Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

CERN Particle Detector: ATLAS Completes World's Largest Jigsaw Puzzle

Date:
March 4, 2008
Source:
CERN
Summary:
Today the ATLAS collaboration at CERN celebrates the lowering of its last large detector element. The ATLAS detector is the world's largest general-purpose particle detector, measuring 46 metres long, 25 meters high and 25 meters wide; it weighs 7000 tons and consists of 100 million sensors that measure particles produced in proton-proton collisions in CERN's Large Hadron Collider.

Lowering of the second ATLAS Muon small wheel.
Credit: Image courtesy of CERN

A pivotal landmark in the construction of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) has been achieved -- the lowering of the final piece of the ATLAS particle detector into the underground collision hall at CERN in Geneva, Switzerland. Experiments conducted at this revolutionary LHC facility, poised to become the world's most powerful particle accelerator, may help scientists unravel some of the deepest mysteries in particle physics.

Related Articles


The ATLAS detector is the world’s largest general-purpose particle detector, measuring 46 metres long, 25 metres high and 25 metres wide; it weighs 7000 tonnes and consists of 100 million sensors that measure particles produced in proton-proton collisions in CERN’s Large Hadron Collider3 (LHC). The first piece of ATLAS was installed in 2003 and since then many detector elements have journeyed down the 100 metre shaft into the ATLAS underground cavern. This last piece completes this gigantic puzzle.

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

"We believe that muons are signatures of interesting events," says Branadeis physicist James Bensinger. If enough muon-related events are detected, it's entirely likely that high-energy particle physics could cross the threshold to a new era of understanding, perhaps moving closer to that obscure "theory of everything."

Known as the small wheel, this is the final element to complete the ATLAS muon spectrometer, and will be journeying 100 metres into its underground experimental cavern. There are two ATLAS small wheels; though small in comparison to the rest of the ATLAS detector, they are each 9.3 metres in diameter and weigh 100 tonnes including massive shielding elements. They are covered with sensitive detectors to identify and measure the momentum of particles that will be created in the LHC collisions. The entire muon spectrometer system contains an area equal to three football fields, including 1.2 million independent electronic channels. 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.

“These fragile detectors comprise the largest measuring device ever constructed for high energy physics,” said George Mikenberg, ATLAS muon project leader.

“One of the major challenges is lowering the small wheel in a slow motion zigzag down the shaft,” explained Ariella Cattai, leader of the small wheel team, “and performing precision alignment of the detector within a millimetre of the other detectors already in the cavern.”

Comprising 450 physicists from 48 institutions, the ATLAS muon spectrometer group includes members from China, France, Germany, Greece, Israel, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Russia and the United States of America. For them, this event marks the end of more than a decade of development, planning and construction of the muon spectrometer system. The shielding elements of the small wheels have been constructed in Armenia and Serbia.

The ATLAS collaboration will focus now on commissioning work in preparation for the start-up of the LHC this summer. Experiments at the LHC will allow physicists to take a big leap on a journey that started with Newton's description of gravity. Gravity is ubiquitous since it acts on mass, but so far science is unable to explain why particles have the masses they have. Experiments such as ATLAS may provide the answer. LHC experiments will also probe the mysterious dark matter and energy of the Universe, they will investigate the reason for nature's preference for matter over antimatter, probe matter as it existed close to the beginning of time and look for extra dimensions of spacetime.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by CERN. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

CERN. "CERN Particle Detector: ATLAS Completes World's Largest Jigsaw Puzzle." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 March 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080229112216.htm>.
CERN. (2008, March 4). CERN Particle Detector: ATLAS Completes World's Largest Jigsaw Puzzle. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080229112216.htm
CERN. "CERN Particle Detector: ATLAS Completes World's Largest Jigsaw Puzzle." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080229112216.htm (accessed October 24, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Friday, October 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Police Testing New Gunfire Tracking Technology

Police Testing New Gunfire Tracking Technology

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) A California-based startup has designed new law enforcement technology that aims to automatically alert dispatch when an officer's gun is unholstered and fired. Two law enforcement agencies are currently testing the technology. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
3D Printed Instruments Make Sweet Music in Sweden

3D Printed Instruments Make Sweet Music in Sweden

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 23, 2014) Students from Lund University's Malmo Academy of Music are believed to be the world's first band to all use 3D printed instruments. The guitar, bass guitar, keyboard and drums were built by Olaf Diegel, professor of product development, who says 3D printing allows musicians to design an instrument to their exact specifications. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
NYPD Gives High Tech Anti-Terror Weapon to 41,000 Officers

NYPD Gives High Tech Anti-Terror Weapon to 41,000 Officers

Buzz60 (Oct. 23, 2014) New York City officials announce a new technology initiative for the NYPD. Tim Minton reports smartphones and tablets will be given to more than 40,000 NYPD officers and detectives in an effort to change the way they perform their duties. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Chameleon Camouflage to Give Tanks Cloaking Capabilities

Chameleon Camouflage to Give Tanks Cloaking Capabilities

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 22, 2014) Inspired by the way a chameleon changes its colour to disguise itself; scientists in Poland want to replace traditional camouflage paint with thousands of electrochromic plates that will continuously change colour to blend with its surroundings. The first PL-01 concept tank prototype will be tested within a few years, with scientists predicting that a similar technology could even be woven into the fabric of a soldiers' clothing making them virtually invisible to the naked eye. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins