Super-sized particle spotters

One of the most mind-boggling things about the LHC is the super size of the detectors used to spot some of the smallest particles that exist. The detectors sit in four huge underground caverns, one at each of the four points where the beams collide.

Two high-energy beams travelling in opposite directions smash together in the centre of each detector. It's the job of each detector to take a snapshot of what happens.
 
Page 1 of 5
 
Particles travel around the LHC ring at just under the speed of light, smashing together inside four huge detectors that sit underground.
Particles travel around the LHC ring at just under the speed of light, smashing together inside four huge detectors that sit underground.
Image: CERN
.