CERN Accelerating science


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What is Atlas?

ATLAS is about 45 meters long, more than 25 meters high, and weighs about 7,000 tons. It is about half as big as the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris and weighs the same as the Eiffel Tower or a hundred 747 jets (empty).

What is LHC?

The protons are accelerated in opposite directions in the Large Hadron Collider, an underground accelerator ring 27 kilometres in circumference at the CERN Laboratory in Geneva, Switzerland. Crashing together in the center of ATLAS, the particles will produce tiny fireballs of primordial energy. LHC recreates the conditions at the birth of the Universe -- 30 million times a second. Relics of the early Universe not seen since the Universe cooled after the Big Bang 14 billion years ago will spring fleetingly to life again. The LHC is in effect a Big Bang Machine. (Portions of this text are paraphrased from an article written by Dennis Overbye in the New York Times on May 15, 2007, with permission.)