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Monica Dunford | USLHC | USA

View Blog | Read Bio

Event Viewing

Being able to visualize events in the detector is critical to understanding whether everything is functioning properly. But creating a program to display events in practice is incredibly difficult. I have the utmost respect for people who attempt it.

Obviously the big hurdle to event viewing is trying to display a three-dimensional detector on a two-dimensional screen. ATLAS has two solutions to this. One is Atlantis, the tried-and-true event viewer. The philosophy of Atlantis is to try and present the ATLAS detector in every two-dimensional slice possible. Such as this picture here.

Atlantis Event Viewer

From top left going clockwise, you see the full detector as if you were looking down the beam pipe, then the same cross section zoomed in on the calorimeters, then again the same cross section showing the inner detector, then a ‘bird’s eye’ view looking down on the beam pipe, and lastly a side profile of the detector (where the beam pipe is now the horizontal plane).

Atlantis as a tool is very useful but as for style… hmmm, not so much. It does have that retro look and while retro in fashion is considered acceptable, retro in computing is generally not.

Our second option is Visual Point 1 or VP1. VP1 takes the opposite approach. Going totally 3-dimensional, allowing the users to to place himself/herself at any point in the detector. In this picture, the view point is outside the calorimeter.

Atlas VP1 Viewer

The detector is just a shadow, barely seen in the picture and only the hits are shown (in yellow here). While VP1 definitely has that more modern feel, the jury is still out for me. It kind of reminds me of Tron. And it is too touchy. You accidentally hold the mouse button down too long and you are transported to some strange view point. And then you have no idea where you are, or what you are looking at.

It is a thankless job that is for sure!

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