© 2012

From the Web to the Grid and Beyond

Computing Paradigms Driven by High-Energy Physics

  • René Brun
  • Federico Carminati
  • Giuliana Galli Carminati

Part of the The Frontiers Collection book series (FRONTCOLL)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xx
  2. Ben Segal
    Pages 55-67
  3. Patricia Méndez Lorenzo, Jamie Shiers
    Pages 91-114
  4. Federico Carminati
    Pages 115-153
  5. Predrag Buncic, Federico Carminati
    Pages 155-175
  6. Fabrizio Furano, Aandy Hanushevsky
    Pages 267-287
  7. Giuliana Galli Carminati
    Pages 289-309
  8. Back Matter
    Pages 311-358

About this book


Born after World War II, large-scale experimental high-energy physics (HEP) has found itself limited ever since by available accelerator, detector and computing technologies. Accordingly, HEP has made significant contributions to the development of these fields, more often than not driving their innovations. The invention of the World Wide Web at CERN is merely the best-known example out of many. This book is the first comprehensive account to trace the history of this pioneering spirit in the field of computing technologies. It covers everything up to and including the present-day handling of the huge demands imposed upon grid and distributed computing by full-scale LHC operations - operations which have for years involved many thousands of collaborating members worldwide and accordingly provide the original and natural testbed for grid computing concepts. This book takes the reader on a guided tour encompassing all relevant topics, including programming languages, software engineering, large databases, the Web, and grid- and cloud computing. The important issue of intellectual property regulations for distributed software engineering and computing is also addressed. Aptly, the book closes with a visionary chapter of what may lie ahead. Approachable and requiring only basic understanding of physics and computer sciences, this book is intended for both education and research.


CERN HEP software development LHC computing grid computing services for LHC operations databases in high energy physics grid and distributed computing invention of world wide web parallel computing

Editors and affiliations

  • René Brun
    • 1
  • Federico Carminati
    • 2
  • Giuliana Galli Carminati
    • 3
  1. 1.CERNGenevaSwitzerland
  2. 2.CERNGenevaSwitzerland
  3. 3.Unité de la Psychiatrie du, Développement MentalHopitaux Universitaire de GenèveChene-BourgSwitzerland

Bibliographic information

Industry Sectors
IT & Software
Consumer Packaged Goods
Materials & Steel
Finance, Business & Banking
Energy, Utilities & Environment
Oil, Gas & Geosciences


From the reviews:

“The editors of this book have brought together chapters written by many well-known people in the field of computing in high-energy physics. … It is a highly interesting book, and I plan to read many of the chapters again.” (Peter Clarke, CERN Courier, April, 2014)

“This book is a review of developments over the past 30 years, showing how many mainstream concepts and technologies were originally used by physicists. … The book’s 11 chapters cover a broad range of topics. … This is an interesting book from a computer historian perspective, offering a number of lesser-known details on the early years of scientific computing and networking.” (Alessandro Berni, ACM Computing Reviews, March, 2013)