Pythia (Software)

The computer programme Pythia is used in particle physics. Here it is used to simulate or generate collisions at particle accelerators such as CERN. The software is thus at the same time the most frequently used Monte Carlo event generator. The calculations are based on the algorithms of probability theory.

Random samples of a distribution are drawn with random experiments via the Pythia software. This is particularly useful for finding out which signals are noticeable at the particle accelerator when physics models deviate from the standard. It makes sense to simulate the models numerically in advance via the Pythia software.

For which simulations is the Pythia software used?

A classic field of application for Pythia software is particle physics with its most diverse areas of application. For example, if a physics model predicts a new particle, assumptions can be made upstream. Before the experiment phase, they help to obtain clues about the signals that are sought in the experiment. If necessary, the detectors of the simulation can be optimised for this.

Basic considerations that can be made in advance:

  • Which particles can be produced and how should they decay in the model?
  • How complex and limited is the measurability of decay products?

The simulation with the Pythia software creates a clear signal. This describes the number and momentum of the incoming particles from the collision. The aim is for the detectors to detect the particles created as part of the acceleration experiment.

Experiments in particle accelerators are among the most important sources for discovering new physical phenomena. It gets difficult because the experiments have become bigger and bigger over the decades. This is where programmes like the Pythia software help in the search for new particles. The Pythia software has an extensive portfolio of settings and functionalities. Pythia enables the simulation of different scenarios in the exploration of physical events.

In the resulting application, protons are accelerated to an enormous speed in particle accelerators. They collide with each other in one of the detectors. In the process, the energy contained in the particle is converted into new particles in an extremely short space of time. When they hit the detectors, the data analysis begins. Thus, from here on, traces are evaluated and tracks are tried to be read in order to reconstruct the events of the collision.

The amounts of data generated in the process are exorbitant. For years, physics has been in the process of artificial intelligence to classify, sort and order.

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