CERN Accelerating science

Physics experiments

What experiments are we running?

Tue, 07/05/2011 - 10:02 — Daniel Lombraña...

You will be helping scientists by running simulations of particle collisions on your home computer. If you are interested in the details, please read the details of each project.

Are the current results already used or are we only crunching test units?

Thu, 08/11/2011 - 09:22 — Daniel Lombraña...

We are already processing real data which is submitted to a central database. Please, see the explanation of each experiment.

All the work units run for 24 hours regardless of the CPU speed. What is wrong?

Thu, 08/11/2011 - 09:26 — Daniel Lombraña...

All the work units are designed to run for a fixed period of time of 24 hours. The difference appears in the amount of work done inside the virtual machine.

Can I simply shut down my computer or is a special procedure necessary?

Mon, 10/17/2011 - 11:13 — Daniel Lombraña...  (Updated July 2013, BS)

We recommend to exit BOINC before powering off the computer, because the VBox Wrapper will capture that exit signal, and will try to save the virtual machine and avoid canceling the WU. This is not necessary when suspending or hibernating the computer.

Which scientific applications are you using for running the simulations?

Wed, 12/14/2011 - 11:51 — Daniel Lombraña...

We are using Herwig++, Pythia 6, Pythia 8, Sherpa and Vincia.

How can I see the progress of the experiments?

Tue, 07/05/2011 - 11:03 — Daniel Lombraña...  (Updated July 2013, BS)

If you want to see what is going on in the Virtual Machine: 

1. If you are running the new "VBox Wrapper":

  • You can view VM console screens via a Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) client by pressing the button "Show VM Console" appearing in the BOINC manager GUI for a running Test4Theory Task. The control keys Alt-Fx select alternative VM console screens - see "Debugging the application".

(Non-Windows users can download and install a free RDP client such as CoRD for Mac OS X, or FreeRDP for Linux).

(NOTE: "Show VM Console" will only work if you installed the VirtualBox Extension Pack for your version of VirtualBox. Remember to quit BOINC before you update VirtualBox or the Extension Pack).

  • You can view Graphics and logs: Another new BOINC Manager GUI button "Show graphics" is provided to view the graphics and log output from the VM, using any up to date browser version (including Firefox, Chrome, Internet Explorer 10 or Safari 6). A window of your default browser will be automatically used.

2. If you are running the old "CernVM Wrapper":

  • You can view VM console screensThe VM runs in "headfull" mode by default (unless you change your BOINC preferences to suppress it). So you only have to click inside the BOINC_VM window to see the initial boot sequence followed by the CoPilot scheduler output when a job is received or returned. You can then see the job output files in the second terminal window by pressing ctrl-alt-F2 (this changes between OSes, please read the debugging page).
  • You can access the graphics and logs of the experiments within the VM via a friendly web page: http://localhost:7859/ via your web browser.

In the terminal output or in the web application you will see the output of different Monte Carlo event generators (Herwig++, Pythia 6, Pythia 8, Sherpa, Vincia).

Are you planning to create a screen saver to show the progress of the experiments?

Thu, 10/13/2011 - 10:02 — Daniel Lombraña...  (Updated July 2013, BS)

There is no screensaver provided (or planned) for Test4Theory.

But you can see many of the computed results via a friendly web application which is provided in the virtual machine. In order to see the results you will have to press the "Show graphics" button in the BOINC Manager (if you are using the new VBox Wrapper) or (for the old CernVM Wrapper) open the following web page: http://localhost:7859/

For more details, see "How can I see the progress of the experiments?".

Here you have an screenshot of it up and running:

Demo of the application

How many physics jobs are run per BOINC Work Unit?

Wed, 07/25/2012 - 09:41 — Daniel Lombraña...  (Updated July 2013, BS)

The average CERN job run time is around 1 hour, including the delays between downloading/uploading libraries, results, etc.

So, taking into account that each BOINC Work Unit will be running in your computer for 24 hours, on average each BOINC Work Unit will simulate in your virtual machine around 20 CERN physics jobs, or about 2 million collision events.