LEP: ALEPH’s design and performances.

  • Precision EW measurements at LEP: lineshape and width of the Z boson, width of the Z boson decaying to invisible, number of light neutrino families, forward-backward asymmetries, and weak mixing angle determination.

  • Physics of the W boson at LEP2: mass determination, WW production cross-section.

  • General-purpose 4-pi detector at LHC: CMS’s design and performances.

  • Precision EW physics at LHC: Higgs discovery and properties determination; measurement of the W boson properties, and weak mixing angle determination at LHC.

Module B (Prof. Morello, 20 hours)

  • Introduction to the Heavy Flavour Physics within the Standard Model. 

  • Flavour Changing Neutral Currents. The GIM mechanism. 

  • Discrete symmetries: spatial parity, time reversal, charge conjugation. Implications of the  CPT theorem and relevance of CP Violation in the Standard Model. 

  • The CKM quark-mixing matrix and CP violation in the SM.

  • Neutral-meson mixing formalism and time evolution. 

  • Classification of CP-violating manifestations and experimental observables in the charm and beauty sector: CPV in the decay, CPV in mixing, CPV in the interference between a decay with and without mixing. 

  • Experimental environments for heavy flavour physics: B-Factories at asymmetric-energy e+e- colliders and LHCb at symmetric high energy hadron colliders. 

  • Some of the most relevant and recent precision measurements of CKM parameters and CP-violating asymmetries in heavy flavor decays are presented, as well as searches for very rare or forbidden decays in the Standard Model.

Educational aims

Learn some of the modern techniques used in high energy experiments, discussing both the design of experimental equipment and the methods of calibration and data analysis.

Bibliographical references

Papers, notes, and textbooks references will be given during the lectures.