The LHC Is Coming! The LHC Is Coming!

The Large Hadron Collider should begin operations next year, and we are hearing more and more about it in the popular press. Lawrence Krauss compares it to Gothic cathedrals.

The medieval cathedrals pushed the limits of available technology, involved the craftsmanship of literally thousands of skilled workers, and took generations (and sometimes centuries) to complete. Modern particle accelerators require decades from conception to completion and involve scientists from about 80 countries, speaking dozens of languages, whose separate handiwork must mesh together perfectly on the scale of thousandths of millimeters.

I am planning to visit CERN in July for the first time in over a decade and I am looking forward to seeing the detectors, CMS and ATLAS, while the are still being assembled. Once they start operating no one will get near them except for periodic maintanence periods.

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2 Responses to “The LHC Is Coming! The LHC Is Coming!”

  1. And I signed up for a tour of SLAC for mid-June. I’ve never visited a particle collider, do you know (no, not even Fermilab, for all those years in Chicago).

    Be sure to take a picture of the detectors while you can still see them and share them with us.

  2. Now is the prefect time to visit the LHC detector (CMS and ATLAS). They are in the midst of assembly so you will see how the various subdetectors fit together. Yes, do take a lot of pictures and post them!

    There is a service at CERN which will give you a guided tour — see this web page for details:

    http://public.web.cern.ch/Public/Content/Chapters/VisitCERN/VisitCERN-en.html

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