Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

New LHC monitoring portal LIVE DATA

  1. Nov 15, 2009 #1
    I have setup a very cool LIVE portal to the LHC and CERN...

    I have have a brand new forum just for the LHC..

  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 15, 2009 #2


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member
    Dearly Missed

    Thanks for setting LHCPortal up! It looks like a labor of love. I just spent a very pleasant and interesting hour browsing the various stuff that you have gathered together.

    I enjoyed watching "ATLAS built in 5 minutes", which is actual webcam montage, spliced together in a timelapse way so you see actual cranes operating and people running around, and the huge thing gradually comes together.

    It is on Youtube

    But the thing is, all this stuff is publicly available but it is scattered around different places on the web. You put it together in an organized, userfriendly way. So it becomes more accessible.
    Also the volunteer "fan-club" tone is lighter and more palatable than the "official CERN outreach department" tone.

    A lot of neat things like actual real-time status monitor screens from various systems and various parts of the ring.
    And realtime webcams fly on the wall from various locations.
    A "you are there" feel.

    LHCPortal goes on my list of favorite links. Thanks for telling us about it.
  4. Nov 15, 2009 #3
    It was a labor of geeky love.. Thank you for the kind words !

    The links were collected by countless hours of CERN browsing...

    Yea the Document Sever multimedia section is just stunning, and endless...

    http://cdsweb.cern.ch/collection/Multimedia & Outreach?ln=en

    Yes.... as a fan website I think it almost has to be better then the internal outreach. They have done a awesome job, but a fan gets to the very heart of the matter... Literally... hahahaha...

    BUT alas... The site went viral at CERN on friday. HUGE numbers of hits from CERN.. I think they might cut off access... Maybe..

    In my forums on my site I have a letter posted I sent to the Director General of Cern begging to keep things public.. I hope they listen...

    If some of you posted support on that thread it would help :)

  5. Nov 15, 2009 #4

    Vanadium 50

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor
    2017 Award

    Sadly, I am afraid this will have the opposite effect.

    The collaborations want to be able to decide when they have a result and when they do not. They don't want to have premature results "leak" before they are certain of them - a lot of mundane effects need to be ruled out before claiming a discovery. This process can be maddeningly slow to the impatient, but it's what science is all about.

    Before this site went up, it seems the default was that a page was open unless there was a reason to protect it, and as Michael Barnett said, there were things that were not ready to be public that were accidentally available. With the launch of this site, I fear that the default will switch to being closed unless there is a good reason to make it open. And just as the last policy opened things that should be closed, this is likely to close things that should be open.
  6. Nov 15, 2009 #5
    Alas.... This may be true.

    Well I cant see any links that are open, or have ever been open, that were science related.

    The science discussions are all seriously locked down tight. As they are at all facilities like this.

    The only open links I can find are simply hardware status and pretty pictures of collisions.

    For example

    Showing the last run of interesting triggered results is fun and harmless..

    YES I would LOVE to be able to see the science go on as it happens. Frankly I think that is what a organization like CERN should be about. Sure would draw a lot more people into science. It would be very involving... And maybe, just maybe,, a complete novice might have a brilliant idea none of them would have had...
  7. Nov 15, 2009 #6
    You know.... maybe just like they need a million computer CPUs all working on the collision data to detect interesting events.. Maybe they need millions of people looking at the data to find interesting events as well...

    I forgot the name of that project that got the public into looking at galaxies to categorize them but that worked and had results..

    Maybe the LHC should become completely open in order to have better quality results quicker :) Maybe having just a small group of people working on the science is not the best idea.

    Just a thought...
  8. Nov 15, 2009 #7


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member
    Dearly Missed

    I'm curious, what does "the site went viral" mean? What does huge numbers of hits on your website from people at CERN signify? Apprehension? Nervousness?
    Or just a healthy interest in how they look in a new kind of mirror, or in this version of the public eye.
  9. Nov 15, 2009 #8


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    The Oxford Dictionary was done via public collaboration. It could be argued that it is a complicated training, in the case of CERN data, but on the other hand how may students of physics and engineering have you got across the world, now in the XXIth century?
  10. Nov 15, 2009 #9


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member
    Dearly Missed

    Please don't say "completely" open. Astronomy has a carefully limited openness.
    There are a few projects that you can sign up and help with. These are carefully selected.
    Open participation works in certain structured situations.

    There are problems with "complete" openness.

    You are doing something already very effective with a lot of potential. You will shoot yourself in the foot, damage your own good cause, if you overload it by putting out what sounds like a crazy ideology.

    Scientists need money and respect, and sometimes government cooperation in other departments. Outreach is a way to ensure broad support. Think of your website as an initiative that promotes a new more effective outreach, creating a solider more enthusiastic and committed public support.
    Think of your website as a better kind of support for the status quo experimental physics establishment.

    Don't try to start more revolutions than the one specialized one you already have.

    Science management people get very nervous if they think someone is crazy, or an enthusiastic idealist social reformer, or something like that.

    Don't propose changing their social organization (which is what determines the flow of data.) Just tell them that what you offer is a way into the hearts of an admiring public.

    Basically the old outreach---Brian Greene on TV selling string to teens----John Ellis hyping LHC on television saying it reproduces the big bang etc etc----a lot of unreal catchy metaphors---garbage---condescending tripe.
    After the string fiasco, the old forms of popularization can potentially undermine respect for science, create distrust, alienation. Eventual backlash---cuts.
    What it seems to me you are helping to invent is something like reality-based outreach.

    I would say to present yourself as doing something that is in the interest of the existing research establishment. And I think after all the phony stuff this real "you are there" link-up is urgently needed.
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2009
  11. Nov 15, 2009 #10
    hehehehe... all of the above ?

    Viral... It was like one emailer sent my site to 3 more who each sent it to 3 more.. In the space of hours I had 60 IP's all located in the vicinity of CERN. None had referers. It then slowly moved out to the other universities and companies collaborating with CERN on the LHC. It is still continuing today at a slower pace. Mostly ISP's based in France and Sweden. I dont know how many IP's occured in total but I would say a fair share of CERN saw it.

    Ive seen some weird things. Like I keep seeing someone use http://anonymouse.org/anonwww.html to keep from being identified. Im concerned that someone would use that and access cern. China seems keenly interested in CERN as well.

    The web stats have been pretty interesting..


    And I have very good news. I just heard from the ATLAS team and they have said they are good with my site. In fact they said they are happy to have the open policy. Only key items will be secured on a -must- be secured level and they will keep most everything open access. I have one link they will need to secure. Its minor.

    So this was great news and I have restored all the ATLAS links.

    Go check out some of the ATLAS status links. They are pretty cool.

    Firther I am trying to get them to put even cooler stuff up for easy live viewing for the upcoming events.

    I want to be able to watch a "splash" event live when we get first beam circulation in about a week. Lots of pretty colors and crazy graphics.
  12. Nov 15, 2009 #11
    Marcus, I hear you... AND it just so happens that the above quoted line is exactly what I want to do. The other was just a crazy thought... Hmmm..... but still.... hehehehe...
  13. Nov 15, 2009 #12

    Vanadium 50

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor
    2017 Award

    Are you arguing that the experimenters are such ignorant stumblebums that a better job could be done by a million amateurs?

    Like I said, the whole scientific enterprise revolves around ruling out a large number of mundane explanations. You're suggesting the best people to do that are not the people who designed the instrument, not the people who built the instrument, not the people who operated the instrument and not the people who calibrated the instrument. It's not even people who have thought about the problem for years, studied it, maybe even wrote an article or two about it.

    Instead, it should be people without any such experience.

    Does this make sense to you?
  14. Nov 16, 2009 #13
    Of course... I am playing devils advocate of course..

    I have HUGE respect for the entire community that brought about CERN and the thinkers who shape physics today.


    I am suggesting that throughout time science has been blinded many times to new ideas by being overly caught up in current and established theories. Maybe there is a amateur scientist out there right now, maybe reading this, that might have the next huge step in physics ? Maybe he/she could watch science debate/discovery at CERN live with a different way of looking at the data and suddenly notice something they missed and think completely outside the box and come up with answers traditional thinkers might miss.

    Maybe the more people who participate might raise the odds that someone will come up with the next new breakthrough.

    Maybe all that experience and training also causes a blindness to new and different approaches.

    I think there is a valid argument to allow access to the scientific ponderings in the world. However..... managing all the people who "think" they know the answers and getting down to the actual good ideas... Thats the hard part... But maybe thats where forums come in ?

    I think being open minded to new ideas is very important and new ideas tend to come from people not schooled in the old way of thinking.
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2009
  15. Nov 16, 2009 #14

    Vanadium 50

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor
    2017 Award

    Your message is quite hard to follow...on the one hand, you say that you have a huge respect for the entire community - but then say that a bunch of amateurs could do a better job.

    You can't think outside of the box without knowing where the box is - and to suggest that better science can be done by excluding the people who designed the instrument, the people who built the instrument, the people who operated the instrument and the people who calibrated the instrument, well, it's just silly.

    I would suggest you read Steve Dutch's http://www.uwgb.edu/dutchs/PSEUDOSC/SelfApptdExp.htm" [Broken] on "Self-Appointed Experts". Lots of good stuff there.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  16. Nov 16, 2009 #15
    What I am saying is that sometimes it takes both polished, experienced, top notch experts AND amateurs novices to advance science.

    The LHC is one of man's must stunning achievements. It took the combined skill, knowledge and experience of the very best people in the world to achieve it. Those who worked on the project are pioneers and have created history. Every last person who worked on it too.

    I am saying that by allowing open access to this stunning project it might be possible to achieve even bigger results. I am suggesting a collaborative project on a scale as big as the LHC.

    Maybe finding that next big advance in science is like searching for the Higgs. Maybe you have to look through a tremendous number of ideas to find what your looking for. Maybe a higher luminosity of ideas will result in a higher probability of finding a really good one.

    I am suggesting you need a mix of experienced pros and out of box thinkers. I think the internet has the ability to bring this about by simply allowing open access to millions and the amateurs could all simply watch, post and discuss on thier own forums. You never know, something amazing might come from it. I have a hard time imaging a down side to this.

    Am I making myself more clear ?
  17. Nov 16, 2009 #16
    BTW... I completely enjoyed the rant you provided a link to. It was all so true. Self Appointed Experts are a plague. Sorting them out from the actual amateur who has done thought and research is hard.

    But who knows. Scary as it might be, maybe a Self Appointed Expert might stumble across some important discovery for real as stunningly rare as that event might be.
  18. Nov 16, 2009 #17


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    There is literally zero chance that an amateur can spot something in the LHC data that the pros would miss.

    I don't think you understand the level of sophistication that is required, or that the raw data is mostly gobbledygook without very precise and technically complicated analysis.

    In fact, even a single pro at some university out there that doesn't have access to the proper computing facilities, and without an understanding of the systematic errors of the experiment and the details of the mostly proprietary codes would be hard pressed to even reproduce standard results, much less find something new.

    The man hours involved just to get to a point where analysis is even possible is far more than a single person's lifetime and has been going on for literally years before the experiment was even running by many large independant groups
  19. Nov 18, 2009 #18
    I agree.. Sorry if I refereed to RAW data.

    Im not really talking about raw data. However, you do never know. Stranger things have happened I suppose..

    Im talking about semi processed stuff. Triggered possible interesting LHC events. Im talking about maybe a different interpretation of a event. Or a different view of the scientific meanings of a event.

    Conservatives in science over long periods of time tend to get upended by some new start guy/gal who breaks all the rules. Comes up with a theory that no one says could possibly be true. Which turns out to be spot on and turns all the old theories on end. That is how science has always worked, that is how it will always work. HOWEVER the new guys/gals ALWAYS start from what the conservative science body has done previously before upending it.

    Its a cycle.

    Then of course the new theory becomes old and some new one that no one believes comes along and upends everything again..

    I think the standard model is about due for a upending. IMHO..

    So I feel its important to keep a open mind and not get blinded by current science, cuz it might just all be incorrect.

    I think its the role of current scientists to be open minded and be keenly aware their understanding of things might be only partially correct. I think we should support new views even if they seriously conflict with what we know cuz one of them might well be right.

    So I think having more people from outside the box look at LHC science might well have advantages.

    Again... and I wanna make sure I am clear... The new theories COULD NOT get started unless there were lots of very skilled and educated professionals paving the way.

    This is a cycle we should support not suppress.

    And BTW the LHC will have first circulation of beam 1 during the first shift at CERN on saturday. However it may occur as early as friday. tThey are just turning on the beam now to start global testing. Second shift on saturday will do beam 2. Then some number of days later,,, first collisions at low power. Then a week later collisions at 1GeV.

    Pretty exciting stuff. Everybody wish the LHC teams good luck.
  20. Nov 18, 2009 #19
    See sometimes novices can be helpful. At least NASA thinks so

    http://www.news.com.au/technology/story/0,28348,26367998-5014239,00.html [Broken]
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  21. Nov 18, 2009 #20

    Vanadium 50

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor
    2017 Award

    Xymox, as a practicing researcher, I have to tell you that I am offended by your post.
    A few points:

    Of course not. Let someone else do all the hard work of calibration, alignment, reconstruction, data quality, etc. and then - only then - deign to look at it. Why should you dirty your hands with all this?

    Do you have any evidence - any at all - that supports your charge that the LHC experimenters are closed-minded? If not, you might want to retract that.

    And what evidence do you have that they are not? Again, I think you should put up or shut up. You are accusing them of being bad scientists. I think you need to support these charges. Or stop making them.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Similar Threads for monitoring portal LIVE
I Why does the long-lived kaon only rarely decay to two pions?