The Biggest Big Data Project to Date Should Have Been in Texas

An example of simulated data modelled for the ...

This eulogy of the Superconducting Supercollider (SSC) that should have been built in the US— in TX —struck a chord with me. This is the biggest big data project that has been and it should have been here. How shortsighted we have been. The advancements being made at CERN are not just toward some ephemeral ‘God Particle‘, but also toward data science, operations engineering, “Big Data” stream processing and on and on and on.

We gathered all the nation’s elite
to design and build man’s greatest feat

“Come build it for us” Congress said
“America must be at the forefront, always ahead.”

So come we did, pursuing the dream
to build the machine that collides proton beams

“It’s pork-barrel, useless, garbage” they cried.
“Off with its head” the House puffed with pride.

Our families just stare, confused and upset,
The children all innocent, the spouses with regret

“Why did I come out here?” they wonder to themselves.
“I left the home I lived in since I was just twelve.

”Little was ventured, and little was gained
Except to fill the nation’s physicists with anger and pain.

How Texas Lost the World’s Largest Super Collider | Texas Monthly

LHC Data to be Made Public Via Open Access Initiative

imageLHC Data to be Made Public Via Open Access Initiative1

The Compact Muon Solenoid Experiment2 (CMS) is one of the two general-purpose experiments that have been constructed to search for new physics; to detect a wide range of particles and phenomena produced by high-energy proton-proton and heavy-ion collisions. CMS has taken place at and inside of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), part of CERN, the European Laboratory for Particle Physics (formerly the Organization for European Nuclear Research; the name CERN is derived from the acronym for the French Conseil Européen pour la Recherche Nucléaire).

Scientists at CMS are striving to answer the most fundamental and basic questions about the Universe; questions such as, “What is the Universe really made of and what forces act within it?” and “What gives everything substance?”.

imageLHC CMS data are exotic. They are complicated. They are big. At peak performance, about one billion proton collisions take place every second inside the CMS detector at the LHC. Around 64 petabytes of analyzable data has been collected from these collisions so far.

Kati Lassila-Perini, head of the CMS Data Preservation and Open Access project at the Helsinki Institute of Physics has said, “We must make sure that we preserve not only the data but also the information on how to use them.” As part of the effort to achieve this, the Open Access project intends to make available the CMS data that are no longer under active analysis. The first set of this data will be made available in the second half of 2014. It will comprise of a portion of the data collected by CMS in 2010.

Additional information about CMS, the Data Preservation and Open Access project, the LHC and CERN can be gotten through the following links: