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 user 2007-02-28 at 11:18:00 am Views: 56
  • #17351

    Milestone for giant physics lab
    on a giant underground laboratory that will help take physics into a
    new era is reaching a major milestone.At 0500 GMT, a crane began to
    lower 2,000 tonnes of machinery into a man-made cavern 100m below
    ground.The machinery is part of the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS), one of
    four big experiments belonging to the world’s most powerful particle

    The accelerator is being built at Cern, on the Franco-Swiss border.
    is a powerful and complicated machine, which will smash particles
    together at super-fast speeds in a bid to unlock the secrets of the
    Universe.A spokesman said it would take 11 to 12 hours to lower the
    part into place.Progress so far, he said, had been good.The LHC
    comprises over 1,000 powerful magnets occupying a subterranean tunnel
    that runs in a ring for 27km.The magnets carry two beams of particles
    around the ring at speeds close to the speed of light.

    Critical parts
    certain points along this ring, the beams cross over, causing some of
    the particles to collide head-on.Each of the four huge LHC experiments,
    including the CMS, sits near one of these crossing points.These
    experiments, or detectors, will capture and measure new particles
    produced in the collisions.These could point to new phenomena beyond
    the so-called standard model of physics – a framework to explain the
    interactions of sub-atomic particles.The 2,000-tonne piece that will be
    winched down the 100m shaft at Cern on Wednesday is the largest and
    most impressive segment of the CMS.It is called the Yoke Barrel 0, or
    YB0 for short, and forms the central “barrel wheel” segment of the CMS
    experiment. It is flanked on either side by two smaller wheels.The YB0
    element will house most of the critical inner parts of the experiment
    and is about 16m tall, 17m wide and 13m long.”It is the largest of 15
    pieces due to go down,” said Jim Virdee, chief spokesman for the CMS
    science team.”It will be spectacular. We were drawing all these things
    15 years ago on a piece of paper. So to see them being assembled is
    exciting and partly emotional.”

    ‘God’ particle
    all goes well, the YB0 element should be fully lowered into its cavern
    by 1500 to 1600 GMT on Wednesday.So far, eight of the 15 key elements
    that make up the CMS have been successfully lowered. YB0 will be the
    ninth.The experiment will then have to be assembled into its final
    configuration inside the cavern.In its final form, the Compact Muon
    Solenoid will be cylindrical, 21m long and 16m in diameter and weigh
    approximately 12,500 tonnes.

    The CMS is one of two general purpose experiments at the LHC.
    will aim to identify the elusive Higgs boson (known as the “God
    particle” because of its importance to the Standard Model of physics),
    look for so-called supersymmetric particles and seek out the existence
    of extra dimensions.