The world's largest grid computing system has opened for business, and the UK has been its biggest single contributor.
When switched on in 2007 it will recreate conditions in the first seconds of the Big Bang, generating millions of gigabytes of data to be processed.
The Large Hadron Collider Computing Grid has been built to process this information and is currently spread over 100 computer centres in 31 countries. The UK is the grid's largest contributor, with a fifth of the processing power coming from 16 sites across the country.
"We are well ahead of our original schedule for reaching 100 sites," said project leader Les Robertson.
"Thanks is due to the many partner sites around the world for their contribution to this success. Making a grid like this is a truly collaborative effort."
The team built special middleware that allowed computer centres across the world to communicate and share processing power. It is still expanding and the current capacity is only five per cent of that needed in the long term.
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