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Joe Public invited to hunt God particle

CERN needs your PC to help nail Higgs boson

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The atom-smashers down at CERN have invited Joe Public to lend some computing power to the search for the elusive Higgs boson – the "God particle" which theoretically gives mass to all other particles, but has to date proved elusive.

Scientists are hoping that the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) will finally nail the Higgs boson, and you can now be part of "a global effort to simulate data that physicists will use in their analysis of LHC data".

LHC@home 2.0 is an evolution of the LHC@home – launched in 2004 to "help physicists simulate protons beam dynamics in the LHC", but at a time when "doing full-fledged simulations of particle collisions was beyond the scope of volunteer computing".

Things have moved on a bit since then, so LHC@home 2.0's first project, Test4Theory@Home, "allows users to participate in running simulations of high-energy particle physics using their home computers", according to the blurb.

It adds: "The results are submitted to a central database which is used as a common resource by both experimental and theoretical scientists working on the Large Hadron Collider at CERN. Hopefully, these explanations can help give an idea of why the computing resources made available by volunteers in this way can be crucial for improving our understanding of what is really happening inside the beam pipe of the Large Hadron Collider." ®

Bootnote

You may have to wait a bit to get on board LHC@home 2.0. The site is currently showing this message:

Problem with job supply from CERN

WE HAVE A PROBLEM. WE BELIEVE SOME "ROGUE" SYSTEMS ARE SUCKING OUR QUEUES DRY AND THUS OVERLOADING THE SUPPLY OF JOBS TO EVERYONE ELSE.

Please be patient – we will try and fix this as soon as possible.

Until this problem is understood, we have disabled the creation of new jobs and users for the moment. As soon as the system is recovered, the work units flow will be restored.

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

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