Feeds

CERN completes 'world’s largest jigsaw puzzle'

Slots final major component into Large Hadron Collider

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

The European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN) last Friday lowered into position the final major component of its Large Hadron Collider (LHC) - a 100-tonne "small" wheel which forms part of the ATLAS muon spectrometer.

The last piece of the "world’s largest jigsaw puzzle", as CERN puts it, was lowered down the 100 metre shaft into the ATLAS chamber which lies on the 27km-circumference circular tunnel housing the LHC.

The ATLAS small wheel lowered into place. Photo: CERN

ATLAS technical coordinator Marzio Nessi said: “This is an exciting day for us. The installation process is coming to its conclusion and we are gearing up to start a new programme of physics research.”

The LHC will, once operational, allow scientists to probe the mysteries of the universe, including dark matter, matter "as it existed close to the beginning of time" and possible extra dimensions of spacetime. ATLAS's role is to measure particles produced in proton-proton collisions within its 7000 tonne, 28,750 cubic metre bulk packing 100 million sensors.

CERN explains: "As particles pass through a magnetic field produced by superconducting magnets, this detector has the ability to accurately track them to the width of a human hair."

CERN now hopes to have the LHC up and running by the summer. The project has not entirely run on rails, with various technical difficulties conspiring to delay the programme. Back in March last year, the structure supporting the particle accelerator's proton-accelerating key magnets failed during a routine test - a "near disaster" which had serious implications for the switch-on timetable. ®

The Power of One Infographic

More from The Register

next story
World Solar Challenge contender claims new speed record
One charge sees Sunswift travel 500kms at over 100 km/h
SMELL YOU LATER, LOSERS – Dumbo tells rats, dogs... humans
Junk in the trunk? That's what people have
The Sun took a day off last week and made NO sunspots
Someone needs to get that lazy star cooking again before things get cold around here
Boffins discuss AI space program at hush-hush IARPA confab
IBM, MIT, plenty of others invited to fill Uncle Sam's spy toolchest, but where's Google?
Bad back? Show some spine and stop popping paracetamol
Study finds common pain-killer doesn't reduce pain or shorten recovery
Forty-five years ago: FOOTPRINTS FOUND ON MOON
NASA won't be back any time soon, sadly
Jurassic squawk: Dinos were Earth's early FEATHERED friends
Boffins research: Ancient dinos may all have had 'potential' fluff
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.