Start Your Monte Carlo Engines! April 6, 2008Posted by gordonwatts in LHC, physics.
There is a joke going around ATLAS right now. There are various people who are obsessed by their physics studies. Each time something new about the detector is found they want to re-run their analysis. Nothing wrong with that – except that if it requires re-simulating the Monte Carlo that can take real resources (minutes per event just to reconstruct the event – we need millions of events in order to do one out of 1000’s of analyses).
Well, a big one was dropped the other day. Actually, we’ve all heard rumors this was coming, but now it is official, so I can joke about it. This is a big one because it changes everything – the production cross sections, average energy will find in our calorimeter, and other things. So, if you want to know how you are going to discover the Higgs at 10 TeV – well, better restart your simulation.
Of course what really matters is how long the accelerator remains at that energy. I don’t know details (perhaps I’ll learn them at ATLAS week next week) but the release claims that the magnets just need some re-training. If that is the case, that is no big deal and we will be at 10 TeV for less time that it will take the detectors to get themselves in shape to take physics-quality data.
At any rate. I’m sure, in some private cluster, somewhere, some 10 TeV data is being simulated as I type this!