The impact of computer simulations
on the epistemic status of LHC Data

Computer simulations are an important tool in experimenal data generation within contemporary high-energy physics (HEP). In this project we aim to address the epistemic issues related to this use of computer simulations in expermental data generation. We focus on the use of computer simulations in the ATLAS experiment, which has been operating at the LHC at CERN since 2008. The central objectives of the project are: to explore the utilization of the conceptually simple simulations in the ATLAS experiment and the impact on complex experimental results; to provide an epistemological characterization of experimental knowledge based on simulations; to investigate the relationship between theoretical, phenomenological and computer models; and to analyze how the involvement of simulations in experimental procedures affects the discovery potential of the ATLAS experiment. Achieving these objectives requires a detailed understanding of the utilization, i.e. purposes and key features, of computer simulations at ATLAS, as well as a classification of simulation models with respect to construction and functioning in the overall experiment. In particular, the term epistemic risk will be used to investigate how computer simulations impact the discovery potential of experiment. Here, we will address how uncertainties in experimental results arise due to the use of simulations


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Principal Investigators:
Rafaela Hillerbrand
Michael Krämer
Gregor Schiemann
Christian Zeitnitz

Postdoctoral Researcher:
Florian Boge

Doctoral Researcher:
​Paul Grünke