Help CERN search for the Higgs boson

If you have been following our reports on new developments in the search for the Higgs Boson you may be itching to get involved yourself. Now you can by joining LHC@Home 2.0 a new project for people to run simulations of LHC particle collisions on their home PCs.

Projects like this used to be difficult to set up because the software is written to run on LINUX systems, but a new virtual machine environment from Oracle has made it much easier. CERN runs simulations on a powerful global computing grid but you can never have too much CPU time for the calculations they have to do.

Running monte carlo simulations to compare with the latest experiments is an importnat part of the analysis that goes into the plots they show at the conferences. CERN have been making extraordinary efforts to show results as quickly as possible to the public but these calculations is one of the limiting factors that keeps us waiting. Getting the public involved in the process may be one way to solve the problem.

11 Responses to Help CERN search for the Higgs boson

  1. Ulla says:

    So the Inertia isn’t enough? Good!

  2. Luboš Motl says:

    It’s a long time ago when I thought that my computers were too fast and doing nothing. 😉

    In Grenoble, we missed but we shouldn’t have missed a talk by BaBar about the evidence for a charged Higgs boson:

  3. Wilhelmus de Wilde says:

    Hi Philip,
    BOINC is not running on Windows 7 ?

    • Dave Coker says:

      Hi. Been following LHC’s progress via this blog for some time. Not a physics expert, but I know a little about computers (started electronics in 1964 and programming in 1966). Yes, BOINC itself does run on Windows 7. But BOINC is just a supervisor, coordinating access to your machine’s resources for the client program (SETI@home, LHC@home, etc.). You also need to download the relevant client program, and in LHC’s case that doesn’t run directly on Windows 7. Their FAQ explains “This project runs very large CERN software packages with complex dependencies that cannot be easily ported to all the volunteers’ operating systems (Windows, GNU/Linux and Mac OS X). For this reason, we use a virtualization solution, which enables us to run complex codes independently of your platform. Additionally, using virtualization adds an extra layer of security, as if something goes wrong in the code execution this will not affect your computer.”

  4. Riccardo says:

    Hello, to run correctly the project, you must install the Oracle VirtualBox and Boinc client.
    Follow the instruction from the site:

  5. Wilhelmus de Wilde says:

    Thanks a lot for your assistance but I understood that there is a problem an we will have to wait untill it is solved. I am eager to asssist in this very important moment in science.
    best regards

  6. Stephen Crowley says:

    When will account creation be enabled? I just tried and it said it was disabled.


  7. […] week verschenen zijn en waar ik niet aan toe gekomen ben ze om te toveren in een astroblogje:LHC@Home 2.0 is er. Doe allemaal thuis vanachter je PC mee en help mee om het Higgs boson te ontdekk…Heeft Pluto ook ringen? Er zijn aanwijzingen voor gevonden.Met het PAMELA-instrument heeft men een […]

  8. Wilhelmus de Wilde says:

    and in my native language !!!

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