High Energy Physics investigates the elementary constituents of matter and the fundamental interactions. Particles accelerators, like the Tevatron at Fermilab and the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, are among the most complex and sophisticated scientific instruments ever built and they have been playing a fundamental role on these investigations.
The São Paulo Research and Analysis Center (SPRACE) was implemented in 2003, with financial support from FAPESP, to provide the necessary means for the participation of high energy physics researchers from the State of São Paulo in these experiments.
SPRACE congregates members of the DZero Collaboration at Fermilab and of the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) Collaboration at CERN. The SPRACE computing center provides more than one Teraflop of computing power and it has been contributing for the processing, storage and analysis of the data produced by these experiments. SPRACE initiated its operations in March 2004, associated with the Distributed Organization for Scientific Analysis and Research (DOSAR). It was integrated soon after to the SAMGrid, the distributed processing system of the DZero experiment. In 2005, SPRACE became part of the Open Science Grid (OSG), a consortium of universities, national laboratories and computing centers, which share a grid infrastructure over research networks via a common middleware. By means of the Open Science Grid, SPRACE is actively participating in the Monte Carlo generation and data reprocessing of the DZero experiment and it has become a Tier-2 in the hierarchical computing structure that is being used by the CMS experiment in preparation for the start of LHC's operation this year.
The members of SPRACE are working in the physical analysis of the data produced by DZero. We are associated to the New Phenomena group which is dedicated to the search of new physics beyond the standard model. In particular, we are investigating the possible existence of extra spatial dimensions through the study of isolated lepton production. We are also preparing ourselves for the CMS data analysis.
SPRACE has a strong commitment to teaching and outreach activities. We are elaborating a set of courses in high energy physics and related subjects. This didactic material is available on the web and allows students to use its content in distance learning. Our outreach project “The Elementary Structure of Matter: A Poster in Each School” has distributed to all high schools in Brazil a poster explaining the essential knowledge on this so important yet missing subject. This project is also providing a site and a discussion forum on the web to answer questions of teachers and students.
SPRACE is also leveraging competences in different research areas by sharing some of the expertise generated by high energy physics spin-offs like high-speed networks, high performance computing, and grid architecture. SPRACE inspired and leads the GridUNESP project which is deploying the first “Campus Grid” in Latin America, composed of eight data processing and storage centers distributed all over the State of São Paulo and interconnected through the grid architecture.
The SPRACE Project is supported by
Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo