Day of the world machine: See the LHC exhibition in Munich from November 23-26, 2011

The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is one of the largest international scientific experiments in the world. Located at CERN near Geneva about 100m underground this particle accelerator enables physicists to study the smallest known particles, which are the building blocks of all things. The LHC is expected to bring new knowledge about the world from the world deep within atoms to the vastness of the Universe. Now in order to celebrate the anniversary of the first hadron collisions in the LHC on 23 November 2010, an LHC exhibition at the Administrative Headquarters of the Max Planck Society at the Hofgarten in Munich provides a unique opportunity to experience this research in real time. Meet the scientists and discuss their work with them!

Picture: The ATLAS detector of LHC: ATLAS (A Toroidal LHC ApparatuS) is 46 meters long and 25 meters high, which makes it the largest and most elaborate particle detectors ever designed. It measures the energy of resultant particles in a collision. © CERN

Two hadrons, i.e. beams of subatomic particles (protons or lead ions) move inside the circular accelerator in opposite directions. By colliding the two beams with very high energy, the scientists try to re-establish conditions like shortly after the Big Bang. Then the particles, which are created in the collisions, are being analyzed using special detectors (like ATLAS). The scientists hope to answer questions such as what happened during the Big Bang, why  does our world consist of matter and not antimatter and where do elementary particles get their mass? Even the construction of the accelerator was a project to surpass all others. Particle collisions and the associated measurements have now been taking place for two years. The results are exceeding all expectations: the huge measuring devices have so far registered close to one million billion (1,000,000,000,000,000) collisions – the researchers are thrilled.

The anniversary of the first collisions in the LHC, 23 November, will be celebrated by physicists all over Germany as the “Tag der Weltmaschine (world machine day)”. This year, the Munich research institutions participating in the ATLAS experiment at the LHC have designed an interactive exhibition which provides four days of unique insights into the current research at the Large Hadron Collider. It will run from 23 to 26 November 2011 at the Max Planck Administrative Headquarters in Munich.

In the recreated control room of the ATLAS experiment, visitors can experience how the physicists actually work thanks to animations and the latest measurement data which is being transmitted live from Geneva. Original components from the particle detectors give an impression of the size and complexity of the experiment. Above all, the four-day event provides a unique opportunity to speak directly to the scientists who are currently participating in the ATLAS experiment at the LHC, and who plan and carry out their research projects at CERN.

Opening hours of the exhibition

November 23-26, 2011
Wed, Thu, Sat   9 – 18 h
Fri                      9 – 20 h


Max Planck House am Hofgarten
Hofgartenstrasse 8
80539 Munich

See also Max Planck Institute of Physics:

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