CERN brings supergrid internet to the world

Tomas Martin @ 09-04-2008

The CMS detector at CERN will process huge volumes of data every secondIn addition to searching for the ‘God’ particle that is the Higgs, CERN have been making a vast ‘supergrid’ to transfer the vast volumes of data created by the LHC supercollider every second to the universities studying it around the world (currently including myself). The sheer amount of data at the LHC – around 15 Petabytes a year – means a whole new system has been made to spread it to other institutions outside of the collider in Switzerland.

The grid still has some issues to work out but is showing signs of real potential to blow the current internet out of commission in a few years. The grid uses fibre-optic connections and high speed routers to transfer data. It could be as much as 10,000 times as fast as current broadband, allowing movie-sized files to transfer in seconds. Of course, this technology is currently only in use in the world of High Energy Particle Physics but, like the World Wide Web before it, what is invented at CERN tends to propagate out to the rest of us before too long.

[via The Times, image via CERN]

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4 Responses to “CERN brings supergrid internet to the world”

  1. Tomas Martin says:

    notepad, I work on the LHC project. The safety has been reviewed by thousands of extremely prestigious scientists for decades. It has taken 20 years to build the LHC and these questions have long been answered.

    There’s a small chance (a very small one as the current most likely theories don’t predict it) that a black hole will be produced, the size of an atom. A black hole this small doesn’t have enough mass to attract anything to it with gravity like a massive stellar black hole would. This size of black hole will quickly evaporate according to Hawking radiation long before it becomes a serious problem to anything other than a handful of protons. This will occur in less than 10^-23 seconds. That’s 1 divided by 100000000000000000000000. Even this eventuality has a probability smaller than you finding a diamond on a random beach.

    This current theory that the world’s going to end has been thoroughly debunked by scientists and is really not a problem. More energetic interactions occur in the upper atmosphere all the time, as well as throughout space. We have yet to observe a mini black hole causing devastation in all of astronomy.

    read these for more information:
    http://twistedphysics.typepad.com/cocktail_party_physics/2006/09/the_sky_is_fall.html

    http://press.web.cern.ch/public/en/LHC/Safety-en.html

  2. Tomas Martin says:

    you really don’t have to worry. I could give you a much more complex explanation involving gauge theory, the standard model, or at least provide you with links.

    Thousands of scientists all over the world have spent decades testing and designing the LHC. If this was a credible problem, they’d have announced it. But it’s not, it’s just scaremongering. To say you know more than all these particle engineers and physicists is rather insulting to their work.

    The energy of one of these nano black holes is smaller than the energy your muscles use when you swat a fly. That’s how small it is. The public is not told there is a problem because there isn’t one. There’s the potential that Yellowstone park could erupt in a supermassive volcano any minute and wipe out human life or a star could supernova and flood the earth with gamma radiation, but it’s not exactly front page news because it’s incredibly unlikely.

    First, the theory that black holes could be created is not certain by any means. The LHC’s 1TeV of energy may not be enough even if it is possible. Then you have to factor in the fact that the current theory by both astrophysicists and particle physicists that the black holes will evaporate is most likely to happen. The smaller the black whole, the quicker it will evaporate. If this theory is true and we think it is, there’s not a problem.

    Then you have the evidence that a black hole created will have such tiny fraction of energy that it won’t effect more than a few neighbouring atoms before it disappears. That needs to be false as well.

    There’s many many factors, all extremely unlikely, that all have to come into alignment for there to be even the slightest chance even the mechanism of the collider will be damaged, let alone Geneva or the world. And the Universe disappearing is simply not possible.

    I’d suggest you do a lot more reading of the vast quantities of scientific papers, design measurements and safety checks written by the thousands of people involved with the LHC project. All you’re doing is spreading an idea that isn’t true.

    A good place to start reading is SPIRES, which hosts a lot of the High Energy Particle scientific papers.

    http://www.slac.stanford.edu/spires/

    the main problem IF black holes are created at the LHC will be finding them from their decay products. They’ll hang around for so little time that it’ll be impossible to see them at all – you have to recreate them from the things it decays into, then make sure those particles weren’t created from some background event that looks similar. I’m doing something very similar for my masters degree, but I’m recreating the Higgs Boson, which we think should be found in the first femtobarne (amount of data, around 1 year) and will explain why mass exists in the universe.

    Below are four papers on black holes at the LHC from SPIRES. Please read up on the experiment before you make damaging allegations that have no basis in reality.

    http://arxiv.org/PS_cache/arxiv/pdf/0802/0802.2218v1.pdf
    http://arxiv.org/PS_cache/arxiv/pdf/0707/0707.0317v1.pdf
    http://arxiv.org/PS_cache/arxiv/pdf/0710/0710.5490v1.pdf
    http://arxiv.org/PS_cache/hep-ph/pdf/0702/0702187v2.pdf

  3. Paul Raven says:

    I have removed a few of your extra links, Mr Notepad. We’re fine with different viewpoints here at Futurismic, but spamming we’re not so keen on.

  4. Paul Raven says:

    Mr. Notepad – stop spamming with links, please. I will not ask you again. Feel free to debate the topic at hand, but if you continue to do nothing but link back to your own site’s homepage without any arguments of substance I will simply delete your comments like any other spam-bot.

    To be clear – I have no problem with your belief, as unhinged and irrational as it may appear. Your method of promoting it, however, gives me cause for suspicion.

    And finally I’d suggest that, if you really want to prevent what you believe will be a catastrophe that will destroy the world, leaving incomprehensible comments on blogs isn’t the way to do it.