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Report - CERN, Switzerland

Discussion in 'European and International Sites' started by LazyG, Apr 26, 2011.

  1. LazyG

    LazyG 28DL Member
    28DL Member

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    Hi all, UE is not normally my thing but came across this place and thought you might enjoy some of these. Most are with permission, one isn't. :)

    I used to work at CERN and got to see some fairly cool stuff.

    Too many pics to embed really so I'll link the albums with a couple of preview images.

    Visit to ALICE, (A Large Ion Collider Experiment) - a friend designed a part of it (the large curved bit above ground). The curved area i took lots of shots of in the upper left of the red case is where the curved bit fits in. The massive red box is a huge electromagnet the detector fits in. Geeky fact, if you look at the huge number of cables in the detector chamber, you see hwo tightly they are fitted. Apparently each cable only had 1% excess length for the designed slot, imagine the difficulty in wiring it!

    Album http://imgur.com/a/g0rGV
    Some pics

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    Several visits to ATLAS (A Large Toroidal LHC Apparatus) - this the big one, some 7000 tonnes, (CMS is heaveir but smaller). It sits in a space about the size of a major football field and 12 stories high.

    Only a few so I'll embed them all

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    This was when I was first there, and the chamber was quite empty, just one endcap was in. You can see the massive supports at the bottom and the size of the chamber. The chamber is about 100m underground, and accessed by a lift. You use the lift even in case of fire, they maintain positive air pressure int he lift tube to make sure it maintains oxygen . If any of the overall LHC catches fire they dump a huge quantity of foam into the tunnels. Apparently it has air pockets you can breathe in for long enough to get to an airpack, though they are not fun (I tried one - they create oxygen from a chemical reaction using potassium permanganate).

    Next when it was half full, only three so I will embed them all. The red striped grey tubes are the torroids that create the magnetic field which is the core of the detector.

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    Spot the xmas tree! :)
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    Next this was when it was mostly built but you could still see the torroids.

    Album http://imgur.com/a/Pqi9h

    Some pics from it

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    OK last ATLAS pics are from when it was nearly done, I don't think tours continued much longer than this.

    Album http://imgur.com/a/XszQG

    Some pics from it:

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    OK last one. Not long before I left (though unrelated :) ) a few of us got into the access tunnels under the main site. These are fairly low risk, they do link up with some of the smaller accelerators, but everything was off and we avoided those bits. This was... not allowed. We were underground about 4 hours and surfaced a few times in the mean time, where the tunnels linked to other buildings. Sorry for the poor photos, I was navigating (dead reckoning mostly, and a few wall maps we found) so I was a bit busy. Mostly it was thin tunnels lined with cables but toward the end we got into some larger chambers. One had huge tanks reminiscent of submarine hulls (there is a pic but it didn't work well, you can't see the scale). The last room we got to we all found it hard to breathe and had to exit rapidly.

    Album http://theora.imgur.com/undercern

    Some snaps

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    Enjoy!
     
    #1 LazyG, Apr 26, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2011

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