ATLAS@home

ATLAS is a particle physics experiment taking place at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, that searches for new particles and processes using head-on collisions of protons of extraordinary high energy. Petabytes of data were recorded, processed and analyzed during the first three years of data taking, leading to up to 300 publications covering all the aspects of the Standard Model of particle physics, including the discovery of the Higgs boson in 2012.

Large scale simulation campaigns are a key ingredient for physicists, who permanently compare their data with both "known" physics and "new" phenomena predicted by alternative models of the universe, particles and interactions. This simulation runs on the WLCG Computing Grid and at any one point there are around 150,000 tasks running. You can help us run even more simulation by using your computer's idle time to run these same tasks.

The program you will download runs simulation software inside a virtual machine hosted by your computer. The virtual machine image is ~500MB but is only downloaded once. Each workunit downloads a small set of input data and runs for approx 1 to 2 hours depending on the computer's processor speed.

To participate in the ATLAS@home project you will need to install the following two applications in your computer:

  1. VirtualBox - a virtualization software package for x86 and AMD64/Intel64-based computers
  2. BOINC client - an open source middleware system for volunteer and grid computing. .

The program you will download runs simulation software inside a virtual machine hosted by your computer. The virtual machine image is ~500MB but is only downloaded once. Each work-unit downloads a small set of input data and runs for approx 1 to 2 hours depending on the computer's processor speed. For Windows users VirtualBox is included in Windows distributions of BOINC and so does not have to be installed separately. For Mac and Linux: VirtualBox must be installed separately.

NB: ATLAS@home runs on 64 bit computers only, and your computer must have the VTX feature enabled to allow running 64 bit VMs under Virtual Box.

For more information about the project, please refer to the ATLAS@home web site.