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CERN makes public first data of LHC experiments

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CERN has launched its Open Data Portal, where data from real collision events, produced by the  Large Hadron Collider (LHC) experiments, will for the first time be made openly available to all. CERN expects the data to be of high value to the research community, and also to be used for education purposes.

'Launching the CERN Open Data Portal is an important step for our organisation. Data from the LHC programme are among the most precious assets of the LHC experiments, that today we start sharing openly with the world. We hope these open data will support and inspire the global research community, including students and citizen scientists,' said CERN director general Rolf Heuer.

The principle of openness is enshrined in CERN’s founding convention, and all LHC publications have been published an an open access basis, free for all to read and re-use. Widening the scope, the LHC collaborations recently approved open data policies and will release collision data over the coming years.

The first high-level and analysable collision data openly released come from the CMS experiment and were originally collected in 2010 during the first LHC run. CMS is a particle detector that is designed to see a wide range of particles and phenomena produced in high-energy collisions in the LHC.

This data set is now publicly available on the CERN Open Data Portal. Open source software to read and analyse the data is also available, together with the corresponding documentation. The CMS collaboration is committed to releasing its data three years after collection, after they have been thoroughly studied by the collaboration.

'This is all new and we are curious to see how the data will be re-used,' said CMS data preservation coordinator Kati Lassila-Perini. 'We’ve prepared tools and examples of different levels of complexity from simplified analysis to ready-to-use online applications. We hope these examples will stimulate the creativity of external users.'