Explaining the bang: Stanford center defines new objectives

Scientists at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center are filling their databases mostly with information from BaBar, an experiment named for the fictional elephant of children's literature. They are creating subatomic particles called B-Mesons and their antimatter equivalents, and then colliding them into one another.

When the universe began, matter and antimatter should have quickly eliminated each other, said Richard Mount, director of SLAC's Computing Services and assistant director of SLAC's Research Division. A matter-filled universe suggests that there was an asymmetry between matter and antimatter in the beginning. BaBar is intended to help explain why that imbalance existed. "This is an excellent system for studying the small asymmetries between matter and antimatter," he said. "When we create [the particles], we certainly believe they are created in equal numbers, but as they travel across space they can change into each other at slightly different rates until we see an asymmetry that we can measure here." The collisions generate great amounts of data, but much of it is expected and can be dismissed as noise, Mount said. The remaining data is about 25 kilobytes per explosion, which has added up to a petabyte since SLAC began using a database from Objectivity Inc. in 1999.

Featured

  • Telecommunications
    Stock photo ID: 658810513 By asharkyu

    GSA extends EIS deadline to 2023

    Agencies are getting up to three more years on existing telecom contracts before having to shift to the $50 billion Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions vehicle.

  • Workforce
    Shutterstock image ID: 569172169 By Zenzen

    OMB looks to retrain feds to fill cyber needs

    The federal government is taking steps to fill high-demand, skills-gap positions in tech by retraining employees already working within agencies without a cyber or IT background.

  • Acquisition
    GSA Headquarters (Photo by Rena Schild/Shutterstock)

    GSA to consolidate multiple award schedules

    The General Services Administration plans to consolidate dozens of its buying schedules across product areas including IT and services to reduce duplication.

Stay Connected

FCW Update

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.