The Making of a New Collider
The biggest physics experiment ever, CERN’s new particle accelerator, goes live this summer.
Precision Before Collision
The compact muon solenoid (CMS), one of the LHC’s main detectors, is made up of 11 conjoined pieces; each has layers of detectors tuned to find different particles that might result from proton collisions, including muons and electrons. This piece weighs 1,270 metric tons and was lowered from above ground to the bottom of the tunnel, 90 meters below, with mere centimeters of clearance. It took 11 hours.