If you have been following our reports on new developments in the search for the Higgs Boson you may be itching to get involved yourself. Now you can by joining LHC@Home 2.0 a new project for people to run simulations of LHC particle collisions on their home PCs.
Projects like this used to be difficult to set up because the software is written to run on LINUX systems, but a new virtual machine environment from Oracle has made it much easier. CERN runs simulations on a powerful global computing grid but you can never have too much CPU time for the calculations they have to do.
Running monte carlo simulations to compare with the latest experiments is an importnat part of the analysis that goes into the plots they show at the conferences. CERN have been making extraordinary efforts to show results as quickly as possible to the public but these calculations is one of the limiting factors that keeps us waiting. Getting the public involved in the process may be one way to solve the problem.