The European Council for Nuclear Research (CERN) has made 300TB of data collected from its Large Hadron Collider (LHC) available to the public. The LHC is the largest particle collider and machine in the world. It is used to test theories of physics as well as properties of the recently discovered Higgs-boson.
“Primary” and “derived” datasets are available for download on the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) Open Data website. The primary dataset is in the same format used by the organization. The derived dataset is formatted to be easier to use by the public. The Open Data website also provides tools to analyze the data.
The rational behind the data release is explained on CERN’s news release:
These data are being made public in accordance with CMS’s commitment to long-term data preservation and as part of the collaboration’s open-data policy. “Members of the CMS Collaboration put in lots of effort and thousands of person-hours each of service work in order to operate the CMS detector and collect these research data for our analysis,” explains Kati Lassila-Perini, a CMS physicist who leads these data-preservation efforts. “However, once we’ve exhausted our exploration of the data, we see no reason not to make them available publicly. The benefits are numerous, from inspiring high-school students to the training of the particle physicists of tomorrow. And personally, as CMS’s data-preservation co-ordinator, this is a crucial part of ensuring the long-term availability of our research data.”
Read CERN’s news release on its website.
Image credits: CERN