Register Lecture: Can big science keep up with discovery?
Lessons from LHC – the world’s largest scientific machine
Reg Lectures The Higgs Boson particle was first predicted by scientists in 1964 but it wasn't until 2012 that the existence of this fundamental of physics could finally be proven. That was thanks to CERN's Large Hadron Collider (LHC).
Scientific understanding has, for centuries, been constrained by the volume of data that could be captured and analysed. That's changing in an era of big experiments such as LHC - the world's largest scientific machine.
But, Houston, we have a problem. LHC generates petabytes of data each second, and that poses a challenge for the engineering and technical teams who keep this vast lab running.
Join CERN's head of compute and monitoring, Tim Bell, on March 14 as he pops out from LHC's scheduled shutdown and upgrade to discuss the infrastructure challenges faced by CERN and shared by some of the world's other big-science experiments.
Tim, who has been at CERN for 14 years, will take you on a journey inside a particle collider that only knows extremes: it lies in a tunnel with a 27km circumference, operates at -271.3˚C, and runs on 15,000 servers.
And, if you think that's a big enough challenge, consider this: CERN in January revealed plans for LHC's successor – the 100km Future Circular Collider – to unlock the parts of the Standard Model LHC has not touched, such as dark matter.
Tim will discuss the past, present and future of LHC and plans to expand the collider's computer capacity of 300,000 cores - by 50 per cent - during the next two years to support new breakthroughs. He'll touch on how to upgrade on a grand scale without causing a universe-size crash. And Tim will explore how CERN is looking to citizen scientists to help the professional white coats analyse LHC's 300PB data lake – and how you can join in.
Join Tim and your fellow readers on March 14, 2019, at the Rugby Tavern, 19 Great James St, London, WC1N 3ES. Doors will be open from 18:30 with Tim taking the floor at 19:00. An audience question-and-answer session will follow a quick refreshment break.
Buy your tickets here. ®