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Photos: The World's Largest Atom Smasher (LHC)

LHC Students at CERN

Students outside LHC's home, the CERN physics lab

(Image credit: CERN)

Students working on the LHC sit outside of Geneva's CERN Physics Laboratory, home of the particle collider.

LHC Tunnel

The LHC tunnel where particles accelerate.

(Image credit: CERN)

This photo shows the tunnel of the Large Hadron Collider, where beams of particles pass through the central pipes before colliding with each other.

LHC Detector

(Image credit: CERN)

Detectors like this are placed at the spots where particles collide inside the LHC ring. They include sensitive equipment to detect the presence of exotic particles and their decay products that are created in the collisions.

LHC Control Room

Scientists watch particle collision data inside the LHC control room.

(Image credit: CERN)

Physicists watch particle collision data inside the LHC control room.

LHC Particle Tracks

(Image credit: CERN)

When particles collide inside the accelerator, they explode into energy that gives rise to new particles. These are often short-lived and decay into other particles. The particle products of collisions are shown as tracks in diagrams like this.

LHC's ATLAS

The ATLAS experiment at the Large Hadron Collider

(Image credit: CERN)

The ATLAS experiment at the Large Hadron Collider is one of the machine's two big all-purpose detectors.

ATLAS Tracker Barrel

The ATLAS experiment at the Large Hadron Collider

(Image credit: CERN)

Here, a technician works on the semiconductor tracker barrel of the ATLAS experiment.

ATLAS' Cavern

The ATLAS experiment at the Large Hadron Collider

(Image credit: CERN)

Workers move an instrument called a calorimeter inside the ATLAS cavern.

ATLAS Mural

The ATLAS experiment at the Large Hadron Collider

(Image credit: CERN)

The building that houses the ATLAS experiment and its offices is painted with a mural showing two walls the detector with a collision event superimposed.

ATLAS in LEGOS

A model of the Large Hadron Collider's ATLAS detector, which is searching for the Higgs boson, made out of LEGO blocks by Sascha Mehlhase.

(Image credit: ATLAS/CERN)

A model of the ATLAS detector made out of LEGO blocks by Sascha Mehlhase.

CMS Experiment

(Image credit: Michael Hoch / AdventueArt / CERN)

The Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) experiment is LHC's second major all-purpose detector. Among other projects, it is searching for the elusive theoretical particle called the Higgs boson.