CERN has made more than 300 terabytes of data from its research available to anyone.
Got something to do this weekend? You still have time to change your plans to dive into an immense amount of proton collision information and data. It is not a bad plan.
The European Organization for Nuclear Research (Known as CERN for its English acronym) has released thousands of data and results of its tests and experiments to the world since 2011, so that anyone can access and work with them.
Continue to feed the research and preserve the data
Specifically, this data package includes over 100TB of 7 TeV (teraelectronvolt) proton collisions collected by the CMS Compact Muon Solenoid, one of the particle detectors of the Large Hadron Collider.
It is not the first time that CERN has carried out such an action, since in 2010 they released 27TB of data, but this time the amount of information is much greater. Why do they do it? To help science and offer resources anyone who wants to get involved in the investigation.
Kati Lassila-Perini is one of the physicists and responsible for the CMS experiment and gives us a very simple explanation of why they publish the raw data: they have already exhausted their exploration of the data, studied it and got what they needed, there is no reason to keep them private and limit their access.
They may be used by academics or to inspire young students Tomorrow will be the physicists on the planet. In addition, this ensures the long-term availability of research data.
Tools and documentation for interpreting Collider data
As you are imagining, it is not exactly easy interpret proton collision data. The good news is that CERN has also published a list of analysis tools and code examples using the data to make the task a little easier.
You can even access a virtual machine Call CernVM with the preloaded software to analyze the information. The sequences and specific applications developed are also on Github.
If you are interested in this topic, you have all the information on this website. Also, I recommend that you take a look at the series of articles written by our colleague lvaro, who worked at CERN for months.