[SCIENCE] Detecting the elusive

At CERN, the world’s largest particle physics laboratory, big data tools are used to analyse the vast
amounts of data generated through experiments. The Large Hadron Collider accelerates protons and
collides them to create new particles. Each collision (of which there are billions per second) can produce
up to 1.7 gigabytes of data – which is equivalent to streaming about two hours of high-resolution video.
With so much data being generated, traditional analytical methods are no longer sufficient to identify
rare or unusual particle events. This is where big data tools come into play. Thanks to these tools,
scientists managed to discover the famous Higgs boson in 2012, the existence of which physicists had
been predicting for decades but had not been able to observe until then. This discovery represented a
major breakthrough in particle physics and it significantly advanced our understanding of the
fundamental building blocks of the universe.