To promote the exchange of information and collaboration within the field of particle physics in Germany is the stated goal of the new Analysis Centre of the Helmholtz Alliance “Physics at the Terascale” at DESY. The centre is intended to support particle physicists at German universities with the analysis of data from the LHC experiments and with preparations for the planned International Linear Collider ILC.
Analysis Centre for LHC and ILC
Here, the experts are developing basic tools and computer algorithms for data analysis. These tools can then be used by all the partners of the Helmholtz Alliance. If, for example, someone has worked out a new, efficient algorithm for data analysis, the Analysis Centre acts as a central hub and passes the algorithm on to all the researchers who could benefit from it.
In addition, the members of the Helmholtz Alliance can turn to the Analysis Centre when they have technical problems. It can either answer the questions directly or refer problems to other experts who can help. In the "schools" of the Analysis Centre – one-week intensive courses devoted to the topic of analysis – postdocs and doctoral students have the opportunity to discuss their projects with experts. The Analysis Centre at DESY joins grid computing and detector and accelerator development as one of the central pillars of the Helmholtz Alliance “Physics at the Terascale”.
National Analysis Facility (NAF) at DESY
The infrastructure of the analysis centre at DESY also includes the National Analysis Facility (NAF), a computing complex that is closely linked to the Tier-2 centre of the LHC Computing Grid at DESY. The National Analysis Facility makes computer resources for physics analysis available to all Alliance members. Indeed, it is not always necessary to run the calculations for the data analysis on the large Grid that spans the globe. If the experts want to try out new ideas for algorithms and computer processes, for example, they can usually accomplish this faster and much more easily on a more clearly defined computer architecture. This is why the Terascale Alliance supports its own computer infrastructure, the NAF at DESY.
The computer network at DESY in Hamburg and Zeuthen consists of approximately 1000 processors and an additional storage capacity of about 500 terabytes. The NAF can thus ensure fast, interactive access to the experimental data and offer the Alliance partners valuable additional resources for analysing this data. When necessary, contacts who work with the NAF provide assistance in this regard, especially to junior scientists.