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Stunning Facts About the Powerful Large Hadron Collider

Mukulika Mukherjee Mar 23, 2019
The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) was built by the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN). Here are some truly amazing facts about the largest and most powerful high-energy particle accelarator ever built.

Did You Know?

The Large Hadron Collider, located 330 feet below the ground, was first started on 10th September, 2008. It took 10 years to build!
The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) was built for the prime purpose of searching for the existence of the Higgs-Boson particle (otherwise known as the God particle) and reveal the secrets of the formation of the universe.
Another important purpose is to test the predictions of different theories of particle physics, and throw more light on dark matter, existence of extra dimensions, and the phenomenon of super symmetry. With it, scientists and physicists have been successful in recreating the conditions that existed immediately after the Big Bang.
Hadrons are composite particles composed of quarks that are held together by a strong force, and include protons, neutrons, and mesons.
A collider is a particle accelerator that imparts very high kinetic energy to directed beams of sub-atomic particles, and allows them to impact other particles. This helps scientists study the properties of the byproducts, if any, formed as a result of the high-energy collisions.

Amazing Facts about the Large Hadron Collider

► It is the largest and the most complex research equipment ever built. It has a circumference of 27 km or 17 miles, and is located at a depth of 330 feet or 100 meters, along the Franco-Swiss border near Geneva.
► It was the result of the collective effort of over 10,000 scientists and engineers from more than 100 countries.
► The cost of building the LHC was estimated around USD 4.1 billion. Not only this, it has a running budget of approximately USD 9 billion, which makes it one of the most expensive scientific instruments ever built.
► When this amazing machine operates in full power, trillions of protons race around the circumference of the tunnel 11,245 times a second, at a speed that is 99.9999991% of the speed of light, which is equivalent to 671,000,000 mph!
► The CMS magnet system contains about 10,000 tons of iron, which is more iron than the quantity of the metal used to build the Eiffel Tower.
► Every second, more than 600 million collisions are engineered inside the LHC, and the protons collide with at a total energy of 14 TeV.
► The LHC can be called the world's largest fridge, because the thousands of magnets within the accelerator are pre-cooled to -193.2°C (80 K) using 10,080 tons of liquid nitrogen, after which they are filled with more than 60 tons of liquid helium to further cool them down to -271.3°C (1.9 K).
These superconducting magnets bend the beam of protons to make them collide inside the chambers of the tunnel.
► Only two nanograms of hydrogen are accelarated each day, which means it would take almost a year for the LHC to accelerate 1 gram of hydrogen.
► The heat generated by the collisions causes the temperature inside the LHC to rise to more than 100,000 times than that in the heart of the Sun.
► The detectors installed inside the LHC have sophisticated electronic trigger systems that are capable of measuring the passage time of a particle to accuracies in the region of a few billionths of a second.
► The space within the LHC is the emptiest space in the Solar System. In fact, it is an ultra-high vacuum and is as empty as outer space. This is to ensure that the protons do not collide with molecules of gas. The internal pressure is 10-13 atmosphere, which is 10 times less than the pressure on the Moon!
► The experimental data generated from the LHC is analyzed by a supercomputer system known as the Grid, which is the most powerful of its kind in the world. It is a huge network that comprises tens of thousands interconnected computers from different regions in the world.
► Each of the big experiments with the LHC generates data that can fill close to 100,000 dual-layer DVDs every year.
► The particle accelerator has 7 detectors and 9,300 magnets inside it.
► On July 4, 2012, scientists at CERN detected a particle matching the profile of the predicted Higgs boson. By March 2013, the particle was almost confirmed to be the Higgs boson, as it exactly matched the interaction and decay properties that were predicted by the Standard Model theory of particle physics.
Many people were of the opinion that the LHC would lead to the end of the world. However, this speculation has been put to rest. The truth is that the LHC is indeed a marvel of scientific genius.