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27 kilometers of magnets
The two beams of protons will speed through their underground tunnels at a site straddling the border between France and Switzerland (below).

The tubes below house the high-power magnets that guide the beams.

Below, a side view shows the channels through which the beams will accelerate (openings at center of image, one with a cable dangling from it). These two pipes are surrounded by superconducting metal cables (not ­visible in this image) through which a tremendous electric current flows, creating strong magnetic fields that guide the protons around the LHC and then toward each other for the high-energy collisions. Two tubes for the liquid helium that cools the magnets are visible at the bottom of the cross section.

Credit: AC Team (map); AP/Keyston/Martial Trezzini (tunnel); David Avid Parker/Science Photo Library (magnet)

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Tagged: Computing, magnets, physics, electrons, LHC, particle accelerator, protons, liquid helium

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