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I know that most of the datasets from ATLAS or other particle physics experiments are terabytes, but I was just curious is there any place where one can find them to download? And one more question, which software they are using to analyze data and do the simulations? Plus if there is any guide available where they show setting up the software and analyzing some smaller particle physics datasets, I would be glad. I kept searching the Internet for similar things, but unfortunately couldn't find anything.

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    $\begingroup$ I've written before that you get access to data sets by asking for them. But frankly, unless you have some history as a particle physicist you're going to need months (or more likely years) just to get up to speed on what the data is, what the tools are, how to run them and how to interpret them. Even for another experimental particle physicist, the jargon that the collider types use is dense and requires considerable puzzling out. $\endgroup$ – dmckee Sep 13 '14 at 23:11
  • $\begingroup$ @dmckee Thanks for the info, but where specifically do you ask for those data? Is there any contact form or e-mail address for it? $\endgroup$ – tinker Sep 13 '14 at 23:13
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    $\begingroup$ No, there is not. Because (a) the answer is going to be "No, you can't have it" until they're wrung it dry and (b) they assume that if you have the background to work on this kind of data you'll know how to make the approach (e.g. by asking someone on the collaborations executive committee) and have professional contacts to make the introduction if you don't already known one of those people directly. $\endgroup$ – dmckee Sep 13 '14 at 23:15
  • $\begingroup$ The alternative approach is to ask to join the collaboration, but you have to have something to offer them. $\endgroup$ – dmckee Sep 13 '14 at 23:15
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Geant4 is probably the closest thing you could conceivably get. It's a detector simulation software package with a steep learning curve that's heavily used in the HEP community, and, as far as I know, is available for anyone to download and build. Full disclosure - I did HEP experiment once upon a time but that was 20+ years ago. So if someone currently active corrects me on this point, I'll withdraw the answer - but I doubt if Geant4 would be useful to anyone without at least some training in HEP and detectors. Still, it would give you some sense of what you are up against.

One of the comments mentioned the Kaggle Higgs competition, as far as I know that's already heavily processed data, but in theory it's available to anyone.

I doubt if any collaboration would provide raw data from experiments publicly without some verification that the person requesting it knew what they were doing.

Cautionary note- HEP data analysis isn't like amateur astronomy - it takes a large team. Just look at the length of the author list on any typical HEP paper.

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    $\begingroup$ Geant remains the core of the simulations, but the standard generators are insufficient. Atlas and CMS and the other LHC experiments have been hard at work on generators. Nor does raw geant give you a simulation of the experiments in questions. As usual you have to provide the framework with a lot of experiment specific context, geometry and readout specifications to get anything like an experimental data stream out of it. $\endgroup$ – dmckee Sep 14 '14 at 3:46
  • $\begingroup$ I suspected as much- if the OP were to look at raw Geant, even just the documentation, they might get a sense of the daunting nature of their question. I hate to be discouraging of a question that's good in principle, but in this case it's kind of like walking into an office building and asking if one can have a seat on the board of the corporation headquartered there. $\endgroup$ – paisanco Sep 14 '14 at 3:49
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If you are just looking to simulate the data produced at the LHC then the right program to use is Madgraph. It is by far the most popular Monte Carlo generator to use for simulations at the LHC and can produce events for any process you want. Madgraph will then also invoke Pythia and PGS to simulate hadronization and detector simulations if you wish. There are many built in models that you can use for your simulations (SM, MSSM, etc.) and you can also write your own, though that has a steeper learning curve. There are many tutorials online that you can follow to get it working on your machine.

If you are looking for actual data then I believe you have to go the papers published by CMS and ATLAS they often publish tables that you can get the data from.

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