The University of British Columbia BaBar Home



The internationally recognized research performed by UBC faculty and their students is supported by superb facilities both within the department and in various related institutions on campus. Some of the major facilities available include:

Subatomic Physics Facilities

Computing Resources

The subatomic physics group maintains its own computing cluster for data analysis and simulation. In addition to the standard HEP analysis tools (ROOT, GEANT, PAW, CERNLIB), the SNO and TWIST reconstruction and Monte Carlo packages run on this system. BaBar analysis at the Ntuple level runs here at UBC, but due to extremely large dataset size (TeraBytes!), reconstruction and Monte Carlo generation of events are done centrally. We are one of the bigger users of the Westgrid computing facility TRIUMF - we use the UBC/TRIUMF Glacier Cluster facility, primarily for large scale BaBar Monte Carlo production.

The local UBC high energy physics computing system in our Hennings 222 lab includes:

  • Four fast dual-CPU PCs, running Linux, used as disk and compute servers
  • Several Terabytes of centralized RAID disk
  • Tape and CD-RW backup
  • Laser printers and colour printers
  • A couple of dozen workstations of several different architectures and operating systems, including mainly RedHat Linux, but also Windows, MacOSX, and a few legacy DEC Alphas
  • Approximately a Terabyte of local disk distributed across the workstations

Additionally, all students, research associates and faculty in subatomic physics have access to the departmental computing facilities, which include a Sun Solaris (UNIX) server, several dozen xterminals and PCs running windows, plus an assortment of peripherals, including laser printers, colour printers and a scanner. Mathematica and Maple are among the software tools and packages on the departmental system which are often used by subatomic group members.


The Drift Chamber for BaBar built at TRIUMF

TRIUMF is at the south end of the UBC campus; it hosts over a hundred research physicists, including UBC faculty members and graduate students, thus allowing UBC Physics graduate students to conduct thesis research in an international scientific atmosphere. The facility centers on the world's largest cyclotron with proton, meson, and muon beam lines for studies of nucleon interactions, nuclear structure, meson electroweak interactions, medical imaging, materials phsyics and biophysics. The ISAC facility provides a source of exotic isotopes for use in experiments in condensed matter physics, particle astrophysics, and medicine. The BaBar drift chamber was assembled and strung at TRIUMF.

Department Facilities

Electronics, Machine Shops, and Technical Services

Student Machine Shop

The Particle Physics group has an experience fulltime technician/engineer, Doug Maas, whose expertise is essential in many of the hardware and elecronics projects we do.

The department also has high level of skilled technical support along with modern equipment and facilities. The shops include the main machine shop with six full-time technicians, and a newly-acquired computer-controlled milling machine; the electronics shop with a supervising engineer and three technicians; the well-equipped and supervised student machine shop; (with shop courses for graduate students) the shared-technical services facility with two technicians to provide liquid helium and maintenance of research equipment; and the crystal preparation room.

The department has its own storeroom. The undergraduate laboratories have their own technical support, and further shops and facilities are located at TRIUMF. These services are coordinated by the Technical Services coordinator, who is also available for design work.

University Facilities

Libraries and Reading Rooms

Koerner Library

The Science Division of the Main UBC Library maintains an outstanding collection of physics books and journals just a few paces from the Physics and Astronomy Department. Many of the most commonly requested Physics and Astronomy journals are also available as e-journals online to registered UBC students and staff, thanks to UBC Library's extensive collection of electronic subscriptions. The Physics Reading Room houses the Physics Department's own collection of the latest journals and provides access to electronic journals. Extensive database access (and workshops to help you efficiently use electronic research materials) is currently provided through the Main UBC Library.


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