ATLAS detector inside the massive collider is the size of three football fields

One of the most burning questions in the minds of many scientists is how exactly our universe started. In Geneva, 2,500 researchers came together to create one of the world’s largest particle colliders.

The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is located 100 meters under the ground in Geneva and has a circumference of 27 km (over 16 miles). The massive LHC will be used by researchers to probe the beginnings of our universe.

Claude Leroy, a physics professor from Université de Montréal, was one of the scientists involved in the project and responsible for creating the ATLAS detector used in the collider to provide a new look at the conditions that occurred during the Big Bang and immediately following.

ATLAS is the largest of the four detectors inside the LHC and is a massive device in its own right. ATLAS is 7,000 tons in weight, 46 meters in length, and 25 meters in height.

Leroy conducted the radiation and irradiation studies to ensure ATLAS ran smoothly when in operation. Leroy also created a device called MPX, which is a small device attached throughout the LHC and ATLAS to perform real-time measurements of the spectral characteristics and composition of radiation inside and around the ATLAS detector. The device is said to capture images of what’s inside the detector and its environment like neutrons and photons.

For the LHC to operate, its components must be cooled to a superconducting state. Some components of the LHC will be cooled to minus 456 degrees Fahrenheit by cooling the magnets with liquid helium. Parts of the ATLAS device will be cooled with liquid argon to minus 312 Fahrenheit.

When in operation the LHC will collide two beams of particles at close to the speed of light in an attempt to answer what the 96% of the unknown universe is made of, why particles have mass, why nature prefers matter of antimatter, and what lies beyond Earth’s dimension.

DailyTech reported on another of the LHCs components called the Regional Calorimeter Trigger in February of 2006.

"There is a single light of science, and to brighten it anywhere is to brighten it everywhere." -- Isaac Asimov
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