CERN’s Large Hadron Collider Beauty (LHCb) experiment is the world’s top experiment in quark flavor physics. And now, for the first time ever, anyone can access and download data from the Large Hadron Collider Beauty experiment via the CERN open data portal, allowing anyone in the world to undertake research.
The science and other stuff to know
The Large Hadron Collider beauty (LHCb) experiment at CERN tries to explore fundamental physics. It mainly investigates the differences between matter and antimatter by studying a type of particle called the “beauty quark”, or “b quark.”
While researchers could previously access all scientific results from the LHCb collaboration through open-access papers, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) has officially released the data from the experiment to the public. Thus, anyone can now access and download the data through the CERN open data portal.
“The data collected at LHCb is a unique legacy to humanity, especially since no other experiment covers the region LHCb looks at,” leader of the LHCb open data project Sebastian Neubert said in a statement. “It has been obtained through a huge international collaborative effort, which was funded by the public. Therefore the data belongs to society.”
The data release accounts for about 20 percent of the data set collected by the LHCb experiment in 2011 and 2012 during LHC Run 1, according to LHC. It comprises “200 terabytes containing information obtained from proton–proton collision events filtered and recorded with the detector.”
LHC releasing the data from the LHCb experiment to the public opens doors for anyone to conduct research using the data or for reference purposes. In fact, data from Runs 1 and 2 has already been used for more than 600 scientific publications, according to LHC.
“[The data] is intended to be used by professional scientists and its interpretation needs some knowledge of particle physics, but everybody is invited to give it a try,” Neubert explains. “It would be great if the data inspire new research directions and is used by researchers in other fields, such as data science and artificial intelligence. We are eager to hear from users of the data what they find.”
LHC plans to release further data from the LHCb experiment in the future. In the meantime, CERN scientists “are delighted to see how our data is being used, and any input is very appreciated. We invite CERN Open Data Forum users to start discussions and ask questions about our data.”