From the September 2012 issue

Birthplace of the new boson

Learn the details behind the Large Hadron Collider, the world’s biggest machine and the site of the recent Higgs boson announcement.
By | Published: September 24, 2012 | Last updated on May 18, 2023
Large Hadron Collider
The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is world’s largest and highest-energy particle accelerator. It contains six detectors each designed for specific kinds of exploration. // Credit: CERN/Maximilien Brice
Some of the biggest news this past summer was the July 4 announcement from the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) about a new particle consistent with the long-sought Higgs boson. My November story “Why you should care about the Higgs boson!” answered many of the questions surrounding the discovery, straight from the mouths of the physicists and researchers involved in the particle’s search. Naturally, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the biggest and most complicated machine in the world, came up in the discussion, because two of its seven experiments were responsible for the new boson’s detection.

But what about the other experiments? What does such a massive machine look like, and how does it work? Associate Editor Liz Kruesi tackled these questions and more in her illustrated spread, “Inside the world’s most powerful machine.” Take an in-depth look at the mind-boggling scale and ambition of the LHC, and marvel at what our species can do once we put our minds to it.

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