Erlang does Nuclear Physics – Controlling Medium Scale Nuclear Physics Experiments

By Erlang Central | Published: March 18, 2013

Nuclear physics experiments are centered around hardware – from power supplies to data acquisition hardware and everything in between. Not surprisingly, Erlang is a very natural fit for monitoring and controlling the hardware which is dedicated to those experiments. I will discuss two instances in which Erlang has been used to this purpose – one large scale and one medium scale experiment – and share stories and lessons learned on the battlefield of Physics.

Talk objectives:I hope to demonstrate that Erlang is a very successful language in its “natural environment”, which is controlling hardware. In this case, it is applied in an unusual field – Nuclear Physics – but is nonetheless an excellent fit.

Target audience: Anybody who is interested in monitoring and controlling remote and often exotic hardware, or sensing with Erlang in general. Physicists (current or recovering) may also be interested in this particular application of the language.


  • Jared Kofron

    Chief Bit Wrangler @ the University of Washington
    University of Washington

    Jared is a graduate researcher at the University of Washington who is primarily interested in Weak interactions. A tinkerer by nature, one of the perks of his job is interacting with (and trying to control!) hardware on a daily basis. He first came across Erlang when developing a system for monitoring and controlling a large hardware system with limited physical access. Since then, Jared has been using Erlang as a monitoring and control system for hardware in his everyday work life with great success. 

    Jared Kofron