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Hadron Collider – the world’s greatest experiment

Visitors can see for themselves what a section of the 27 kilometre tunnel looks like. Photo: Robert Shakespeare. Source: Sydney Morning Herald.

Amy Mitchell-Whittington, Hadron Collider exhibition at Queensland Museum, Sydney Morning Herald, 8 December 2016

The world’s largest scientific experiment, a 27-kilometre circular underground tunnel built to smash particles into each other, has been recreated at the Queensland Museum for the public to learn more about how our universe works.

Hadron Collider: Step inside the world’s greatest experiment is an exhibition that gives you a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the particle physics lab at the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN) where the Large Hadron Collider, a tunnel built under the border between France and Switzerland, operates.

CERN’s $4.4 billion dollar LHC is a ring of superconducting magnets with a number of accelerating structures that forces two high-energy particle beams to travel close to the speed of light, before colliding.

The task of making them collide has been likened to firing two needles about 10 kilometres apart with enough precision that they meet halfway.

Queensland Museum Network CEO and director Professor Suzanne Miller said the exhibition helps to transport visitors virtually to the CERN laboratory.

“Visitors can talk to virtual scientists, walk the tunnels of CERN, explore the control room and stand in the heart of a particle collision,” she said.

The LHC is one of the coldest places in the universe at minus 271 degrees Celsius and contains some of the most powerful magnets on earth.

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Council of Australasian Museum Directors, c/o Ms Daryl Karp, Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House PO Box 3934 Manuka, Australian Capital Territory 2603 Australia, © CAMD 2021
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