How big is this Large Hadron Collider, really?

CERN’s new Large Hadron Collider will be the largest machine ever built. Here’s how it compares to other examples of hugeness:





The ATLAS particle detector is 100 meters underground, as deep into the earth as Big Ben is tall.





The CMS detector will weigh 12,500 metric tons, the equivalent of 14.5 Stonehenges.





The accelerator circumscribes an area of 58 square kilometers, as large as the island of Manhattan.





The LHC, the biggest science experiment ever, will cost $8 billion to build, as much as Exxon Mobil’s profit in the first quarter of 2006.




Protons will travel through a 27 kilometer tunnel, which twice crosses the French/Swiss border. The tunnel is as long as 21 Golden Gate Bridges.

Image Credits: Big Ben, Andrew Dunn; Stonehenge, Wikipedia user Wigulf; CERN circumference, Alom Shaha; Manhattan, Google Maps; Exxon station, Wikipedia user Coolcaesar; Golden Gate Bridge, Dirk Beyer. All other images courtesy CERN.

Originally published May 22, 2006


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