Discover the Supercollider

Posted on August 14, 2007  Comments (0)

The Biggest Thing in Physics

It has taken over 20 years, $8 billion, and the combined efforts of more than 60 countries to create this extraordinary particle smasher, the Large Hadron Collider, or LHC, built and operated by CERN, the European physics consortium.

When the machine is switched on for the first time at the end of this year, particles will make a lap around the LHC in less than one ten-thousandth of a second. Keeping those particles on track requires serious bending power from more than 1,200 superconducting magnets, each of which weighs several tons apiece. Each magnet must be kept at –456 degrees Fahrenheit—colder than the void between galaxies—requiring CERN to build the world’s biggest cryogenic system to handle the 185,000 gallons of liquid helium that will be used to chill the magnets.

Yet another interesting article on the LHC. See previous posts: New Yorker on CERN’s Large Hadron ColliderCERN Pressure Test FailureCERN Prepares for LHC Operations

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