Travel Theme; Circles The biggest man-made circle in the world

One of the Endcaps of the ATLAS detector at CERN

One of the Endcaps of the ATLAS detector at CERN

The worlds largest man-made circle is in Cern.  CERN is not a place, it is an organisation, the European Organisation for Nuclear Research.  the CERN Laboratory sits astride the Franco–Swiss border near Geneva.  CERN is an international laboratory for particle physicists, providing some of the most technologically advanced facilities for their research into the basic building blocks of the Universe.  One of these is the massive 27km long Large Hadron Collider (LHC) which is a gigantic instrument which circles 100m below the ground in a huge loop that travels through Switzerland and France

CERN Map

Before the LHC was completed, a group of my particle physics class went on a trip to see the tunnel & one of the detectors (ATLAS) before all the final adjustments were made & the detectors sealed. It was hard to capture the scale of the tunnels & of the detector itself, but I had a go, while standing in the worlds largest man-made circle 🙂

Looking down into the earth 100m to the ATLAS detector below

Looking down into the earth 100m to the ATLAS detector below

The other endcap

The other endcap

A map showing where the LHC runs below the ground across the border between Switzerland & France

A map showing where the LHC runs below the ground across the border between Switzerland & France

This is a scale model of one of the other detectors OPAL

This is a scale model of the OPAL detector

A strange spherical building

A strange spherical building

Old instruments make great sculptures

Old instruments make great sculptures

Looking up into an old 'spark chamber'

Looking up into an old ‘spark chamber’

This floor lights up in response to cosmic rays hitting sensors and triggering lights to come on

This floor lights up in response to cosmic rays hitting sensors and triggering lights to come on

A strange looking instrument

A strange looking instrument

A bin of discarded aluminium strips made a great photo subject!

A bin of discarded aluminium strips made a great photo subject!

To find out more about this weeks Travel Theme, hop over to ‘Where’s My Backpack?

This week’s Travel Theme is Circles

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About Barbara

Born in Dublin, living in London with Peter, my two daughters, Wilson our Spaniel & Woordow our Malshih (Shih Tzu-Maltese cross)
This entry was posted in Blogging, Photography, Physics, Science, Travel and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Travel Theme; Circles The biggest man-made circle in the world

  1. bluebee says:

    Sooooo envious – I would love to see it, and also to have been privy to the human dramas that played out between so many brilliant minds working so closely together for months on end

    Like

    • Barbara says:

      It was a trip not to be missed, and so great to be able to go down into the tunnel & see the detector right in front of us!

      The ‘brilliant minds’ brings up interesting thoughts…..

      Firstly, in order to work at CERN you need to be brilliant at coding…. writing computer code. People under 30 who love coding are a breed into themselves…. their idea of fun is playing World of War-craft (WOW) and re-enacting Star Trek scenes. Also a huge amount of physics geniuses are autistic, so their social skills are lacking finesse.

      Going to the restaurant was a fascinating experience, it was eerily quiet despite the huge number of people there. so many were on laptops or tablets or other devices…..

      Those brilliant minds may work in the same room, but so many of them work completely independently, alone in their own heads.

      I know I am generalising massively, but it is a special breed that chooses to work in this field!

      Like

  2. edgeledge says:

    Another amazing thing about this project is the collaboration has been going since the 1950’s, quite consistent considering the diverse nature of the scientists working on this.

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    • Barbara says:

      Yes 1954 🙂

      The thing is, again, brilliant scientists are a breed of their own. They are often not in the slightest bit interested in politics, nor do they consider the consequences of their research. (This is why I don’t work in Physics, the jobs I want are all for the government or military. I can’t do that)

      Oppenheimer is famous for not thinking his invention through, and Feynman was involved in Atomic bomb research without any thought for the consequences.

      Their common goal is the science, there is no conflict, except in interpreting the results!

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  3. Lynne Ayers says:

    I think you just might have the most unusual circles … interesting post.

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  4. Pingback: Travel Theme; Circles – Royal Holloway University through a Crystal Ball « Day One

  5. Al says:

    Fascinating. I once applied for a job with CERN. Told them I was good at running around in circles.

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  6. Pingback: Weekly Photo Challenge: Layers | Day One

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