Grid Computing and LHC… :)

Today’s a memorable day in the history of science. Be the massive experiment at CERN turns out satisfactory or not, it’ll be a milestone in human scientific and engineering history. All the Works, efforts and the vastness of this project is really mind boggling. The Main LHC team, Building blocks, The Superconductor specialists team, the Indian electronic sensor team, the Cryogenics team handling 170 tonnes of liquified Helium; and lastly but not the least… but more importantly, The Computing Team there at CERN tracking every single piece of data ( alltogether, it’s handling some 15 PetaBytes of data! ) for doing the actual findings.

Cleverly, the system introduced Grid Computing. What is grid computing can be found here. The pictures canbe found here.

The mission of the Worldwide LHC Computing Grid (LCG) project is to build and maintain a data storage and analysis infrastructure for the entire high energy physics community that will use the LHC.

The data from the LHC experiments will be distributed around the globe, according to a four-tiered model. A primary backup will be recorded on tape at CERN, the “Tier-0” centre of LCG. After initial processing, this data will be distributed to a series of Tier-1 centres, large computer centres with sufficient storage capacity and with round-the-clock support for the Grid.

The Tier-1 centres will make data available to Tier-2 centres, each consisting of one or several collaborating computing facilities, which can store sufficient data and provide adequate computing power for specific analysis tasks.

Individual scientists will access these facilities through Tier-3 computing resources, which can consist of local clusters in a University Department or even individual PCs, and which may be allocated to LCG on a regular basis.

For this, a specially designed SunCluster has been appointed (!) and it’s currantly working full fleged at CERN. By the way… 😀 CERN scientists are using VmWare Fusion to share Linux-based computer code on Fusion “virtual machines” running on Macs. The software links the computers to the LHC Computing Grid — a network of about 40,000 CPUs. So.. Linux Linux everywhere… 😀

A note to make : CERN actually invented the World Wide Web alongside with Tim Berners Lee for this type of large data sharing over wide spread areas. 😀 What an Idea, Sirji… 😀

India Shining With Lord of The Rings…

Scientists here hope to crash sub-atomic particles, whirring around at the speed of light. By monitoring the debris of these tiny crashes, they will work out the relationship between matter and energy and possibly learn more about how matter came into existence.

In this largely European experiment, India has provided about 40 million dollars worth of resources, including all the arms the particle accelerator sits on. 

Dr V C Sahni, Director, Raja Ramanna Centre For Advanced Technology, Indore, says: “It is one of the large magnets, 15 meters long whose magnetic field testing was done by the Indian team. The objects that are sitting here they are essentially built by the Electronics Corporation of India Limited.” 

The entire Large Hadron Collider or LHC will be sitting on India made jacks, these objects weigh 32 tonnes and have to be located to the precision of a few tens of micron. 

Indian scientists are highly regarded here, as are their contributions. 

Prof Sukalyan Chattopadhyay, scientist, Saha Institute Of Nuclear Physics, adds: “This is an Indian detector as you see part of the di-muon spectrometer of Alice. It is fully made in India and on the detectors you see are the significant contributions from the Indian collaboration, which are these chips which are called MANAS chips and these chips are being utilized not only by the Indian scientists but also by scientists from France, Germany,Italy and Russia.” 

To remind the world of India’s deep philosophical understanding of the universe, India donated CERN a giant bronze statue of Natraja — Shiva performing his dance of cosmic creation and destruction. 

Indians have provided more than a 100-man years of contribution to this exercise, and fabricated and shipped precision equipment giving the Indian tricolour a new pride of place. 

John Ellis, physicist, European Organisation For Nuclear Research (CERN), Geneva, says: “We are very happy with the Indian participation in the LHC project. Indian physicists and engineers have made important contribution to the accelerator making magnets and testing the magnets.

The biggest Physics Experiment ever…

Three decades after it was conceived, the world’s most powerful physics experiment has begun.

Engineers and Physicists at CERN ( Organisation Européenne pour la Recherche Nucléaire ) will attempt to circulate a beam of particles (Hadrons) preferably Protons or Lead ions around the 27km-long underground tunnel which houses the Large Hadron Collider (LHC).

The £5bn machine is designed to smash particles together with cataclysmic force, revealing signs of new physics in the wreckage.

This will re-create conditions in the Universe moments after the Big Bang.

The vast circular tunnel – the “ring” – which runs under the French-Swiss border contains more than 1,000 cylindrical magnets arranged end-to-end.

The magnets are there to steer the beam – made up of particles called protons – around this 27km-long ring.

Eventually, two proton beams will be steered in opposite directions around the LHC at close to the speed of light, completing about 11,000 laps each second.

At allotted points around the tunnel, the beams will cross paths, smashing together near four massive “detectors” that monitor the collisions for interesting events.

Scientists from all over the world are hoping that new sub-atomic particles will emerge, revealing fundamental insights into the nature of the cosmos.A number of them are hoping to see the recreation of a very small scale Big Bang though all the rumours of creating microscopic black holes were cleared by CERN. The entire thing is going to happen under very controlled environment.

Let’s witness a new era in particle Physics… Cheers for CERN. 🙂