Deep learning takes on physics

When you upload a photo of one of your friends to Facebook, you set into motion a complex behind-the-scenes process. An algorithm whirs away, analyzing the pixels in the photo until it spits out your friend’s name. This same cutting-edge technique enables self-driving cars to distinguish pedestrians and other vehicles from the scenery around them.  Can this technology also be used to tell a muon from an electron? Many physicists believe so. Researchers in the field are beginning to adapt it to analyze particle physics data.  Proponents hope that using deep learning will save experiments time, money and manpower, freeing physicists to do other, less tedious work. Others hope they will improve the experiments’ performance, making them better able to identify particles and analyze data than any algorithm used before.…

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