By James Vincent

(The Verge) – If you ever wanted to take a look at raw data produced by the Large Hadron Collider, but are missing the necessary physics PhD, here’s your chance: CERN has published more than 300 terabytes of LHC data online for free. The data covers roughly half the experiments run by the LHC’s CMS detector during 2011, with a press release from CERN explaining that this includes about 2.5 inverse femtobarns of data — around 250 trillionparticle collisions. Best not to download this on a mobile connection then.

Despite the intimidating nature of the data, CERN has made it as digestible as possible. The information is available for download in two formats: “primary datasets” used by CERN researchers, and lightweight “derived datasets” intended to be accessed by a wider audience. CERN says the latter “require a lot less computing power [to process] and can be readily analyzed by university or high-school students.” To help with this, the agency has also made software based on its in-house data modeling tool, CernVM, free to download.


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