Aug 9, 2011

Turn Your Laptop Into A Superconducting Supercollider

I've long been an advocate and participant in the SETI@home program, which farms out the processing of dense radio telescope data to millions of personal computers.  This allows the researchers at SETI to increase their computer power exponentially at no cost, plus if your machine is responsible for any major discoveries, you get a slice of the credit.

A few other organizations have adopted the same model over the years but this is by far the most interesting participant to date: the Large Hadron Collider at CERN.  In spite of some early bird-based sabotage, the European Particle Physics Labratory is opening the doors so to speak, parceling out the computational work for some of their particle acceleration simulations before the experiments are actually run in the LHC.  The extra processing power not only allows them to calibrate and fine tune the collider, but it could also allow them to analyze the resulting data in a much more timely fashion.

The software is a simple install and runs in the background of your computer while the machine is idle, so it shouldn't notice any appreciable slow down in your system.  And really, how could you not want to be a part of this kind of scientific awesomeness?

Click it here for the free download!

1 comment:

  1. "In spite of some early bird-based sabotage..."

    My brain for some reason read this like, "The early bird gets the sabotage." or something.

    Anyways, I tend to stay away from these "use your computer while it is idle" things. I used to get wrapped up in watching SETI@Home, "Oh just a few more minutes of idle time and I'll finish this section... Oh the next section is only 12 parts? I can wait for that to finish..." etc.