The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is the world's largest and highest-energy particle accelerator. It is expected to address some of the most fundamental questions of physics, advancing the understanding of the deepest laws of nature. In essence, our reality. The data volume produces by run tests is huge. Data produced by LHC, as well as LHC-related simulation, will total approximately 15 petabytes per year (max throughput while running not stated). Yeah, that's 15 million gigabytes which goes against 1.7 million dual layer DVDs. Per year. And for some reason I expect more than that.
The distributed computing project LHC@home was started to support the construction and calibration of the LHC. The project uses the BOINC platform, enabling anybody with an Internet connection and either Windows, Mac OS X or Linux to use their computer's idle time to simulate how particles will travel in the tunnel. With this information, the scientists will be able to determine how the magnets should be calibrated to gain the most stable "orbit" of the beams in the ring. At the moment, this project is not very active as all those have been done already. BUT! There is LHC 2.0! It is known as Test4Theory too.
This is a test project, to demonstrate the use of the CERN-developed CernVM and BOINCVM systems to harness volunteer cloud computing power for full-fledged LHC event physics simulation on volunteer computers. It is the first of what is expected to be a series of physics applications running on the LHC@home 2.0 platform. These applications will exploit virtual machine technology, enabling volunteers to contribute to the huge computational task of searching for new fundamental particles at CERN's LHC.
Initial call for help supressed all expectations and almost crashed whole system so engineers worked hard to make this work flawlessly and you can join via invitations. I did!
Invitations are open again. If you want to test the project, please, sign up for an invite!
If the number of requests remains very high, we won't be able to accommodate everyone, so we'll be picking users randomly each week and sending them invitation codes – an invitation lottery. Thus, if you want to try the project and help debugging it sign up and good luck!
P:S. You will also see I use Einstein@Home. It is another project, outside LHC realm. Einstein@Home searches through data from the LIGO detectors for evidence of continuous gravitational-wave sources, which are expected for instance from rapidly spinning non-axisymmetric neutron stars. Einstein@Home also searches radio telescope data from the Arecibo Observatory for radio pulsars. On August 12, 2010, the first discovery by Einstein@Home of a previously undetected radio pulsar J2007+2722, found in data from the Arecibo Observatory, was published in Science. Search continues. Happy number crunching!