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SCIENCE

The LHC in pictures

The world's biggest accelerator seen through the eyes of photographers

CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, is preparing to commission the LHC, a colossal scientific instrument with four equally huge detectors at various points around its circumference.
To mark the event, the Organization has organised an exhibition of very large format photos commensurate with the scale of the machine.

Seen through the viewfinder, these magnificent tools for fundamental research take on a rare beauty. They may be as big as apartment blocks but their precision rivals that of the watch-making industry. The LHC ring measures 27 km in circumference but the thousands of magnets positioned around it are aligned with better than millimetre precision. The largest of the detectors is taller than a seven-storey building but its core contains pixels as fine as grains of sand.

The Big Science exhibition, first presented in the Globe of Science and Innovation, pays tribute to the physics being done on this huge scale in order to explore matter and seek answers to fundamental questions about the Universe and its evolution.