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iSGTW Feature - Celebrating the development of the LHC grid

Feature - Celebrating the development of the LHC grid

Wolfgang von Rüden unveils the cermonial globe sculpture, before an audience in CERN's globe-shaped building. Image courtesy of GridFest

Last Friday, 3 October, grid-enthusiasts gathered—physically and virtually—from around the world for a special event: to celebrate the success of the Worldwide Large Hadron Collider Computing Grid.

“After the very successful start of the Large Hadron Collider on 10 September, it is now the turn of the Worldwide LHC Computing Grid to celebrate the transition from a development and deployment phase into operation,” said Wolfgang von Rüden, head of CERN’s Information Technology department, in his welcome address to the 250 grid enthusiasts gathered in CERN’s ‘globe’ building.

“I am very happy to tell you that we are ready to handle the unprecedented flood of data that will be generated by the LHC.”

In his address “CERN and LHC: their place in global science” CERN’s Director General Robert Aymar, highlighted the necessity of computing for studying particle physics: “This is just the first step in a long voyage. The LHC is a discovery machine, and its research programme stretches out two decades into the future,” he said.  “There are three needed tools to study physics. You need accelerators, detectors and computing. It is the computing that turns the flow of data into useful information.”

At the LHC GridFest, Bob Jones highlights the far-reaching uses of grid computing. Image courtesy of GridFest

Grids for science

While physics was the star scientific discipline of the day, attendees also witnessed the importance of a wide range of applications from a host of disciplines. 

“The great thing about grids is that they have many uses,” said Bob Jones, project director of Enabling Grids for E-sciencE, in his talk “The Grid Beyond Physics.” He discussed applications in seismology, atmospheric research, astronomy, fusion and the life sciences.

On-site demonstrations, held through out the day, showed attendees some of these applications live. Demos included the Worldwide LHC Computing Grid, the ALICE experiment, the ATLAS experiment, the CMS experiment, the LHCb experiment, the Health-e-Child project (pediatrics), the ITER project (fusion energy), Open Science Grid and the WISDOM project (drug discovery).

If you were not able to attend in person, check out many of these demos online, posted by the GridTalk project on YouTube.

Detailed information from the event is available online.    

—Danielle Venton, EGEE

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