|Les Robertson, a key player behind the development of the LHC grid, retired in 2008 after 35 years at CERN. The following highlights a speech he gave at GridFest last October.|
In a few words, it is hard to say something about computing that can compete with the wonders of the machine and its detectors.
Nevertheless, I shall try.
As we have seen, this accelerator creates extremely high-energy particle collisions, which in turn create new particles that decay in very complex ways as they move through the detector. The detector registers the passage of these particles with a vast number of sensors and, finally, creates a digitized summary that is recorded as what we call an “event.”
Physicists now face the challenge of unraveling all of this complexity in order to extract the science, and for this they need computers—lots of them.