CERN OpenDays 2019 – LHCb Site

CERN had its OpenDays on September 14 and 15. As the LHC is in Long Shutdown 2 (LS2) for upgrades until early 2021, this was a good possibility for CERN to present itself and its work to the public.

Both days drew huge crowds and lines for underground visits were long – at one point waiting times for ATLAS visits were 3 hours.

I arrived on Sunday, September 15 shortly before 10 a.m. and after getting my wrist band at the check-in tent went straight for transport to remote site – I already know part of the Meyrin site, and Atlas was already overcrowded so I went to the bus stop in search of Bus F, to go to the CMS Experiment site. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find this bus, so I decided to jump on the one going to the LHCb site. Good choice!

No Beam! LHCb Command Center

Being in IT the Command Center and the Computing Facility at the LHCb were most interesting to me.
Computing happens in pre-fabricated containers with lots of servers and storage and their own cooling – very noisy outside and inside of the box!

Server and Storage containers from the outside. The thing on top is the ventilation that sucks the fresh air in.

And of course, a view from the inside – on rack only of about 20 or something (didn’t really count and not all are occupied yet)

Notice the noise?

Considerably less noisy is this technology demonstrated by Submer Technology from Barcelona. It’s called “immersive cooling” and works with placing the servers in a “thermally but not electrically conductive liquid” that you can actually touch while servers are running without being electrocuted.

The heat from the servers is dissipating into this liquid and then evacuated from the box by a normal water colling circuit.

Notice the lack of noise. Not sure the servers where actually running, but since lights were blinking, there must have been power

Of course, I saw much more that day and I can’t write about everything to I’ll keep it short.

I’ll certainly be back if opportunity arises, as I still want to see CMS Experiment (and Atlas Experiment too) and all the rest!