A staggering 300 terabytes (TB) of raw data from the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) have been released online by the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) for the public to use.
This upload follows another one made in 2014, and the information may be openly accessed through the CERN Open Data Portal. This includes more than 100 TB of data from proton collisions at 7 TeV, adding up to the previous data gathered at the LHC by the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) detector in 2011.
The LHC is the world's largest and most robust particle accelerator, which was completed in 2008 and first went live in September 2010. Built to gain a better understanding of the mysterious dark matter, it contains a 27-kilometer-long (nearly 17 miles) ring of superconducting magnets with several accelerating structures to increase the energy of the particles along the way.
The Open Data Portal was built by the members of CERN's Scientific Information Service and IT Department, and the data come in two types. First, the primary datasets are in the same format used by scientists to conduct research. The second one has already been processed and made simpler so it could be easily used and understood by students.
Making the data accessible to anyone has practical scientific uses. CERN said that it experienced circumstances when other scientists validated the CMS Open Data using methods it did not anticipate in the past.
The released data could provide scientists, teachers and even students with research and educational tools on particle physics. The scientists behind the CMS Open Data said that they are pleased to make the data available to the public.
"We are very pleased that we can make all these data publicly available," Kati Lassila-Perini, a CMS physicist, said. "We look forward to how they are utilized outside our collaboration, for research as well as for building educational tools," she added.
Before launching the portal, curated datasets were provided for use in secondary school workshops. These classes has been giving particle physics information to thousands of high school students every year.
This is the latest of several released data by CMS and CERN, and so far the largest. Detailed information may be accessed through the CERN Open Data site.