Meet the LHC detectors
Discover the huge detectors, made of delicate components, that capture the sub-atomic particles from the LHC collisions.
At four points on the LHC ring, the relatively narrow tunnel housing the collider opens up into a vast underground cavern. These huge concrete spaces house the four LHC detectors, effectively super-sized digital cameras that record the millions of collisions produced by the LHC every second.
These detectors are huge, and yet made out of thousands of incredibly sophisticated and delicate components, that work together to capture information about the identities and properties of the hundreds of particles that are created in each collision.
Each of the four detectors (ATLAS, ALICE, CMS and LHCb) has their own unique technology specifically suited to the research they are intended for. Massive teams of physicists and engineers work together to build, maintain and operate these detectors, as well as to analyse the vast quantities of data that they generate.
Video: VELO, the vertex locator module
Hear Collider curator Dr Harry cliff introduce one of the exhbition's most beautiful objects: the vertex locator (VELO) module from CERN's LHCb detector.
Written for the Science Museum's Collider exhibition, 2013. © Creative Commons - CC BY