Nuclear scientists turn to The Grid to crunch data

The Grid will be used to help scientists study Big Bang theory, not to download The Matrix in the time it takes to realise the spoon doesn't actually exist

Scientists at the CERN research facility in Switzerland, where the internet was first invented by Sir Tim Berners-Lee, are working on a new system that they claim could one day provide an invaluable tool for researchers and scientists.

Known as the Grid, the system has been built over the past seven years with a view to helping scientists at the nuclear research facility analyse huge amounts of data that will produced by the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) particle accelerator the team is planning to switch on to research Big Bang theory with later in the year.

According to CERN the major difference between the Grid and the internet is that whereas the internet simply enables computers to communicate with one another, the Grid enables computers to share their power and data resources.

Replacing the internet?

For now the CERN-developed Grid is restricted to a limited number of academic and computing institutions around the world and connected by fibre-optic cables. However, the scientists at CERN remain hopeful that, one day, more and more academic and scientific institutions will be able to hook up and take advantage of its benefits.

Of course, a story like this is like carte blanche for all kinds of poorly-researched ‘silly season’ stories when it comes to some aspects of the UK press. Earlier in the week readers of one national newspaper woke to bold claims that the Grid would be replacing the internet before long, thus enabling everyday folk to download entire movies in the blink of an eye and suchlike.

To put it frankly, there’s about as much chance of that happening as there is of the moon falling into the sea. Still, at least it provided something for The Inquirer to poke a bit of fun at. We’re all for that kind of thing.