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Android Software Science

LHC Gets Android App 53

Posted by Soulskill
from the not-responsible-for-black-holes-in-your-smartphone dept.
An anonymous reader writes "It appears scientists at the Large Hadron Collider have made an app to visualize proton collisions at the largest of the four experiments, ATLAS. 'For the first time you can now grab live collision events from the underground detectors in Geneva, and beam them direct to your own device. As well as a variety of educational resources, the application allows you to interact with the collision events in full 3D graphics. You can also find out how the different parts of the detector work, learn how to identify different types of collision, and even put your new skills to the test by playing the "Hunt the Higgs" game.' It's free to download from the Android Market."
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LHC Gets Android App

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  • by Dexter Herbivore (1322345) on Friday October 07, 2011 @12:49PM (#37640596) Journal
    Is this primarily an attempt to educate, a crowd-sourcing initiative or just eye candy? I'm interested, but I can't fully comprehend the ultimate purpose. (Admittedly, I may be over-simplifying, it may be all of these and more).
    • Does it even matter? It's LHC collisions on your Android. I don't even need to know whether it is just a rendering, not realtime, and whether no one will ever care that I found the Higgs boson on it. It's an immediate download. Full disclosure: this is from the guy who has the Tricorder app front and center on the Home screen.

    • by bberens (965711)
      I'm guessing marketing. It may also have other value and be really cool but marketing is the likely reason. Lots of countries are hurting and big expensive projects like the LHC that don't have quick turnaround for usable technology are quick to be axed.
      • by wdsci (1204512)

        I met one of the people involved in the project a few months ago, and from what he said (IIRC) it sounds like it is mostly about marketing and education. They're trying to increase public awareness of and interest in what the LHC does and why it's important, and they figure that giving people a way to easily interact with the experiment (even if it is kind of a one-way interaction) will help pique their interest. In other words, it's a PR tool.

        Then again, I'm not directly involved, so I could be wrong...

    • Is this primarily an attempt to educate, a crowd-sourcing initiative or just eye candy? I'm interested, but I can't fully comprehend the ultimate purpose. (Admittedly, I may be over-simplifying, it may be all of these and more).

      What - you bought an Android phone that doesn't have a Higgs detector built in?

    • by blair1q (305137)

      It's an answer to my dreams.

      Real science in real-time.

      Excuse me, I have to go take care of this.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Dear Dexter,
      If you're interested in the motivation, you might like to have a peek at the Oxford science blog: http://www.ox.ac.uk/media/science_blog/111007.html

      We're physicists rather than app developers, so we admit that the game is not quite Angry Birds. But we hope that non-experts might learn something useful from it. Let us know which bits you like - and do give us any suggestions you have for improvement and we'll see if we can add them in a future ve

    • by Sarusa (104047)

      It's educational outreach. I played around with everything, didn't see any any real crowdsourcing - there is a game you can play to identify the particles, but they've already been identified so you're just seeing if you can get the right answer.

      The disappointing bit is not being able to automatically stream new events. You have to hit 'get new event'. Obviously a big firehose of data would be bad, but once every 5 seconds or so could be soothing.

    • now if you were to speak about an app that makes use of smartphones downtime to help process gathered data i'd be like woaw, k00! but i guess its about battery life and you could only have it active while the phones recharging ? this sounds like pr more
  • Yes, but will data travel from the collider to my cell-phone at speeds faster than light?

    • by ByOhTek (1181381)

      Only in reference frames travelling faster than the speed of light, with respect to our reference frame.

      • by AJH16 (940784)

        I thought the whole idea of reference frames was that even if the reference frame was somehow traveling faster than the speed of light, it wouldn't see the signal get there faster than the speed of light?

        • by Lord_Byron (13168)

          Yes. Then you run into a bunch of Wibbly-Wobbly, Timey-Wimey-stuff.

        • by ByOhTek (1181381)

          No, the idea behind reference frames is that they define a context in which the problem is viewed. No more, no less. Typically they are inertial (not accelerating), but that doesn't have to be the case.

          • by AJH16 (940784)

            Perhaps I didn't state my problem very well. I am not a quantum physics expert, but I thought the idea was nothing within any reference frame could move faster than the speed of light. If that is the case, then from our reference frame, the data would still appear to get here at the speed of light, due to dilation.

            • by ByOhTek (1181381)

              Relativity isn't quantum physics, and quantum physics isn't relativity. But relativity is not limited to quantum physics. It affects macroscopic things as well.

              A reference frame is like the stage in a theater, not the props on the stage, THE STAGE. It just gives a point of reference, it clues you where/how to look, no more. (Unless the play is one of the oddball ones where the actors actually go amongst the audience some times).

              Two popular reference frames (which can be treated as inertial, in the right con

    • by larpon (974081)
      ... but not until LHC find stuff that makes it possible
  • I cannot find it when I go to the App Market.

    I'm using a low-end phone, Huawei 8100.

    It's rooted, runs Fresh Zodiak Fruit (cool, thanks to author!) so I thought it should be available.

    Also, Slashdot, the link on the main page to this story doesn't seem to work: click: nothing. Click: nothing. Reload /., click: *nothing*. Using Firefox 6. Without JS.

    What gives?

    • Same for me. Although I'm in Australia and some of our providers (including mine) block large sections of the Android market. A-holes.
      • By 'same for me', I mean the app appears unavailable here. Sorry, you made a few statements there and I thought I'd should qualify which one. :)
        • by Maow (620678)

          By 'same for me', I mean the app appears unavailable here. Sorry, you made a few statements there and I thought I'd should qualify which one. :)

          No worries, eh?

          Do you have a similar phone, or a more-capable one?

          I believe it's a feature of the market to hide apps that just won't work on some models, such as barcode readers on models without cameras (or without auto-focus).

          However some after-market ROMs are supposed to defeat that "feature".

      • by msevior (145103)

        I live oz and just downloaded it to my HTC legend running android 2.2

        I'm on a vodafone plan but my internet connection is through optus cable.

        BTW this is one really fun app! The 3D controls are great :-)

    • Just copy to your phone and install the apk.

      http://www.megaupload.com/?d=RACH0473 [megaupload.com]

      Enjoy! This apk is ripped from my phone (as the Market let me install it).

  • Does it have a link to the live camera feed [cyriak.co.uk]?

  • So, I got and installed it. No problems here (Acer Iconia). And not for nothing, I understand that they aren't app makers but... Here's a quote from a subsection of the app called What is ATLAS? "After passing through the tracking detectors the particles will then pass then continue to the next part of the detector." Not trying to be a spelling/grammer nazi but did you guys just convert a hastily made power point into an app and publish it on the market?
  • that I'm an Apple Fanboi and was wondering if this was available or going to be available for iOS.

    If not, is it true that someone came up with something that'll let you run Android apps on iOS? Will this it work with this App?

    Finally, what do people think that the "4S" in the iPhone 4S stands for "For (4) Steve"? Probably not but I guess it is a nice tribute.

  • Tried to hunt the Higgs but got eaten by a Wumpus instead.

    Fuck, I'm old. :-(

  • Sou you cannot use the app to remote control the LHC? Where is the fun in it, then? :-)

  • I just took a test drive in a Nissan Leaf and it has an iPhone app that lets you control and monitor functions in the car. This LHC app is nothing more than a website portal with videos that could be done via YouTube. Shit, that's no application it's a facade. Now, if I could turn that LHC bitch on and off
    and do things like smash crap together, then it would be a cool application.

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