Valerie Jamieson-New Scientist
Large Hadron Collider “Actually Worked”
Mason Inman-National Geographic
In 1909, at a small laboratory at the University of Manchester, James Rutherford shot alpha particles at a gold nucleus which in result unveiled the legendary discovery of the structure of the atom. Exactly seventy years later scientists and engineers at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) launched the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) which was designed to achieve quite the same purpose as Rutherford’s, particle collisions. However, this time the collider was not a simple particle emitter set up on a laboratory table but a circular tunnel of a 17 mile circumference that spread under villages and cow pastures of the French-Swiss border. Built with the collaboration of 10,000 scientist and engineers from over 100 countries and hundreds of universities and laboratories, the LHC was designed to achieve a number of objectives. Mainly to discover the origins of mass, the nature of dark matter, the conditions of the early universe right after the big bang and the mystery of antimatter. On September 10, 2008, the collider successfully fired an amount of two billion photons around the length of the entire tunnel.To this day, LHC continues firing and colliding various particles and sub particles everyday paving the way to uncovering the deepest mysteries of the universe. Anyhow, the function of this article is not to explain the theoretical and modern physics which govern the behavior and results of these collisions. Instead, we will be discussing the engineering in LHC that played a major role in making this $9 billion project a success. Ironically, LHC is the world’s largest machine, used to study the world’s tiniest of particles. This machine consists of two major components. The circular accelerator tunnel and the particle detection system....