In this talk, I shall characterize the notion of exploratory experimentation in the context of the ATLAS experiment that has been running at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider, where the long-sought Higgs boson has been recently discovered. I shall argue that in the case of the ATLAS experiment, what I shall call the method of robust data-selection is used to carry out an exploratory data search that enables the experiment to pursue its various objectives. Based on the present case study, I shall also suggest that, contrary to the common conception, the theoretical accounts of the phenomena of interest can play an essential role in performing exploratory experimentation.


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