CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, which operates the largest particle physics laboratory in the world has just released a staggering 300 terabytes of data onto the internet regarding their Large Hadron Collider. According to a press release, the data “include[s] over 100 TB, or 2.5 inverse femtobarns (fb−1), of data from proton collisions at 7 TeV, making up half the data collected at the LHC by the CMS detector in 2011.” These big long words basically mean that a lot of highly technical physics data is now available for public study and critique.
[Image Source: Wikimedia]
Oftentimes there is a barrier between the scientific world and the general public, which may prevent those who are interested in technical fields from having access to necessary data and skills. This data dump allows a large amount of useful physics data to be effectively utilized by those who don’t necessarily attribute themselves to higher scientific study.