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ATLAS particle detector

ATLAS particle detector

Amazing Facts
  • About 3,000 km of cable are used in ATLAS
  • Although heavy, ATLAS has enough enclosed empty space that it would float in water
ATLAS is one of five large particle detectors associated with the Large Hadron Collider at the CERN laboratory near Geneva. "ATLAS" stands for "A Toroidal LHC ApparatuS. It is an enormous general-purpose detector – 45 meters long, 25 meters in diameter (as tall as a five-storey building), and about 7,000 tons in mass. ATLAS took ten years to plan and a further ten years to build. Construction of it was completed in early 2006. It will begin gathering data when the Large Hadron Collider is turned on in 2007. About 1,800 physicists (including 400 students) from more than 150 universities and laboratories in 35 countries are involved with the ATLAS experiment.

ATLAS has many different systems for detecting a wide variety of subatomic particles that will be produced by the extremely high-energy collisions taking place in the Large Hadron Collider. Among the particles that it is hoped it may detect is the Higgs boson, an entity predicted to exist by the Standard Model of particle physics.

Out of this world technology

inside Borg cube
ATLAS particle detector
ATLAS particle detector
Inside a Borg Cube

Did the infamous Borg steal ATLAS technology? Or have CERN scientists been watching too much Star Trek? Should we be told?

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