Inside the LHC controls

Inside the LHC controls

In the LHC, they proton every 25 nanoseconds, no conventional processor is capable of working at this speed, but CERN can.

We all know about the astronomical figures we have to handle when We are talking about the large hadron collider. Among the record figures is the information produced per second, reaching up to 600 TB / s (TeraBytes) when the accelerator is in operation (as at the moment).

Process all this amount of information not possible with the processors that exist today gives on computers. For this reason, CERN uses a specialized system of logical doors that allows a very precise and fast selection of events, reducing the information to only 25 GB / s. For this to work this preselection electronics must have some very special operating guidelines.

How to know what LHC data is good before reading it

Before they reach any computer, LHC data goes through an electronic signal filtering system, based on logic gates. This system reduces the amount of data to 0.01% of the initial amount and does so by selecting only those LHC data that may contain interesting processes for physics.

To do this, these logical gates reject those collisions in which there is no signal in the muon detectors, or on silicon strips, as these events are known to be uninteresting (for example, they do not come from a Higgs bosn). All this has to be decided in less than 25ns since this is the time that passes between one collision and the next.

What happens next with the interesting LHC data?

Here a new screen is produced and another 99% of incoming LHC data is removed; the rest are stored on magnetic tapes. These data are then distributed by the networks of the universities and research centers associated with CERN in two rounds (TIER 1 and 2) where the collisions are subsequently reconstructed and the results analyzed. This is where the headlines come from. that we see in the press.

And so, dear friends, this is how the almost 600TB / s of LHC data is analyzed, even before you can read it. All a proof of the type of juggling and ingenuity necessary to advance knowledge of humanity.

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