CERN Releases 300TB of Large Hadron Collider Data Into Open Access
Cancel your plans for this weekend! CERN just dropped 300 terabytes of hot collider data on the world and you know you want to take a look.
Kati Lassila-Perini, a physicist who works on the Compact Muon Solenoid (!) detector, gave a refreshingly straightforward explanation for this huge release.
“Once we’ve exhausted our exploration of the data, we see no reason not to make them available publicly,” she said in a news release accompanying the data. “The benefits are numerous, from inspiring high school students to the training of the particle physicists of tomorrow. And personally, as CMS’s data preservation coordinator, this is a crucial part of ensuring the long-term availability of our research data.”
Amazing that this perspective is not more widely held — though I suspect it is, by the scientists at least, if not the publishers and department heads who must think of the bottom line.
The data itself is from 2011, much of it from protons colliding at 7 TeV (teraelectronvolts, you know) and producing those wonderful fountains of rare particles we all love to fail to understand. All told, it’s about half the total data collected by the CMS detector, and makes up about 2.5 inverse femtobarns. But who’s counting?
They are making lots of tools available to allow you to work with the data. Some sets of data are specially packaged for things like high school classes.
This is so neat.