ATLAS releases 65 TB of open data for research

The ATLAS Experiment at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) has made a significant amount of data from proton-proton collisions at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) available to the public for research purposes. This marks the first time that ATLAS has released such a large scale of data, and it is a significant milestone in terms of public access and utilization of LHC data. The data, amounting to approximately 65 Terabytes, includes over 7 billion collision events from the 2015 and 2016 proton-proton operation of the LHC. The data has been released under the Creative Commons CC0 waiver, making it freely accessible to anyone.

The ATLAS Collaboration, in line with CERN’s core value of open access, has long been committed to making its results accessible and reusable. This new release invites everyone to explore the data that led to their discoveries. Along with the data, ATLAS has provided comprehensive documentation on several analyses, guiding users through their process step-by-step. External researchers, particularly, are encouraged to explore the ATLAS open data. The collaborators hope to nurture further dialogue and collaboration with the wider scientific community through this open data.

The ATLAS open data website serves as a hub for the community, including teachers, students, enthusiasts, and now scientists. Anyone diving into the open data can directly engage with ATLAS physicists, who are available to respond to user feedback and take suggestions. This release is the first of many, with ATLAS planning to release lead-lead-nuclei collision data next. The ATLAS Collaboration, along with the other main LHC experiment collaborations, has committed to making all of its data publicly accessible after a certain time. Openness is deeply ingrained in the culture of high-energy physics, enabling greater accessibility, reproducibility, and better science.

To get started with ATLAS open data, users can follow tutorials available on the ATLAS open data website. There are beginner, intermediate, and expert level tutorials available, catering to a wide range of users from high school students to senior particle physics researchers. Users can choose from a quick start guide for beginners, a more in-depth tutorial for those who want to use ATLAS open data resources over multiple sessions, or detailed documentation for expert users looking to perform detailed analyses.

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