Southern Methodist University provides a growing computing resource - the High-Performance
Computing (SMUHPC) system. The BaBar group is making significant use of this resource,
by both simulating fundamental physics processes and material interactions, and
analyzing BaBar data locally at SMU.
There are three stages to simulation of collider physics events (see below):
generating the fundamental particles and prompt decays, transporting subatomic
particles through material (silicon, steel, etc.), and reconstruction of
the event from the perspective of what the detector "sees." The SMUHPC system
allows us to install BaBar software locally, performed this full simulation
chain, and transmit over 7 million events back to the SLAC National Accelerator
Laboratory every week. At this rate, SMU alone can simulate the equivalent of
the full BaBar sample of B mesons (accumulated over 8 years) every 2 months.
SMU is presently one of only four sites which are involved
in general BaBar simulation work.
In its eight years of operation, the BaBar experiment produced 471 million pairs of
B mesons, 963 million tau leptons, over 200 million Upsilon(2S) and Upsilon(3S) mesons,
and countless other hadrons and leptons. Processing this data for physics analysis
requires tremendous computing resources. SMUHPC allows us to distribute physics
analysis over many cores, saving time (even for small tasks) and providing an
alternative platform for physics analysis as resources at the SLAC National Accelerator
Laboratory continue to shift their focus from the BaBar Experiment.