CERN to Tap Unused Desktop Processing Power to Smash Virtual Atoms

Research institute CERN has launched a new project to tap into the extra computing power from the public for its Large Hadron Collider atom smashing project.

According to the organisation, the LHC@home project will, for the first time, allow volunteers to aid in high-energy collisions of protons in CERN's Large Hadron Collider and in turn helping physicists to unravel the mysteries of the origin of the universe.

The platform uses the spare computing power during idle time to create a massive ‘volunteer cloud’ which can perform like a virtual supercomputing machine.

The public will be able to contribute the spare computing power in their desktops and laptops in the project. The LHC@home project is a part of the Citizen Cyberscience Centre, which is a partnership between CERN, UNITAR (the UN Institute for Training and Research) and the University of Geneva.

“While LHC@home is a great opportunity to encourage more public involvement in science, the biggest benefits of citizen cyberscience are for researchers in developing regions who have limited resources for computing and manpower,” Sergio Bertolucci, Director of Research and Scientific Computing at CERN said.

“Online volunteers can boost available research resources enormously at very low cost. This is a trend we are committed to promote through the Citizen Cyberscience Centre,” he continued.