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The Large Hadron Collider Just Detected Extremely Rare Particle Decays

Scientists at the Large Hadron Collider have just announced the detection of a rare particle decay “harder to find than the famous Higgs particle.” The strange B meson is certainly a lot less famous than the Higgs boson, but it also has an important role to play in the Standard Model of particle physics. »5/13/15 2:53pm5/13/15 2:53pm

CERN Wants Artists and Architects Working Alongside Its Physicists

What do art and high-energy physics have in common? Quite a bit, if you think about it: Space, time, and the structure of the visible and invisible world, for starters. That's why CERN has spent the past four years inviting artists into its headquarters, and why, for the first time, it's now inviting an architect to… »1/26/15 11:50am1/26/15 11:50am

What Would Happen If You Peed Into a Particle Accelerator?

I have visited CERN and they have sections of the accelerator you can look at. It's a mess—to you and me—wires and tubes. This has not been built for consumers. There's no pink model; there will not be a thinner and lighter 2.0; and Nike is not sponsoring a limited edition line. In other words—no safety measures in… »10/27/14 4:00pm10/27/14 4:00pm

What It Takes to Build the Largest Particle Collider Ever Made

The Large Hadron Collider is an enormous feat of engineering: A 17-mile tunnel packed with fragile scientific instruments that took 25 years to imagine and 10 to construct. But now, scientists at CERN have chosen an engineering firm to build its successor—a collider that will be triple the size of the LHC. »9/19/14 3:40pm9/19/14 3:40pm

Explaining Particle Accelerators With a Vacuum and 1,000 Foam Balls

If you know what a "Time Projection Chamber" or "Proton Synchrotron Booster" is, you're probably a physicist. And if you can explain them to non-physicists, you're a hero. This complicated glass model attempts to make understanding particle physics a little bit easier—with the help of a vacuum cleaner and 500 feet of… »7/07/14 4:20pm7/07/14 4:20pm

Listening to the Secret Sounds of the Large Hadron Collider

From the Golden Gate Bridge to an ancient Japanese bell, the physical structures around us are humming with secret sound. Artist Bill Fontana has made a career of capturing these haunting and complex soundscapes. As an artist at residence at CERN, he's mostly recently been listening in on the world's largest particle… »3/12/14 9:40am3/12/14 9:40am

Science Wants a Large Hadron Collider That's Over Three Times As Big

The Large Hadron Collider certainly lives up to its name: the underground behemoth is nearly 17 miles in circumference. Oh, and it also helped scientists discover the Higgs Boson, no big deal. But those crazy scientists always want more, which is why CERN, the particle physics group behind LHC, wants to build it a big… »2/07/14 1:20pm2/07/14 1:20pm

CERN Hid Lego Figurines All Over During Its Google Street View Shoot

If simply getting a peek inside the guts of CERN isn't cool enough, the lab's computer security officer, Stefan Lüders, has a secret treat for the nerds among us. Just before Google Street View came to visit, he and his crew hid Lego figurines all over CERN's Computing Center. About 20 of them—including aliens, a… »12/19/13 10:48am12/19/13 10:48am