Getting Started with CMS
The CMS Detector
The standard reference for the CMS detector is the 2008 CMS article in the Journal of Instrumentation.
Important upgrades to the detector since then are described in various Technical Design Reports that focus on particular subsystems.
One can also consult the original CMS
Technical Design Report (TDR).
Registering with the CMS Collaboration Database
The first steps to registering are to get a CERN computer account and email account. Then you need to pre-register with CMS. The CMS Secretariat will then check with your institution representative, and respond with instructions to complete the registration. The first sections of the CMS WorkBook explain in detail how to proceed through these registration steps. Once registered, you will be able to access the CERN computing cluster (lxplus.cern.ch) and use CMS software.
Software Preparation: C++, ROOT and CMSSW
Before getting started with CMS software, you will first want to be familiar with the C++ programming language. You will need to learn the basics of C++, up to and including the concepts of classes and inheritance, which form the basis of object-oriented programming. A simple home-made tutorial in C++ is provided here. It has a number of examples, but it is not meant to be a replacement for a good C++ book, or a more detailed online tutorial such as http://www.cplusplus.com/doc/tutorial/. However, the home-made tutorial does focus on the sort of things which are most useful for getting started quickly.
CMS software also makes use of the Python programming language, so you may find it helpful to gain some familiarity with that too.
Useful Resources for CMS/HEP Introduction
- The CMS Induction Session for Newcomers includes introductory talks and videos (may require a CMS account to access)
- The Particle Data Group is a tremendous resource in the field of high-energy physics. They provide a compendium and summary of experimental results, along with useful overviews of major topics such as detector technologies, statistics, and the physics of the various sub-fields. Particularly recommended for beginning students are the reviews under Experimental Methods and Colliders on accelerator physics, particle interactions with matter, and detector technologies.
- CERN Summer Student Lectures (intended for undergraduates)
- CERN-Fermilab Hadron Collider Physics Summer School (intended for graduate students and post-docs)
- CMS results and publications
Some write-ups that provide good introductory material:
- Guenther Dissertori, LHC Detectors and Early Physics
- Nick Ellis, Trigger and Data Acquisition
- Also useful are the CERN academic lectures. In particular, a good introduction to the process of data analysis would be the lectures of Doug Glenzinski on 'Physics and Analysis at a Hadron Collider'