High-Energy Physics


The High Energy Physics (HEP) community was a pilot application domain in Enabling Grids for E-sciencE (EGEE), and is still the largest user of the EGEE grid infrastructure. The four Large Hadron Collider experiments at CERN, Europe’s central organisation for nuclear research, are currently the major users of the infrastructure. Their production work involves more than 20,000 jobs each day and generates many hundreds of terabytes of data each year.

By their nature HEP applications are very demanding. Because of this they serve a powerful role in understanding and improving EGEE delivered services. The HEP experiments also produce high-level middleware components that often become valuable prototypes for the overall grid community. The expertise developed by HEP users is open to the other EGEE grid users. The HEP application domain is an important driving force within the EGEE project and promotes progress across many scientific disciplines.
Large Hadron Collider experiments

The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is a new particle collider located at CERN in Geneva, Switzerland. CERN hosts four major LHC experiments: ALICE, ATLAS, CMS and LHCb. These use grid resources both from EGEE as well as sister projects such as Open Science Grid in the US and the Nordic DataGrid Facility in Europe. The LHC collaboration has established a globally distributed production environment for physics data processing. Use of the EGEE infrastructure has already started on a large scale and it is an essential tool for the preparation of the LHC project’s scientific programme. This usage stress-tests the infrastructure in preparation for the start of the LHC data-taking in late 2008.

Each experiment has different physics goals but all need to perform massive simulation studies of the ‘events’ that will be produced when high energy beams of protons or heavy ions. ALICE (A Large Ion Collider Experiment) aims to study the physics of strongly interacting matter at extreme energy densities, where the formation of a new phase of matter, the quark-gluon plasma, is expected. ATLAS (A Toroidal LHC ApparatuS) will explore the fundamental nature of matter and the basic forces that shape our universe. CMS (Compact Muon Solenoid) will explore new physics at high energies, in a bid to find the Higgs boson and evidence for supersymmetry. Finally LHCb focuses on the study of the violation of charge and parity (CP) symmetry. This effect might be responsible for the matter/antimatter imbalance at the birth of the Universe.

The HEP cluster tools

CERN also supports other research communities whose fields are not fully related to HEP. Some examples of communities which have been ported to the grid using the EGEE infrastructure include humanitarian projects as UNOSAT (UNO agency), worldwide telecommunication setups with the International Telecommunication Union agency (ITU from UNO), multipurpose simulation tools as Geant4, theoretical physics applications such as Lattice QCD studies and beam tracking and collimation studies of the LHC. The project focusing on beam studies opens interesting collaboration opportunities with other research fields, such as the Fusion environment and collaboration with other research centres such as ITER. For more information visit:

A set of toolkits has been developed at CERN with the HEP support team which help the grid work in a more effective and user-friendly way. These tools, which were developed to assist the high energy community have been successfully exported to other communities as “gridification” standard tools used by a large number of research fields:
  • Ganga, used to submit to a large number of distributed computing environments including Grid resources with the same interface (http://cern.ch/ganga)
  • Diane, used to optimize the usage of the available resources (http://cern.ch/diane)
  • AMGA, a metadata catalogue (http://cern.ch/amga)
  • Dashboard, a standard and general monitoring tool of the user jobs and the status of the resources (http://dashboard.cern.ch)
  • Analysis servers solutions managed by INFN
Each of these tools was created for the high energy physics community and later exported to other fields.

Contacts and Institutes

The HEP cluster is formed by 3 institutes: CERN (Switzerland), INFN (Italy) and ASGC (Taiwan). The central management is placed at CERN. For more information get in touch with:
Patricia Mendez Lorenzo (coordinator): patricia.mendez@cernNOSPAMPLEASE.ch
Massimo Lamanna (former coordinator): massimo.lamanna@cernNOSPAMPLEASE.ch
Frank Harris: frank.harris@cernNOSPAMPLEASE.ch

Mailing Lists

Internal: project-eu-egee-na4-hep@cernNOSPAMPLEASE.ch

-- CharlesLoomis - 22 Jul 2008

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Topic revision: r2 - 2008-11-27 - PatriciaMendezLorenzo
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