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Cross section of the 14 TeV ATLAS detector relying on the UW processor - Courtesy CERN
What good is a particle accelerator if you can't take pictures?

Come this April, CERN will get another weapon in the search for the infamous Higgs-Boson particle.  When particles collide in a particle accelerator, the collision occurs so briefly that scientists can only infer what takes place during the collision by analyzing the remaining components left afterwards.  Analyzing that data on the fly takes a lot of calculations, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison has just the solution; a $6M USD grid array processor that can analyze a trillion bits per second. 

The "Regional Calorimeter Trigger" will have the most throughput of any single application processor array to date when it is installed in CERN's Large Hadron Collider this April.  The project took almost a decade to complete with dozens of test trials across various particle accelerations all over the world.



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Oxymoron
By Unreal on 2/7/2006 11:30:01 AM , Rating: 3
It is kind of oxymoron scheme or sort of irony that man has to built so large equipment for the purpose of studying so small particles.




RE: Oxymoron
By andrep74 on 2/7/2006 12:41:57 PM , Rating: 2
Well, think of it more as increasing the chance of detecting a collision event, like buying tickets for the lottery. It's not like the phenomenon being detected is big, it's that the chance of it happening in any given volume is small.


RE: Oxymoron
By Clauzii on 2/7/2006 12:59:36 PM , Rating: 2
So true!


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