NATURAL SCIENCE

A Glimpse Inside the 'Big Bang' Machine

The $10 billion Large Hadron Collider is the world's largest scientific machine. Built by the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), the atom smasher is intended to enact the conditions of the "Big Bang" -- to unlock the secrets of the universe.

The Globe of Innovation

The European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) plans to continue its research of the structure the universe, using the facility's Large Hadron Collider (LHC).  Swiss and French authorities added 17 miles of lights to the ring of the LHC, lighting up the night sky.

AP Photo/Keystone, Martial Trezzini

cern particles lhc

A proton-proton collision at the Large Hadron Collider particle accelerator at CERN laboratory in Geneva that produced more than 100 charged particles.

CERN

Entrance to Large Hadron Collider's control center

The oddly unassuming entrance to the CERN Control Center (CCC) of the LHC (Large Hadron Collider) at the European Particle Physics laboratory (CERN) in Prevessin, France, at the Swiss border, near Geneva -- where some of the most important science studies in the world take place.

AP

Linac

The Linac 2 (Linear Accelerator 2) at CERN in Meyrin near Geneva. The current accelerator, built in 1978 and which will be replaced in 2013 by Linac 4, separates hydrogen gas into electrons and protons and provides proton beams to the LHC (Large Hadron Collider).

Reuters

CERN Collisions

Particle tracks fly out from the heart of the one of the first collisions in the Large Hadron Collider at a total energy of 7 TeV.

Despina Chatzifotiadou / CERN

The Control Room

A general view of the island Super Proton Synchrotron (SPS) of the CERN Control Center in Prevessin, France, at the Swiss border near Geneva, where the operators prepare commissioning the LHC at CERN. The purpose of the CERN Control Center is to combine the control rooms of the laboratory's eight accelerators, pilot cryogenics and technical infrastructures.

AP

Compact Muon Solenoid

A person looks at the giant magnet Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) being placed underground in the LHC accelerator at CERN, the European Particle Physics laboratory. The heaviest piece of the CMS particle detector has begun the momentous journey into its experimental cavern 100 meters underground. A huge gantry crane is slowly lowering the CMS detector's preassembled central section into place in the LHC accelerator at CERN. At 1,950 metric tons, the section, which contains the detector's solenoid magnet, weighs as much as five jumbo jets. Its descent took about 10 hours.

AP

Scientists in control room of Large Hadron Collider

European Center for Nuclear Research (CERN) scientists study computer screens showing traces on Atlas experiment equipment of the first protons injected in the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) during its switch on operation in CERN's control room, near Geneva, Switzerland.

AP

The Tunnel

A view of the LHC in its tunnel at CERN near Geneva.  A huge scientific experiment was launched September 10, 2008.  It was described as an Alice in Wonderland investigation into the makeup of the universe, or dangerous tampering with Nature that could spell Doomsday for the Earth. The first beams of protons were fired around the 17-mile tunnel at the launch to test the controlling strength of the world's largest superconducting magnets. Some skeptics feared the LHC could create micro black holes and endanger the planet.

AP

MagnetCore

The magnet core of the largest superconducting solenoid magnet in CERN's LHC.

AP

MagnetCore 7

CERN's largest superconducting solenoid magnet.

AP

The Last Element

The last element, weighing 100 tons, of the ATLAS experiment is lowered into a cave at CERN.

AP

A Glimpse Inside the 'Big Bang' Machine

The $10 billion Large Hadron Collider is the world's largest scientific machine. Built by the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), the atom smasher is intended to enact the conditions of the "Big Bang" -- to unlock the secrets of the universe.

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