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Step inside the Large Hadron Collider (360 video) - BBC News

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welcome to the largest particle physics

laboratory in the world right now you're

standing inside CERN the European

Organization for Nuclear Research and

you've got a view that very few people

will ever see we're about a hundred

meters beneath the Swiss French border

and above you is just one of the

experiments at the Large Hadron Collider

itself the largest machine in the world

in a few minutes we'll head up there

yep on that cherry picker to see what

happens when you smash particles

together at close to the speed of light

but before we do let me show you what

kind of kit you need to get things going

they're fast so here we are walking

along part of the long circular tunnel

that houses the LHC and that's it next

to you that is the Large Hadron Collider

that collection of magnets it's a twenty

seven kilometer long loop there are four

experiments on the LHC and ten

accelerators in the complex which

together accelerate bunches of particles

up to close to the speed of light

each section in the tunnel performs a

very specific function from cooling

things down to minus 271 degrees C or

focusing the beam but more specifically

beams up that fly around the ring

because there are actually two pipes

running in opposite directions and

that's so eventually you can smash the

two sets of circulating beams together

and create conditions similar to those

at the birth of the universe so would

you like to see what that looks like yes

I thought so me too this cavern contains

the CMS experiment the compact muon

solenoid although there's nothing

compact about it if you ask me this is

one of the places that helped to

discover the Higgs boson so that big

shiny pipe above you is connected to the

tunnels that we were just in and when

the beams of particles are going fast

enough tiny adjustments are made to

bring those two beams together until

right here they collide in an instant

the particles are smashed to pieces and

it's these even smaller particles that

the CMS can detect it's an enormous

sensor that looks for the fundamental

building blocks of the universe by using

even higher energy collisions the CERN

scientists hope to find other particles

and explain mysteries like dark energy

and dark matter which makes up 95% of

the matter in our universe this is big

science performed on the tiniest of

scales

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